Ryan Shaw: Financial Advisor keeps love of giving back, sports in the mix | Monthly business
WATERLOO – It was around 2008 when Ryan Shaw and his wife made a decision they haven’t regretted.
It was a turning point when they looked at each other and asked, are we staying or are we leaving Cedar Valley? Should they move their career aspirations away from their hometown of Waterloo or should they make this region their home?
Looking at the pros and cons, it was a good decision for them to stay, they decided, and they never looked back.
Shaw, 39, of Waterloo, took a new job as a financial advisor at independent firm Financial Resource Advisors, and he and Ashley started a family and began giving back to their community.
Now in its 14th year, Shaw is a partner of FRA, which offers asset management and wealth building services for clients. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Cedar Valley Sports Commission and on the Finance Committee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cedar Valley. Previously, he held numerous leadership roles with the Jaycees and the youth hockey organization.
He credits Ashley with instilling the ability to give back.
“She puts others first. She always does for others,” he said, which has taught her to use that same thinking process to her clients, but also to the community.
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“It’s putting others first, being part of the solution and not the problem. If you don’t like where you live or what’s going on, then do something,” he said. .
Shaw is originally from Waterloo and graduated in 2001 from Waterloo West High, where he was an athlete in three sports in hockey, soccer and baseball.
He went to the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and jokes that he changed his specialty three times in the first semester before deciding he wanted to go into business, graduating in 2005 from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business.
After his second year in Iowa, he was able to secure a summer internship with Financial Resource Advisors, which allowed him to familiarize himself with the financial services industry. After graduation, Jay Bullerman of FRA gave him the same advice he gave after college. Don’t come back to Cedar Valley just yet. Go work in other companies elsewhere and get some experience, “and really start to get some knowledge of the financial services business,” Shaw said.
He did so, finding a job in the Davenport area for Ameriprise’s head office. But the job turned out to be more of a call center than a real financial services company, and was shut down a year later. Shaw had to make the decision to take a job at a Chicago company or move back to Cedar Valley where Ashley was a student at the University of Northern Iowa.
“Chicago is a great place to visit, but it just wasn’t right for me to live. So I chose to come back to Cedar Valley,” he said.
After working three years for Larry Fox’s Ameriprise company in Waterloo, Shaw and Bullerman reconnected and he joined FRA.
“It was just too logical not to be a financial advisor in Cedar Valley with Financial Resource Advisors. If I have to stay here, the writing was on the wall to be there. Everything felt good,” a- he said, and that was the moment when they decided to put down roots here.
Shaw enjoys using his financial background to help him give back to the community, and with two growing children – Tyson, 9 and Lyla, 6 – he chooses community service based on family decisions. Children are active in many sports, so Shaw was a youth coach and his hockey background led him to work in and coach in hockey organizations as well.
His experience has also served him well by serving on boards of directors where leadership changes have taken place – the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cedar Valley and the Cedar Valley Sports Commission.
He was chairman of the Cedar Valley Sports Commission when the only employee and manager left. The mission of the commission is to create, attract and develop sporting events that will have a positive impact on the economy and quality of life throughout Cedar Valley and to market Cedar Valley as a destination of choice for events. He participated in the hiring of a new manager and helped the group increase its income.
“It was just a good solution for me because it marries sport with business,” he said. “It was quite an experience.”