Business Owner Ryan Gattermeir Reflects on Time as a Westminster Student
Alumni & Friends
by Ciarra Vaughn '14
Ryan Gattermeir sat comfortably in an oversized office chair, framed awards, family pictures, and his Westminster College diploma adorns the wall. Reflecting on the four years he spent at WestMo, where he graduated in 1996 with a major in Political Science, Gattermeir said, “It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, and my time there was the first stepping stone to the success I have achieved thus far in my professional life.”
Born in Jefferson City, Mo and raised 40 miles south in Lake Ozark, Gattermeir attended School of the Osage High School, and graduated with honors in 1992. He then made the decision to further his education at Westminster College, where his father had studied as well. “It was certainly my decision, but the rich education my father received and the successful business life he was building definitely encouraged my decision,” he said.
Although there were many reasons Gattermeir said he chose to attend Westminster, the thing that he felt was most beneficial was “the high level of personal attention Westminster students receive, as well as the smaller class sizes made for a better learning environment.” Looking back on his educational experience, Ryan said, “Westminster is also unique, in that, it provides an inimitable experience to its students to meet many of the great influential people of our time.” During his undergraduate years, Mr. Gattermeir met Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher and Steve Forbes. “Ultimately, I loved Westminster and still do to this day because of all the opportunities and experiences; meeting world leaders, serving as the Freshman president in ’92, each and every endeavor was an important contribution to who I am today. I’m thankful for those,” said Mr. Gattermeir.
Gattermeir said the education he received from Westminster helps him with day to day business operations because, “The type of environment the College provided fosters a willingness and need to understand different peoples and personalities because you were working closely together with fellow students and faculty.” The Westminster alumni turned lake area entrepreneur said, “In a word, I think you were more engaged with the school and the people in it. I consider that a great characteristic of good leadership and good business.”
In 2008, Gattermeir joined forces with two other lake area business moguls, Conda Davidson and Edward Schmidt, to form Gattermeir Davidson Real Estate. In 2012 the company sold 62 million dollars of real estate, increasing from 50 million dollars sold in 2011. “We are consistently one of the top two or three companies with the most sales volume in the lake area and we do that with nearly one fourth of the people our competitors have. I am very proud of that,” he said.
While discussing his proudest accomplishments, Ryan said he is most proud of his family, which includes his wife, Jennifer, and their two children, Ellie, 7 and Nicholas, 2. “From a business perspective, though, I would say I am most proud of the chances I have taken start a new real estate brokerage back in 2008 in arguably, the worst real estate market in modern history. Having the confidence in myself and my new business partners to take on a challenge that many thought we would fail at. That confidence in business I strongly attribute to my time at Westminster,” said Gattermeir.
To summarize his experience at Westminster College and how his time at the school influenced his life, Mr. Gattermeir said, “I believe success can be measured in many ways, but the relationships and friendships I made at Westminster still play an important role in my day to day business life today.”