Trey Ritter '19 and Dr. Joseph Bauer

Trey Ritter '19 and Dr. Joseph Bauer

When the professor is both a teacher and a business advisor, a student reels in a dream.

Purpose Discovered.

Ritter & Bauer

Trey Ritter ’19, Owner and Founder, MarVa Outdoors Guide Service  

Visiting Assistant Professor of Business Management Joseph Bauer, Director of the entrepreneurship minor 


It was summer 2018. Trey Ritter, with a group of family and friends took second place in a local fishing tournament, landing a 55lb. whopper. With his share of the prize money, Trey completed a nine-day course to earn a captain’s license, a professional credential required to operate a commercial vessel carrying passengers. 

The Backstory

Trey: That kind of money will buy a college junior a lot of things, but I chose to invest in myself. I remember going to Dr. Bauer, my entrepreneur professor, with my dream of starting a sport fishing operation. I said to him, “The toughest part of this business is getting a captain’s license. I just got it. Now I need to figure out how to get organized.” 

Dr. Bauer and I met every week about every aspect of my start-up for a year-and-half. These were not short meetings. He gave me real-world knowledge and advice. He constantly challenged me to think about all the little details and to think creatively. It’s fair to say that his guidance in helping me get my business off the ground made him, in my eyes, more of a business advisor than a professor. My senior capstone thesis is actually the 94-page business plan I follow to this day.  

Dr. Bauer: An entrepreneur thinks differently than the average person. We can be stubborn. We see something that others pass by. Trey had that fire in his gut, that all-consuming desire to make his dream real. As he went through his various courses with me, I urged him to orient all of his work towards his business goals.  

Trey clearly had an idea of where he was going. He ran into roadblocks. He ran into problems. But he never lost focus. That’s part of being an entrepreneur. He just needed guidance in knowing how to cobble the pieces together, in the right form to get it accomplished. In that way, I served not so much as his professor, but as a consultant. It created a comradery rather the typical student-professor relationship. Since then, we have stayed in touch, and I am delighted to see his business is flourishing.  

As part of its 40th anniversary , the Business Management Dept. is proud to feature the stories of star alumni and the professors who inspired them. The year-long celebration will culminate in a Fall gala.