Get to Know: Jimmy Ryan

September 3, 2019

Jimmy Ryan, NCARB, joined JAI in 2015.


What is your role at JAI?

Is there an “all of the above” answer? Also: design, 3D modeling, project coordination and Photoshop wizardry.


What three words best describe you?

Passionate, loyal and creative.


What is your favorite aspect of being on the JAI team?

Waking up every day and getting to work with my friends. It’s a huge blessing to be on a well-balanced team of not only top-notch professionals but also just flat-out good people.


What three words best describe the culture at JAI?

Quirky, authentic and family.


What has been your proudest moment to date working at JAI?

Taking my entire family to eat at J.C. Holdway after it opened. It’s unusual for me to actually be the “end user” of a project I’ve worked on, and sharing that with my family was a special experience.


How has working at JAI enhanced your professional development?

JAI offers an environment where employees feel valued, appreciated and, most importantly, trusted – both with amazing projects and long-time clients. This environment has given me freedom and confidence, which has bolstered my passion for design, development and the architectural industry.


What is your go-to source for work inspiration?

Nothing helps me get the creativity flowing (or shake the rust off) like walking around Knoxville, any other amazing city or just getting outdoors. And let’s be honest: Getting out of the office doesn’t hurt either.


If you could switch places for a day with any JAI team member, which one would you choose?

Intern Michael Schmidt. Whether it’s going back to Europe, returning to the idyllic “summer intern” days, or enjoying those college summer and winter breaks, nothing sounds better. I wouldn’t even mind running an office errand or two.


What do you look most forward to at the end of a workday?

My 19-month-old loves walking (now running) around the yard and neighborhood. After dinner, he’ll often carry my shoes over, and that’s when I know it’s time to go outside.


If you were stranded alone on an island, what three material possessions would you hope to have with you?

A knife, a Wilson volleyball and a downed FedEx freightliner loaded with supplies.


What is your secret talent?

I can do a pretty mean backflip into water. A drink or two generally improves this ability.


What is your favorite place in the world?

Though I’d be happy with any beach, lake life is more realistic when landlocked. I’d say Lake Glenville, North Carolina, is the perfect combination of mountains and lake. Just don’t tell anyone about it so it stays that way…


What are you currently watching or reading?

We’re a big movie family. Though we’ve got a lot of kid movies on loop these days, once in a while I get the remote, and we’ll binge-watch a true crime docuseries like “Manhunt: Unabomber