Meet the State Board Member: Ryan Blackman

Ryan and his family at a recent PA tournament – we hope to see those little OMERs competing soon!

Ryan Blackman
Problem 5: Performance – State Problem Captain

Ryan’s Odyssey began in 1996 as a team member from Delaware Valley in our northeast region. As a state problem captain for the past seven years, Ryan is responsible for coordinating and training volunteers. He makes sure problem 5 competitions across the state run smoothly.

Throughout his time as a team member, Ryan competed in all four divisions from elementary school through college. In high school, his team won a Ranatra Fusca award at State Finals. Almost as impressive, he met his wife while (procrastinating) at a team meeting!

Ryan went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Shippensburg University – a school he attended partly to be on a division IV team with a former team member. They earned two world championships.

In addition to serving as one of our problem captains, Ryan is a timekeeper/announcer at World Finals and also judges at tournaments in Virginia and Maryland. He has made friends with fellow judges around the globe, from Mexico to Poland to Singapore.

With all of his experience, what advice does Ryan have for us?

“Don’t forget spontaneous is worth 100 points,” he says. “Don’t scratch the floor.”

And, “Ask ‘why not?'”

Ryan currently lives in Richmond, VA, where he is a Premier Banker with Wells Fargo – a job he took because of his love for the Cost Form (we assume). He earned his MBA at West Chester University. When he’s not officiating Odyssey of the Mind tournaments, Ryan stays busy chasing his toddlers, trading pins, watching baseball (let’s go Mets!), playing in his church softball league, and volunteering at local food banks.

Ryan can be contacted at

Thank you for everything you do for Pennsylvania Odyssey of the Mind, Ryan!

A local newspaper covered Ryan and his teammate Anna’s division IV team at World Finals in 2005. Even Dr. Sam was in the audience for their World Finals long-term performance, which they treated as a spontaneous problem!