Ryan Traylor '01
“Radford University helped me grow as a person and allowed me to meet a variety of people from very different backgrounds,” says Ryan Traylor ’01, director of catering for Mosaic Catering + Events in Richmond. Traylor will serve an essential function for Radford University on July 14, as he and the hospitality company will be catering President Hemphill’s alumni tour stop in Richmond.
“Everything, every day, is different,” Traylor says regarding his work. “It’s what drives me. We push ourselves creatively, which allows me to really flex all of my muscles.”
The aforementioned creativity begins long before the first table is even set. “Depending on the size of the event, we begin planning anywhere from eight months to a year-and-a-half out,” explains Traylor. “A majority of that time is spent on logistics and strategic planning.
“MOSAIC is more than just catering. We are a full-service event company – so we have a service for everyone.”
The “aim to please” attitude is apparent in Traylor, and has been since childhood. Which is how, during a visit to the Radford University campus, a young Traylor discovered he was exactly where he needed to be.
“Radford University’s orientation process resonated with me,” he explains. “Especially as someone who was – even at that time – interested in the field of hospitality.”
Growing up in the Roanoke area, Traylor was no stranger to Radford University. However, he never realized what the university could, and would, offer him until that visit. “I fell in love with the campus. The small town feel really clicked with me. The size and scale of everything as well as the small teacher-to-student ratio was a perfect learning environment for me.”
Already knowing that he wanted to go into hospitality, Traylor began as a business management major, but quickly discovered that marketing was a better fit for his creative personality. “I took one marketing class and that was it,” he explains. “Don’t be afraid to change your major. Do what interests you, follow your passion and you will find success.”
Success is exactly what Traylor has found. After working in marketing for a short period after graduation, Traylor began at MOSAIC where he has spent his last 15 years in a variety of roles. He attributes some of that flexibility to his time at Radford University.
“Radford University gave me the opportunity to find my interests in different things,” he says. Traylor even got an early start on his future career while at the university, working for a time with RU Catering.
“It allowed me to earn some extra money while still being on campus,” Traylor explains. “The university offered so much variety in both the classroom and in the extracurricular activities available.”
The most important thing the university offered Traylor, however, was the opportunity to discover and grow.
“I learned how to want to learn at Radford University,” he explains. “I now understand the knowledge that you gain through education, as well as the importance of continuing your education.
“In my industry you always want to be the expert in the room.”
To learn more about President Hemphill’s alumni tour schedule, please visit http://www.radford.edu/content/alumni-relations/home/hemphill-tour.html.