Business Skills Lead to Political Career

Jan. 30, 2014 - by Katy Ward

Business Skills Lead to Political Career

By Rachel Phelps ('09) 
January 30, 2014
Business Skills Lead to Political Career

When Ron Ryckman (’94) started his first business, he was just one year out of college and ready to use his degree in business. Although he was young for a business owner, he felt prepared. Two decades and several successful businesses later, he states with confidence how MNU shaped the leader he would become.

“The positive Christian environment at MNU and the strong community atmosphere gave me the opportunity to explore and learn what would be successful strategies for me as a business owner and entrepreneur,” Ryckman remarked. “Having small class sizes and personal connections with qualified faculty gave me the chance to learn by doing.”

Nearly twenty years later, he is still heavily involved in the construction and land management field, but has expanded the application of his degree to include local and state government in Kansas.

Ryckman is in his second year as a Kansas State Representative, in the 78th district, and was just named House Republican Majority Whip at the opening of the 2014 legislative session in Topeka. As Majority Whip, Ryckman will be charged with counting votes on issues and assuring the majority party members are supporting their caucus. He also serves on several committees, including the Special Committee on Education, the Appropriations Committee, the Commerce, Labor, and Economic Development Committee. He is also chair of the Social Services Budget. Aside from his work in state government, Ryckman is a member of the Olathe City Council, and is active on the board at Living Hope Church of the Nazarene.

“I believe owning my own business at a very early age helped me develop the necessary leadership skills, critical thinking, and problem solving skill sets that help me in public service and community involvement,” Ryckman says.

His work in civil service has been rewarding, and unusual in two respects. One is that he serves both in the state legislature and on a city council, which he says gives him a more personal view of the Kansas taxpayer and their priorities. The other is that he is serving concurrently with his father, Ron Ryckman, Sr., who is the representative of the 115th district which includes Clarke, Gray and Meade counties and Dodge City, Kan. Ryckman in KS House

“I can’t adequately express how much serving with my father means to me.  Yes, we share political views in most cases, but more importantly, we share values and faith.  I’m truly blessed to be serving with him,” says Ryckman.

Ryckman believes in using his skills to help others develop their talents. A business consultant, he uses his entrepreneurial skills to help companies develop plans for success, particularly by assisting individuals and companies in creating, organizing, and sustaining their organization and market share. One of the main tenets he teaches is to remember that one person doesn’t know everything and there will always be smarter people around.

“Surround yourself with them and learn from them.  Be humble enough to listen and to change.  That is the only way you will stay ahead in an ever-changing business environment.  If you’re not always learning, you will never be truly successful,” he says.

Ryckman credits the university with helping form this style of servant leadership. Whether from his experience on the MNU basketball team, or through interaction with professors and other students, Ryckman’s MNU experience helped prepare him for multi-faceted roles he currently holds.

“Learning how to lead on the court and in the classroom; balancing the diverse backgrounds of my teammates and classmates—the unique personalities and perspectives they all brought with them—all of these experiences would become a proving ground for my political experiences today,” says Ryckman.

Ryckman and his wife, Kim (Banz ‘95), a teacher in the Blue Valley school district, have three children and reside in Olathe, Kan.

 

MNU News

Saturday, February 28
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Taylor Cowan
MNU Athlete Chosen for New NAIA Council

MNU Athlete Chosen for New NAIA Council

New group would provide a voice for NAIA student-athletes OLATHE, KANSAS—MNU student Taylor Cowan has been named to the NAIA’s proposed Association of Student-Athletes (ASA), a new group to be…

Read More
Steve and Ryan
Pioneers’ Biggest Fans

Pioneers’ Biggest Fans

They’re the Pioneers’ biggest fans. Attending as many home and away games as they can, Ryan Robinson and his dad, Steve, have made MNU athletic events their priority for the last four years. The…

Read More
KAHPERD022915
MNU Hosts PE Teachers

MNU Hosts PE Teachers

MNU hosted 140 K-12 and college physical education teachers from across the state of Kansas for the Kansas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance (KAHPERD ) winter workshop…

Read More
Robyn Essex
Alum Puts Experience and Civic Duty to the Test

Alum Puts Experience and Civic Duty to the Test

She’s the mom of three boys, an educator experienced with pre-school age children to corporate training, a volunteer youth leader, and now she’s…

Read More
M15Booth
M15 Conference Sets Vision

M15 Conference Sets Vision

This week's M15 (Mission 2015) Conference at the Kansas City Convention Center brought together nearly 3500 Nazarenes from across North America together. MNU faculty, staff and students served in…

Read More
Mabee
MNU Among Universities Recognized Feb. 9-16

MNU Among Universities Recognized Feb. 9-16

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has proclaimed Feb. 9-16 as Kansas Private College Week in the state of Kansas. The Governor's proclamation brings…

Read More
Grace Wallace 022015
MNU Senior Wins Prestigious Vocal Awards

MNU Senior Wins Prestigious Vocal Awards

MNU senior music major Grace Wallace won first place in Upper Women's College Division and College Musical Theatre Division competitions at the Kansas City Chapter of the National Association of…

Read More
Browards
Making Connections is Alum’s Passion

Making Connections is Alum’s Passion

Josh Broward is a well-rounded guy. Graduating in 2000 with a double major in religion and business administration he spent the next 15 years serving abroad as a pastor, a professor, a writer and a…

Read More
Adrien1 outcomes-61-3566513780-O
Success Is Balance of Work, Personal and Spiritual Life

Success Is Balance of Work, Personal and Spiritual Life

Adrien Piercy is an attorney with Bever Dye, LC, in Wichita, Kansas. But before that she was a marketing major at MNU. In 2007, she was even named…

Read More
Sports
Pioneers Win Shortened Game at Avila

Pioneers Win Shortened Game at Avila

The Pioneers blew out Avila 67-46 in a game shortened by 3 minutes due to an altercation on Thursday...(click title for more)

 
Pioneers Win by 30

Pioneers Win by 30

The Pioneers won their 11th straight game, and 4th in a row by at least 30 points, in a 69-39 blowout at Avila on Thursday...(click title for more)

 
Pioneers Split vs. St. Mary

Pioneers Split vs. St. Mary

MNU split a neutral-site double header with St. Mary on Wednesday...(click title for more)

 
Latest Photos
MLK_2015-31
MLK_2015-33 Bob Shands (left) accepts Martin Luther King Living Legacy award on behalf of his late father, Rev. O. Norman Shands, Jr. Dr. David Spittal, MNU president (right).
MLK_2015-27
MLK_2015-23
MLK_2015-18
MLK_2015-8