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Ryan Podvin honored as a ‘40 Under 40’ Business Leader

Congratulations to Ryan Podvin, manager of Decision Support for Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, who’s been named one of the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Business Leaders.

He is among the 2017 class of honorees selected for the honor based on business and career goals and achievements; industry expertise and leadership; and community participation and leadership. The Business Journal received 383 nominations and reviewed 240 final candidates.

The Grand Rapids Business Journal is hosting a celebration for the honorees, nominees, alumni and the West Michigan business community on Oct. 24 at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. Additionally, the 2017 class will be profiled in a special magazine supplement to the Oct. 16 issue of the Grand Rapids Business Journal.

Ryan, 32, called the honor humbling.

“I am honored, humbled and thankful to be recognized among the other honorees,” he said. “It will be one of the many milestones in my journey from patient and visitor to leader and champion of Mary Free Bed and Grand Rapids that I will always treasure.”

Ryan started working at Mary Free Bed as an intern in 2012, first in Human Resources then in the Finance, Accounting and Revenue Cycle department while earning his Master of Business Administration in Finance at Grand Valley State University. He was hired full-time in 2013 as a decision support analyst and was soon asked to take over management of the department.

Ryan provides innovative and effective financial pro forma and business plans that help fuel the hospital’s growth, improving integration of operations and financial results across the organization and the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Network of 31 hospitals across Michigan, said Randy DeNeff, the hospital’s Chief Financial Officer.

“Ryan is a dynamic, driven professional and passionate community advocate,” said Randy, who nominated Ryan for the honor.

Ryan’s connection to Mary Free Bed runs deeper than his professional association. He spent several months in intensive rehabilitation after sustaining a spinal cord injury in a 2010 diving accident.

After graduating from Mary Free Bed, Ryan knew his disability prevented a return to an established and successful career in landscape architecture. That’s when he refocused his career aspirations on finance and went back to school, obtaining an MBA at Grand Valley State University. Today, he leads a growing team of financial and clinical analysts responsible for successful initiatives behind Mary Free Bed’s $66.4 million physical expansion and renovation, as well as its reputation as a leader in rehabilitation.

Additionally, Ryan mentors patients as part of Mary Free Bed’s Spinal Cord Injury Peer Support Program and serves as a “test patient” for physical and occupational therapy students doing their clinical rotations.

“It’s rewarding to remember where I started and to show (students) what’s possible when they deliver exceptional care,” he said.

Ryan’s service extends to the West Michigan community. He’s a member of the Blandford Nature Center Board and is its finance committee treasurer, helping to lead a transformational time for the Grand Rapids gem.

“Through some strange version of fate, an accident that left me partially-paralyzed opened a door to seek higher education and eventually join Mary Free Bed professionally,” Ryan said. “It was through my network at Mary Free Bed that I have been able to help grow rehabilitation services around the state and help Blandford serve its mission in our community.”

Ryan and his wife, Jessica, also support the Literacy Center of West Michigan, D.A. Blodgett St. John’s, Mary Free Bed Foundation and the Grand Valley and Michigan State University alumni associations.

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