Sound­ing Board


Your voice, your projects, your shop.

While shop­ping with his new bride nearly 20 years ago, my co­worker at Ryan Com­pa­nies, Rolly Stevens, was dis­ap­pointed in the high prices and low qual­ity of com­mer­cially made fur­ni­ture. So, he struck a deal with his wife’s grand­fa­ther, who had a small wood­shop. Rolly bought the lum­ber, and Grand­dad taught him how to make cof­fee ta­bles, end ta­bles, and more.

Rolly’s wood­work­ing skills be­came known at the of­fice when he be­gan to do­nate his hand­made wooden toys for Ryan’s an­nual char­ity auc­tion, and in 2017 he was ap­proached by com­pany lead­er­ship to build a model of the Minneapolis area. Work­ing nights and week­ends, Rolly spent more than 750 hours craft­ing more than 150 build­ings, three bridges, a lock and dam, and river­front out of paint-grade hard­wood and po­plar.

Now this beau­ti­ful model is show­cased in the Ryan Com­pa­nies’ front lobby for all to see.

—Katie An­der­son Minneapolis

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