Joe Ryan’s worldview is simple: leave the world better than you found it.
As the CEO and owner of Oppidan Investment Company, a national property development firm based in Excelsior, Ryan knows he—and Oppidan—can make a real difference in the communities they serve.
Ryan grew up in Hibbing, Minn. before attending the University of St. Thomas and moving to the Twin Cities. From a young age, he learned the importance of giving back to the community.
“We are all in it together and have the same desire to give back,” Ryan says. “This motivation is something I grew up with. Mom and Dad taught us to give back and make it better than you found it. Now, I’m instilling these values in our work family, too.”
Senior housing is particularly special to Ryan, who was inspired by the experiences of his mother and sister, who both had Alzheimer’s. Much of Oppidan’s giving relates to his connection to senior housing. “We believe in giving back to our first responders in the communities we serve. First responders are a senior housing community’s best friend,” Ryan says. “That’s why we’ve [contributed] financial resources to making sure fire and police departments have what they need to do their jobs.”
For instance, Oppidan’s gifts have helped enhance communications between the Shorewood Landing Senior Living Community and local first responders. This improvement helps ensure first responders are able to get to the community fast, when they are most needed.
In addition, Oppidan created the Pillars Fund to support memory-care programming in each of its senior living communities, including music, art, storytelling and other therapies that are specially designed to stimulate and engage those living with memory loss. To date, Oppidan has pledged $500,000 to the Pillars Fund.
As Oppidan’s portfolio continues to expand—the company is opening three additional senior living communities in the next few years in Prospect Park, Mankato and Napa Valley—Ryan works diligently to meet the changing needs of seniors.
“The need grows and the game is changing,” he says. “Seniors want choices. They want exceptional communities that are as close to their previous home as possible. They want comfort and accessibility. We will continue to be at the forefront and listen to our [clients and residents].”
Ryan sees Oppidan’s work and its dedication to giving back as grounded in its mission. “We continue to push the boundaries to offer the most creative, innovating solutions in the industry,” Ryan says. “Our mission is to help make seniors’ lives better.”