17a exists to make service delivery better for the public – and to build trust in government by demonstrating how that is possible.
We are committed to four things in everything we do: excellence, fun, persistence and meaningful change.
Our team is powered by a range of perspectives and experiences. Behind our shared purpose, we are each motivated by unique, individually-held values—including equity, accountability, gratitude, intentionality, inclusivity and many many more. We also each bring varied professional backgrounds to our work—including traditional business and management consulting, startups and technology product development, data and analytics, as well as social impact and public service. This patchwork is powerful.
Our team is made up of our core team members, along with several project-based team members who join our work for shorter periods of time.
Get to know our core team below. Core team members are part of 17a beyond the life of any specific project.
Project-based team members join our work for a limited period of time, to bring additional capabilities to our work and as a way to deepen their exposure to public-serving career opportunities in business.
17a started in 2014, as a side project and a way to pay for some of the expense of graduate school. We have evolved pretty far beyond that in many ways, and we are right where we started in many other ways.
The story goes something like this: 17a’s founder, Annie Rittgers, was in graduate school studying business and law. Her coursework focused on understanding the building blocks how government and private markets intersect. During this time, Annie started taking on side projects as a way to make money and also experiment with new ways to put those ideas into practice. Her work quickly evolved into team-based projects and larger partnerships. Late one night, Annie found herself in front of a laptop incorporating an LLC. 17a was born. We did 3 projects that first year and have continued to grow from there.
Our roots are in the exploration of new ideas about public-serving solutions, experimentation with ways to bring them to life, and a firm belief that 17a is the vehicle to let us do that.
Our name is a nod to Ohio. Ohio was the 17th state added to the union, it is ‘the 17a’ so to speak. Ohio is in our name because it is Annie’s home state and she wanted to find a way to do work like ours in the Midwest – eight years later, Ohio is the home base for 17a and home to half of our team.