George (Ben) Ritter - USMC Veteran - Tampa, FL
Mr. Ritter is a former United States Marine. Initially trained as a combat engineer, he extended his enlistment and served two years as a U.S. Marine Embassy Security Guard in Khartoum, Sudan, and Cairo, Egypt and concluded his military career as a legal clerk in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He subsequently attended Columbia University in New York City. He has a background with Weichert Realtors in real estate sales, marketing and public relations.
Originally from New Jersey, from 1997 until 2012 he was the Regional Government Relations Director for the Florida Gulf Coast Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) in Tampa. He served on the Hillsborough County Veterans’ Council for fifteen years and is a past Council Vice President. He is an honorary member of the Tampa Chapter of the Military Officers’ Association of America and a member of their Operation Helping Hand Committee. Ben worked briefly for the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission (PTC) as an ADA consultant. He provided advice and guidance on accessibility issues relating to the licensed “for hire” transportation industry and to the “ride-share” transportation network companies (TNC’s) in the Tampa Bay area, encouraging them to become legal.
Ben is currently a member of the Hillsborough County Alliance for Citizens with Disabilities and the Chairman of the Tampa Mayor’s Alliance for Persons with Disabilities.
AWARDS and COMMENDATIONS
- “Keeping the American Patriotic Spirit Alive” – Hillsborough County Veterans Council
- “President’s Award” – For Outstanding Service to the Florida Gulf Coast Paralyzed Veterans of America
- “Barney Register Award” – For promoting positive awareness of the needs of People with Disabilities
- The Florida Gulf Coast Paralyzed Veterans of America
- “Seven Year Appreciation Award for Services Rendered” – Friendship Trail Corporation
- “The Friendship Medal for Exceptional Contribution” – Friendship Trail Corporation
- Featured by the Buccaneers as the “Veterans Hero of the Game” at Raymond James Stadium, Sept. 29, 2012 • Featured in the November 4, 2012 Tampa Tribune Veterans Hall of Fame for his staunch leadership
- Leadership Awards in 2013 presented by the Hillsborough County Alliance for Citizens with Disabilities and the Tampa Mayor’s Alliance for Persons with Disabilities for initiating Hillsborough County’s “Phone Numbers on Gas Pumps” ordinance
- Governor Scott’s Veterans Service Award, June 30, 2014
- Certificate of Commendation, presented by the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners on July 23, 2014 for assisting with and support of issues relating to people with disabilities; specifically for collaborative efforts in the enactment of Florida’s “Phone Numbers on Gas Pumps” law
- Governor Scott’s Leadership Commendation Award – Presented on July 23, 2014 for being an advocate for persons with disabilities
- Edwin Porterfield Award, presented on November 11, 2016 by the Veterans Council of Hillsborough County Florida. This coveted award pays special tribute to individuals, organizations, and corporations who go above and beyond to help Tampa Bay Area Veterans and their families and assist with Veterans