don riling recognized for company’s contributions to the lgbtq community
Don Riling’s first encounter with Olympic Hot Tub came from seeing the company’s advertisements in the program for the Seattle Men’s Chorus, of which he was a member. He joined the company in 1995 to assist with marketing. He climbed the proverbial ladder and purchased Olympic Hot Tub in 2016, where he has served as president ever since.
Riling sang in the Men’s Chorus for 32 years, until his responsibilities as owner made rehearsal impractical. Instead, he’s given back to the Men’s Chorus and the Seattle Women’s Chorus by sponsoring concert seasons and donating hot tubs for fundraisers.
Throughout his career as a leader in the industry, Riling has made a point to support the LGBTQ community. In addition to supporting the choruses, Olympic Hot Tub has donated to Camp Ten Trees, which provides residential camping programs in Washington. The company has also sponsored films during the Seattle Queer Film Festival put on by Three Dollar Bill Cinema.
Several years ago, Olympic Hot Tub created a scholarship program awarding $5,000 to a student in the LGBTQ community to help students and young adults who may have been displaced from their homes due to coming out, resulting in an interruption at a chance for collegiate education. The scholarship’s purpose is to help the recipient regain confidence and continue educational pursuits.
Recognizing Riling’s contribution to the community, The Puget Sound Business Journal has awarded him with the Outstanding Voices award at the journal’s 2022 Business of Pride event.
Through this program, The Puget Sound Business Journal honors LGBTQ business leaders, advocates and allies whose work has made for a more inclusive and welcoming business community, all while driving the region’s economy. The journal recognizes 10 to 20 people in the Seattle area for this honor each year.
“Don Riling originally caught our attention through research for the largest LGBTQ-owned businesses lists,” says Ryan Lambert, editor in chief of The Puget Sound Business Journal. “Olympic Hot Tub was among the largest companies on that list for several years. When we learned about Don’s involvement in the GSBA and Men’s Chorus, we thought it was time we recognized those contributions with an individual award.”
Riling says he was shocked and surprised to receive the award. “When I bought the company, I made a conscious effort to raise the company’s overall philanthropic profile in every community in which we do business,” he adds. “I’m just working to lead our company the best I can every day. To have others recognize my effort is quite humbling. But I am very proud of their recognition.”
“The world we live in today is full of individuals who seem to feel it’s important to marginalize segments of our population,” Riling says. “I understand that people come from different backgrounds and have different points of view, but I’ve never understood the need to infringe upon others’ rights to live their own lives. I’m lucky enough to be in a place where I can give back and do what I feel is right for others.”