Mike RitzLeadership Rhode Island
Training language instructors from multiple cultures while studying applied psycholinguistics at Compania Linguistica in Mexico City sparked Mike’s lifelong interests in human behavior and communication.
Over the past 25 years, Mike served as a Tri-lingual interrogator in the U.S. Army, established his first company by the age of 25, motivated people to excel at his fitness Boot Camps, and served as a Regional Manager for an international healthcare company based in the United Arab Emirates. A former on-call interrogation analyst for CNN, Mike has been interviewed hundreds of times for TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. He participated in nine documentaries in the past 15 years; “Songs of War” won an International Emmy.
Under Mike’s leadership for the past eight years, Leadership Rhode Island has received numerous accolades, including the Excellence in Public Service Award by Common Cause RI, two National Innovation Awards from the Association of Leadership Programs and two Community Outreach Awards from the RI Press Association for public forums in partnership with The Providence Journal and Rhode Island College. LRI’s innovative Make RI Stronger social enterprise is recognized by Gallup as an inspiration for the global strengths movement.
In 2012, Mike was appointed by the Department of Defense to serve as Rhode Island Chairman for the Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve. Accepting the additional role of national Chair of the Executive Advisory Subcommittee in 2015, he transformed the subcommittee into the first national Board of Directors. He was initially appointed Strategic Vice Chair of the newly formed board by Ret. MG Paul Mock and re-appointed by Ret. General Craig McKinley until 2021. Recently, Mike was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service.