Mary Alice Ryan

President Emeritus
St. Andrew�s Resources for Seniors System

Location: St. Louis, MO
Founded: 1961
Industry: Senior Services

As the president emeritus of St. Andrew’s Resources for Seniors System, Mary Alice Ryan said her retired role is to be a mentor to those in her field who are progressing in their careers. “At this stage, I can be the trusted guide rather than the boss,” she said. “I can hold their confidences and help move them toward their dreams.”

Ryan embodies the definition of a Titan, said her staff. “She is creative, intuitive and resourceful and has a love of adventure that makes those working with her willingly go along for the journey,” they said. “She is a coach and a natural born leader. Combine that with her sense of humor and you have an individual with the God-given ability to inspire others to do great things.”

St. Andrew’s Resources for Seniors System’s vision is a society where all elders are respected, productive, secure and fulfilled with a mission to empower elders and their caregivers through choices and options that foster a vital life.

Under Ryan’s leadership, St. Andrew’s has grown from two senior apartment buildings in 1983 to 16 senior communities with more than 1,100 employees serving more than 8,700 seniors yearly. St. Andrew’s was also ranked as the 12th largest nonprofit organization in the area by the St. Louis Business Journal. Originated in 1961, the nonprofit has also supported a charitable foundation that serves thousands of low-income seniors yearly and the Circle of Care program, which helps more than 1,800 seniors live independently, in their homes, for as long as possible.

Ryan’s efforts as a leader have not gone unnoticed. She has been named one of the Most Influential Business Women for the Class of 2021 by the St. Louis Business Journal and other accolades locally.

Ryan has been a key part of the success of the organization, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. “She guided us through ‘one step at a time,’ and emphasized that first you instill calm in your residents, families and staff,” said her colleagues. “Then, you empower your staff, recognizing their talents and showing them how to do their best for their residents and families.”

Ryan also empowers others as a leader, encouraging excellent coaching, encouragement and communication. “It is a marathon, not a sprint,” she said. The marathon involves expanding support of seniors with more access to home health services in the future. “Seniors’ wants and needs are changing, and we will change to meet those needs,” said Ryan.

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Mary Alice once introduced the Beach Boys on stage for a live performance.

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