Inspiration hit on an afternoon in early April.
Eddie Lehner, President and CEO of Ryerson, was spending time at home with his family thinking about the metal dinosaur that Alan Singleton, the Texas Multi-Market General Manager, had sent him a year ago. It was time, being at home a lot more during the April shutdown, to finally open the box. After putting the dinosaur together with his daughter Scarlett (mostly Scarlett), he started messaging Alan. The question was, in a time of pandemic, unusual stresses and heightened anxieties could we do something that would weave together our shared love of manufacturing, metal, and the animal kingdom? As legends and mythology go, one thing led to another and over the course of a few days and with the help of many “can-do” hands and minds, the idea for the Ryger was born.
The Ryger is a 28” tall, 48” long, 33-pound all-aluminum metal sculpture. True to the experience that Lehner and his family had with their metal dinosaur, recipients would assemble their very own Ryger.
LaserFlex, part of the Ryerson Family of Companies located in South Carolina, would engineer and laser cut the pieces. And after the first test run, they knew they had a winner.
Now the plan: To give 100 Rygers to customers and donate to COVID-19 relief efforts in the process. Even in very difficult times and in respect of the decisions and actions necessary during these times, we had some metal, great colleagues, and a will to make a positive difference in ways that cost little but mean a lot.
Enter Project HOPE. Project HOPE operates around the world, wherever the need is greatest, working side-by-side with local health workers and addressing public health challenges to enable people to live their best lives. With each Ryger given to a customer, Ryerson donates $50 to Project HOPE and we build further the goodwill that exists between Ryerson, its employees, its customers, and our communities.
Since we kicked-off roughly one month ago, we have shipped Rygers to Ryerson customers across the United States, many of whom have shared their stories on the social media and professional networking platforms Instagram and LinkedIn. If you like the testimonials and Ryger stories, let us know what you think.
Whether you like metal sculptures, a beautiful aluminum representation of a tiger, or just dig the whole beauty meets utility of a Ryger with some backyard payload, give it a “like” if so moved. One day, hopefully soon, when it is easier and safer for us all to be together in physical space as opposed to virtually, we might just have a Ryerson Industrial Metals Zoo. “If we build it, we will come.”
In a time of great challenge and difficulty in the world and in our communities, we continue to find the best in ourselves to create and to give. Especially when there is less, we find a way to give more.