President and CEO
St. Andrew’s Resources for Seniors System
Mary Alice Ryan graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 1979 and received a master’s degree in Health Care administration. She spent four years as the Administrator at Manor Grove in Kirkwood, Missouri. Mary Alice joined St. Andrew’s Resources for Seniors System as Vice President of Operations in 1983. Her leadership abilities were evident and she soon became the first woman to lead St. Andrew’s as President and CEO in Mary Alice spent a total of 38 years at St. Andrew’s Resources for Seniors System and is one of the few women to lead a large multi-facility non-profit senior services organization in the United States.
Mary Alice oversaw St. Andrew’s growth from two senior apartment buildings in 1983 to sixteen senior communities in 2020 including skilled nursing, assisted living, HUD 2020 senior apartments, and independent living. She helped to establish St. Andrew’s home & community-based services, Handy House Doc, Caring Workplace and the St. Andrew’s Charitable Foundation. St. Andrew’s brings in $87 million in revenues, employs over 1,100 people, serves more than 8,700 seniors and is ranked by the St. Louis Business Journal as the 12th largest nonprofit organization in the area. St. Andrew’s Management Services has served dozens of other senior service organizations through consulting and management. Mary Alice Ryan has transformed St. Andrew’s. It has grown exponentially in size and in services offered, meeting the needs of thousands of seniors and their caregivers annually.
Her tireless service, leadership, and visionary ability extends beyond the St. Andrew’s family as witnessed by the number of organizations who have enlisted her support and guidance over the years. She served as a former Chair of the American Association of Homes & Services for the Aging (now called LeadingAge), Leading Age Treasurer, Board President of LeadingAge Missouri, LeadingAge Illinois and Chair of LeadingAge’s Development Corporation where she was instrumental in more than $6 billion in financing for senior living facilities in the United States. Mary Alice also served as Board member with Institute of the Future of Aging Services (now called Global Ageing Network), International Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing, St. Louis Village, Board Chair of CareLinc Options and Former Adjunct Faculty for Washington University’s Health Care Administration program.
Mary Alice has been recognized by local, state, national and international organizations and has received numerous awards. She was the first woman to receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Washington University in St. Louis. She received LeadingAge Missouri’s highest award of honor, the E. Willis Piehl Award. Mary Alice was the recipient of the LeadingAge Missouri’s Award of Honor, McKnight’s Women of Distinction, and the Older Women’s League Woman of Worth Award. She is a highly respected guest speaker at numerous events around the St. Louis area.
Mary Alice wanted to change the public’s perception of growing older so she started “Ageless Remarkable St. Louis” in 2003. This annual event recognizes and celebrates the current achievements of St. Louisans 75 years and older (many over 100, one at 106) who are making a tremendous impact in St. Louis through philanthropy, volunteerism and leadership. Each year a new “class” of Ageless St. Louisans is formed, demonstrating the difference these amazing individuals make in our community. The event raises funds for the St. Andrew’s Charitable Foundation, helping low-income older adults through programs and services in the St. Louis area.
These funds assist seniors who are at-risk and supplies innovative services that help them remain at home and improve their lives. The foundation provides funding for Circle of Care, Safe Home for Seniors, Homer Schmitz Memorial Health Clinic, Benevolent Care Fund and Holiday Hugs. The event to date has honored almost 400 St. Louisans and raised millions of dollars. Mary Alice’s focus on the dignity and well-being of the people she serves is evident in all she has accomplished in the senior living industry.
“Spending my career at St. Andrew’s has been a remarkable experience,” Mrs. Ryan said. “I’ve been privileged to work with many wonderful people, and together we’ve helped improve the lives of thousands of our community’s senior citizens and their families. It’s truly been a labor of love, and an experience that I’ll miss in many ways.”
– Mary Alice Ryan, CEO, St. Andrew’s Resources for Seniors System