A successful entrepreneur, business executive, and developer, Ronald Rettner is a visionary advocate of higher education. President of Rettner Management and managing partner of Baron Associates in Yonkers, New York, he is a tireless proponent and supporter of educational and community advancement and has worked with numerous organizations on redevelopment projects that have revitalized business districts and neighborhoods.
Mr. Rettner earned his undergraduate degree with honors at Washington University in St. Louis and master’s degrees in business administration and urban planning from Columbia University. By night, he attended Fordham Law School; by day, he worked as a securities analyst, cofounded the Vitamin Shoppes, and managed real estate. Under his leadership as director, the Morris B. Rettner Foundation, Inc. — an organization named in honor of his father — has funded scholarships, research, civic projects, and university facilities since 1975. He has served as president of Rettner Management Corporation since 1976 and as managing partner of Baron Associates since 1980.
A Trustee since 2012, Mr. Rettner is a member of the Advancement, Facilities, and Strategic and Financial Planning committees of the Board. He provided the lead gift to build Ronald Rettner Hall for Media Arts and Innovation, providing students with a place to gain both practical skills and a theoretical understanding of digital technology. Designed as a hub for the arts, sciences, and engineering on River Campus, the building opened in fall 2013 and houses two of the University’s newest majors in digital media studies and audio and music engineering. Through the establishment of the Ronald Rettner Campus Improvement Fund, Mr. Rettner has played an instrumental role in revitalizing the Eastman Quad’s historic academic buildings and spaces, preserving their existing beauty while upgrading them to state-of-the-art functionality. He is also a member of the George Eastman Circle, the University’s leadership annual giving society, providing significant support for the Theatre Program on River Campus and the Eastman Fund at the Eastman School of Music.
Passionate about higher education and its role in shaping tomorrow’s leaders, Mr. Rettner has served on numerous civic and charitable boards and worked with community agencies throughout New York on redevelopment projects that revitalized business districts and neighborhoods. Among other leadership roles, he served on the National Council of Arts and Sciences for more than 25 years and was named a distinguished alumnus at Washington University in St. Louis, where the Gallery in the Laboratory Science Building and the Earth Planetary Science Library are named in his honor. A surrogate speaker for former President George H. W. Bush and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, he also served with many people in Congress on policy and community initiatives.
Mr. Rettner and his wife, Karen, live in New York City and have two grown children, Matthew and Meredith.