Meet Ryan, chair of Stanley Black & Decker’s Veterans Network ERG, who’s passionate about helping others transition from the military into the corporate world.
Ryan using a miter saw

Would you recommend construction, the trade industry and technical roles as a rewarding career path?

Absolutely! I have an 11-year-old-daughter, and we have conversations regularly around what she would like to do. I always say, ‘You can do whatever you want to do, but choose the path that’s most rewarding.’ She gets involved in many of my projects.

The trades over the last couple of decades have sometimes been negatively looked upon. Some might say to their child, ‘If you want to have a good job, you’ve got to go to school.’ That’s not necessarily the case anymore. If you have a passion, follow it.

And for us at Stanley Black & Decker, if you want to make the world different, put your hands on something and create something for someone else... join us!

If you have a passion, follow it.


What does it mean to you to be a Maker?

I feel so passionate about making things. Many people buy something off the shelf, and that’s great. But I get so much more reward from building or creating, coming up with an idea and thinking – I made that thing!

It’s the same way I feel about my job. My entire career has been around learning and development or training adults in the corporate world. I can see the end result, and the growth and progress of those I’m working with, to help them grow their career, and I find that tremendously rewarding.


How has your time in the military influenced your current role at Stanley Black & Decker?

There were so many relationships and skills that I learned that I will carry with me for the rest of my life, whether it’s structure and rigor on a day-to-day process, or even looking at a situation with a level head – the discipline that I learned while I was in the military I will carry with me my entire life, as well as the friendships and the relationships.

Now I’m the chair of the Veterans Network employee resource group at Stanley Black & Decker, and one of our goals is to help other people transition from the military into the corporate world. Those in the military bring tremendous value and tremendous skills and capabilities, so even though they may not fit a job description line-for-line, they have a host of skills that bring value to a company.


What advice would you give to your younger self?

For those who are looking to enter the trades because they are a maker at heart like myself, they want to create things and make the work a better place, then they should follow that purpose and really leverage their passion and follow their dream.

We’ve all heard the adage that says, ‘If you love what you do, it’s not work.’ And that’s the exact same thing. If you can find passion, do what you love, you’ll have a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment doing what you do every single day.

Inspiring makers throughout Maker Month