Following in his stepfather’s footsteps, Ryan Dennis joined the Union as an apprentice in 1997 at the age of 19. He started out in dirt equipment like his stepfather, but before long he was asked if he’d be willing to take a job on cranes. Starting with the fundamentals, he learned all about cranes from rigging loads and oiling to cleaning and eventually operating.
Ryan took the job, starting with the building of the new (at the time) Narrows Bridge in Tacoma and he has never looked back since. He operated tower cranes for the mighty bridge structure as well as crawler cranes/mobile cranes from the swaying barges down below on that harrowing project.
“I’ve worked throughout the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years running tower cranes, mobile cranes—everything in the crane industry,” he reflects.
Another project of note was The Mark in Downtown Seattle where Ryan hung all the iron for this 48-story office and hotel building from an 830 ft tower crane. “The only thing taller than this at that time was the Columbia Center,” he recalls.
Ryan put in his time out in the field, building structures and relationships.
“When you are running a tower crane, it’s all about building from the ground up with a team of men and women,” he explains. “I love working with a team and the camaraderie we share, seeing a project take shape together.”
While he can fill in when needed out in the field, Ryan now works as a Field Rep in the office.
“I worked for Mayfield’s as a crane operator and they always took care of me in the field; they were honest and their experience is second to none.”
So when the opportunity to help lead the office team came up, Ryan jumped at the chance.
“I love what I’m doing,” he explains. “Helping people get good, exciting jobs that put food on the table for their families while getting to spend more time with family myself. It’s a real family atmosphere here.”
Tally, Ryan’s dog and office sidekick agrees, spending most of her weekdays at the office too.
When he’s not in the office or out on the jobsite, Ryan loves spending time at his property in Orondo, WA—boating on the Columbia in the summer and skiing Mission Ridge in the winter.