Helping Children and Families Navigate Life
As a child, Ryan loved hanging out with his friends at the local pool, playing hide and seek in the neighborhood and building forts. He dreamed of being an astronaut one day and even got to go to Space Camp. Ryan was fortunate to be raised in a strong, two-parent, middle income family in northwest Kansas ( the Kansas part is actually unfortunate.) He never had to worry about whether the rent would be paid or if they would have food. Sleeping on the floor was only reserved for big sleepovers or Grandma’s house. Ryan also never had to worry about whether or not he was safe at home.
Ryan’s family includes his beautiful wife of 23 years, Danielle, and five children: Claire, Ashley, Ethan, Sophia and Logan. They also have two dogs, three birds and a partridge in a pear tree.
He enjoys playing basketball, traveling and attending his children’s school and sporting activities. Ryan says that he is passionate about his wife and his children, his church, and children and families who have experienced hard things.
Ryan received his Associates of Science in Chemistry from McCook Community College and then a Bachelors in Management and Organizational Leadership from Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska. He thought that he would be working in a for-profit business, but God had different plans.
In the midst of all of his blessings, Ryan saw that there were children who were growing up with adverse experiences and he felt compelled to do something about it. This led him to child welfare work where he has been working his entire adult life.
In 2007 Ryan and a friend co-founded Compass. Ryan has been the President and CEO since, leading the organization through multiple changes in the Nebraska child welfare system, and growing from two employees to nearly 40.