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Kansas Speaker of the House Receives Copeland Civic Leadership Award

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by Carol Best
Ron Ryckman, Jr., Kansas House Speaker
Alumnus Ron Ryckman, Jr., Honored at Homecoming

Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman, Jr., is the inaugural recipient of MNU’s Michael Copeland Civic Leadership Award. The award for outstanding civic service was presented at MNU’s Homecoming Oct. 14, 2022. Speaker Ryckman represents the 78th district in Kansas. He is finishing his fifth term in office; Ryckman was elected Speaker of the House in 2016 and is completing his unprecedented third term. He previously served as chairman of the House Social Services Budget Committee and the House Appropriations Committee. He also served on the Olathe City Council from 2009 to 2017.

“The university is pleased to recognize Ron Ryckman, Jr., for his service, his influence, and for representing the path to public service for all who follow his example,” said David Spittal, EdD, president of MNU.

The Michael Copeland Civic Leadership Award honors the late Olathe Mayor Mike Copeland who was a 1984 graduate of MNU. Copeland was Olathe’s longest-serving mayor whose dedication to service was recognized throughout the region. While at MNU, Copeland served as student body president and was on the Pioneer football team. As a student, he honed leadership skills and relationship building that grew as he became a professional in banking and civic leadership. He passed away while in office in August 2020.

Ryckman earned a BA in business administration in 1994 at MNU and played for the Pioneer basketball team. After graduation and working in the private sector, he established and grew several companies while creating hundreds of jobs. Today he serves as CEO of ZeroPitch Roofing and continues to mentor other local entrepreneurs.

Ryckman’s philanthropic endeavors are numerous. He has assisted Living Hope Church of the Nazarene, Kids TLC, the Bi-State Commission, and the Olathe Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Ryckman and his wife, Kim, also an MNU alum and local schoolteacher, have been married for 27 years and have three children, Haley, Christian, and Chase.

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