Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Former OU-C student Martha Gerber Rittinger named Rich Bebee Alumni Leadership Award Winner

Long-time business and civic leader Martha Gerber Rittinger has been named the recipient of the Rich Bebee Alumni Leadership Award and will be acknowledged during Ohio University-Chillicothe’s “Recognition of Graduation” event at 7:30 p.m. on June 8 in the Shoemaker Center.

The award recognizes former OU-C students who exemplify service to the university, philanthropic support, recognition in their professional field and service to the community. The award is named in honor of Richard Bebee, who was dean of the Chillicothe Campus from 2001 to 2010.

Past winners include Jim Lungo in 2010 and Beverly J. Gray in 2011.

Rittinger earned a Bachelor’s Degree in commerce from Ohio University in 1955, a Master’s Degree from the Ohio State University and a Juris Doctorate degree from Capital University Law School. For 58 years she has co-operated two family businesses, Maple Monte Farms and Gerber Construction Company. She is a retired attorney-at-law.

In addition, Rittinger received the Special Recognition Plaque from Ohio Agri-Woman for her work in serving as Legal Concerns Chair of the American Agri-Women for 26 years and as a delegate and seminar presenter at the first (1994) and second (1998) International Conferences for Women in Agriculture, Women’s Division, United Nations. Rittinger earned the Ohio Farmers Master Farmer Award in 1998 and the organization’s Conservation Award in 2010. She was featured in an Ohio University alumni publication in 1986.

Rittinger understands the rich heritage and natural beauty of this region. She has authored History of Springbank and Yellowbud Community and Ohio and Erie Canal Motor Tour from Chillicothe to Circleville. She has given tours of the local canal since 1968 and is a member of the Ohio Canal Society Board. She received the United Methodist Historical Society’s Ohio’s Historian of the Year Award in 2000.

Rittinger has served Ross County as a member of the Ross County Planning Commission, Ross County Thoroughfare and Smart Growth Committees, and as an elected Democrat Committeeman for the past 38 years. She also participates in many local civic, historical and agricultural organizations. Additionally, she supports current Chillicothe Campus students through her participation in the OU-C Giving Circle.

Rittinger was named a distinguished alumnus of Ohio University-Chillicothe in 2011.

The 2012 class of OU-C distinguished alumni includes four individuals who will be recognized during the June 8 ceremony. Biographical sketches listing their accomplishments will be displayed in the Bennett Hall hallway, joining past years’ recipients. The 2012 distinguished alumni include:

Michael MacCarter earned his Master of Arts degree in school administration from Ohio University in 1979. He has dedicated his career to education, working with the Chillicothe City School District for 30 years. McCarter began his teaching career at Mt. Logan Junior High School and later became assistant principal. He was then named assistant principal of Chillicothe High School and, in 1984, he returned to Mt. Logan Middle School as assistant principal and helped develop the middle school concept. He was later principal of Chillicothe Smith Middle School. After his retirement from Chillicothe City Schools, he served as secondary supervisor for Ross County Schools from 2004 to 2006. He later became involved with the Ross County Christian Academy Project to establish a private Christian school in Ross County. He has since taught mathematics and algebra classes as well as volunteering as business director and chief financial officer for the school.

Marvin E. Jones earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Ohio University in 1971. He then pursued a journalism career at The Chillicothe Gazette, serving as city editor, reporter, and business and sports editor. He became managing editor in 1981 and won the Ohio Associated Press General Excellence Award four times. He also won the Associated Press investigative reporting award twice. In 1994, Jones became editor and publisher of the Gazette and received the President’s Award from the Ohio Newspaper Association in 2001. Remaining in a role that impacts the region, Jones became president and chief executive officer of the Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce in 2002, leading the chamber through many initiatives that impacted the community and region. Additionally, Jones serves on several area boards, and is past chairman of the Chillicothe-Ross Chamber of Commerce and past chairman of the Ohio University-Chillicothe Regional Coordinating Council.

Douglas J. Shoemaker earned an Associate Degree of arts and humanities from Ohio University in 1995, and he is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree at Ohio Christian University. Shoemaker has made his mark on the local financial field. His career includes 15 years in banking with 13 of those years at Huntington Bank. He is currently community president and the branch general manger in Chillicothe. He has also been actively involved in the community through his participation in local community service organizations. Shoemaker has been involved with the United Way, has taught courses for the Junior Achievement program and has served on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He has also earned the Kiwanis Distinguished President Award. He continues his connection to the Chillicothe Campus, speaking to business management classes and taking part in opening events for the Technology and Business Development Center.

Christi Simmons earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Ohio University in 1975, a master’s degree from Xavier University and a doctorate from the University of Cincinnati. She has been connected to the Chillicothe Campus as a student, faculty member and administrator. Simmons began her career in education as a high school English and speech teacher at Waverly High School and later became high school assistant principal at Washington Court House. In 1985, she joined the Chillicothe Campus as a student teacher supervisor and director of Academic Challenge as well as Continuing Education, Training and Development, as well as a faculty member in business management technology. She stepped into the interim associate dean position during the 2010-11 academic year. She was the first female president of the Chillicothe Kiwanis Club and earned the Ross Pride Award from the local Chamber of Commerce.

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