With a career spanning the past sixteen years Jim has made more than simply left his mark on the spirits business. His relentless pursuit of excellence for pushing the envelope of the way brands impact with bartenders and consumers via deeper opportunities of engagement has been celebrated as first class industry leading.
After graduating from North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama in 2001, Jim headed up to New York to pursue artistic endeavors on the stage and screen. Naturally he found himself behind a bar to supplement his first love, acting. Jim started off as a barback, hustling late nights at a high volume Columbia University Co-Ed dive bar and worked his way up through the ranks to bartender.
After Dressler was awarded two NY Times and one Michelin Star, never one to settle, Jim felt the calling back to more creative endeavors when, in 2008, he landed the role of Hendrick’s Gin Ambassador to the USA. Jim and Hendrick’s were a perfectly peculiar match and through his time on Hendrick’s Jim helped grow his Ambassador team to four strong full-time and three part-time individuals. In 2012 Jim was honored by an international committee of peers when he was awarded the Best American Brand Ambassador at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards. Throughout his early years on Hendrick’s, Jim was integral to developing multiple experiential programs geared for bartenders and consumes to have a deeper and tactile dialogue with with the Unusual world of Hendrick’s Gin.
Jim continued to make his impact on Hendrick’s when he lead the brand team to making a dream of his turn into a reality. Launched in April of 2015, The Hendrick’s Gin Flying Cucumber was a cucumber shaped zeppelin that flew across the USA for two years. Over that time, the Flying Cucumber reached over 3M impressions and as the face of the brand, Jim was featured numerous national and local press. The successful campaign beat out major players outside the spirits industry including Budweiser, LinkedIn, and Mountain Dew as it earned multiple accomplishments including a Creative Outdoor Media and Chief Marketer Pro Award.
Never one to rest, Jim decided that he’d had his time with Hendrick’s Gin and in late 2016, he left to pursue a professional endeavor of his own and set off found Third Eye Spirits where he and his diverse and skilled team are currently in development of their first product, a liqueur with plans to launch in 2018. Stay tuned for what’s next from Jim Ryan as it is bound to be filled with creativity and excitement.