Ryan S. Blair
Director of APA Group
Originally from the West Coast of the United States, Ryan has developed a career in Asia specializing in outdoor education, skills training, and adventure sport event & athlete management. After completing a degree in international business and taking part in adventures throughout the Rocky and Himalayan Mountains, Ryan settled in Hong Kong in 1995.
By 1997 Ryan had been responsible for organizing several sports & entertainment events in Hong Kong and in 1998 became Race Director of the first adventure race in Hong Kong, Action Asia Challenge. In addition, Ryan was Director of Activities for an outdoor youth charity, Action Asia Foundation, and spearheaded several projects in Hong Kong, Thailand, and Taiwan.
In 2000-1, Ryan played a key role in establishing a partnership between Action Asia and National Geographic, and subsequently, managed the first series of international adventure races in Asia. Ryan developed races in Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia, with the events broadcasted internationally on ESPN-Star Sports and the National Geographic Channel.
After relocating to Singapore in 2001 to carry out consulting work in the outdoor education industry, Ryan returned to Hong Kong in 2002 to establish a partnership and found Asia Pacific Adventure with friend and former colleague, Stuart Sharpless. Over several years, this partnership evolved into a group of companies, namely, APA Group, spanning many areas of the outdoor sector, as well as, corporate training, retail and filming industries.
Spontaneous Combustion Productions, the Group’s filming division, was launched in 2012 and has since been a leader in adventure sport production and drone filming with clients ranging from BBC television to The North Face to Hollywood films. In 2014, Ryan and Stuart opened APA Outdoor Shop, a 2,500 sq. foot destination outdoor and paddling store in Hong Kong. Outdoor Education still remains APA Group’s largest division and Ryan’s primary passion, with over 100 staff working across the region on programs from Mongolia to Myanmar each year.
Ryan is also an elite adventure sports athlete, and for over a decade has managed Asia’s #1 adventure team, The North Face Adventure team. He has won numerous regional adventure races and trail running events, and competed in several expedition and stage adventure race World Championships. Ryan has helped nurture and manage many top Asian ultra-trail runners and adventure racers while pursuing his passion of inspiring others to get outside to enjoy and value our great outdoors.