"Our community leadership has positioned us well to use our strengths. We need to engage our creative spirit and work ethic to address challenges."

Future 50 Class of 2020

Ryan Wilkins

Senior director of communications and facilities, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio; owner and co-founder, Olentangy River Brewing Co.

About: Ryan Wilkins has been a self-identified advocate for Columbus for nearly his entire life. He is just as proud of having been a Young Life volunteer in college as he is of his work at Ronald McDonald House for the past 11 ½ years, including being responsible for bringing the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program to Columbus, creating and managing the RMHC Vehicle Donation Program for the entire nation and helping to build the largest Ronald McDonald House in the entire world.

Wilkins also is proud of the craft brewery he created and opened in November 2018 in Lewis Center with his wife, Sarah Wilkins, and friends Scott and Bethany Schweitzer. Majority ownership of Olentangy River Brewing Co. is by women. The versatile, creative Wilkins also has recorded and released five albums of original music, selling thousands of CDs and receiving critical acclaim.

Outside of work: Wilkins is the music director at Central City Church.

50 ideas to move the region forward. Here's who else is in the Future 50 Class of 2020.

What does Columbus need to thrive? “Our city is poised to be a world leader in the next three decades. Our community leadership has positioned us well to use our strengths. We need to engage our creative spirit and work ethic to address challenges. The business community will need to partner with nonprofit leadership to build seamless streams of support. And we will need to continue to define our identity, building the brand of Columbus for the rest of the world to see. I am proud to be part of what we are going to press forward with into the next chapter of our amazing city.” 

Wilkins’ idea: “We could develop a strategy to eliminate the scourge that opioids are on our community. Our nonprofit organizations know how to serve this population. And our intellectual institutions and corporations have the talent to come up with strategies that will work. With the leadership of the first Future 50 class, we can come up with lasting tools that can help people who struggle with addiction.”

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