Ryan joined the company a little over three years ago as a part-time employee, helping Darren Hofer where needed. Eventually, Darren created a position for Ryan to bring him on full-time. As the information technology specialist, Ryan primarily focuses on maintaining all GAR Bennett devices. Whether it be a laptop, cell phone or computer, Ryan is your go to guy. He ensures the technology is ordered, fixed and maintained. He helps with any fix-it tickets employees submit to solve technical issues that may have occurred. Some days it may be a simple fix, others bring a new technical challenge to be solved. Typically, there’s a never-ending stream of projects Ryan is working on in order to help us improve our technical platform.

Ryan has always been interested in agriculture and science. His grandfather owns a small farm outside of Kingsburg and most of his friends growing up were farm kids. He attended Immanuel High School and later Reedley College to pursue a degree in chemistry. After three years here, he transferred to Fresno State as a biology major. While attending school, Ryan maintained different jobs in agriculture. From working for his brother-in-law as a ranch hand, to seasonal work at packing houses, Ryan always stayed central to the industry. However, Ryan finally came to a point where he was done with school and decided to enter the workforce full-time at Starbucks. While working here for eight years, Ryan contemplated returning to Fresno State to pursue a degree in viticulture. For him, it made sense to work in agriculture as there are always jobs readily available in the Valley. Nonetheless, his life had bigger plans for him as his first son was welcomed into their family at this time. Eventually, he would receive a call from Darren to join the IT department at GAR Tootelian, Inc. (GAR). Ryan felt the opportunity could not have come soon enough. He decided to give the part-time position with GAR a try, and according to him, “things have worked out pretty great.”

While working at Starbucks Ryan learned a lot about himself, such as how to come of out of his shell. Prior to working here, he was extremely introverted. That didn’t last long with an environment like Starbucks. From learning how to be organized, work with a team, set goals, and managing, Ryan gained invaluable experiences that have shaped who he is today.

Ryan’s true joy is listening to and playing music. He plays everything from the drums, piano, guitar and bass. He showcased some of these skills in a band during his Reedley College days. As a tech enthusiast, Ryan also enjoys building computers and playing video games. But what he enjoys most of all is hanging out with his beautiful family and wife, Erica. The two have three kids together: Ben who is six, Sarah who is two and Henry their nine-month-old. The family also has two dogs, Hank and Daisy.

Ryan is excited about the challenges ahead because of the merger.

“For me, the merger presents new technical challenges to be tackled. I’m looking forward to what’s ahead and the skills that I’ll acquire in the process.”