Remembering Nate Ranney

We are deeply saddened to share that Nate Ranney – Moneythink’s former Product Director and an integral member of our team – died recently in a tragic skiing accident. His passing is shocking and difficult to accept. Our hearts and deepest condolences go out to Nate’s parents,  his loved ones, and close friends. 

The world was a better place because of Nate. May his life and example inspire us to live with even more genuine kindness and empathy. 

Nate was essential to Moneythink’s culture and development. He served as our Product Director from 2015 to 2020; however, Nate was so much more than his title suggested. During his Moneythink tenure, Nate held many operational, programmatic, and externally facing responsibilities with gusto, bridging together the major phases of our organization’s mission and work. He also successfully served as the de facto CEO in the time between Ted Gonder, our former CEO, and me. Nate’s accomplishments at Moneythink and beyond are plenty. 

The way he showed up to work every day, however, was what really stuck out. His constant desire to learn, his ability to drive our creativity, his friendships with our team, our Board, and community, his humor, his sincerity, and most importantly, his humanity, energized and invigorated us. Simply put, Nate made everyone around him better. Moneythink could not be where we are today without Nate. He cared deeply about Moneythink, the individuals on our team, the power of authentic relationships, and in line with our mission: the promise to create a better future for all.

On a personal level, his passing is surreal and devastating. One of the primary reasons I joined Moneythink was because of Nate. As the senior staffer coordinating the interview process between our Board and search firm, Nate was the first Moneythink team member I communicated with, and his endorsement email to me after I was offered the role of CEO helped seal the deal for me. 

I vividly recall Nate interviewing me during that time. He asked a lot of tough, pertinent questions. What became clear in those conversations was that his bar was set very high for himself and for Moneythink, and his expectation deeply resonated with me. I was impressed by his depth of knowledge and, simultaneously, I greatly admired his sincere curiosity, graciousness, and kindness. Even being almost twenty years his elder, I knew right away that I would learn a lot from him while also having the unique opportunity to guide him in our work together by supporting his leadership journey. 

Early on during my time at Moneythink, Nate quickly became my thought partner and the first person on the team with whom I was able to share big ideas and big questions. He pushed my thinking and positively challenged my assumptions. We shared a special synergy and symbiosis that we both cherished. About a year into my tenure, I asked Nate what mark he wanted to leave at Moneythink. He told me that we wanted to build a product that would fundamentally shift the paradigm for traditionally under-served students and put them in the driver’s seat regarding their college decision making options. Several months later, he went on to architect DecidED, our innovative college affordability tool. I feel fortunate to have seen Nate for lunch a few months ago. His excitement about Moneythink’s direction and DecidED means so much to our team. 

The world was a better place because of Nate. May his life and example inspire us to live with even more genuine kindness and empathy. 

Please consider donating to a cause that Nate cared about located at the bottom of his obituary.

— Joshua Lachs, CEO

DecidED powered by Moneythink custom logo for Nate Ranney
The custom logo the team designed for Nate Ranney during their branding design for the college affordability tool he helped architect.