By Bethany Good
Ryan Stadt grew up in Michigan on a Christmas tree farm. He lived in Massachusetts for about 15 years before moving with his family to Frederick County. He spent a year in rural Alaska working as an RA at a boarding school. Ryan is passionate about teaching and helping others develop their skills. Currently, Ryan lives with his wife, Kate Stadt, and their 4-year-old daughter, Sophie, in New Market. He joined Cowork Frederick in 2021.
Ryan finds it challenging to narrow down his interests. He is a woodworker and a knitter, and currently, he is learning how to sew. Even though he’s sworn off home renovations, he gets drawn into working on some pesky tasks. Ryan has an academic background in philosophy, literature, language studies (he’s taken some French, Russian, and Koine Greek), and mathematics. He also played the piano and trombone, and he’s done some choral singing too.
“I feel the need to balance sedentary and hands-on work because it helps my brain reset. I go between house projects, yard work, and woodworking at home,” Ryan explains. “When I come to Cowork Frederick, I always bring my knitting bag.”His primary volunteer project is helping out with The Chairmaker’s Toolbox, an equity project in the woodworking world started by his friend, Aspen Golann. He’s also pursuing a certification with the Hudson Institute of Coaching. Ryan is in the process of launching a side business doing career and leadership coaching. After Thanksgiving, he will have space for a few additional clients. “It’s gratifying work, and eventually, I’d like to focus more on my coaching business,” he says.
Why we love Ryan
Ryan brings much-needed levity and light to our community. From day one, his friendliness and helpful attitude drew others to him. He is always willing to share a meal, a brisk walk, or laugh with other members. His woodworking skills came in handy when we needed new tables for our expanded coworking space, he took the time to build and finish them for us. He is quick to crack a joke or offer a word of encouragement to others. We are proud to have Ryan as part of the Cowork Frederick family.
Q&A with Ryan
Your work and business, tell us how and why.
I started my career as a high school math teacher, then transitioned into educational technology. I managed a tech team for a couple of years before I saw the posting for my current role. I work for Cengage Group, an education, and technology company. My position is called “Talent Development,” a subset of HR in the corporate world. My role is to help employees grow their careers and improve their human skills. It’s perfect to merge my desire to develop others with my teaching/training background.
What inspires you and keeps you going?
I have a purpose statement written for myself! Here it is: My purpose is to help others clearly see their center, connect it with the world, and live engaged, purposeful lives.
Cowork Frederick members tend to be a little unconventional. How does that apply to you?
My biggest “rebellion” is to push against our society’s desire to alienate humans from their environment. I want to go to the source. I’m always curious about the how and why. My propensity for taking on projects and hobbies grows out of this. We feel lonely and isolated when we move through the world without knowing where our food, clothing, homes, and luxuries come from. We also end up perpetuating deeply harmful environmental and social practices. Is one dude knitting sweaters going to stop that? Of course not, but if more of us learn how to make the things we need, we could tip the balance toward sustainability.
Which of the guiding values defined by Cowork Frederick members speaks to you?
Resilience is a big part of my work. In my corporate talent development role and coaching, I encourage people to try out strategies that may feel strange to them. They may work or not, but viewing them as experiments makes it easier to maintain a growth mindset and learn from failure. For example, if you block off the first hour of your day as focus time and then get sidetracked by emails and Slack messages, it’s fruitful to step back and figure out why that’s happening instead of beating yourself up about it. Resilience enables that.
Any tips for people looking to get into the Talent Development space?
The Talent Development space is an excellent fit for people who like helping others maximize their potential. If you want to get into it, I have three pieces of advice.
- Designing and delivering learning experiences is a core skill in Talent Development. To build it, find opportunities to teach other people what you know. It could be anything: cooking, baseball, marketing automation, whatever. Don’t undersell yourself! I guarantee you know something that other people don’t. Find your expertise and share it.
- Practice asking good questions. This is a core life skill, but I use it even more in Talent Development than when I worked in technology. When you meet a new person, try to uncover what they like talking about and learn as much from them as possible.
- Stay on top of your own development. In my line of work, I’m asked to help others get better at communicating, delegating, influencing, and motivating–if I don’t stay on top of my growth, I can’t help others get better at these things.
Why Cowork Frederick?
I moved to the Frederick area in March of 2021 and work remotely. Quite honestly, I was getting depressed working alone at home all the time in a new place where I didn’t have any connections. Being part of the community here has helped me establish those connections and kept me from being a sad, unproductive lump on the floor.
For those who want to learn more, how can you be reached?
LinkedIn is the best way to get in touch.
About the Author
Bethany Good is a prolific poet, creative writer, author, copywriter, editor, and storyteller. Her work has been featured in PopSugar, Frederick Lifestyle Magazine, Patapsco Valley Living Magazine, and Columbia Inspired Magazine. Bethany is also the founder and “Head Wordsmith” of Good Writing Co., which provides copywriting, digital marketing, editing, and other content writing services. Find out how Good Writing Co. can help you or your business at goodwritingco.com.