Family relationships are complicated, especially when you get business involved — most relatives support each other’s efforts, some work together, and, for the select few, some find themselves in friendly — or rather, familial — business competition.
One Atlanta father-son duo are currently finalists to be recognized as Georgia’s top IT executive. Matt and Ed Ringer are both finalists for Georgia CIO of the Year ORBIE Awards, which designates the best of the state’s tech leaders. Ed Ringer is CIO of healthcare company LogistiCare, the largest medical transportation broker in the country. His son Matt Ringer is in his first go around in the leadership suite as Global IT Director at Universal Alloy, an aerospace manufacturing company.
Both father-son have been nominated for this award before, but this is the first time both have been designated as finalists.
“I never imagined being a finalist and I am forever humbled that I have been nominated alongside my father, the man I have looked up to my whole life,” says Matt.
“My father is a great man, not just as a CIO,” says Matt. “He is always willing to give and serve where he can. Not many people have a father like mine, so when it came down to finding a professional mentor, he was the obvious choice.”
Matt, who dealt with the challenges of learning disabilities during his school years, looked to his father as a professional mentor.
“My mother literally fought for me daily, and I was able to graduate with a dual diploma. Because she fought for me, I made the decision to prove to the world that she fought for something special. At that moment, I looked for the most successful man I knew and strove to be just like him. This, of course, was my father,” says Matt.
Though Ed didn’t specifically push Matt towards his current career, his love for technology exposed his children to the field.
“I encouraged Matthew to pursue what he had a passion for. Since I was a technology and gadget lover at home, there was always a lot of technology available to experience at our home. Overall, I wanted all my children to follow what they enjoyed.”
Since Ed and Matt are nominated for CIO of the Year in different categories (Enterprise and Corporate, respectively), both could potentially win. But Matt says even if he doesn’t take home the trophy, he’s puling for his dad.
“I want my father to win. He has earned this award and deserves the recognition. I am early in my career as a CIO; I have time to have my moment.”
And Ed is impressed by how much his son has accomplished in a short period of time. “He achieved leadership success in a lot shorter period than his dad,” says Ed.
Either way, this Father’s Day both Ringers have much to celebrate.