Michael Ryer, a commercial Realtor, community volunteer, and a smiling face at Chamber luncheons, died Tuesday.
A resident of Ridgefield since the 1960s, Mr. Ryer founded Ryer Associates Commercial Real Estate in Danbury. Ryer was a Realtor who worked on the move of hundreds of Union Carbide employees from New York to western Connecticut in the early 1980s. He was a former director of both the Greater Danbury and Ridgefield Chambers of Commerce.
"That's very sad. He was a very, very nice guy," said Todd Payne, president of Goodfellow Ashmore Companies. "Early on he did corporate real estate and he was able to keep some of those clients, to build corporate loyalty, and that isn't easy to do."
Stephen Bull, president of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce, said Ryer helped put together real estate deals with Union Carbide and Boehringer Ingelheim, making Danbury and Ridgefield business destinations. Those deals were followed by retail expansion on Federal Road and the opening of the Danbury Fair mall.
"He was one of the key architects of Danbury's economic development," Bull said. "It is astounding, but his deals were the springboard that launched Danbury. He also always gave back."
Ryer was active in the community, including serving as a president of the Ridgefield Community Center, and with Ability Beyond, formerly Ability Beyond Disability. He was a former co-chairman and director of the Housatonic Valley Economic Development Partnership.
"Mike would walk into a corporate meeting that was dull, and pretty soon, it would be a fun meeting, and it would accomplish something," Bull said.
A memorial service at St. Stephen’s Church will be announced.
Kane Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.