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Who Is Derek Ryan? A Man Who Loves His Home County, Loves Its Pristine Fresh Water, and Will Go To Bat For It

DerekRyan-portraitDerek Ryan didn’t pop up out of left field, hoping to win office at the ground level to begin an ascent up the ladder of government.

Others may choose that route, but Derek’s interest in earning your vote on Nov. 6 is sincere and deep-rooted — just like his family here in Orange County.

An activist, a community leader, a former small business owner, a dad, a husband … Derek’s a proactive resident of Orange County and is hell bent on doing the right thing — using reason and good judgement on the Orange Soil & Water Conservation Board.

There are no strings attached, and they need not apply.

DONATE: To Derek Ryan’s Campaign


Many decades ago, Derek’s grandfather Leroy Gilliam may have sparked a generational interest in the environment when he managed 1000s of acres of orange groves — setting things up for a third-generation horticulturist to run for office one day. And Derek’s father Doug Ryan is a retired Woody Ornamental nursery grower who helped Derek get his start in his first landscaping venture — a company called Love Your Lawn Landscape Services, catering to high end homes in Winter Park and ultimately larger commercial work.

DEREK RYAN: Facts, Background & Links

“I bring an insight and perspective to this Soil and Water board that is very relevant,” Derek said. “My team and I manage more than 2 billion gallons of irrigation water on commercial properties. I also live on a 40-acre, spring-fed lake that has been in my family for three generations so I have first-hand knowledge of proper conservation, and I want to ensure the next three or four generations of Floridians can enjoy our natural resources as well.”

Derek and his family treasure the unique characteristics of Central Florida, from the near perfect waters of the aquifer to the diversity of the soils used for development and agriculture. He understands the dynamics, having worked in the landscaping industry nearly all his adult life.

Derek is fed up with the contradictions and regulations that come down from government, and he wants to be a part of fixing it.

CAMPAIGN PAGE: Derek Ryan for Orange Soil & Water Conservation – Seat 4

DerekRyan-Meetup-2“One thing I find interesting in my industry is that many commercial property owners were told by planning and zoning to put these expensive landscapes in, including Floratam St. Augustine grass, which has become controversial with some people (because of the water and chemicals it requires),” Derek said. “People forget that government told businesses they had to install that, and now government is shutting their water off.”

Derek wants to find the happy balance between conservation/regulation and allowing businesses to … well … do business.

When the market crashed in 2008, his first company — Love Your Lawn — didn’t make it because of the financial climate of the time. Nothing was being built, so the landscaping industry was mothballed for a couple of years. When Derek saw the economy revving back up, he put his resume out and entered the commercial landscape industry as a business development manager focusing on the maintenance needs of large property owners.


In other words, Derek can see the business side of soil and water related topics while balancing it out as somebody who would stick up for the local environment his family has enjoyed for decades.

“I have a commercial perspective and a personal perspective,” Derek said.

His resume is so strong that the board has already appointed him as an Associate Supervisor, which is permitted by board bylaws. He already has one step in the door, folks, and he’s already working on your behalf.

ARTICLE (Apopka Voice): Derek Ryan wins straw poll (July 11)

Along with his family being long-time local residents, he’s also a third generation leader in the community. His grandfather was the Fire Chief of Apopka for 40 years, and distant relatives Mark V. Ryan and E.J. Ryan once served as Mayors of the City of Apopka. Having a Ryan win office in Orange County would hardly be unprecedented.

Derek would appreciate your support, and he’ll immediate pivot to helping your best interests.

“Orange County has one of the largest governments in Florida with staff and resources available to the Soil and Water Conservation board. It seems unnecessary to me that this board become an additional layer of tax burden to the residents of the district.”

“I want to make sure that’s communicated clearly, and I intend on showing what a motivated volunteer activist on this board can look like.”

ARTICLE (FloridaPolitics): Derek Ryan wins West Orange Chamber Straw poll

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Derek Ryan for Orange Soil & Water Conservation District – Seat 4: Facts, Background And Links

Derek Ryan with wife Kristine, son Drew and pooch Dillon

FULL NAME: William Derek Ryan

RUNNING FOR: Orange Soil and Water Conservation District – Seat 4 (NPA)

AGE: 42 years old

FAMILY: Wife– Kristine … Son– Drew … Father– Doug Ryan … Mother– Polly Ryan

BORN: Winter Garden, Fla. Raised in Apopka.

HIGH SCHOOL: Apopka HS graduate c/o 1993

COLLEGE: Valencia College, Mid-Florida Technical School for Auto Body Repair

CURRENT PROFESSION: Commercial Landscape Maintenance Sales at OmegaScapes, Inc. in Orlando.


WHO IS HE?: Derek Ryan’s Personal Story

POLITICAL AND LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE: After shutting his landscape and nursery businesses down due to the recession in 2008, Derek was frustrated with how government and politicians negatively affect small business owners. His interest in politics began once he discovered Ron Paul and the message of limiting government and increasing freedom. In 2012, Derek supported Libertarian Gary Johnson for President and then Adrian Wyllie for Florida Governor in 2014. During the 2016 election, he worked on presidential campaigns for Austin Petersen and then Gary Johnson as the Orange County Events Coordinator. Derek has been chairman of the Libertarian Party of Orange County, Fla. since 2016 and will continue to lead freedom loving residents in the Orlando area. He is probably best known for his political activism as a regular attendee of Orange County and City of Apopka Commission meetings, speaking often on record for important issues. Recently, he was appointed as an Associate Supervisor to the Orange Soil and Water Conservation District. Derek believes that “showing up matters” and you can trust that he will continue to do so.

NewDerekRyanLogoARTICLE (Apopka Voice): Derek Ryan wins straw poll (July 11)

HOBBIES: Derek’s biggest passions outside of being a watchdog in his community are the outdoors and his love for classic Volkswagens. He has been restoring them for over 20 years and considers himself a “Freedom-loving VW Hippy… and there are more of us than you might think.” The Florida rivers, lakes, and springs have been a love of Derek’s his whole life. Paddling the Wekiva River, Juniper Run, and Alexander Springs are a favorite pastime. “I’m a fresh water guy. I love our beaches, but I really love our lakes and springs.” Derek and his wife, Kristine, also enjoy working in their one-acre yard on Lake Heineger in Apopka.

ARTICLE (FloridaPolitics): Derek Ryan wins West Orange Chamber Straw poll

QUOTABLE: “If I ask a room full of people, ‘Who wants to preserve natural resources in Central Florida?”, everybody will raise their hands. But it’s not that simple. There’s a lot of gray area, and that’s how my landscaping background will pay dividends. If we’re going to have regulations like two days a week watering, then we must recognize who told them to put all that landscape in the ground in the first place … government. Larger properties were told they would get a certain amount of water volume and we consistently don’t have that much on the properties we manage. Irrigation zones now have to run longer so property owners can protect their investment, and it is difficult to water a large property in the restricted times allowed. You have government creating a problem on one hand, and then government trying to solve it on the other at the expense of the property owner. If we must create regulations, then they need to make sense and be realistic … otherwise we turn perfectly good people into lawbreakers. What we need to do is address the root of the problem… government planning. I’m the Devil’s advocate in the back of the room that will raise my hand and challenge these things so we can come up with better solutions.”


DONATE: To Derek Ryan’s Campaign

CAMPAIGN PAGE: Derek Ryan for Orange Soil & Water Conservation – Seat 4

FACEBOOK: Derek Ryan, Candidate Facebook Page

BALLOTPEDIA: Derek Ryan for Orange Soil & Water Conservation

LINKEDIN: Derek Ryan at Omegascapes, Inc.


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