Growing up in a rather nomadic family as an Air Force and Commercial pilot’s son, Ryan likes to say:  “I was born in Denver, lived all over the US, but was raised in North Carolina”.  Though he lived in Texas, Washington State, Colorado, Michigan, and Virginia- summers were spent in North Carolina, either at the beach or in the mountains.  Both sides of his family have deep roots in NC, his mom from Wilmington and his Dad from Clyde.  

He currently resides in Waynesville, NC with his wife, Kathryn, and two daughters, Elsie and Carolina.  

His passion for the outdoors and experiential education was fostered at YMCA Camp Cheerio, where he was a lifelong camper turned counselor.  He loved teaching students how to roll kayaks and encouraging students to reach for that last hold on the climbing wall.

He attended the Virginia Military Institute and then Emory and Henry College, graduating with degrees in Economics and Business Administration. Though much of his early career development was centered around the corporate world, first managing rental properties and then climbing the ladder to become an Operations Manager for FedEx Ground, his heart and soul longed to be outside- guiding, teaching, and experiencing as much of the natural world as possible.

Ryan is a passionate white water canoeist, instructor, and sometimes- captain of the swim team!  Ever since taking a course from Fritz Orr and learning how to peel out of an eddy in a tandem canoe, the rest is history…..  He says: “ I had no idea a canoe could do that!”  If he is not hanging out with his family, you can bet you’ll find him on one of the many creeks and rivers in the South East, especially if it has been raining.  His other professed “fountain of youth” is riding boards of any kind- specifically surf, skate, and snow.  He is very proud to be a rad dad!  

Ryan began working for SOAR in 2020, as a Whitewater and River Safety Specialist for the NC canoe and rafting adventure programs. Prior to that first SOAR experience, he was managing logistics and staffing for Landmark Learning and NOLS Wilderness Medicine in the South East. He currently teaches ACA L4 Swift Water Rescue and ACA Solo/Tandem Canoeing coursework and was a graduate of the Landmark Outdoor Educator Semester program in 2015.  He also is a Leave No Trace Master Educator.