Battelle Rippe Kingston and the Rippe & Kingston family of companies, with great sadness, announced today the passing of Joseph (Joe) L. Rippe, Sr. Mr. Rippe died on July 30, 2014, at the age of 65 in Cincinnati with his family by his side.
“Joe Rippe was an astute businessman, a great leader, a visionary and a friend,” said George Kingston, Rippe’s longtime friend and business partner. “He was one-of-a kind and will be sorely missed.”
For almost 40 years, Mr. Rippe was a well-known and respected leader in the Cincinnati business community. In 1976 Joe Rippe and George Kingston, formed the accounting firm Rippe & Kingston in order to provide traditional accounting services to entrepreneurs and private companies that perhaps were not receiving the attention they deserved from larger accounting firms. In 2013, Rippe and Kingston Co., PSC merged with the well-known Dayton accounting firm of Battelle & Battelle LLP. Today the accounting firm of Battelle Rippe Kingston has grown to approximately 120 professionals serving entrepreneurial clients in a variety of disciplines. As an entrepreneur himself, Joe, along with George Kingston, also formed Rippe & Kingston Systems, related technology companies and RKCA which together employ over 100 people in in total in North America.
Mr. Rippe enjoyed the accounting business, but he found his forte in the world of mergers and acquisitions. One of the first acquisitions, where he served as an advisor, was on the acquisition of Nisbet Brower in 1976. Today it is one of the largest building supply companies in the city. In late 1977, Mr. Rippe, along with his family and other investors, bought the Highland Tower, the Rookwood Building and both the Celestial and Rookwood Pottery Restaurants.
Mr. Rippe personally advised clients on numerous transactions during his professional career including several on his own accord for the Rippe & Kingston family of businesses. Through his leadership and experience, Mr. Rippe had a significant impact on the Cincinnati business community and always found new and innovative ways to grow his businesses as well as the businesses of the clients he served. Not only did his efforts help to grow and sustain the economy in the Cincinnati area, but also directly and indirectly ensured thousands of people jobs even in times of difficult employment.
Mr. Rippe was a philanthropic leader in the Cincinnati community and was well known for spending a great deal of his time and talents working to make the city a better place. Most recently, he served on the board of the Dan Beard Council for the Boy Scouts of America (and was formerly the Board Chair of the Council), and Vice-Chairman of Talbert House. He was extremely active with Xavier University, serving on the Board of Trustees and the Executive, Compensation, and Technology committees, as well as chairing the Audit Committee. Mr. Rippe was also on the Advisory Council for the Cincinnati branch of the Federal Reserve Bank and was one of the eight original founders of ACG Cincinnati.
“My father was a giver, said Brent Rippe, Joe’s son and business partner. “If you needed him, no matter if you were a client, employee, friend, charity or just someone looking for help, he would bend over backwards to extend his knowledge and resources to work to achieve your goals! That was what made him a great business man. Together my family, the Company and everyone he touched celebrate the amazing person he was.”