Buzz Ritchie

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Buzz Ritchie
Born June 6, 1947
Bayshore, New York
Occupation Politician, banker
Religion Methodist
Spouse Debbie Ritchie (2000-present)
DeeDee Ritchie (divorced)
Children Donna, Alan, Scott and Chris

Walter Jaycox "Buzz" Ritchie, Jr. (b. 1947) is a former District 3 Representative of the Florida House who co-founded Gulf Coast Community Bank in 2002.

Education & early career[edit]

Ritchie was born on June 6, 1947 in Bayshore, New York, and moved to Florida in 1956. He graduated Naples High School (Fl) in 1965. He attended the University of Florida, playing football and graduating with a B.S.B.A. in 1969 and a J.D. in 1972.

In the 1970s Ritchie served for 10 years as president of Southern American Mortgage Company. Then, in the mid-80s, he led a public stock offering as president of Southern Home Savings Bank, which was soon sold to Great Western Bank.[1]

Political career[edit]

Ritchie (right), serving as a state legislator in 1989

Ritchie was elected to the Florida House of Representatives District 3 seat in 1988 and was subsequently reelected. During that time he sat on the Juvenile Justice System Review Task Force (1989), the Mortgage Lending Sunset Task Force (1990), the International Banking Advisory Council (1990), the Public Broadcasting Task Force (1990), and the Productivity Enhancement Task Force (1991).

He retired in 1998, and the District 3 seat was filled by his ex-wife DeeDee.

After term limits forced the retirement of State Senator W. D. Childers in 2000, Ritchie considered seeking the District 1 seat, but ultimately decided against it. "There were a lot of pros and cons, but I just don't think I'm ready to get back into that," he said at the time.[2]

Banking & community service[edit]

After retiring from politics, Ritchie became director of development for accounting firm O'Sullivan Creel. In 1999 he agreed to chair a task force seeking solutions on stormwater runoff pollution.[3]

In 2002 Ritchie allied with bank executives Charlie Allcott and Dick Cloutier to create a locally-owned bank. The resulting venture, Gulf Coast Community Bank, was incorporated on June 10, 2003.[4]

After Hurricane Ivan devastated the region in 2004, Ritchie led efforts to found Rebuild Northwest Florida, an organization that helped victims of the storm repair and rebuild damaged homes. He became chairman of the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce in 2005.[5]

Ritchie is chairman of the United Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Florida Foundation and was chairman of its "StarFest '96." He has served on a number of other community boards, including: City of Pensacola Environmental Advisory Board, Emerald Coast Classic, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Pensacola Little Theater, Pensacola Children's Chorus, Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee, Pensacola Promise, Operation Greenshores, Sacred Heart Health System, University of West Florida Foundation, Five Flags Rotary, YMCA, African-American Heritage Society, Escambia Bay Marine Institute.

Awards & recognition[edit]


  1. "Entrepreneurs creating local bank." Pensacola News Journal, August 9, 2002.
  2. "Ritchie not ready for return to politics." Pensacola News Journal, February 16, 2000.
  3. "Buzz Ritchie agrees to guide stormwater task force." Pensacola News Journal, August 12, 1999.
  4. record
  5. "Better jobs, quality of life to guide Pensacola Area Chamber." Pensacola News Journal, October 23, 2005.
Preceded by:
Ginger Bass (?)
Florida House of Representatives District 3
Succeeded by:
DeeDee Ritchie