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Springfield, MO

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2018 40 Under 40: Ryan Oldham, 33

Area director, McAlister’s Deli

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Ryan Oldham started at McAlister’s Deli in 2001 as a part-timer working through college. Today, he’s at the helm guiding nine locations and 300 employees throughout southwest Missouri. A dedicated people person, it’s Oldham’s professional track from cashier to area director that he says remains his proudest accomplishment. In addition to helping lead company efforts to impact the community at large, Oldham personally has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks Inc. and helped fundraising efforts for Heart of the Ozarks Sertoma Club Inc., A Sporting Chance Inc., Rotary Club, Ozark Empire Fair Foundation and Lost and Found Grief Center.

What was your professional aha moment? Realizing that people are the most important part of a successful business. You need to develop trust more than anything.

What do you miss most about the 1990s?
People wanted to hear original music played with real instruments and that led to a lot of great bands and music.

What is your best productivity hack? Make sure the atmosphere is positive and everyone will want to work on a better level.

What did you learn the hard way? Sometimes it really is just the right place at the right time that leads to success. You have to accept that and be grateful for the things that go right for you.

What historical figure do you identify with most? David Bowie.

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