Posts written by getset

St. Patrick’s Day holds mixed emotions for some

Ryan McCollum knows that on St. Patrick’s Day, he cuts an unusual figure.

All in green, a traditional Irish Claddagh ring on his finger and a houndstooth flat cap on his head, everything about his attire screams “Irish and proud.’’

But McCollum, 33, is also black. His father, a Navy man from Springfield, married an Irish-American girl from Downeast Maine.

He knows his appearance does not fit the bill of a stereotypical Irishman – most assume he’s black, or maybe Latino – but since childhood, his mother mandated that his Irish pride run fierce.

Continue Reading..

Ryan McCollum on the politics of politicking

It’s early afternoon when I dial in to talk to Ryan McCollum, principal of RMC Strategies, a full-service political consulting company based in Springfield. Our interview is scheduled on the same day as the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield’s (YPS) Annual Great Golf Escape and I imagine that he is sneaking away on the course for our phone chat. But McCollum is not teeing off. He is between appointments when I catch him and needs to call me back to finish an important conversation he’s having with one of his interns.


As one of the cofounders of YPS, the annual golf day is a tradition for him. In fact, that’s how McCollum and I met more than five years ago. We were randomly paired as partners and spent the sunny afternoon drinking beers, talking about the city of Springfield, and McCollum hilariously reassuring me that it’s normal to break tees when I apologized profusely for breaking his. Golf aficionado I am not. McCollum joins me in falling in that weird generational span—the one that is mushed between Gen X and Gen Y. Most of us were born roughly between 1976 and 1981 and we identity with the generation right before and after us, but we’re sort of an amalgam of both. There’s a uniqueness to those born between this window. We still hold on to tradition a bit, but buck against anything that is too standardized. We are Gen X’s cooler younger sibling but old enough to teach Gen Y a thing or two about change.

Continue Reading..

Political consultant Ryan McCollum shares his secrets at AIC

Political consultant and communications guru Ryan McCollum knows a thing or two about getting his word out.

And he was happy to share his secrets on a recent visit to Prof. Mary Ellen Lowney’s Public Relations class.

On a rainy morning in late March, there was a ray of sunshine that cut through the gloomy Monday vibes accompanied by the torrential downpours: in the form of a political marketer.

McCollum, owner of RMC Strategies of Springfield, held a special presentation that outlined his work with political candidates on the local, state and national levels. He reached out with his expertise of AIC majors in Communication, Marketing and Political Science, all heavily intrigued.

Born and raised in Springfield, McCollum was a Political Science major with a minor in History at Marist College. That, along with an internship under former state Senator and Majority Leader Linda Melconian helped steer him on his career pathway.


Continue Reading..