Welcome to “Who the Folk?!” Every week on Monday we feature a new member of the community as our “Person of the Week.” Last week week we got to know David Milavetz. This week meet Ryan Rutzick! Know someone we should feature? Nominate them by sending an email to [email protected].
Ryan: Yes, I grew up in Saint Paul and followed my wife to her hometown of Minnetonka. I have lived in Lawrence, Kansas and Madison, Wisconsin but the Twin Cities have always been my home. I love it here!
TCJ: You’re running for office in Minnetonka. Have you always been interested in public service?
Ryan: While I’ve always been indirectly involved in politics through my work with various political organizations, only recently did I make the decision to enter the sphere of public service. I’m a firm believer that everyone needs to give back to the community in some way to make it a better place, so when this opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t pass up the chance to help advance our great state. I have always been confident that my experience and business acumen would help make a difference in our community.
TCJ: You also run ALL, Inc., a family-owned appliance and cabinet distribution company. What’s something cool we wouldn’t expect about the appliance and cabinet business?
Ryan: Kitchens are the focal point of every home. ALL, Inc. is one of the largest appliance and cabinet distribution companies in the multi-family industry in the Midwest. If you live in a rental unit in the Twin Cities, there is a 75% chance your appliances came from us. In addition, we supply to some of the largest and notable homes in the Twin Cities. Local celebrities like Justin Morneau, Frank Vascellaro & Amelia Santaniello, and Will Steeger, have all worked with us to create their dream kitchen.
TCJ: Are you involved in any other TC organizations?
Ryan: Since running for office, I have removed myself off of many executive boards but I have served on the board of directors of the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce (SPACC), MN Multi-Housing Association, JFCS NextGen. I am a founding member of the SPACC Young Professionals, and also received the SPACC Deubener Award for Emerging Volunteer of the Year in 2011. In addition, I have helped a variety of non-profits with fundraising including the American Diabetes Association, Minneapolis Jewish Federation, JFCS, Minneapolis JCC, Children’s Hospitals, CommonBond Communities, and many more.
TCJ: We’re taking an informal survey. Which of the many Jewish summer camps gets you most ferklempt?
Ryan: I had lots of great memories at all the summer camps I attended (including St. Paul JCC’s Camp Butwin and Herzl Camp). It would be hard for me to pick one as all of them profoundly influenced me in different ways.
TCJ: What’s your favorite Jewish holiday?
Ryan: Yom Kippur is by far the most special holiday to me. It is the one day of the year where I can reflect on who I am and what I can do to be better, and what I can do to make a difference in this world. Judaism is so much about improving your inner self and doing well for others and Yom Kippur is the self-reflection of that belief.
TCJ: What’s your favorite Jewish food?
Ryan: I have two favorites: kasha varnishkes and my mom’s incredible apricot hamantaschens. Both are far from healthy but I love them anyway! A little extra carbs every so often won’t hurt anyone!
TCJ: Who is the coolest Jew?
Ryan: Milton Friedman and Golda Meir…both were pioneers in their own fields. They were both fighters in their beliefs and both worked hard to make the environment around them better. Golda worked for her tireless leadership for Israel. Milton strived for his indelible mark on economics. There are so many more Jews out there that have made an impact on our country and the world. In addition, my grandfather, Sherman Rutzick, is someone that has had a profound impact on my life.
TCJ: What’s your favorite thing to do in the Cities?
Ryan: I love playing hockey! Whether it is 90 degrees in the summer or 20 below zero in the winter, I greatly enjoy playing with all of my friends – many of whom I’ve been playing with for over 15 years.
TCJ: What else do you do for fun?
Ryan: With two young children, my definition of “fun” sure has changed over the last few years! I enjoy cooking, so recently I’ve been having a lot of fun teaching my 3 year old Ramsey his way around a kitchen.
TCJ: Give us one more reason you’re folking awesome!
Ryan: In 2013 I was a legend character (West Wind – the cowboy) for the Saint Paul Winter Carnival which is the one of oldest and largest winter festivals in the US. I attended 375 events, walked in over 50 community parades, and logged over 2200 hours of volunteer work. Yee Haw!Click here to nominate your favorite TC Jew to be featured on our weekly Who the Folk?! series!