Ryan Ovenden — Investment Advisor
Ryan Ovenden, Covenant Award for Community Recipient, 2003-04 Academic Year
Ryan Ovenden '04, originally from Sioux Falls, majored in exercise science and fitness management. He received the Covenant Award for Community for the 2003-04 academic year.
Q. Tell us about your journey after graduating from Augustana — your career path (what are you doing now), family, education (graduate school), travel, etc.
A. I am currently running my own registered investment advisory firm in Sioux Falls called Freedom Financial Counseling, Inc. The liberal arts focus at Augie taught me that I could learn just about anything if I put in the work. I still use my degree as I lead a Christian-based strength and conditioning camp called Camp Steward, but most of my work hours are spent helping people in the area of financial stewardship.
Danae and I have been married for 13 years now and are blessed with six children; Cooper (10), Callum (9), Simeon (7), Judah (4), Aemon (2) and Sylvie (8 months). We homeschool our kids, and although it can be stressful at times and certainly isn't for everyone, getting to participate in much of our children's growth has been the most rewarding experience of my life. God is teaching me about His love for me in a profound way through my family.
Q. Favorite class or favorite professor at Augustana, and why?
A. My favorite classes at Augie were business classes with Shelly Gardner and history classes with Michael Mullin. They are both so passionate about their area of study and their students, they made me want to learn things that had little to do with my major. I really enjoyed classes with Sherry Barkley and Brian Gerry in the exercise science department as well.
Q. If you could offer an Augustana student some advice, what would you say?
A. The advice I would give to current and future Augie students is to get involved. You can take classes and get degrees online, but you can only form community when you choose to participate in that community. I didn't go to everything but, when I could, I tried to attend events outside of my niche on campus. Go to Vespers. Watch a wrestling match. Check out a Senior Art Show. Get into a Bible study. Show people that you care about what they care about. Connecting with different people is what creates community, and developing friendships with so many different people at Augie was the most rewarding part of my time on campus.