Mr. Ruffolo was a principal in Ruffalo Benson LLC, a merchant banker focused on the preservation of regional companies in northeast Indiana. Mr. Ruffolo's death follows the unexpected March death of Ruffolo Benson principal Rick Keltsch at age 64.
Mr. Ruffolo came to Fort Wayne in 1974 as a senior management position at NorthAmerican, a van lines and transportation company owned by PepsiCo and later sold to NorfolkSouthern. He became CEO of NorthAmerican in 1987 and served as CEO until 1993.
Mr. Ruffolo and his wife, Linda, were extraordinarily involved in community leadership. He was a native of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
There will be no public service or visitation in accord with Mr. Ruffolo's wishes.
From Mr. Ruffolo's obituary:
Mr. Ruffolo was also a co-founder and investor in Tower Financial Corporation and Tower Bank and was also an investor in and advisor to numerous regional companies and start up biomedical firms. He served on the boards of directors of numerous privately owned companies, such as AWS, LLC, Beltmann Transportation Group, Inc., Dekalb Molded Plastics Company, Jack Laurie Flooring, Inc., Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne, Inc., and SaniServe, Inc. He also served on the board of directors of a number of public companies, including Steel Dynamics, Inc., where he served as Co-Chair of its Audit Committee, a member of its Compensation Committee and as the Board's Lead Director, and Tower Financial Corporation, Inc., where he served as Chair of the Compensation Committee. He also served on the board of directors of a number of not-for-profit organizations, such as the Henry Foundation, Steel Dynamics Foundation, and the Schwab Foundation, following its reorganization by the Indiana Attorney General. He was also active in the American Symphony Orchestra League, the American Movers Conference, the Parkview Health System and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. He chaired the Youth Violence Committee, a local effort to understand and deal with gang violence, served on many civic and governmental bodies, such as the Fort Wayne Allen County Transportation Committee, Allen County Tax Committee and the Safety Academy, and was appointed to the board of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department and served as its Chair. Mr. Ruffolo was a member of St. Charles Catholic Church, the Business Forum and the Quest Club, and was a former member of the Anthony Wayne Rotary Club.