Medical Mutual 2011 Pillar Award
for Community Service — Columbus
Nonprofit Board Executive of the Year
R. Gabe Reitter II’s involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio isn’t just a recent endeavor. It goes back 28 years to 1983 when he attended the organization’s Taste of Class for Kids as a guest. Inspired by the youth-mentoring organization’s mission, he became a member of the Taste of Class committee ― and boosted the net revenue from $12,000 to more than $150,000 over his seven years on the committee.
He was on the board of directors for five years, serving as president in 1994. In addition, he is a member of the BBBS Foundation Board, having been on since 1999.
Reitter’s business experience, including being president of Reitter Wall Systems, combined with his interest in philanthropy, helped the organization learn how to raise funds effectively. His passion and leadership have been instrumental in getting the community involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
He was responsible for leading a strategic planning process, which increased the size of the board and launched school-based mentoring as a growth strategy. Under this plan, students during the school day are matched to mentors. It eventually would become a growth model for the national organization. Nearly every Big Brothers Big Sisters program in the country today has a school-based model. In Columbus, Project Mentor is in place at all middle and high schools in the city schools, as well as in other districts in Central Ohio.
Reitter is serving as chairperson of the Camp Oty’Okwa Comprehensive Campaign and has been the project manager for the construction of a new dining hall at the year-round residential camp. More projects are planned for the future to which Reitter has given his commitment.
But his most significant contribution has been the people he has put in touch with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Many of the friends, business associates and others that he has introduced to the agency have become partners in his work with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Many as well have become important in the agency’s ability to progress and grow. In effect, he has recruited a new generation of leaders for the organization and Camp Oty’Okwa.
How to reach: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio, (614) 839-2447 or www.bbbscentralohio.org