2011 Forty Under 40 Winner: Travis Rychnovsky
Friday, March 18, 2011 7:00 AM
Age 31 | Leader of client services, information technology and operations, Foster Group Inc.
To hear Travis Rychnovsky talk about what he does for a living doesn’t do his company justice.
His description: He’s responsible for leading the client services group, the information techology group and the operations team at Foster Group Inc., which is a privately owned wealth management company. Foster Group manages money and does financial planning and asset management for nonprofits, foundations and wealthy individuals.
At that point, his mentor, Michael Colby, steps in.
“He’s humble,” Colby said. “This little privately owned firm that you work for, how many dollars do you manage for other people?” he asked Rychnovsky.
The answer: $1.1 billion.
Rychnovsky, a Simpson College graduate, has been with Foster Group since 2004. In addition to managing three departments, he helps lead the group’s yearly strategic planning process. To do that, he said, he takes a lot of input to determine the most important objectives.
Outside work, Rychnovsky spends time volunteering for United Way of Central Iowa through its Emerging Leaders Initiative. Through that, he got involved with Children and Family Urban Ministries’ Backyard Boyz program, where he volunteers tutoring boys in the sixth through eighth grades.
“It is about tutoring, but it’s also about just encouraging them to do their work,” he said. “Some of them don’t get that at home. It’s more about accountability and things like that.”
Rychnovsky said he gets his passion for working with children from his mother and great-grandmother, who were both teachers. He now can appreciate the things he took for granted, such as a good learning environment, and wants to help children who aren’t so lucky and live in situations they can’t control.
He also gives back to his alma mater, as he is part of the Presidents’ Society at Simpson and is helping the group organize guest speakers to give insight on leadership skills.
Rychnovsky has also been involved with Civic Music Association and is on the First Impressions Team at Valley Church. He has been on the board of directors for The Plaza condominiums and the Downtown Des Moines Neighborhood Association, citing a desire to be involved with things going on downtown, where he lives.
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