In 1969, US Army lieutenant George Ertel was sent to the Central Highlands of Viet Nam to manage the food supply for 25,000 troops of the 4th Infantry Division and other II Corps units. After six months, he became the initial officer assigned to implement the transfer of food depot responsibilities from the Navy to the Army for the distribution to the 100,000 troops in I Corps representing all services. Upon completion of his service in Viet Nam, George participated for seven years on stand-by reserve, ending his tenure with the rank of captain.
Upon leaving active duty, Ertel and his wife moved to Chicago, where he applied his marketing degree from The Ohio State University in business credit capacities. During this time George earned an MBA from Kellogg GSM at Northwestern University and, with this degree as a springboard, took positions in marketing and corporate development. In 1987, Ertel joined his former boss in Phoenix, where they led the turnaround of a national commercial finance company which brought millions of dollars into the city’s economy. Following multiple roles with this company, including the presidency of its portfolio companies, George left the corporate world in 2002 to consult with banks and finance companies across the US and in Puerto Rico. Since then he has also taken positions in two Valley-based financial institutions and a family-owned medical billing company.
In 2015, Ertel semi-retired from both business and non-profit service. He still underwrites occasionally for a local economic development lender. Throughout their adult lives, George and his wife Rowena have been actively supportive of refugees, homeless, veterans, disabled children, education, and their church. George is co-founder of four non-profits in the Valley. Today, from their home in Scottsdale, Ertel remains engaged with veterans through the VMLC and also serves on Scottsdale’s Transportation Commission, although he spends way too much time on his patio smoking cigars, drinking craft beer, and reading InstaPundit.