Alan Sparn Steps into Role as New President of Wright-Ryan

July 1, 2024

Today marks a significant milestone for Wright-Ryan, one of New England’s largest and most respected construction firms, as Alan Sparn officially steps into his new role as President. He becomes only the second person to fill this role at Wright-Ryan following 40 years under the leadership of co-founder John Ryan who will continue to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors. This significant transition caps off the company’s 40th anniversary celebrations, ushering in Wright-Ryan’s next chapter of leadership, innovation, partnership, and team empowerment with a variety of upcoming initiatives and projects.
Since its founding in 1984 by Tom Wright and John Ryan, Wright-Ryan has grown to over 100 employee-owners with specialized divisions in both commercial and residential construction. As President, Alan will continue to champion the company’s strong foundation as a relationship-based firm and the key tenets that have driven its success over the last 40 years.
“As we look to the future of Wright-Ryan, I am confident that this team of employee-owners will build upon our legacy of valuing people, partnership, community, and innovation,” said Alan Sparn, President of Wright-Ryan. “These core values have guided our decisions, elevated our approach, and paved the way for our future, and we have much to be excited about in the years ahead.”
One of the ways Wright-Ryan plans to build upon its legacy is through their ongoing work to mentor and train the next generation of industry leaders. Over the past six months, 30 employee-owners have participated in Wright-Ryan’s employee Mentorship Program. This program aims to actively engage and develop the construction industry’s next generation of leaders.
A testament to their focus on mentorship, Wright-Ryan ushered in the next generation for the company’s Homes division earlier this year. In January, Greg Greenwald succeeded Greg Lanou as Vice President of Homes after eighteen years. The transition was another example of Wright-Ryan’s commitment to thoughtful succession planning, with Greg Greenwald joining the Wright-Ryan team in 2017 and receiving direct mentorship from Greg Lanou, who continues to serve as company Vice President and on the Board of Directors.
The company is also relaunching their Employee Ownership Communications Committee (EOCC), with a dedicated group of 10 team members, focused on enhancing Wright-Ryan’s employee ownership culture. Informed by ongoing listening circles, these team-forward initiatives aim to engage employee-owners at every level and will continue to develop as Wright-Ryan approaches its annual strategic planning this September. This initiative is part of a continuing commitment to the firm’s employee-owners, following Wright-Ryan’s transition to a 100% employee-owned company through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 2016.
“Becoming an ESOP was the formulation of an intent and a feeling that was always there, but it made it real,” said Cordelia Pitman, VP of Project Development for Wright-Ryan. “We are the employees, we are the owners, and the future of the company is in our hands. That is a huge milestone for our development and our future.”
Innovation will also remain at the forefront of the company’s future with the creation of a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) Council – which will explore synergies with, and the use of, current technologies including Building Information Modeling (BIM), drones, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR). Along with integrating new technology, Wright-Ryan is also looking to continue its focus on emerging sustainability methods, including mass timber construction. Recently, Wright-Ryan facilitated the use of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels in lieu of a traditional masonry elevator shaft, not only reducing the carbon footprint of the building, but also shortening the overall project schedule. Wright-Ryan continues to lead the industry with recent projects like Vertical Harvest, a first-of-its-kind vertical hydroponic farm system, and the Village Centre Apartments in Brewer – one of the nation’s first, and largest, Passive House certified multifamily affordable housing communities.
As they continue to build across Maine and New Hampshire, Wright-Ryan has an active pipeline of projects across industries with a wide variety of community partners. Recent and upcoming project partnerships include the completion of Hotel Ursa on the campus of University of Maine (UMaine) Orono, the completion of the City of Westbrook’s new downtown parking garage, the grand opening of the Tekαkαpimək Contact Station at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Patten, and a new staff housing community for Witham Family Hotels in Bar Harbor.
Showcasing the key initiatives and values outlined above, Wright-Ryan released the final episode of their “Building for Generations” video series last week. Created for the 40th anniversary year, the series takes a deep dive into the company’s past, present, and future, featuring interviews with the team and project partners. The full video series is available to watch at www.wright-ryan.com.
< All Blog Posts