Ryan Cain is truly dedicated to making the world a better place. He values community projects, gives back through volunteerism, is a great teacher and coworker, and raises a little human with the same morals. Ryan is part of Pinnacle’s Portland area crew and works on affordable housing, healthcare, and community service projects all around Oregon. We sat down with Ryan (virtually) to learn more about his background and have a little fun.
First off, why did you decide to pursue architecture?
I was 17 and excelled at math, physics, and art. I wanted to become an art teacher, but Mr. Long, my art teacher, told me my brain was made for architecture and that art teachers don’t make any money! He played me a video from the history channel on the architecture of the great depression. Community projects built around the world helped bring strength, community, and jobs back. That sold me on the profession, and I’m happy to be working on projects that bring those much-needed services and a sense of pride to communities.
With 18 years of experience, you’ve worked on numerous projects. So what’s been your favorite?
I worked on a public middle school project in New Jersey. We were building an entirely new building behind a historic façade in an underprivileged neighborhood. Every person involved was excited to upgrade the building for the neighborhood students and preserve a part of the community’s history. That project was far more rewarding than the half-a-million square foot resort/hotel-casino I worked on that received worldwide design acclaim.
Pinnacle’s mission is to enhance lives and communities. The projects we do every day fit this mission, but how do you connect with it personally.
I have been a volunteer on the steering committee for the Center for Earth Leadership for six years. It is a program that brings free, environmentally-focused education programs to the community. I have also been on the auction committee as logistics chair for my son’s public elementary school, helping raise $300,000 over four years to keep the arts, music, and dance programs running and fund a full-time in-school counselor for the students. It’s always been important to me to be involved in my community.
Pinnacle is a small firm that values its company culture. Any addition to our team must be the right fit – dedicated, creative, and collaborative. We asked Ryan a few fun questions to get to know him a little bit more:
If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
Play baseball for the Cubs as a pitcher or left field. If I could get a day’s salary of a pro baseball player, that would be a bonus!
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be an astronaut, but my extreme motion sickness crushed my dreams.
Who is your favorite author, and why?
Erik Larson is up there. His storytelling of historical events is wonderful.
If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
“Do Not Feed” because I am allergic to everything!