2020 40 Under 40: DAVID RETTIG, 37

DAVID RETTIG, 37 Photo by Amber Shumake



If David Rettig had to sing for his supper, he could. Rettig grew up as an ex-pat in post-Soviet bloc Prague in the Czech Republic and studied at the State Opera under a leading Czech tenor.

Beyond Fidelity, he’s the current mayor of Northlake and previously was director of economic development for the city.

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He’s also president of the David & Cynthia Rettig Charitable Foundation, which has supported more than 40 educational, civic and human services charities locally and nationally.

Over the years, Rettig has progressed from intern to director and delivered on more than 60 projects resulting in tens of millions in cost savings, said nominator William Seeger of the University of Texas at Arlington.

“To the degree that his experiences in leadership and life could inspire others to find their calling, I point to his involvement in many facets of leadership, leading through empathy and compassion, as an example of what a normal person can do just by looking around and seeking to make a difference,” Seeger said.

Rettig also has taught AP calculus and analytic geometry at a private high school and is a vocal performer and choral director.

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– Paul K. Harral

Where did your first paycheck come from?

Working for my karate instructor hand assembling trophies in his garage. I trained in martial arts, sometimes taking two classes a day and made trophies for the competitions for earn money to keep training.

What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?

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Star Wars. Wasn’t that one of the biggest influences on my generation in the 80s and 90s? I was also a strategy gamer playing Age of Empires, Simcity and the like. Anything that required some thinking and planning. It’s probably why I ended up working as a corporate planner and operations strategist.

Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or

she was important.

My wife’s grandfather. Besides being instrumental in my wife’s life and very special to her, he has lived a life that I aspire to emulate. As a pastor for 40 years, he built a church from the ground up, ministering to people in one place, raising a great family, and doing what he loved to do.

I sense in him a profound satisfaction with a life well lived, having accomplished what he set out to do, and is now surrounded by his family and friends, and growing older with a grace and peace about him that so many look to have in life but many never find.

I’d like to one day look back and have that kind of confidence that what I put my time doing was well worth it.

When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

I’m not sure I have yet! Nor have I decided. I think life is a series of choices that combine what you are good at with opportunities that you have to choose to take. That said, I do think I saw myself working with numbers and technology for a corporation of some kind by the time I was in high school. Growing up overseas, I didn’t formulate what I wanted to do until I got back to graduate high school and go to college.

What is your favorite song?

I have a variety of musical tastes derived from my formal training in opera and from gospel music through church. That said, this year I think two songs by Gentri really connected with me.  The two songs are Dare and In a Blaze.

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

The prop for my photo shoot is my world travel map. I love to travel to unique places, meet new people, eat new foods, speak foreign languages, and experience other ways of life. I’m never happier than with a couple trips booked and a plane ticket in my hand.