About Ritch

 

Ritch grew up in Brevard County and attended Holland Elementary, DeLaura Jr. High, and Satellite High School. While still a senior in high school, Ritch joined the Army Reserves. “The war in the Persian Gulf was becoming a reality and I wanted to do my part.” Ritch said.

After graduating from Satellite High School, Ritch spent eight weeks in Army Basic Training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina before returning to Brevard to start college at Brevard Community College. Ritch recalls, “My parents wanted me to pay my own way through college, so I spent a couple years in community college working and saving money.” With the assistance of the GI Bill and full time jobs at McDonalds and Hardees, Ritch went on to achieve his childhood dream by earning his Bachelors Degree from Appalachian State University in 1995.

While attending ASU Ritch was accepted into the North Carolina Military Academy. A year later, he graduated as a second lieutenant in the North Carolina National Guard.

After graduating from ASU, Ritch immediately returned to Brevard to join the newly formed family business, Workman Mortgage Company. In true “Workman Style” Ritch’s parents put him to work at the reception desk and allowed him the opportunity to work his way up the ladder. Soon Ritch earned an ownership percentage and along with his parents and his brother, Robb, he began to grow the business.

Workman Mortgage Company was honored as Small Business of the Year in 2004 and as the Innovative Business of the year in 2006. Ritch explained, “Robb and I are very proud of our family business and we hope we have created a place for our children to work some day, as receptionists first, of course.”

In his efforts to improve the family business, Ritch joined many local and national industry associations and committees. At a meeting of the Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers Ritch met his future wife, Tiffanie, who soon became an employee of Workman Mortgage. In 1997 Ritch and Tiffanie were married and in 2001, they welcomed their first baby, Bailey Richard.

With a young family and a thriving business Ritch also became active with many local campaigns. He soon went from volunteering on campaigns to running his own. In 2003 Ritch campaigned for the Florida House, District 52. His campaign was cut short by his activation in the Florida Army National Guard in support of Operation Noble Eagle. Ritch learned of his deployment just days before Election Day and was off with his unit a few days after.

After 3 months in training in El Paso, Texas and waiting for orders taking him and his unit overseas, Ritch's unit was ordered back to Florida instead. Within three months of his return, his unit was activated once again. This time it was a homeland security mission in Washington DC. The unit’s mission was to be the last line of defense against another 9-11 type aerial attack against our nation’s capitol. During this time, Ritch was promoted to Captain and served as both an Air Defense Fire Control Officer and Battery Commander.

When he returned from this mission in December of 2004, Ritch rejoined Workman Mortgage. By that time, his parents were ready to retire so Ritch and his brother Robb took the reins. After 14 years of National Guard service, Ritch hung up his Captain Bars in May of 2005. “This was among the toughest decisions of my life,” Ritch explained. “I loved the Guard and my soldiers, I simply had to re-dedicate my life to our family business if we were going to allow my folks to retire; the business deserved my full attention.”

In January of 2006, Ritch and Tiffanie welcomed their baby girl, Sofia Grace, into the world and in 2007, Ritch was elected President of the Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers. He worked to preserve ethical and honest mortgage lending in a time wrecked with the fallout of the real estate boom/bust. As President, Ritch has had many successes, including the implementation of the Lending Integrity Seal of Approval in Florida and the passage of major mortgage fraud prevention laws. Also, Governor Charlie Crist appointed Ritch to the Home Ownership Promotes the Economy (H.O.P.E) Task Force. This Task Force was an effort by the Governor to create proposals to assist Floridians currently in foreclosure and to ensure Florida never repeats the mistakes made during the recent real estate boom/bust.

The entire life of Ritch Workman seems to point to leadership and hard work. Everything from serving on the Satellite baseball team as everything from bull-pen catcher to being a volunteer coach for the JV squad, to his time as a squad leader in Basic Training, to Officer Candidate School, to paying his way through college at his dream school and working with his family to build a legacy for his children.

After being elected to the Florida House in 2008, Representative Workman was immediately tasked with moving legislation that would provide sweeping reforms in Florida's lending industry.  During the first session of his Freshmen term, Ritch quickly became the expert House member on lending and finance issues.  As a result of Ritch's banking knowledge, he was driving force in the passage of Florida's S.A.F.E. Act. 

In short, the S.A.F.E. Act:

  • Requires licensure of mortgage loan originators;

  • Imposes national education and testing standards;

  • Bans persons who have committed felonies involving fraud, dishonesty, breach of trust or money laundering from being eligible for licensure and imposes disqualification periods for other crimes;

  • Requires annual criminal background and credit checks of licensees;

  • Directs Florida's participation in a national licensing registry, which will allow consumer access to a licensee's employment history and any disciplinary or enforcement actions that have been taken against the licensee by regulators  (Source: Florida Office of Financial Regulation)

In addition to the enactment of the S.A.F.E. legislation, Ritch fought for Florida's End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients by passing the Alonzo Mourning Access to Care Act.  Prior to House Bill 675 becoming law, Floridians with ESRD, and subsequently Medicare eligible, could not buy a supplemental policy.  That is, they were excluded from purchasing a "Medigap" policy.  The passage of Alonzo Mourning Access to Care Act ended that exclusion.