2018 Hall of Fame Honoree
Growing up in a military family, Ron Maust traveled to many different duty stations where his father was assigned throughout the years. He excelled in sports at Department of Defense schools before graduating from Wiesbaden American High School in Germany where he was a member of the USAFE Championship basketball team at General H.H. Arnold High School.
Upon returning state side, Ron began his business degree studies at Oklahoma Military Academy. At the Academy, Ron was a “first shirt” and was also a member of both the Academy’s Drill Team and Captain of the Demo Lau. The drill team won many state awards for precision and close quarter drills. Ron graduated from OMA in 1961 with the completion of his business degree. The family still has Ron’s OMA foot locker, complete with OMA bumper stickers and it is the repository of all arts and crafts produced by his youngest granddaughter, Darby Anne. Upon graduating from OMA, Ron enrolled in Oklahoma State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Economics.
Upon returning to Virginia, he met and married his bride of 46 years, Brenda Staples Maust, and gained employment with National Bellas Hess, the parent company of GEX stores. Ron’s first assignment was as Director of Public Relations of the Hampton location, a position that fit his jovial, welcoming, and outgoing personality perfectly. He was the recipient of many sales and marketing awards including Public Relations Director of the Year three times and Sales and Marketing Manager of the Year. His next assignment was as the East Coast Manager of GEX Department Stores public relations department including Albany and Latham, New York, Camden and Pennsauken, New Jersey, and the three stores in the Hampton Roads region of Southeastern Virginia. The GEX Columbia, South Carolina location was added the following year. In 1970, Ron became the Operations Manager of the Portsmouth store. A year later he was assigned as the Operation Manager of the Hampton location coming full circle as this is the location where he began his career with GEX in 1965.
In 1976, Ron left GEX to pursue his career in the private security services industry, founding Old Dominion Security. The company provided uniformed, unarmed, and armed private security officers to commercial and governmental clients. Ron first established himself in the local market, then began expanding, with offices in Hampton, Phoebus, Norfolk and Williamsburg. As the Federal Government created “small business set asides,” the demand for well-managed service businesses, built on sound business principles grew exponentially. Ron Maust proved to be the right man, with the right skills, at the right time. His business flourished, expanding through government contracts across the United States. Such endeavors led to offices/operations in 11 states and two U.S territories, dominating the southeastern Virginia market and eclipsing $50 million in sales during its 20th year of business. Despite having more than 600 security professionals at its height and tremendous responsibilities at critical U.S. government locations, Ron always claimed to be proudest that “Krispy Kreme donuts trusts my company to keep its building safe on the one day a year it closes, Christmas Day!”
Over 25 years, Ron grew his company to one of the largest privately owned of its kind in the industry, with an appropriate moniker, “Locally Owned, Nationally Known” emblazoned on the signage. What makes Ron’s success as a business person all the more remarkable is that just about the time he was embarking upon his journey with Old Dominion Security, challenging health problems had become a part of his daily life. Mobility problems had led him to see numerous doctors and they referred him to the Mayo Clinic. Enduring excruciating biopsies, Ron finally received the diagnosis that he had Pompeii’s Disease, the rarest form of Muscular Dystrophy. With the technical name of Acid Maltese Deficiency Disease, Ron’s condition meant that his body could not process or expel a common, mundane substance in the human body. This substance slowly encased his muscles, hardened and steadily decreased his mobility. Ron’s instructions from his doctor were to “go home, sign up for disability and enjoy the next six months as best you can, because you are going to die, maybe even as soon as today.” Despite this diagnosis, the father of four young children returned to work and resiliently spent each day knowing it could be his last. Blessedly, the diagnosis was off by more than 30 years, and despite a steady progression of the disease, resulting in decreasing mobility, from needing assistance to get up from special chairs, to a walker, to a wheel chair and eventually to a ventilator, Ron persevered and his family and business thrived.
His oldest daughter Nicole manages a successful business in the private security field, his daughter Noel teaches autistic students and his son Brock is an Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Sadly, his daughter Tiffany, a nurse, passed away prematurely due to an unrelated health issue. Collectively, his children had 10 grandchildren, 8 of which Ron lived long enough to meet and spoil.
Ron was recognized by the community for his business prowess and community support through his recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Hampton Rotary Club in 2010. He passed away in 2011.