GPS Alumni Spotlight: Ryan Harbach
Gardiner High School graduate, Ryan Harbach, has always been an advocate for carrying bear spray and for recycling. His new business, TrailQuipt bear spray rentals in Gardiner, Montana combines both.
After graduating from GPS in 2011, he went on to attend Montana State University. “I wanted to become a wildlife biologist and become the next Kerry Gunther,” Ryan said with a smile. As his education evolved, Ryan’s career track took a different direction and he is now a surveyor for an engineering firm. However, it was a Gardiner school teacher/coach and his seasonal employment in Yellowstone that led him to his decision to pursue entrepreneurial leadership as his second career.
Ryan was inspired many years ago by the park’s bear spray recycling program. “The recycling bins were already full half-way through the summer,” he recalls. That’s the time that Ryan came up with his own idea of a bear spray rental “grab and go” kiosk where unused spray could be safely reused instead of being recycled.
Ryan’s former teacher and coach at Gardiner High, Dave Perius, had great influence on his decision to pursue his own business endeavor. “He planted the seeds of money management, and taught us how to be a professional combined with simple, important life lessons that set me up for success,” Ryan shared.
Ryan and his wife Mikaela reside in Billings and are also expecting their first child in the fall. Congratulations, Ryan, on your achievements and for pursuing excellence as a GPS grad!