A Brief History: John Ritenour of IOA
It’s a lifetime of dedication that led John Ritenour to become a successful businessman, family man, and member of his community. While many know Ritenour as the man who grew a small insurance agency into a nationwide, full-service brokerage, they don’t know how he got his start — or what his journey looked like up until now.
- Early 1970s: After Ritenour leaves his job at a local Pittsburgh steel mill, Ritenour’s brother offers him a partnership at his expanding bakery business. During the time he spends working for the bakery, Ritenour learns about managing a company, other employees, and his own schedule. He eventually steps away from the retail business and starts what would be the beginning of his career in insurance.
- Mid-1970s: Once he leaves the business partnership with his brother, John Ritenour starts working as a door-to-door life insurance salesman. Within the first six months, he becomes the top producer at the company. While working as a salesman, Ritenour is offered multiple promotions to management positions but ultimately turns them down — still eager to sell insurance and continue learning about the industry from the field.
- 1976: After the birth of his son, Heath, Ritenour leaves the insurance agency to find a better opportunity for himself and his family.
- Early 1980s: The Ritenours pack up, move to central Florida, and spend the next few years operating, growing, and eventually selling their own insurance business to a larger agency.
- 1988: John and his wife, Valli, found Insurance Office of Florida (IOF) Jan. 1. In the first year of business, this three-employee company grows to $188,000 in revenue.
- 1997: After nine successful years in their Apopka, FL, branch, John and Valli decide to expand IOF with a second office in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Because this is also the agency’s first branch outside of Florida, the Ritenours see an opportunity to rebrand from IOF to Insurance Office of America (IOA).
- 2005: IOA reaches the milestone of $50 million annual revenue. For this success and for his dedication to charitable work in the Seminole County community, John Ritenour is presented Success Magazine’s Success Award for Business Achievement, and he is featured on the cover of the magazine.
- 2006: Among 12 other esteemed candidates, John Ritenour is nominated for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business and Dynetech Corp.
- 2008: Ritenour steps down from his position as CEO of IOA but remains active as chairman.
- 2009: Teaming up with other members of the Alaqua community, Ritenour becomes a principal owner of the Alaqua Country Club. The group of principal owners set out to renovate the club’s golf course, clubhouse, and restaurant — ultimately, refurbishing the club’s image.
- 2012: In December, John, Valli, and the IOA team celebrate as the company passes $100 million in annual revenue.
- 2015: During the second round of the IOA Golf Classic at the Alaqua Country Club, John Ritenour delivers a $10,000 check to female golfer Heather Bowie on behalf of the IOA Foundation.
- 2016: In thanks to his personal and professional support, sponsorship, and partnership with the Symetra Tour, Ritenour and his wife, Valli, are awarded the Symetra Tour’s Eloise Trainor Award.
- 2017: At the Atlanta National Golf Retreat, Ritenour announces that IOA will sponsor a third tournament on the Symetra Tour, the IOA Invitational — making IOA the first company to title three of the tour’s events.
- 2018: Proudly offering the position to his son Heath, John Ritenour steps down as chairman of IOA.
- 2019: John Ritenour renews the IOA official sponsorship of the LPGA Tour’s Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions Presented by Insurance Office of America.