Paul R. Ryan
Grand Exalted Ruler
A Message from the Grand Exalted Ruler
Creating Momentum for the Future of Elkdom
As I begin my year as Grand Exalted Ruler, I want to begin by saying thanks to all of you and offer my sincere gratitude and appreciation that you have entrusted me as your next national president. This would not have been possible without all of you, my fellow brothers and sisters, and your support and guidance. I also need to thank my family and friends, and of course the assistance and aid of my wonderful wife.
When I started this adventure, finding a theme was something that I wanted to make sure stood out. I wanted to change a little of the landscape of the organization to make sure that we not only survive the future but thrive in it. With the changes happening in this world, my theme has become more and more vital to the situation. My Theme for 2020-2021 is Creating Momentum for the Future of Elkdom. Now more than ever we need to go out there and help our communities and get them to thrive again, get them to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Help to realize that this is a great country. And teach them who we are as Elks and that our organization is one that will Create Momentum for the Future of Elkdom and the people of this country.
Elks are a community, and it is my hope for the coming year that by working together with the Elks National Foundation and through our Members and Lodges nationwide we can build both stronger communities and stronger Elks. It is my goal that we can reach $4.80 per Member in our ENF donations this Elks year. It’s not a lofty goal when you consider that we have reached this amount for many of the past years. I understand that with the way the world is right now, it is hard to increase the goal. Lodges are closed and will have a hard time coming up with the extra funds to be able to sustain our current activity. Reach down and grab one more dollar. Believe me, the Elks National Foundation charitable giving will be needed more than ever and the funds will go a lot further now in the world that we are living in.
It is my challenge to each and every Member to practice the Elks values of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love, and Fidelity in your work, your daily lives, and everything you do.
Stacey and I are looking forward to visiting you in each of your respective states and Lodges during our travels during the next year.
About Paul R. Ryan
Paul R. Ryan was born in Elgin, IL but moved to Minnesota as an infant. Over the years he has resided in Redwood Falls, Spicer, and New London, his current home. Paul graduated from New London-Spicer High School and attended Southwest Minnesota State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree with a business management emphasis.
Paul has been a dedicated Member of our Fraternal Order since 2004, when he joined Willmar, MN Lodge No. 952. He served on the Board of Directors for 11 years and was chairman from 2009 to 2018. He served as Esteemed Leading Knight on three different occasions in 2010, 2017, and 2018, and served as Exalted Ruler in 2011. He received the Dedicated Service Award in 2009 and was named Officer of the Year in 2010. He received the Exalted Ruler Appreciation Award for Outstanding Service and Dedication in 2017 and 2018. He earned All State American Ritual honors for Leading Knight, helping his Lodge win the Minnesota State Ritual contest. He participated in the National Ritual contest at the Grand Lodge Convention in 2011.
Paul has also been on his Lodge’s Penny-A-Day program committee and was chairman from 2017 to 2019. Until being installed as GER, Paul served as his Lodge’s chairman of the PER committee and served the Minnesota Elks State Association on the Laws and Resolutions committee. He has served on his Lodge’s Hoop Shoot committee, and for the last few years was its chairman.
Paul has been distinguished by his Lodge as an “Honorary Lifetime Member.” He was installed by his State Sponsor Dwayne E. Rumney for his first term as District Deputy in 2012 when the current District Deputy could not fulfill the term. He finished that year under Grand Exalted Ruler.
Thomas Brazier and was installed into a second term by GER Millard Pickering. In 2015, Paul’s sponsor approached him about being nominated to the Board of Grand Trustees. It was an honor that brought him to his current position.
Paul has taken a vested interest in many aspects of the organization. He participated on a national ritual team and in the national ritual contest. He also won the state contest (before it became a national contest) with his rendition of the 11 O’Clock Toast. He has taken part in many Disabled American Veterans deer and turkey hunts.
Paul has been a Realtor for 25 years. He assisted with running his father’s company until recently, when he purchased it from his father. He participated as a member of his community’s version of a chamber of commerce, where he was in charge of the city’s community celebration. For many years he also served as the group’s treasurer and president.
Paul has sat on many committees for the local Realtor Association and was a chair of one of those committees. He joined the local board of directors, serving intermittently over 17 years, and was the president of the local Association of Realtors for a year. After his stint as president he served on his state’s Realtor Association for two terms, but then decided to focus his efforts on the Elks.
Paul and his wife Stacey have been friends since 1987. Paul, Stacey, and her son Jordan became a family in 2003. They have since been blessed with two more children, Cassaundra (16) and Jackson (13).
Paul enjoys many pastimes, including golf, ice fishing, and boating. He loves nearly all film genres. Stacey and Paul share a passion of football and they support the Minnesota Vikings.