Note: Each month, we will feature a different member of the WebPT family in our Staff Spotlight blog series.
Ask Ryan Anderson how he ended up at WebPT, and you’ll get an adventure tale of epic proportions—complete with snakes, mud pits, and killer bees. It might sound like something ripped straight from the pages of an Indiana Jones script, but instead of a mystical stone, the prize at the end of Ryan’s journey was a job he loves at a company he truly cares about.
Arizona born and raised, Ryan grew up in Camp Verde, about 90 miles north of Phoenix. Appropriate to his school mascot—the Camp Verde Cowboys—he and his older brother, Logan, got into rodeo at a very young age. “It was a very competitive household when I was growing up,” Ryan says.
All of that riding and roping nurtured Ryan’s natural athletic talent, but by the time he was in fifth or sixth grade, he turned his interests to more traditional school sports like soccer, football, and baseball. But never one to shy away from something new, Ryan has dabbled in a smorgasbord of recreational activities through the years—BMX, road cycling, rock climbing, bowhunting, and even competitive paintballing. In fact, the first logo Ryan ever designed was for his high school paintball team. “From there, I really started to get into design,” he says.
He followed his interest in graphic design to Denver, Colorado, where he earned a degree in visual communications from Westwood College. After graduating with honors, he returned to Arizona to look for work. Finally, after a brief stint as a semi-truck driver, he landed a graphic design position in Tempe, Arizona. That eventually led to a marketing gig with a real estate company.
“I had that job for three years, and I really liked it,” Ryan says. “And then came the crash.” The crash he’s referencing was the infamous housing bubble burst, which hit the Phoenix area particularly hard. But, as the saying goes: when one door closes, another opens. Ryan’s path to WebPT, however, was a little unconventional, to say the least.
“My brother offered me a job on his ranch [near Prescott],” he says. Before long, he was spending his days installing sprinkler pipes, hunting mountain lions, and shooting rattlesnakes. On a particularly crazy day, Ryan recalls, he was nearly submerged in cold mud as he tried to free a horse that had gotten stuck. After struggling for nearly an hour, the horse finally got out of the pit, but Ryan’s bad luck didn’t end there. On the walk back to his truck, he was attacked by a swarm of killer bees. “At that point, I was like, ‘I don’t know if ranching is really for me,’” he says.
Fortunately, he wouldn’t have to rough it out on the range much longer. Ryan’s brother Logan doubles as a professional hunting guide, and the owner of the hunting company—a friend of WebPT co-founder Brad Jannenga—knew that Ryan worked with computers. So when Brad mentioned that WebPT was looking to bring a few more employees on board, the owner recommended Ryan. The rest, of course, is history.
When he started as a graphic designer in October 2010, Ryan was WebPT’s only in-house marketing employee. As the company grew and added more staff members, Ryan moved up to senior graphic designer. He also took on the role of brand manager, which means he’s responsible for ensuring the WebPT brand is cohesive across all platforms and that it reflects, in Ryan’s words, “who we are as a company.”
As WebPT continues to grow at a rapid rate, Ryan must keep pace with a constant stream of deadlines. More challenging than that, though, is trying to represent WebPT as creatively as possible without compromising the professional feel of the brand.
“[But] I like the challenge,” Ryan says. “And I like the people I work with. The people I’m involved with on a daily basis is what makes it all worthwhile. It’s what keeps me coming back.”
In his free time, Ryan enjoys hunting, traveling, and working with his hands—he always has either a mechanical or artistic project to work on at his leisure. His last venture? Modifying a Louisville Slugger to fit an axe head. Right now, he’s fixing up a 1982 Yamaha motorcycle.
When it comes to the road ahead, Ryan doesn’t have a set plan. “For me, it’s not really about looking to the future; it’s about looking through the day and always making steps forward,” he says. “I don’t want to be limited to one thing. It’s good to be able to adapt to whatever scenario I find myself in.”
Especially if it involves snakes and killer bees.
Fave Five with Ryan
- Favorite food: Tacos (fried, just like mama makes)
- Favorite movie: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- Favorite sports team: San Francisco 49ers and San Francisco Giants
- Favorite band: Deftones and N.E.R.D.
- Favorite place: Los Gatos, California