This is our sixth post in our Meet Newmind blog series. If you enjoy it, check out our Meet Newmind posts from past months!
This November, we’re giving you a view from the top—or at least from the 42nd floor—as we present Newmind’s Vice President and “Level 42 Boss Chief,” Ryan Russey.
Ryan’s neck of the woods lays just south of Newmind’s Kalamazoo headquarters, in the community of Three Rivers, Michigan. He’s a “Michigan boy” at heart, with a tattoo to prove it, but he did venture into Indiana for a spell, where he started a family with his wife, Jodi. Today, Ryan and his family have settled back down in Michigan for good.
I’m a dad to two beautiful and talented girls, who are 11 and 13. They are both burgeoning actresses, and are very involved in our local theater. I’ve been married to my best friend for 16 years.
Ryan loves music and has been playing in bands since he was 16. When he’s not playing or in the office, he also tinkers with old cars, trucks, boats, and motorcycles. His current stable includes a 1963 Honda Dream and a 1967 Ford F-100 pickup.
How to reach level 42
Ryan came to Newmind Group in 2008, but his history with founder Dan Jefferies goes much farther back.
Daniel and I have been friends since we were teenagers. We were in a band together for a bit, way back when. He was the best man in my wedding even. We worked together for an engineering firm for a number of years. A couple of years after Daniel started Newmind, he started bugging me to come work with him. Things finally lined up, and I started at Newmind in the fall of 2008.
“I felt that I could help Daniel, and had an idea that I would stay pretty busy. I was right, and together, I think we built a pretty cool company, with some pretty cool employees.”
Today, Ryan is the Vice President, COO, co-owner, office manager, senior technical engineer, construction manager (hammock stands, phone booths, wooden countertops, Ikea furniture), Pandora Radio Program Director. “Really, I’m just one of ‘the Bobs,’” he says— our office slang for Newmind’s big decision makers.
Ryan Russey Fast Facts
If you could force every acquaintance you make to watch one movie, read one book, and listen to one piece of music, what would those be?
Movie: “Quadrophenia (1979 British film, loosely based on the 1973 rock opera of the same name by The Who) – I was moved by this film when I first watched it in my early 20s. I’ve probably watched it 6 times or so since then.”
Book: “The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (2004) – Sam Harris.”
Music: “Sigur Rós ( ) – 2002. This is easily the most important album that I’ve ever listened to.”
If you were forced to leave the country for 10 years, where would you go to settle down?
“Canada is the logical answer. I have family there, and I like Canadians.”
Favorite place to eat in Kalamazoo?
“Crow’s Nest. That was the easiest question on here. Favorite dish is the breakfast scramble with bacon, egg, hashbrowns, green pepper, and smoke gouda. A close tie is the banana bread french toast.”
How do you spend your personal time lately?
“Lately, I spend my time shuttling the girls to play practice, and then attending their theatrical performances (Aladdin, and currently Wizard of Oz). I go to a Lake Michigan beach whenever I can. I also love projects around the house, which is how I spend most weekends. With winter coming, it’s probably time to start another band…”