Tuesday, October 16, 2018
 Sargento COO and Executive VP, Mark Rhyan, Passes Away  

Mark Rhyan always looked for the best in people. From his colleagues at Sargento, where he acted as a mentor wherever he was needed, to his commitment to the Plymouth School Board, speaking engagements or working with students through Junior Achievement, he wanted to help.

Rhyan, 53, died Christmas day of pancreatic cancer. “Mark was a person that cared a great deal about people,” said Lou Gentine, former CEO of Sargento, where Rhyan was executive vice president. “He wanted to help obviously the company succeed, but he also wanted (people) to succeed both professionally and personally.”

Rhyan, who is survived by his wife, Karen, and his children, Corwin and Nicola, always made his family his top priority despite his many commitments, Gentine said.

“In so many ways, his personal life revolved around Karen and Corey and Nikki,” Gentine said. “He loved his family. His office was covered with pictures of his wife and his two children. They meant so much to him. That was very, very important for him.”

Professionally, Rhyan started out as a CPA for Price Waterhouse in Denver, after which he managed a Milwaukee bakery and restaurant, La Boulangerie, Inc., and Rhyan’s Restaurant with his brother, Dale Rhyan.

From there he returned to Price Waterhouse as tax manager in the company’s Milwaukee office. He started as Sargento’s director of tax in 1992. He later became chief operating officer and executive vice president.

“He was a critical member of the team, not only from what he was able to do in his role, related to operations, but the insights he had to the rest of the leadership team here,’ Gentine said. “He was a very collaborative person ... he was a mentor to myself and other members of our team. We always looked to Mark for his insights.”

Gentine, who ceded the helm of the company to his son, Louie, in October, said Rhyan was going to be a key part of the transition. “I know that I’m going to miss Mark and I know Louie is going to miss Mark and the contributions he could make in just his caring and giving style that he had as part of the leadership team,” Gentine said. “It’s saddened everyone here at Sargento. It’s been a very difficult time for us.”

At the same time, Gentine said, Rhyan’s collaborative work ethic means that those left behind will be able to carry on. “I think he’s left such a positive impact on people around here,” he said. “We’re going to be successful and a lot of that will be because of the mark that Mark left on Sargento. We know he’s up there, cheering for us right now, cheering for his family.”

Mark also made many contributions to the community as President of the Plymouth Board of Education, and served on the Boards of Directors for Gateway Packaging Company in Granite City, Illinois: the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation; US Bank in Sheboygan; and the First Congregational UCC Church Council. He served on the Board of Directors for Pine Hills Country Club and was instrumental in their building expansion. Mark also managed the building of The Osthoff for the Gentine family.

Additionally, he taught Junior Achievement classes and coached youth athletics. In 2011, Mark received an Educational Leadership Award recognizing his significant involvement in the development of the LTC/Plymouth High School Science and Technology Center, and the prestigious Sargento Founder's Ring the following year.

Mark enjoyed golf, basketball, teaching and coaching, walks with his family's dog Augusta, water sports and spending time with family and friends on Pearl Lake in Redgranite, Wisconsin. He is survived by his wife, Karen; son, Corey; daughter, Niki; sister, Lindy Swenson and her husband Jeff; sister Diane Coors and her husband, Rick; and his brother, Dale Rhyan. Other survivors include cousins, Kim Pemble and Julie Pemble Peterson; nieces, Lisa Ruble, Jennifer Ellestad, Sarah Rhyan, Andrea Santini, and Anna Brown; nephews, Nicholas Rhyan, Sam Rhyan, David Coors, and Spencer Brown; and many friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the Plymouth Education Foundation and the Rhyan Family Class Exemplar Scholarship.


Source: Sheboygan Press (WI)

Posted on Monday, December 30, 2013 (Archive on Monday, January 06, 2014)
Posted by bholcomb@adpi.org  Contributed by bholcomb@adpi.org