Patriarch of the company brought spark and integrity throughout his career
MINNEAPOLIS, October 25, 2011– Francis James Ryan, Board Chairman and patriarch of Ryan Companies since 1938, passed away on October 23 from pneumonia. He was 98 years old, and worked at Ryan for 73 of those years. Fran’s guiding vision helped to shape the company into one of the nation’s leading real estate developers.
Fran, a lifetime resident of Hibbing, Minnesota, was part of the founding team of Ryan Companies, working alongside his father, James Henry Ryan. Throughout his long career, Fran mentored employees and set the example for the company’s approach to the work: act with integrity, keep your promises, and don’t forget that we’re a family.
Fran’s motto was ‘Take care of the customer and the customer will take care of you,’” Pat Ryan, and CEO and President of Ryan Companies said. “This and other values are the genesis of our mission statement today: Building lasting relationships. We live in a fast-paced world, but our guiding principles will never change.”
Under the leadership of the Ryan team, and with Fran’s guidance, Ryan helped change the landscape of communities across the country, building a large and loyal customer base. Because of the integrity and hard work of the Ryan team, nearly three quarters of Ryan’s clients are repeat customers; some spanning five decades.
Fran himself recognized the Ryan legacy when talking about how James Ryan ran the company. “I feel we are handing down what Dad handed down to us: credibility, honesty and integrity,” he said. “The family situation helped in good times and bad. Everybody pitched in and supported each other.”
Fran was known around the office for having a constant twinkle in his eye. He knew all of the employees and was always happy to work with the team, whether on a big project or a small one. He treated employees with the same warmth and integrity that guided his relationships with clients. As Board Chairman, Fran never missed a meeting in 25 years.
“I’ve never met a person who loved his company more than Fran,” Tim Gray, Ryan’s Vice Chair said. “He attended his last meeting in September of this year."
Francis James Ryan was born in Hibbing on June 17, 1913. He is preceded in death by his wife, Clarice, and is survived by all of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.
About Ryan Companies, US, Inc.
Ryan Companies US Inc., a nationally recognized developer, design-builder and real estate manager, has specialized in fully integrated solutions for more than 70 years. Ryan builds lasting relationships with a project delivery model based on full-service customized solutions and total collaboration – pairing the customer’s needs and expectations with the talents of a team of developers, financiers, architects, engineers, constructors and property managers. In addition to its Minneapolis office, Ryan has offices in Chicago, Phoenix, San Diego, Tampa, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Des Moines, Iowa. Ryan was named the 2007 National Developer of the Year by the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties (NAIOP). For more information, visit www.ryancompanies.com
Editor’s note: Interviews with Ryan executives are available by contacting Sheri Hansen at 612-455-1707 or email@example.com