I tell people, and it is true, that managing the entire situation with Ryan is every bit like running a business. It is so much so, that I actually created a business, Ryan’s Rally LLC, to do this. People need look no further than this website as proof that what I do is professional. There are just so many miniscule aspects to what needs done. There’s financial, medical and therapeutic, administrative, events and fundraisers, legal, public relations, and the list goes on. These aspect often don’t occur in isolation and seem to always intermingle with others. This is what I mean, in one respect, when I talk about “competing objectives”.
My approach is, and since the day of the attack has been, to make all decisions objectively. I call this “stepping outside of myself”. Some of you might remember me writing about this before.
I put my anger, passion, and all other emotions aside when considering the consequences. It’s essential that I do this and so far (at least) I have succeeded. If I were to make decisions as only a father, well, that would not work out well… for me, Ryan, my family, and others who are connected to these circumstances. That’s not to say my “fatherly” instincts don’t kick in. They do. Oh, how many nights have I cried for my son? But never in making decisions. I describe it like this, “I make objective decisions and advance them with the passion of a father”.
It’s a practical way of handling the carnage and the debris strewn out in all directions from it. For me, it is also a coping mechanism, I suppose. It avails itself to good, unbiased decision-making that is packaged as a dad. I used this first when Ryan’s life was in peril on the morning of the attack. I used it when I was told the name of Ryan’s attackers. How easy and understandable would it have been for me to impose fatherly justice? I didn’t though.
I kept my head and made an objective decision.
This business approach suits me (and my wife, Sue) fine. Really, it’s our sweet spot; having the advanced education and practical experience to hold up as irrefutable credentials. For example, how many people know that “Ryan’s Rally: We Got This!” (and all variations) is a trademark I claimed through the LLC? The LLC also invokes copyright protection for all content posted on this, and many other, websites and distribution channels.
Along these same lines, I have branded Ryan’s Rally.
The next step in further branding was to get a logo in place. I had a vision in my mind of what I wanted it to look like. I wanted it to be simple, easily recognizable, yet personal to Ryan. I shared this vision with a graphic designer (that I actually used when I ran another operation before the attack), Maria Madigan, and she brought it to life. It was EXACTLY what I had in mind. So, here is the the unveiling of Ryan’s Rally logo:
It is the actual profile of Ryan’s head… complete with bow tie! It uses WVU colors since he loved that school so much.