John Ritenour grew up in a predominantly working-class neighborhood on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. Recognizing the value of hard work from an early age, young Ritenour saw many families struggle. While he knew he was destined for bigger things and has worked to carve his own financial and professional path, John Ritenour has never forgotten where he came from. Grateful for his successes, entrepreneur John Ritenour has continued to commit himself to philanthropic ventures throughout his professional career, and beyond. He’s found that the best things he’s done in his life have centered around giving back.
While it was that principle of giving back that led John Ritenour to found Insurance Office of America, it has also led him on a path of creating a philanthropic legacy. This rich legacy includes his involvement in a popular 5K, as well as several other pursuits that have grown from the desire to uplift others.
The Largest Office Party in Orlando
The relationship between Insurance Office of America and what has since grown to become the largest 5K event in Florida dates back to 1995. At that time, IOA teamed up with Track Shack Events, a sister company to the Orlando-based company, Track Shack. Track Shack Events organized a community 5K, and IOA signed on as an affiliate. In 2000, they expanded that relationship to become sponsors under the leadership of IOA founder John Ritenour. The event is now named the IOA Corporate 5K, and IOA continues to play a large part in supporting it and its mission.
Not just the largest 5K event in Florida, the IOA Corporate 5K has also fondly become known as the largest office party in Orlando. The fun event combines charity with competition, creating a memorable experience for all participants. Various awards presented at the annual event include a Workplace Wellness Award, Team Spirit Award, and even recognition for the best T-shirt design.
While the IOA Corporate 5K provides a day of competition and camaraderie, the event is inherently about more than just fun and games. Over the years, the IOA Corporate 5K has provided thousands of meals and raised funds for numerous local charities. These have included the Track Shack Youth Foundation, Christian Service Center, and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. IOA and John Ritenour’s relationship with the 5K extends back over 25 years. They are proud that today, they not only sponsor but also title the community event, perfect for bringing local businesses together in the name of a good cause. While John Ritenour’s role in the 5K has changed over time, he remains an important contributor to its success.
A Beginning Based in Giving Back
Launching Insurance Office of America, Founder John Ritenour considered his own experiences as an insurance producer, and the limitations placed upon that role within a traditional insurance company setting. Creating the blueprints for his own company, John Ritenour knew that he wanted to structure IOA in a capacity that would allow producers to thrive. By treating insurance producers almost as independent business owners, John Ritenour gave the power of uncapped commission, an unwavering commission structure, and autonomy back to the role of an insurance producer. He conceived of a way for producers to earn ownership in the company, creating an entire generation of entrepreneurs within the insurance business, and creating a business model that truly “pays it forward.” Today, there are over 1,000 associates with Insurance Office of America, spread across 50 office locations in the United States, as well as an international branch in London.
IOA continues to give back through the IOA Foundation Inc. The Foundation’s primary aim is to help children, from birth through college. The Foundation is involved in numerous local charitable endeavors. Many of the Foundation’s charitable collaborations focus on assisting with education, health and wellness, social services, animals, children, entrepreneurship, financial empowerment and literacy, and mentoring. IOA, as a company, believes that they do not give back because they are successful, but rather, they are successful because they give back.
About John Ritenour
In addition to remaining heavily invested in helping the community, John Ritenour remained at the helm of the company he founded until his retirement in 2018. For 30 years, John Ritenour grew Insurance Office of America from a fledgling business into an industry leader. While he still serves in an advisory capacity, John Ritenour’s son, Heath, has succeeded him as Chairman and CEO. This leaves John Ritenour with more time to work on continuing with his proud tradition of community involvement and giving back.
About Insurance Office of America
Founded in 1988, Insurance Office of America (IOA) is a full-service insurance agency, and one of the fastest-growing independent agencies in the country. With headquarters in Longwood, Florida, IOA has over 50 branches across the United States, as well as an international branch in London. The company was named the 11th largest privately held insurance agency in the US.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.