michael ringering | 6 bits

b i o g r a p h y

Photo by Alex McMahan

Michael Ringering was born in Alton, Ill., in 1965, and raised in nearby East Alton, Ill., where he graduated from East Alton-Wood River Community High School in 1984. He attended Murray State University (MSU) in Murray, Ky., earning his bachelor's degree in business administration in 1989.

Initially setting his sights on entering MSU's architectural program, Michael's academic focus would change. While enrolled in a writing class, then MSU Sports Information Director (SID), Craig Bohnert, offered a brief presentation regarding the many job opportunities available to students in the athletic department. Having participated in sports throughout high school, Michael sought an interview and earned a spot as an assistant sports information director; a position he would retain until graduation.

While working as an assistant SID, Michael honed his creative and feature writing skills, serving initially as a media representative for the men's baseball, golf and track teams, and authoring articles for both the school's newspaper and the Murray Ledger and Times. It also was during this time he taught himself desktop publishing and design, and soon earned the responsibility of producing both the men's golf and baseball media guides.

Having made the decision to pursue a career in sports administration, Michael met MSU student counselor Evette Payne, who recommended he seek an internship with a professional sports club. With Payne's assistance, he submitted his resume to every professional sports franchise in the country and Canada. Having spent his childhood living in the shadows of St. Louis, Mo., he was thrilled to unearth an opportunity in the marketing department of his hometown baseball Cardinals.

In the fall of 1987, Michael withdrew from Murray State to spend the semester working as a Cardinals' marketing intern, under the direction of the late Marty Hendin. Had he been unsure as to the validity of a career in sports, the experience with the Cardinals front office dissolved any doubts. Not only did Michael gain valuable exposure to nearly every facet of a Major League Baseball operation, but was fortunate to experience postseason play, as the Cardinals represented the National League in the World Series, facing the Minnesota Twins. Michael would return to the Cardinals in the summer of 1988, working for the club in its special sections.

Upon returning to Murray State in the spring semester of 1988, he resumed his role as an assistant SID, and just prior to completing his undergraduate degree, was offered a position with the Atlanta Braves. In May 1989, he joined the Braves' ticket sales department, before being named publications manager/public relations assistant later that fall, under the direction of longtime Braves' Public Relations Director Jim Schultz.

In early spring 1995, Michael left the Atlanta Braves to accept the position of director of media relations and publications with the Cincinnati Reds. During his tenure with the Reds, he also served as director of communications and community relations, where he assisted in establishing the club's first community relations department and nonprofit foundation, The Cincinnati Reds Community Fund.

Upon leaving the Reds, Michael joined Mike Robinson, a former Green Beret, Proctor & Gamble marketing and branding executive, and founder of Cincinnati-based LaVERDAD Marketing and Media, as director of media and public affairs. It was in this role Michael was exposed to the many facets and strategies involved in the marketing and branding of large-scale projects for Fortune 1,000 companies, and a gateway to being named to his current position.

Michael and his wife, Dr. Teresa Baysden, relocated from the Queen City to Chattanooga, Tenn., in 2005, where Michael accepted his current role as director of marketing and communications for University Surgical Associates, southeast Tennessee's largest general surgery and general surgery-based subspecialty practice. Michael oversees all marketing, media and public relations functions, and heads up the practice's communications and registration staffs. He also consults on issues of marketing and communications for small to medium-size medical offices through Creative Solutions Associates, and is co-founder and serves as president of the Greater Chattanooga Colon Cancer Foundation.

"Six Bits" represents Michael's first published novel, but not his first published work. Throughout his career he's authored several feature and professional articles, with his most recent submissions appearing in the East Tennessee Medical News.

Michael is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, Chattanooga Chapter, and a frequent public speaker - enjoying most speaking to civic and professional groups, universities and high schools - covering topics related to careers, marketing and communications, and literature.

Contact Michael 
Author Interview
Biography (Abridged) 
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