When looking at Richard Iott’s career and personal life, it’s clear that this former politician likes to keep busy. The lifelong Ohio resident has held various titles and still does, from grocer and volunteer firefighter to deputy commander and parachutist to scuba diver, race car driver, pilot and so much more. Rich took over the family business and became Chief Executive Officer of Seaway Food for a few years before he retired in 2000. He’s held every other imaginable position within this regional supermarket chain since the age of 15 years old. Richard has also been part of the Ohio Military Reserve since 1983. These days he’s focusing on his true passion: film. Rich Iott is founder of Braeburn Entertainment, producing movies and collaborating with other production companies.

Throughout his years with Seaway Food Town, Rich has been a very big part of his community. “I grew up with the guiding principle of giving back,” he explains. There’s even an Iott Foundation supporting Catholic education. “I attended many fundraising galas, was on the board of countless organizations and was always involved in local activities such as the Toledo Welcome Home Parade during the First Gulf War. During his career at Seaway Food Town, Richard Iott co-hosted many events as well as television shows such as the Easter Seal Live Telethon. “I co-hosted ‘Town Talk’ which was Toledo’s #1 Saturday morning radio talk show for six years,” Rich explains. The former politician was also Food Town Supermarkets’ spokesperson from 1990 to 2000. He also co-hosted two live television telethons for the Easter Seal Society.

Rich Iott was Food Town Supermarkets’ spokesperson from 1990 to 2000

So what does it take to be a good TV co-host? Besides keeping up on worldwide news, local issues and community events, there is more to hosting a show. For one, you have to be comfortable in front of a camera and of course, people. “You have to be interesting and engaging. Personal style has a lot to do with it as well. You have to have an ease with keeping the conversation going and be relatable to people,” Rich explains. On camera, you have to come off relaxed, keep a good, confident posture and think on your feet. That’s why being at ease and present is crucial. You have to be able to organize your thoughts and share them as you go.  A great sense of humor always helps, especially if you’ve made a “mistake” on air. Its “live” television and things never go 100% as planned. Having a sense of humor about it, helps you put it behind you right away and continue the conversation. “In a way, you define the voice of the show…you are the voice,” Rich explains.

There’s no doubt that co-hosting requires great communication skills, along with some personality and the ability to use your voice as a tool.