Nevada County Social Services Director Tex Ritter retires for endurance training
After a decade with Nevada County, Director of Social Services Tex Ritter announced he will be retiring in February to chase his endurance training passion.
Ritter is an attorney who held the positions of child support director and interim director of public health before taking his current role.
Ritter, who ran his first marathon at 22 and only took it up again at 40, said now at 62 his passion for endurance athletics and the preparation it demands led to his decision to dedicate his full time to training.
“I have so much planned for this year, it’s really a good time go. I think this the perfect time to retire — when you’re in good health, have a lot of energy and a lot of plans,” Ritter said. “I do have a lot of training I want to do and it would interfere with work. Preparing for those longer races takes a lot of time and this is a full-time plus job. I’m not getting any younger, so now is my time to do this and enjoy it.”
Ritter said he qualified in June for the Western State Endurance Run, a 100-mile ultramarathon on Sierra Nevada trails, and has plans on competing in a 100K race in Marin County in May as well as several other obstacle courses, trail races and even an Ironman Triathlon, which adds a 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile bicycle ride to the traditional marathon format.
“At first I wondered why would I ever want to do something longer than a marathon,” Ritter said. “But I just loved the camaraderie and the challenges. The older I get, the longer the event gets.”
Young at heart
Ritter said some of his colleagues were caught off guard by his announcement, due to his young-at-heart nature and the vitality he brings to the county offices.
“I mean, I guess I don’t act 63, all right,” Ritter said, who has a birthday in two weeks. “But I don’t want to act like a retired person either.”
According to Ritter, throughout his time with the county what he’s proud of most are the small things he was able to do in his role that impacted someone’s life.
He said he recently got a message from a former client who was in and out of prison when he met him at a financial literacy program three years ago.
The person called Ritter for more information on the county’s home buying program — far from applying for his first credit card just a few years ago, he was now ready to buy his own house.
“That’s what will stick with me the most,” Ritter said. “Helping those who really didn’t believe they’d ever get out of poverty.”
In a release, Nevada County thanked Ritter for “his dedication, creativity, and focus on customer service and performance.”
“Tex has been a great addition to the county’s Health and Human Services team,” Health and Human Services Agency Director Ryan Gruver said. “We are thankful for the time he dedicated towards making our Child Support Department one of the best in the state and bringing a new, fresh perspective to Social Services.”
Ritter said one final project he hopes to see through before he retires is a program — still early in the works — that would issue LifeLine phones to eligible social services customers for free, with unlimited calls and texting aimed at giving people receiving services a stable point of contact.
To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.
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