CFO E. RITTER & CO. JONESBORO
Numbers come easily for Bill Harrison, who grew up in a family of accountants. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Harrison has presided over finances as CFO at Jonesboro's E. Ritter & Co. since 2009. The parent company of Ritter Agribusiness and Ritter Communications has enjoyed average annual revenue growth of 18 percent since 2012 and saw 2014 revenue of $186 million.
On the communications side, Ritter grew its residential broadband and cable TV business and built a business-focused fiber network. On the agri side, Ritter increased its farmland by 20 percent and doubled its grain storage and distribution capacity.
"Over the six years I've been at Ritter, we've moved from a family-run business to a business managed by industry professionals, from essentially local-market businesses to regional, multistate businesses," he said. "We have used the challenges to continue to drive our team and to develop our internal leaders to continue to expand their perspectives for our broader business challenges."
Prior to joining the Ritter team, Harrison served as CFO for Chordus Inc., a logistics and supply chain startup he helped found in the early 1990s.
"Career 'choice' is really a result of opportunity and I evolution," he said.
Harrison said he hires people smarter than he is and gives them as much responsibility as possible "so they can get the job done."
The secret to his success?
"Think and act positively, and work with people who are fun to be around and are creative in how they see solutions to business challenges," he said.