A Tale of Adventure, Guts and Giving


Share This Content


First, some things you should know about Ryan Foss. Years ago when he was 16, he worked in our mailroom. Not the most glamorous job, but make a mistake and things went off the rails. But he didn’t and we didn’t. He was our youngest rock star and, through the years would prove himself time and again by opting for adventure vs. convention. Our kind of guy. He went on to establish himself as a musician. And a chef. A nonprofit leader. A dad and husband. And now, an equally strong innovator at Brightpeak Financial.

If that’s not enough, he has challenged himself physically in countless marathons (extreme jungles, anyone?), climbing Kilamanjaro and more. Which brings us to this week.

Ryan along with Erin Hammer, a friend from grad school, competed in what’s being billed as the ultimate test of endurance, pursuing a 3,000-mile rowing trek across the world’s largest ocean. The 2016 Great Pacific Race marks the second time in the nation’s history that teams have battled harsh wind patterns, unpredictable climates and erratic conditions from Monterey, California to Waikiki, Hawaii.

In the process, they succeeded in raising over $150,000 in funds for the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Children’s Hospital Colorado and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. What better cause, given the endurance these patients exhibit every day? Russell Herder has been providing pro bono support via public relations and social media.

They stepped up to the kind of adventure few of us would have the heart to consider, and gave it their all. On their journey, they experienced a vicious ocean, a capsized boat, a broken wrist. When they could go no further, they were airlifted out. Although we can’t imagine the physical and emotional toll of it all, we commend their spirit, and willingness to attack such a daunting challenge. Some people simply inspire those around them. Ryan Foss and Erin Hammer are two such individuals,

So even as we’re saluting their achievements, strength and courage, we can’t help but recall young Ryan Foss, and applaud the man he’s become.