Ross Ridout

Vice President and General Counsel

Ridout Lumber Co./Arkansas Wholesale Lumber Co.

Searcy


Ross Ridout

Ross Ridout — pronounced “Ride-out” — grew up in his family’s lumber business, but that doesn’t mean his career was a foregone conclusion.

“I was actually one of these that didn’t have a clue what he wanted to do when he finished college,” the Vanderbilt University graduate said. “I applied to dental school, medical school and law school and got accepted to all three.”

He chose law school at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, class of 1994, and that training has been valuable as vice president and general counsel for Ridout Lumber Co. and its related Arkansas Wholesale Lumber Co. — especially in the unpleasant business of collections, he said. And the current housing slump, especially in northwest Arkansas, has created more of that task.

Outside of the businesses, which employ more than 400, the father of four boys spends most of his time coaching soccer, baseball and basketball. “My wife says I do it 100 percent of the time,” Ridout, 38, said.

He is also a member of the board of Arkansas Special Olympics and on the advisory board of Soaring Wings Ranch, a Christian foster care program that will open next month in eastern Faulkner County. One of the new residence halls is named for the Ridout family.