Board of Directors Spotlight: John Ryan

What led you to join the Fairbanks Board of Directors?

Leah Mannweiler (Hope Academy Board chair) is a very good friend whom I’ve known for years, and she asked me to join the board. I thought it was a good opportunity to contribute to Fairbanks. After attending some meetings and getting more knowledgeable about the organization’s mission and vision, I grew to appreciate what Fairbanks does for this community and the folks suffering from this disease. I believe Fairbanks does an outstanding job for its patients. I wanted to add some value to that.

What was your awareness level on the issue of addiction prior to joining Fairbanks’ board?

Surprisingly a lot. I had a family member years ago who, because of a medical problem, became addicted to a drug. They came here and it was easily resolved.

What do you wish other people knew about Fairbanks?

I think it’s a hidden treasure in this community. The continuum of care provided here isn’t commonly known. They treat the whole person. Every person has a little different experience with their addiction. Fairbanks is able to evaluate each individual and provide them with a tailored program, which I think is amazing.

When others learn about your service to Fairbanks, what do they ask?

I’m often asked why I do it. I could kiddingly say it fills my time in retirement, but it’s much more than that. I tell people Fairbanks has such a wonderful mission. Just like a person who has a medical disease like diabetes or heart disease, someone with addiction needs treatment too. I’ve been associated with hospital boards and committees. They’re all wonderful, but Fairbanks has a special place in my heart for what it does. That motivates me to be involved.

John is president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. An attorney, he served as senior deputy mayor with Mayor Bill Hudnut, a partner at the law firm Ice Miller LLP, vice president of One America and director of child services for the State of Indiana during the Gov. Mitch Daniels administration. He has been married for 46 years and has three children and eight grandchildren.