Ryan’s Story: God’s Redemption and Generosity
From addiction recovery, to building a business, to a new ministry, God has met Ryan and his family in incredible ways. Learn how their story of generosity is a living example of God’s redemptive work.
By the time I was a senior in high school, I was a straight A student, great baseball player, popular kid at school, and also a full-blown drug addict.
I grew up in a very small town on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line. Late high school was a dark time for me. I was hiding behind my athletics and my grades to protect my drug addiction.
At 18 years old. I was driving back home from a friend’s house. I was intoxicated and I fell asleep, went off the side of the road, and hit a telephone pole. I woke up the next morning. I couldn’t remember what had happened and I knew that it was time to check myself into a treatment center.
After getting out of rehab and beginning to put my life back together, my dad introduced me to a friend who was a real estate developer.
What impressed me about Tony was his passion and excitement. He was taking a parking lot and creating it into a condo Tower and changing the fabric of Nashville.
So, he offered me a job making $6.75 an hour as a parking attendant. I saw ways that the lot could be improved, and I began to make a list of all of these ideas, and I took this list and I went to see Tony and he said go do it and he believed in me. I asked him if him and I could own Premier Parking together.
We started the business in 2003, by 2008 we had 50 lots. Over the course of the 10 next years, we grew the that 50-lot portfolio to over 500, and offices in 42 cities across the United States into a company that employed over 2000 people.
I was looking for what that next chapter was going to be. My wife Betsy and I have always had organizations that we believed in and supported, and we wanted to use this opportunity of selling the business as not just an opportunity to personally reap the value of what we created, but also an opportunity to really expand our giving and use this transaction as a vehicle.
I decided to work with The Signatry because I became convinced that they were experts in helping me maximize my giving in what I viewed as an incredibly complex transaction. They just had the right lens. They understood our values and our desires for our giving.
After selling my business, I wasn’t ready to retire. In December of 2019, I acquired Integrative Life Center, which is a provider of residential and outpatient treatment services for addiction, depression, anxiety, eating disorders. I believe that I’m exactly where God wants me to be in exactly where I’m supposed to be in this next chapter of my life.
Coming full circle. I see year 18-year-old Ryan with love and compassion, and I know that all those trials and tribulations and the pain that my addiction brought me gave me the humility and the grit and the desire to succeed.