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

Friday, July 3
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
Maker Faire 2015
Center for Games & Learning Wins Merit Award at KC Maker Faire

Center for Games & Learning Wins Merit Award at KC Maker Faire

The Center for Games & Learning booth won a Maker of Merit award at Maker Faire KC June 27 and 28 at Kansas City's Historic Union…

Read More
MNU-Fiber-Optics-Groundbreaking-062015
New Fiber Ring Installation Upgrades Campus

New Fiber Ring Installation Upgrades Campus

Installation is well underway for the new fiber optic network on the Olathe campus. Pictured below MNU President David Spittal and K&W…

Read More
UO8A0594 upcropped
Football Coach discovers joy of teaching

Football Coach discovers joy of teaching

  “Salt and light is all you can be at the end of the day,” said Ashford Collins (’12) as he sat in the same cafeteria where he used to share meals with his teammates. “When I came to…

Read More
Annie Kee
Alum Wins Stewardship Scholarship

Alum Wins Stewardship Scholarship

Andra Kee (‘13) is one of three winners of the Stewardship Sermon Scholarship awarded by Stewardship Ministries of the Church of the Nazarene. Funds for this scholarship are awarded annually to up…

Read More
outcomes-11
Compassion for Animals Leads to Career

Compassion for Animals Leads to Career

It didn’t take holding down a lioness during surgery for Lisa Najarian ('07), biology major, to be affirmed in her calling.  Usually it comes just seeing a four legged passenger with its head…

Read More
Facebook Infographic v3
MNU Announces Fully Online MBA

MNU Announces Fully Online MBA

New this fall at MNU is a fully online MBA program. The university has offered an MBA program for nearly 30 years, but until now all classes were held on site in Olathe or Liberty. Now students who…

Read More
Brandt Drafted
Brandt Drafted by Washington Nationals

Brandt Drafted by Washington Nationals

By Chad Jenkins, MNU SID Fans react on Storify hereMNU senior shortstop Clayton Brandt completed his incredible final season by getting selected in the 19th round by the Washington…

Read More
Jenkins Named HAAC SID of the Year

Jenkins Named HAAC SID of the Year

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Heart of America Athletic Conference has announced that Chad Jenkins, sports information director at MidAmerica Nazarene University, has been named the 2nd Annual Dave…

Read More
Hunting1sm
Success Means Doing One's Best

Success Means Doing One's Best

As a third grader, Stephen Hunting, considered a career as a lawyer.  But it took a year of seminary after graduating from MNU as a religion major, to realize law school was where God was…

Read More
Sports
Brittney Kellar Promoted to Assistant AD

Brittney Kellar Promoted to Assistant AD

Brittney Kellar has been promoted to Assistant Athletics Director for Business, Marketing and Event Management...(click title for more)

 
MNU Football Golf Tournament

MNU Football Golf Tournament

(click title for more)

 
MNU Women's Soccer Hires Bobby Reiss

MNU Women's Soccer Hires Bobby Reiss

MNU Women's soccer would like to say welcome to new assistant coach Bobby Reiss who will be taking over the assistant coaching duties...(click title for more)

 
Latest Photos
Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Chartering, 2014 MidAmerica Nazarene University’s School of Nursing and Health Science was recently approved to form a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the honor society of nursing. Founded in 1922, STTI is recognized as the only international nursing honor society with approximately 500 chapters across the globe, only 5 of which are in Kansas. Photos by Daniel Hawkins and Justin Vargas
Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Chartering, 2014 MidAmerica Nazarene University’s School of Nursing and Health Science was recently approved to form a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the honor society of nursing. Founded in 1922, STTI is recognized as the only international nursing honor society with approximately 500 chapters across the globe, only 5 of which are in Kansas. Photos by Daniel Hawkins and Justin Vargas
Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Chartering, 2014 MidAmerica Nazarene University’s School of Nursing and Health Science was recently approved to form a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the honor society of nursing. Founded in 1922, STTI is recognized as the only international nursing honor society with approximately 500 chapters across the globe, only 5 of which are in Kansas. Photos by Daniel Hawkins and Justin Vargas
Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Chartering, 2014 MidAmerica Nazarene University’s School of Nursing and Health Science was recently approved to form a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the honor society of nursing. Founded in 1922, STTI is recognized as the only international nursing honor society with approximately 500 chapters across the globe, only 5 of which are in Kansas. Photos by Daniel Hawkins and Justin Vargas
Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Chartering, 2014 MidAmerica Nazarene University’s School of Nursing and Health Science was recently approved to form a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the honor society of nursing. Founded in 1922, STTI is recognized as the only international nursing honor society with approximately 500 chapters across the globe, only 5 of which are in Kansas. Photos by Daniel Hawkins and Justin Vargas
Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) Chartering, 2014 MidAmerica Nazarene University’s School of Nursing and Health Science was recently approved to form a chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI), the honor society of nursing. Founded in 1922, STTI is recognized as the only international nursing honor society with approximately 500 chapters across the globe, only 5 of which are in Kansas. Photos by Daniel Hawkins and Justin Vargas