Be in the Room: Origins

Ryann Dowdy, Founder

After 15 years in the Corporate World, I woke up one day feeling unfulfilled. Bored. Stuck. Frustrated. And guilty.


See, I've done everything I'm supposed to do in life.

Go to college, get a degree, get a job, another job, another job, an MBA, another job, met my husband, got married, bought a house, another job, more travel, more responsibility, had a baby, another job.


I felt like I was living society's perfect version of success.

But I wasn't happy. And I was DONE.


I began my entrepreneurial journey as a sales coach. I loved it - and I was good at it. I successfully built two million dollar businesses in a very short time. But, a few years in... I was burned out, stressed out, and overwhelmed.

I felt like I had no where to go with this.

I literally wound up on the floor in my shower in tears. I felt alone. I felt like a failure. I felt like no one understood.

Through networking and connecting and meeting new people - I met armies of amazing women doing amazing things.


BUT - they all had one thing in common: they lacked a supportive community.


A safe place to come with their feelings, a place to feel seen, heard, and understood. to go when their friends, families, and co-workers didn't understand why they weren't happy with their "perfect" lives.


When Be in the Room came to me - it felt like that safe space. The space to come as you are. The space to have difficult conversations. A space to find advice, feedback, and friendship.


I needed to feel seen, heard, and understood.

It’s our most basic human need.


I am on a mission to create a safe space for every woman who has ever been told she's too much, too picky, too loud, too ANYTHING to come together and be fearlessly themselves.


Because when women connect, work together, and harness our power into ONE common mission - we will be invincible.

Featured In

The Fearless Leader

Our Manifesto

The Fearless Leader is BOLD.

She knows she was meant for more.

She doesn’t settle for good enough.

She doesn’t fit in a box.

She rebels against the status quo and creates her own version of perfect.

The Fearless Leader is PASSIONATE.

She’s fueled by passion and determination to make a difference.

She’s committed to going all in on HER version of success... because she deserves it.

She wants all women to feel empowered - and pulls others up along her journey.

She’s determined to create a life she loves - even if it goes against the social norm.

The Fearless Leader is UNAPOLOGETIC.

She embraces who she is.

She's not afraid to be the best version of herself.

She fearlessly speaks her mind - even when it's uncomfortable.

She doesn’t apologize for living her truth.

The Fearless Leader is COURAGEOUS.

She knows what she wants in life and isn't afraid to ask for it.

She is willing to put herself out there - even when it’s uncomfortable.

She's willing to take the risks to make her dreams a reality.

She’s an action taker - even when that action is messy.

The Fearless Leader is a WOMAN OF ACTION.

She has choices. She has freedom.

She calls the shots in her life.

She does not seek permission or approval.

She knows she is the only one responsible for her results.

The Fearless Leader is VALUED.

She values herself - and she’s valued by her peers, coworkers, and clients.

She doesn’t work for pennies.

She refuses to accept less than what she's worth.

She doesn't allow anyone to speak down to her or devalue her as a human.

The Fearless Leader believes in COMMUNITY.

She pulls other women up with her on her journey to success.

She values feedback from others in all walks of life.

She knows the power of having a team - both in her personal and professional life.

She knows she CAN do it all... but isn't afraid to ask for help.

The Fearless Leader believes in EMPOWERED.

She's not afraid to want more even when others say she has enough.

She doesn't accept the OR, but rather believes in BOTH/AND.

She sets impossible goals for herself - and aims to achieve them.

She knows she can have it all if she wants it - there's no need to choose.

Meet the Team

The women behind the scenes of the community

Valerie Zumwalt

Program Director

I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, I just didn’t know what to do with it for a while. I started a business doing wedding planning and knitting design. I franchised a leadership conference and grew it to over 1,000 attendees each year. I got certified as a Speaker and Coach through the John Maxwell Team, and as a Human Behavior Consultant in DISC.


Now, I am absolutely thrilled to be the Integrator to Ryann’s visionary. I get to use my intrapreneur, systems, detail-oriented brain to execute the ideas she creates.


I live in Columbia, Missouri, with my husband and three kids - 6, 3 and almost 1.

Jessica Kroll

Marketing Manager

I've had a passion for design since I was 15. I decided to major in Design for Marketing. Marketing has always fascinated me, and my design background gave me an advantage because I could do both the creative and strategic side. I moved up the “corporate ladder” pretty quickly.


When I decided to have kids, it hit me (HARD!) that I wanted to be a stay-home mom. People say you have to CHOOSE between being a stay-home parent or having a career. I decided it was possible to do both. It took me 2+ years of consistent action to make it happen. I faced a lot of doubt from loved ones and rejection from employers along the way. But I made it.


Now, I have a kick-ass schedule that lets me work full time, utilize all my skills, do work that I am passionate about, and still take my kids to the park for a couple hours during the weekdays.