Birthplace: Fort Myers, FL
Ryan is co-founder and president of Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife (VETPAW). Ryan enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2003, and participated in some of the most intense fighting of the Iraq war. He received a combat promotion and awards as an infantryman, and was recognized as his unit’s Marine of the Year in 2005 and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year in 2006. Ryan’s lifelong love of the U.S. military and wildlife has been translated into action. VETPAW utilizes the skills of post-9/11 veterans to train anti-poaching rangers in Africa. After serving his country, he stands ready to protect embattled wildlife and support his fellow veterans.
Other than VETPAW, I’m a huge fan of helping out other veteran and wildlife non-profits.
What do you like to do for fun when not in the office?
I like to attend local charity events to support other non-profit organizations. Huge fan of the Big Cat Rescue and Free Spirit Equestrian Center & Horse Rescue here in Tampa. I also like to visit local animal shelters and use my DSLR camera to take pictures of the animals for shelters to use on their web sites. The nicer pictures help increase the adoption rate for animals.
What is your motto in life?
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” —John Bunyan
Who has been your mentor or role model?
My aunt, Jeanne Tate, who is a Tampa attorney
What is your dream vacation?
If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
If you could nominate someone else to be in the Top 10 Under 40, who would it be?
Ally Lamb from the Social Revelry for sure
Where is your favorite place to visit in the Tampa Bay area?
I love Tampa’s Riverwalk. Tampa has incredible history, so it’s great to see it brought back to life and maintain its core. The area has really become a gem of Florida.