JONESBORO, Ark. (January 8, 2024) - Ritter Communications, the largest privately held telecommunications service provider serving exclusively the Mid-South, announces the promotion of Heath Simpson to Chief Executive Officer. This promotion, effective January 31st, marks the culmination of a strategic succession plan to position the company to continue its aggressive growth trajectory.

“Heath has established himself as a distinguished leader in our organization. He has the strategic vision, experience, skill set, and focus to sustain our strong momentum and carry our performance to the next level,” said Ritter Communications CEO Alan Morse. “I am confident that, under his leadership, Ritter Communications will retain and enhance its position as a regional leader in the fiber broadband and telecom space.”

Simpson joined the company in March 2020 as Chief Financial Officer after a rigorous nationwide executive search for a candidate who could initially excel as CFO, with the potential to grow into the CEO role. He brings almost 30 years of extensive financial and operational experience with over 20 years in the telecommunications industry at major national brands such as AT&T and Frontier Communications. Since joining the company, Heath has been a key contributor to the expansion of the Ritter Communications fiber-to-the-home business unit called RightFiber. In accordance with the succession plan, his scope of responsibilities gradually increased over his four years with the company. He was promoted to President and COO in late 2022, in that role overseeing the finance, information technology, project management, customer experience, field operations, and human resources areas.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to transition into the CEO role, and I am eager to leverage my skills and dedication for the collective success of Ritter Communications,” notes Simpson.

Simpson will succeed Alan Morse, who will remain with Ritter Communications as Executive Chairman. In this new role, Morse will serve in an advisory capacity to ensure an effective and seamless leadership transition, retain his seat on the company’s Board, and continue to contribute to strategic initiatives.

Morse joined Ritter Communications in 2014 as President and was named CEO in 2019. During his tenure, he authored the company's strategic plan and steered it through a period of rapid expansion. Under his leadership, Ritter Communications has grown from serving 57 rural communities to operating in over 148 communities in four states, representing a direct investment of over $300 million in network expansion. He was a key driver of the company’s partnerships with the Arkansas and Tennessee state broadband offices to expand fiber internet service to underserved rural communities, deploying over $70 million in grant funding. Morse conceptualized and led the market introduction of the RightFiber residential suite of products in 2021 and oversaw a comprehensive network enhancement initiative that brought gigabit internet speeds to the company’s legacy markets.

“In partnership with Alan, we have not only realized our ambitious goals, but we’ve also preserved and built upon Ritter’s legacy of excellence,” said Chad Crank, Managing Director of Grain Management, the company’s majority equity partner.  “His leadership during this period of accelerated growth has driven Ritter to a new pinnacle, and he will continue to drive us forward in his new role as Executive Chairman.  We’re also excited to elevate Ritter’s trajectory even further with Heath at the helm, and we’re confident in his ability to continue advancing this growth.”

“On behalf of the Ritter family, I would like to thank Alan for his exemplary leadership,” said Erik Kesting, CEO, E. Ritter & Company, “and for building on the family’s entrepreneurial spirit and legacy of doing Right by You. We look brightly to the future as Heath leads the company into the next era.”

 Headquartered in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Ritter Communications is proud to serve homes, schools, and businesses in the Mid-South with advanced communications technology. For over 115 years, their formula for success has been the relentless pursuit of delivering best-in-class technology paired with a world-class customer-focused experience.

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Ritter Communications is the largest privately held telecommunications provider serving exclusively the Mid-South, offering world-class broadband fiber, telecom, video, cloud, and data center services. The company has grown rapidly over the years, investing millions recently in technology infrastructure and is now serving 148 communities and more than 51,000 customers in Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, and Tennessee. Headquartered in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Ritter Communications invests heavily in the communities it serves by deploying proven, best-in-class infrastructure and technology, while coupling it with a world-class customer-focused experience. For more information visit RitterCommunications.com, RitterBusiness.com or RightFiber.com.

Grain Management, LLC is a leading private investment firm that focuses on communications infrastructure and technology companies that connect the world to the information economy. Founded in 2007, the Firm invests exclusively in the global broadband industry, employing a rigorous, data-based process buoyed by deep sector expertise to identify investment opportunities in key areas of communications, including fiber networks, wireless spectrum, cell towers, infrastructure services and managed services. For more information visit www.graingp.com.

Media Coverage:

Yahoo! Finance - https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ritter-communications-promote-heath-simpson-141400997.html

AP News - https://apnews.com/press-release/pr-newswire/arkansas-tennessee-1055502afff99d6ad4b35bc8a5583e02

Market Watch - https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/ritter-communications-to-promote-heath-simpson-to-ceo-1fdb85d0?mod=search_headline

Finanzen.net - https://www.finanzen.net/nachricht/aktien/ritter-communications-to-promote-heath-simpson-to-ceo-13163971

Arkansas Business - https://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/heath-simpson-named-next-ceo-of-ritter-communications/

Talk Business & Politics - https://talkbusiness.net/2024/01/heath-simpson-promoted-to-ceo-at-ritter-communications/#:~:text=Ritter%20Communications%20has%20promoted%20Heath,distinguished%20leader%20in%20our%20organization.

Broadband Communities - https://bbcmag.com/ritter-communications-to-promote-heath-simpson-to-ceo/

Telecompetitor - https://www.telecompetitor.com/ritter-communications-names-new-ceo/

CableFax - https://www.cablefax.com/people/people-2504

Telecom Ramblings - https://newswire.telecomramblings.com/2024/01/ritter-communications-to-promote-heath-simpson-to-ceo/

Arkansas Democrat Gazette - https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2024/jan/09/heath-simpson-named-ceo-of-ritter-communications/ #:~:text=Today%20at%202%3A12%20a.m.&text=Jonesboro%2Dbased%20Ritter%20Communications%2C%20a,to%20CEO%20effective%20Jan.%2031.
NWA Democrat Gazette - https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2024/jan/09/heath-simpson-named-ceo-of-ritter-communications/

Telecompaper - https://www.telecompaper.com/news/ritter-names-new-ceo--1487366

Fierce Telecom - https://www.fiercetelecom.com/broadband/ritter-communications-taps-heath-simpson-ceo#:~:text=Ritter%20Communications%2C%20a%20privately%20held,the%20role%20of%20executive%20chairman.

Mena Star - https://www.menastar.com/news/state/article_e5424c0b-829e-5590-81c1-109ae3cd3f49.html

Arkansas Money & Politics - https://armoneyandpolitics.com/ritter-simpson-ceo/

Broadband Technology Report - https://www.broadbandtechreport.com/home/article/14303488/ritter-communications-promotes-heath-simpson-to-ceo

Jonesboro Sun - https://www.jonesborosun.com/announcements/ritter-communications-to-promote-heath-simpson-to-ceo/article_d964d161-65d7-5631-8358-94b0bc19fbcd.html


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