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2023 40 Under Forty: Ryan Humble

Age: 34 Company: ESPN Title: Manager, Drone Operations No. of years with current company: 12 Town where I live: Southington Town where I work: Bristol College: New Mexico State University Highest degree: Bachelor of creative media degree in digital filmmaking
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Ryan Humble is the manager of drone operations at ESPN. Humble founded ESPN’s internal drone operations team that captures high-flying footage of events like the NBA Finals, Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Baseball.

He now coordinates with professional sports leagues and federal government agencies to further grow ESPN’s use of drones. In addition to winning several sports Emmy Awards, Humble and his team were nominated for a Best of Disney Technology Award.

What’s been your biggest professional accomplishment so far in your career?

I saw the need for an internal drone team at ESPN and worked with my senior leadership team to create the groundbreaking department. Given the success of -- and demand for -- drone footage, my team has now grown into a fleet of over two dozen drones and three pilots.

How are you involved in the community?

I am dedicated to giving back to the Hartford community. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for The Stocker Foundation, which has awarded grants to nonprofit organizations totaling more than $73.3 million, including $1.5 million to Hartford County organizations.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico, I now live in Southington, with my wife, Kaitlin and children, Wesley, Scarlett and Lila, and our golden retriever Aggie (named after the NMSU Aggies). I enjoy traveling, spending time with my family and outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking and skiing.

Why do you deserve to be a 40 Under Forty?

• Created and oversees ESPN’s drone operations team, providing some of the industry’s firsts in drone coverage of sports.

• Serves on the Board of Directors for The Stocker Foundation, bringing $1.5 million to Hartford County organizations.

• Established and taught a media course at an alternative high school in Las Cruces for students who struggled to succeed in traditional classroom environments.

• Three-time sports Emmy Award winner.

Fun Fact

To celebrate our first anniversary in 2014, my wife and I went skydiving in Rhode Island.

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