SUU to Everywhere

Ryan Sullivan ('04)

Ryan Sullivan ('04)
SUU to County Clerk-Auditor

Originally published on March 26, 2024.

From bareback bronco and bull riding to administering a governmental budget of more than $185 million, Ryan Sullivan has fostered a deep love for Washington County and the people who live there. Now residing in Santa Clara with his wife and three daughters, he serves as the Washington County Clerk-Auditor while finding ways to give back to the community he adores.

Ryan Sullivan with his wife and 3 daughters

“I really enjoy the people I work with,” Ryan says. “I also enjoy being able to interact with so many people in the community.”

Growing up, he spent much of his time working for his family’s St. George business. Anyone who was around there in the 1990s might remember Sullivan's Rococo Steakhouse & Inn (now The Inn on the Cliff Hotel and Cliffside Restaurant). After experiencing the customer service world, he decided to expand his interests toward other branches of business, specifically accounting.

While he worked in the hospitality industry, Ryan also competed on Dixie High School’s rodeo team. He specialized in riding bulls and “broncs” and grew to love the sport. After graduating in 1995, he went on to receive his associate of science at Dixie State College (now Utah Tech University). Looking to obtain a bachelor’s degree, he turned to his neighbor school, Southern Utah University, for help.

Living relatively close to his new campus meant that Ryan had the opportunity to commute to class.

“I commuted from St. George to SUU for a couple of years with fellow students,” he says. “I gained lasting friendships with many of them who have gone on to become successful business owners, doctors, attorneys, accountants, and engineers.”

Ryan had planned to go into accounting following his college graduation, but instead accepted an appraiser trainee position with Washington County. He spent the next 20 years at the Washington County Assessor’s Office gaining experience and using his degree to analyze financial statements. Then, when the previous clerk/auditor departed, he was encouraged by community leaders to run for the open position and was elected last year.

Today, Ryan acts as the CFO for the county, managing its budget while overseeing property tax rates, accounting, elections, passports, marriage licenses, tax relief programs, and record archiving.

“My education at SUU—and more specifically my degree in accounting—prepared me for my future by educating me about cash flow management, auditing, budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting,” says Ryan. “I use these skills daily in both my professional and personal life.”

Throughout his hard work and accomplishments — including earning his Certified General Appraiser designation — Ryan credits SUU for his knowledge and career success.

“I learned that setting goals and putting in the work are fundamental principles for achieving success in various aspects of life,” he says. “Attending SUU created many career advancement opportunities that otherwise would not have been available."

Tags: Alumni Accounting