MSA Board Chairman John T. Ryan III is the recipient of the International Safety Equipment Association's (ISEA's) Robert B. Hurley Distinguished Service Award for 2008.
He was honored at ISEA's Fall Meeting, Nov. 10, in Arlington, Va. The annual award recognizes individuals who have dedicated their professional lives to worker safety and health. Hurley was a long-time safety product manufacturing executive who died in 2002.
Safety is the Ryan family legacy. Founded by his grandfather, John Ryan, Sr., and George Dieke in 1914, publicly-traded MSA is now a world leader in the design, manufacture and supply of occupational health and safety equipment for industrial workers, emergency responders, military personnel and weekend do-it-yourselfers. With assistance from Thomas Edison, MSA developed the first flameless electric miner's cap lamp.
John Ryan III began his work at Pittsburgh-based MSA in 1969. From 1974 to 1986, he served in MSA's International Division, covering operations in South America, Asia and the Middle East. An MSA director since 1981, he was executive vice president from 1986 to 1990, overseeing the company's U.S. operations. In 1990, he was elected company president, and the following year assumed the additional responsibilities of chairman and CEO. He retired in May 2008, but continues as board chairman.
His safety leadership extends beyond the confines of his company. He served on the ISEA Board of Trustees from 1993- 2000 and was chairman for the final two years of his tenure. As chairman, he characteristically gave broad support to the ISEA mission, culminating in the association's transformation to the International Safety Equipment Association at the turn of the millennium.
Ryan and his company also have participated broadly in other associations that protect the nation's workforce, including the National Fire Protection Association and American Industrial Hygiene Association. Ryan, himself, participates actively in many civic organizations in Pittsburgh and nationally, and is a staunch supporter of his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame. Ryan also has an M.B.A from Harvard University and served as a U.S. Army intelligence officer.