About Art Ritter: Art grew up in St. Paul Minnesota, the oldest of three boys. Each went through the public school system and on the University of Minnesota, each grew up in Macalester Presbyterian Church, on the edge of Macalester College, each went through Scouting from Cubs to Explorers, and each become an Eagle Scout.
Mom’s family hosted the summers at their lake cottages in Northern Wisconsin – where these Minnesotans learned to fish, swim, water ski – and drive the power boats they built at home over the winters.
His Dad and Grandfather owned a small advertising specialties business which, at one time or another, employed each of the boys and other family members. Family gatherings were peppered with stories of business, selling, and clients -- along with the lake, school, and “the old days.” (Great grandparents, great aunts and great uncles had immigrated from England, Scotland, and Germany. The parents’ generation was the first in these families to go to college – and all of the siblings went. Mom and Dad had gone to “the U” with Marlin Perkins, Eric Severide, and Charles Schultz. You can just imagine the stories.)
Graduation from the University sent the boys three ways: the youngest into journalism (he is now one of the five science writers for the Associated Press in New York), the middle into teaching and then in to the ministry (having served in the pulpit, at his seminary, and at the Presbyterian Foundation as its Vice President for Development, he now runs a private fund-raising firm serving non-profits around the world), and Art (the Electrical Engineer who “majored in ROTC,” according to the Dean of Electrical Engineering) to the United States Air Force. Art flew in combat, served wing and major command staffs, and commanded a squadron that brought a new weapon system from full-scale development to operational status.
During his military career, Art served under men on their way to become, for example, the first head of the Department of Defense Test and Evaluation (upon its creation), the Commandant of the Air Force Academy, The Commander of the Tactical Air Command, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. This “school in residence” provided unparalleled insight into how great leaders develop – and into how very large organizations operate in the clash of competition for scarce resources with which to achieve missions of national importance.
He also earned Master’s Degrees in both Public and Business Administration, served on the Board of Directors of the Quality and Productivity Institute in Nevada, and on the faculty of the US Senate Productivity Award, both teaching the examiners and participating with them in business, health care, and academic applicant examinations for this Malcolm Baldrige-based award.
With these experiences, he launched his private management consulting practice, serving both public sector and private sector clients – from one-deep product businesses to major research public institutions.
He returned full-time to Nellis Air Force Base as a contractor after 911, providing six years of technical writing services and advice on Air Force weapons test design, planning, and reporting. While there as the task lead, he provided technical proposal consulting to his $26+ Billion technical services company and ran the recruiting and selection processes to staff the contractor support to the client’s five fighter test teams (A-10, F-15C and F-15E, F-16, and F-22). Several of these teams have won national awards.
Today, his company provides management and business start-up, tune-up, strategy, and process design advice to owner-entrepreneurs, non-profit Boards, churches and faith-based services ministries, the defense industry and government (on operational test issues), and other consulting services for clients primarily in Nevada. Through an associate, he also provides professional website content expression advice across the country.
He and his family have remained involved in their church throughout Art’s military career – across the country and around the world. A Presbyterian all his life, Art is has been ordained and has served both as an Elder and (with his wife) as a Deacon in his local church. He is an Elder-Commissioner from his local church to the Nevada Presbytery, serving the Presbytery as its Southern Nevada delegate to the Religious Alliance In Nevada, its Committee on Preparation for the Ministry, its Personnel Committee, as its Vice Moderator - and as one of its Elder-Commissioners to the Synod of the Pacific which he serves as a member of the Nominating and Mission Personnel Committees.
Art is married to his college sweetheart, Georgia, who runs the gift shop she has owned for over 40 years. They have two married daughters (one a high school English teacher, the other a sign-language interpreter for the deaf), two great sons-in-law (one a high school administrator, the other a retired military inspector and trainer of Air Force ammunition units now a warehouse receiving supervisor), and three grandchildren in college (!), who are just the lights of their grandparents’ lives.