How did a three-person insurance agency from Central Florida blossom into an international business with over 1,000 employees dedicated to producing top-of-the-line insurance coverage for clients all over the country and beyond?
The answer is rooted in the core principles of the Ritenour family’s values. Opting to build a strong foundation for their company, Insurance Office of America (IOA), the Ritenours utilized their experience in insurance to build a business around strong values rather than greed, leading to a legacy that continues to grow, defy expectations, and further impact innovative change within the insurance industry.
The Foundation of IOA
In 1988, John and Valli Ritenour founded IOA in Central Florida after many years of insurance industry experience in the Northeast. Their time as both employers and business owners allowed them to not only learn all the ins and outs of the business but also identify the principles and leadership styles they wanted to establish for their agency. Their approach was to make people and relationships the priority, seeking to build a company that would serve the community and produce honest, hard work. Starting as a three-employee agency in Apopka, FL, under the name Insurance Office of Florida (IOF), the Ritenours quickly saw success in their venture and began to grow past their goals within the business’s first few years.
Becoming a Nationwide Leader
Continuing to grow throughout the 1990s, IOF relocated its business to Altamonte Springs, FL, in 1996 to support its advancement in the industry. The following year, IOF expanded once again, opening a branch in Cherry Hill, NJ. To accommodate the change in its business to regions outside of the Sunshine State, Insurance Office of Florida was renamed Insurance Office of America. With constant growth and success throughout the 2000s and early 2010s, IOA broke international ground in 2014 by becoming a registered broker under the name ACN Services London. Soon after this expansion, IOA met the goal of having 1,000 employees and was quickly recognized by publications like the Orlando Business Journal and Business Insurance for its excellent leadership, community, and workplace practices.
The Legacy Continues
In 2008, Heath Ritenour, John and Valli’s son, was named CEO of the company. Ahead of John’s impending retirement, he and Heath continued working closely together to advance IOA’s business opportunities. After successfully creating partnerships with sports clientele, like the NFL’s Atlanta Hawks and Jacksonville Jaguars, IOA reached the milestone of surpassing $100 million in annual revenue in 2012. John Ritenour stepped down from his position as Chairman in 2019, prompting Heath to fill his place and continue the Ritenour legacy as both Chairman and CEO. Starting from humble beginnings with big ambitions, the Ritenours are incredibly proud of what they’ve been able to achieve, attributing their exponential success to the people-oriented approach they built the business around in the late 1980s. Their story goes to show that when you take the time to figure out the best values to live by and work hard enough with a dedicated team behind you, everything else will fall into place and greatness can be achieved.