January 9, 2018
Ryan Blalack immediately made me curious.
It was November. Who communicates with UPSers between November and January? Anyone who works with UPS knows those months are their busy season – it’s the holidays, after all.
Then there was his signature block: “Sales Manager.” I’d never met anyone who worked for UPS who wasn’t a driver or a pre-load worker.
“Emerging Leaders Council,” read the subject line. The content followed: he wanted to bring the close partnership established in LA between United Way and UPS to his hometown, San Diego. “I look forward to getting more involved,” he wrote, “and would be interested in taking on a leadership role with the group.”
Who was this Ryan Blalack, anyway?
Ryan would become an instrumental part of my work life, beginning with his role as Chair of UWSD’s own Emerging Leaders Council (ELC) in January of 2015 and continuing as he helped create a steering committee of dedicated volunteers from our closest corporate partners.
From a chaotic first meeting, Ryan quickly steered the group forward. He was deliberate but never overbearing; inclusive yet still in control. We were both excited and optimistic for the future of this dynamic group.
Since that day, Ryan has led three different steering committees, and poured his heart and soul into making San Diego’s ELC a success. As his term sunsets this month, he leaves behind a proud legacy: his original eight-member group has grown into a 140-members strong, thriving affinity group, impacting thousands of lives all over the San Diego region.
That impact was not an accident.
“I’m from San Diego originally and had a passion about returning home,” Ryan said. “I have two young girls and I want to see the best for them. In a sense, ELC is an opportunity for them. We’re looking to the next generation. What will it do for them?I hope this group is something that has a positive impact on the community where my daughters will one day live and work.”
Of the dozens of volunteer opportunities embraced under Ryan’s direction, a few stand out:
We are forever grateful to you, Ryan, and to UPS for lending us such a strong community-oriented leader for the last three years.
Director, Corporate Relations
United Way of San Diego County