A self-proclaimed armchair philosopher, Ryan’s career reads more like a Quixotesque quest for authentic purpose than a standard resume. Before coming on board as a facilitator for Frontier Academy, he led strategic field marketing efforts for New Belgium Brewing throughout the East Coast, but not before running his own event consulting company from the road, braving the Wyoming wilderness as an instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School, and growing both resources and membership for an international bike advocacy nonprofit based in Boulder.
To truly understand Ryan’s path, you’ve got to know where it started: at an experiential education center in northern Virginia. There he discovered an innate talent for leading corporate teams and sixth-grade students alike through communication, trust, and risk-taking exercises, all in the great outdoors.
Ryan’s deeply reflective nature is balanced by a magnetic charisma; he will tell you his story openly and honestly, stopping along the way to ask about your own experiences and to fervently listen in response. And when he’s not leading a workshop, you’ll find him canoeing, fly-fishing, and hiking his way to discovering the world.
— Keynote —
Leading With Adventure: What wild places can teach us about personal growth and remarkable teams
In the darkness before dawn, in the unforgiving cold of Wyoming’s Wind River mountains, the team wanted to turn back. But Ryan led them up, over the snowpack and above the treeline, up to to the very top of that alpine wilderness. They were exposed, exhausted, and afraid. But they made it. Only then did the team realize how strong it was. In the day that followed, they took over leadership of the expedition themselves.
Ryan’s mission is to lead other people to their own discoveries, whether that’s in the wilderness or the boardroom. He uses what he’s learned in wild places to lead arduous change initiatives—in sales and marketing integration for one of U.S’s largest craft brewers, and as a partner to Fortune 500 companies with operations across the globe.
But he won’t spend your time telling you about big, glossy exploits like summiting Everest, because he hasn’t, and that’s not what his expeditions are about.
Instead, Ryan’s keynote is an accessible tale of adventure, building a compelling case for the necessity of earnest expedition where vision, risk, opt-in, and resilience are realized by individuals and teams. He translates his experience into a framework that leaders can use to outfit teams for major undertakings, and that any individual can use to plot a course for personal growth. In this keynote, Ryan will show you how to foster a healthy organizational culture and stoke the hunger for personal growth. To reach that far-away summit on the horizon that you’re seeking, he’ll help you take the first—and the next, and the next—step.