About Ronald L. Bittner
Ronald L. Bittner was born December 10, 1941 in Hecktown, PA. In 1963, following his graduation from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Ron married his childhood sweetheart, Laurie, and joined Rochester Telephone as a Commercial Department Trainee, thus beginning a 34-year relationship with the company.
In 1978 he earned his MBA from the University of Rochester's prestigious Simon School of Business. The next year, he was appointed Director of Corporate Development and Revenue Planning at Rochester Telephone. Throughout the 1980s, Ron held many positions within the company: Vice President of Corporate Development; Vice President of Finance, Treasurer and Secretary; Vice President of Telephone Operations; Vice President and President, RCI, Rotelcom, and Rochester Tel Mobile Communications; and Executive Vice President, Telecommunications Group. He was named President and CEO in 1992 and then Chairman, President, and CEO in 1993. With this appointment, he became the only person to hold every senior officer position at Frontier/Rochester Telephone. Ron held those positions until his death in 1997.
During his 34 years with Rochester Telephone/Frontier, Ron was known for his leadership and vision. He was intensely committed to Frontier and led the company in its transition from a regulated monopoly into a uniquely positioned, competitive, integrated telecommunications service provider. His five-year tenure as CEO saw the growth of Frontier from a Rochester-based, local telephone company to the nation's fifth largest long distance company and twelfth largest local service provider.
Ron received many awards and accolades during his life. He was honored by both of his alma maters, Muhlenberg College and the University of Rochester, with the Alumni Achievement and Distinguished Alumni awards, respectively. He was honored with the Financial World Magazine's Bronze Award for CEO of the Year in both 1994 and 1995.
Ron was committed not only to his work with Rochester Telephone, but to his family and his community as well. He served as a volunteer with many organizations, including the Ronald McDonald House, the United Neighborhood Centers of Greater Rochester, and St. Paul Lutheran Church Council. He and his wife, Laurie, have four children, Ron, Nikki, Lanie, and Mike, and four grandchildren.
In May 2003, St. John Fisher College and the Bittner family announced the creation of the Ronald L. Bittner School of Business. In his life and his career, Ron Bittner was the epitome of the successful business person—a visionary; a strong leader; a hands-on, results-oriented manager—yet he never lost sight of the role that values play in the corporate environment.
The Bittner family associated its name with the new business school because Fisher embodies the values and commitment to good corporate citizenship and ethical leadership that Ron and his family espouse.
St. John Fisher College is honored that its School of Business bears his name.