Ryan joined Schaefer 19 years ago as a co-op student in our Cincinnati office. Just eight years later, he opened our Columbus, Ohio office, and today, as executive vice president, he oversees our firm’s strategy, business development, marketing and technology efforts. Get to know Ryan better with these ten questions and answers.
1. What has been the most rewarding initiative you’ve accomplished since joining Schaefer?
It’s a tie. When I opened our Columbus office in 2006, which at that point was just me in a tiny room, I couldn’t imagine what we’ve accomplished today. We’ve outgrown the space and moved three times, currently residing in an office with room for 24 team members.
Shortly after we opened the office, the recession hit and we saw the need to build a marketing department that would allow us to sustain growth. We hired a full-time marketing manager and business development manager, and I now work with a team of five really smart people.
2. What do you want to accomplish in the next five years?
I want to see Schaefer continue to push the envelope of how structural engineering firms approach business.
3. What’s your signature dish to cook for family and friends?
My grandmother taught me the family recipe for homemade Italian bread at a very young age, and I have carried on the tradition. I actually wrote a technical writing paper on how to make it in college and earned an A+!
4. What is a skill that you don’t have, but wish you did?
I wish I had any athletic skill at all. I’ve been told excelling at yard and bar games do not count as being athletic.
5. Favorite thing to do off the clock.
Golf. When I am not golfing, I wish I was golfing. Attending The Masters and golfing in Ireland and Scotland are on my bucket list.
6. What is the most extreme thing you have ever done?
Since I am terrible with heights, bungy jumping and cliff diving (even at low heights) were pretty extreme! Next… skydiving!
7. What would you sing at karaoke?
“Rapper’s Delight” by The Sugar Hill Gang.
8. What industry book have you read that has been most helpful to your career?
Every day brings a new set of challenges and being able to talk effectively with your team members is crucial. Crucial Conversations has had a big impact on how I approach difficult situations, but plenty of growing is still required.
9. Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
I wouldn’t say there is an individual person; I draw inspiration from those who start with little and accomplish their goals with hard work and persistence.
10. What about Schaefer gets you to jump out of bed in the morning?
I’m motivated by the opportunity to affect change. Schaefer has a long history of encouraging team members’ entrepreneurial spirits, to think of and implement anything that will have a positive influence on the firm.