After retiring from a successful career, some people like to start taking it easy and only focus on golf, fishing, spending more time with family or simply enjoying having nothing on their to-do lists. Others, however, look forward to discovering new ways to stay engaged by helping their local community. John Ritenour definitely falls into the latter group.
John Ritenour, the co-founder of Insurance Office of America, stepped down in 2018 after 20 years at the helm, passing on leadership responsibilities to his son Heath, now CEO and Chairman of IOA. While he did announce intentions to hit the golf course more often and put in more family time, he also made a commitment to assist charities through the IOA Foundation, a legacy of leadership that continues today.
John Ritenour was a native of McKeesport, Penn., in the 1950s. He met Valli in high school in the 1960s and they were married in 1973. Son Heath Ritenour was born in 1976.
Over the years, he worked in a variety of industries, from a steel mill to selling insurance to working in a bakery. His heart always seemed to return to insurance, and in the late 1970s, Valli and John created their first firm. The Ritenour family later moved to Florida, where, in 1988, they founded Insurance Office of Florida, offering a variety of policies and products to individuals, companies and businesses. It later changed its name to have a national focus, becoming Insurance Office of America.
The business thrived and today is considered one of the largest companies of its kind in the U.S. It offers full-service insurance solutions to all types of people and companies, including professional and athletic teams. John Ritenour loves sports as much as he loves helping clients. He coached Heath in basketball, football and baseball. The lifetime sports fan also established partnerships with regional teams and athletic organizations in his area.
IOA became the official insurance broker for Orlando City Soccer Club, an arrangement that led to being named as an official Partner with Major League Soccer and a Partner with Orlando City Foundation, a philanthropic group that focuses on helping children.
It also has been a sponsor of the Jacksonville Jaguars, as well as the team’s official insurance provider. It presented a major tournament for the LPGA as well as the title sponsor for multiple events in the Symetra Tour.
John Ritenour felt it was important to create and develop these partnerships and even created Sports Partners, a division that focuses exclusively on athletic clients. Not only does the team receive superior coverage and access to a wide range of products, it’s a unique and high-profile way to get the word out.
John and the Ritenour family were regularly recognized for a variety of accomplishments. One of the more prominent was the “Success Award for Business Achievement” from Success magazine, an honor given to Florida-area entrepreneurs who give back in their business and their communities.
John Ritenour also was a nominee for the Dynetech/Crummer Entrepreneur of the Year Award, which recognizes business achievements in Central Florida.