In addition to his success as a producer and entrepreneur, Ryan is a noted philanthropist and volunteer. He has given and helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars for charities and causes he feels passionately about. In 2010, he was listed on Forbes 40 Under 40 Most Influential People list, and for good reason.
A grandchild of Holocaust survivors, Kavanaugh’s work in fighting Anti-Semitism is especially notable. In 2011 he was presented with the distiguished Entertainment Industry Award by the Anti-Defamation League, a global leader in fighting not only anti-Semitism, but hate and bigotry of all kinds.The award is given to individuals who demonstrate leadership and extraordinary innovation in the entertainment industry on the local, national, and international levels. He has also worked extensively with Jewish Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
In 2010, he was recognized by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as the sole winner of the Board of Governors’ Hollywood Humanitarian Award. The Sheriff’s Youth Foundation awarded him the Community Champion Award for his work and dedication to the inner-city youth of Los Angeles. He was also recognized for his work with child victims of abuse and neglect by First Star, a charity who focuses on improving the lives of foster youth.
Ryan has served as Chairman of the Board for The Art of Elysium, an organization that pairs volunteer artists from the entertainment community with communities in Los Angeles, to help support medically fragile children, teens and adults in times of illness and crisis. He was also the recipient of the 2014 Tom Sherak Award, presented by The Fulfillment Fund, a non-profit organization that helps Los Angeles youth overcome obstacles to receive a college education.
In addition to helping the people of his communities, Ryan is passionate about helping animals in need. In 2013 he acquired FreeHand, a pet food company committed to using its proceeds to save the lives of homeless dogs by matching each pound of dog food sold in a donation of food to a local animal shelter or rescue organization.