Mark Ryan worked his way up the ranks of the construction industry to become president of his own Minnesota-based company – Carl Bolander & Sons Co.

All along the way Mark has kept a lasting relationship with Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers.

I really appreciate the one-on-one relationship I have with the employees. I always feel like an important customer to Ritchie Bros.

Mark Ryan

Through four different companies and more than 25 years Mark Ryan has changed jobs and employers, but has always retained his relationship and dedication to Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers.

"Ritchie Bros. has always been cordial and accommodating," Mark says. "Occasionally we put equipment in the auction that is still in the dirt. They work around our schedule so it can still be refurbished and ready for auction day."

Mark is currently the co-owner and president of Carl Bolander & Sons Co., a highway heavy contractor from St. Paul, Minnesota, specializing in earthwork, demolition, underground utilities, earth retention and piling.

Carl Bolander & Sons was founded in 1924 and run by the Bolander family until Mark Ryan and Richard O'Gara purchased the company in 2005.

Mark graduated from college in 1980 and went to work with his brother at M.J. Ryan Construction as a field superintendant. He eventually left M.J. Ryan and worked his way up the ranks to become president of two different companies—first F.M. Frattalone Excavating and Grading and then Ulland Brothers, Inc.—before moving on to Carl Bolander & Sons.

"I moved to Carl Bolander & Sons because it was an opportunity for ownership," Mark says. "It provided a good opportunity for future growth because it has a strong history, good employee base and lots of resources; all the tools necessary to succeed."

Mark attended his first Ritchie Bros. auction in the 1980s.

"I started going to Ritchie Bros. auctions as soon as I finished college," he says. "Now, it's the only auction company I use to sell equipment."

Mark Ryan

But when there are so many different ways to sell, why does he keep coming back to Ritchie Bros.?

"The Ritchie Bros. unreserved policy provides integrity to the auction process by keeping a level playing field," Mark says. "I don't want to bid against the owner of a piece of equipment because they aren't getting the dollar amount they want. So, I wouldn't do that for the items I sell. Also, it's important for me to know that the equipment will sell on auction day."

Mark also purchases equipment from Ritchie Bros. to build his company's fleet. But thanks to his Ritchie Bros. territory manager Tom Nelson, he doesn't have to do much hunting.

"Tom knows our fleet well and keeps me posted about what is coming into the auction," Mark says. "If I am looking for a specific piece of equipment he is always quick to get back to me. He certainly keeps his finger on the pulse of what is happening."

Mark is looking forward to continuing to grow along with Ritchie Bros.

"I will continue to do business with Ritchie Bros. and am looking forward to the new facility they have opening up in Minnesota," Mark says. "I really appreciate the one on-one relationship I have with the employees. I always feel like an important customer to Ritchie Bros."

Written and published: 2009

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