Ryan describes his career at TIAA as a “dream.” He started as a financial consultant in the National Contact Center helping participants to plan for their retirement and progressed to his current role leading Nuveen Real Estate’s efforts to source, underwrite, and execute new commercial mortgage opportunities on behalf of TIAA Bank.
What role does innovation play in your current role? Where do your best ideas come from?
Innovation happens every day in my role. No two commercial mortgage deals are ever the same. I have to be innovative in the way I analyze the deal. My best ideas come from talking through problems or deals with my peers.
Describe the culture at TIAA. What makes it unique?
The clients we serve drive the culture at TIAA and it’s what makes us unique. When you know your decisions help a college professor, librarian or nurse retire, you want to go the extra mile for people who dedicate their lives to helping others.
What does "giving back" mean to you – personally and professionally?
Giving back means “paying it forward.” I would never have gotten where I am if it weren’t for a great support system including my family, friends and mentors. So I give back on a professional level by mentoring employees and people in the Charlotte community.
Who has inspired you the most in your life and why?
My uncle, Gary Simmons, is my biggest inspiration. He grew up in poverty and has since done very well for himself and his family. He’s inspired me to be relentless, driven and creative in my pursuit of success.