Life at Walnut Capital: Ryan Lebanik

So, what's it like to work at Walnut Capital?

That's a loaded question. Further, what's it like to work at Walnut Capital for over 20 years??? Only a few people can answer that... we asked Ryan for his take!

Meet Ryan Lebanik, Walnut Capital’s Maintenance Manager!

Rewind 20 years ago… he was just a young kid with no maintenance experience and a can-do attitude. A key find if you ask me!

 Ryan is a worker bee, working at one place or another since he was 13. Before finding his perfect match at Walnut Capital he was an IronWorker who was afraid of heights. Needless to say, suspended in the air working on bridges was not his thing. He was scared for his life everyday. And that’s no way to live!

In 2001, casually flipping through the paper, he came across an ad for a Maintenance Technician and figured, what the heck! He met with Gregg Perelman for his interview and the rest is history! He knew practically nothing about maintenance but assured Gregg that he could learn how to do anything. The interview was on Thursday and Gregg asked him to start the very next day. Ryan decided to start on the following Monday and enjoy his last weekend of freedom… ain’t that the truth!

At that time, there was only one other maintenance technician on the team, the infamous Tom Koziara!

They worked together to tend to our properties in Squirrel Hill and Shadyside. They would go about their business and pick up fax after fax of maintenance requests coming from the office. Remember fax machines? Yikes.

Ryan was proud to work at Walnut Capital. He grew up in Greenfield and thought it was awesome to work for a company making such an impact in Pittsburgh. Fast forward to today, and that feeling is still there and couldn’t be more true. Walnut Capital has grown exponentially. Project after project, one bigger than the next. He has also grown with the company and is now in a managerial position responsible for teaching his team the “Walnut Capital way” as he put it.

...The Walnut Capital Way, what does that mean?

The minute Gregg and Todd added “The Best In City Living” Tagline to their brand, everything changed. I wasn’t just a maintenance guy anymore. It was expected that you didn’t go into a unit, fix the problem and leave. It was all about customer service and being the face of the company.

That still holds true today and Ryan makes sure his team is trained on all the ins and outs of our historic properties, but also the excellent customer service that is a big part of the job. He said it’s hard to choose his favorite thing about his job, but the growth of the maintenance department is definitely one of them. He loves helping people learn and get better at something and takes pride in being a part of the journey from a two-man show to a full squad that is well-rounded and needs little help from outside contractors.

He likes the bigger team, and likes where the company is headed.

"People have told Gregg he is crazy for years. But when it’s all said and done, the visions come to life. He knows what he’s doing."

From that random Thursday back in 2001, Ryan and Gregg have a lotttt of history to date. Ryan is close with the entire Perelman family and has watched all three girls grow up. He’s more than your average employee and always willing to lend a helping hand, no matter how big the ask. When he’s not at work, 9 times out of 10 you can find him on the golf course. He’s got a mean golf game and in the summertime, the farmers tan to prove it!

So there you have it! A little glimpse into Ryan Lebanik’s nine to five for the past 20 years. What’s in store for the next 20? Stay tuned!