Director of Marketing & Communications
Ryan joined VRLTA with over a decade of experience in tourism and event marketing. Prior to joining the Association, he held the positions of Art Director for the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and Digital Communications manager at Richmond Raceway. Ryan started his career in Southern Florida, managing public relations for the 2013 Discover Orange Bowl and 2013 BCS National Championship game. He attended Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, and graduated with Bachelors degrees in Communications and English. Ryan spends his free time traveling and attending concerts and events with his wife, Emily, and spending time with their two dogs Mac and Bowser.
More about Ryan...
What is your ultimate Virginia weekend getaway?
I absolutely love the Eastern Shore, and think Cape Charles is one of the state's real hidden gems (although maybe it's not so hidden anymore)! It has that small-town feel while still supporting some incredible restaurants and the kind of beaches where you can walk 100 yards into the water and have it still come up to your waist. Plus, it gives you the chance to swing through Fort Monroe on the way back to Richmond and grab a pack of sours at Oozlefinch Beers and Blending.
What is your favorite cuisine, and a favorite Virginia restaurant that serves it?
It all depends on the mood, but if I had to pick one it's tough to beat an incredible steak. Buckhead's in Richmond is our go-to spot to celebrate special occasions and we've never been disappointed. Although I will say that ZZQ's brisket can go toe-to-toe with any barbecue in the country.
Which places are on your travel bucket list – Virginia and beyond?
The Grayson Highlands is number one on my Virginia bucket list. I really want to hike there in the Spring when the blueberries are starting to ripen and the wild ponies can be seen out and about. Going outside the state, Australia has been a dream destination of mine pretty much my entire life.
Mountains or beach?
Despite being from Hokie country - I've got to go with the beach on this one. Like Zac Brown would say; toes in the water, ass in the sand, cold drink in my hand, no worries in the world - life's good.
Eat out or carry out?
Eating out for sure! Dining is an experience, and I think you lose a little of that when you aren't able to enjoy the food the way the chef or cook intended. Plus, Richmond has so many great restaurants, it feels like there's always something new to try.
Amusement park or camping?
Camping! Don't get me wrong, I love rocking a roller coaster and visiting Kings Dominion's Haunted Halloween is one of Emily and I's favorite dates each year. But crowds can stress me out sometimes, and Virginia has so many beautiful state and national parks to explore. And if you don't like roughing it, the "glamping" experience at Sandy River Outdoor Adventure is a 10/10 recommend.
What’s your area’s best-kept secret?
If I told you, it wouldn't be a secret.
Favorite place for a beer or a cocktail?
I love the craft beer explosion that's taken place in Richmond over the past decade. Triple Crossing in Fulton Hill is a great place to enjoy a Falcon Smash with a pepperoni and hot honey pizza after a day of disc golf or riding the Capital Trail.