2020 - Wellco, LLC Wins 'Neighborly' Award for Immense Contribution to the Betterment of the Community

Mount Vernon, IL – Ryan T. Wellmaker founded Wellco, LLC in 2016 as a real estate investment company in Mount Vernon, IL where he saw a need for quality affordable housing in the area. He saw an opportunity to renovate and update buildings in disrepair, such as the Veech Apartmert Complex, a historic building within the community. Furthermore, he believes investing into the community will lend to revitalization. The local real estate investment company primarily focuses on middle-income individuals and their properties range from lower-priced units to some higher-priced units. 

WSIU Public Broadcasting, a service of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is pleased to announce Wellco, LLC as the new Business recipient of the monthly ‘Neighborly’ award. 

Wellco, LLC buys and sells property. They offer a solution for renters and buyers to build up their credit while making payments. This system has helped current and past tenants bolster smart credit, build their credit score and differentiate between good and bad debt. It has helped a lot of families, especially several single mothers who would have never thought they’d be able to own a home again because they came from either a rough family setting, divorce, or a familial death which left them with mounds of debts that destroyed their credit. 

Expressing his views on being a good neighbor and what it means to him, Ryan said, “My grandparents had the biggest impact on my life. My late grandmother Sue Metcalf was fantastic. My grandfather Bob Metcalf is extremely philanthropic and a fantastic businessman. He has been an influential force in my life and was my role model growing up, and still is today. He always encourages giving back to the community. If you help enough people get what they want, they’ll help you get what you want and that’s kind of my philosophy—help as many people as you can. Being Jewish in a Southern Illinois community has also inspired me because one of the core tenets of Judaism is philanthropy, so as you become more successful, you need to continue to reinvest and help people around you. I hold that extremely dear to my heart.” 

Ryan is heavily involved with community organizations in Mt. Vernon and sits on the Chamber of Commerce board, Jefferson County Development Corporation, Downtown Development Corporation, Mt. Vernon Airport Authority. Wellco, LLC partners with Lifeboat Alliance, the homeless shelter in town, offering temporary transitional housing. The company also partners with Spero Family Services to provide apartments for young adults in their Transitional Living Program. Additionally, they donate tables and chairs, beddings, futons—whatever the young adults need to get comfortable to move in and transition into the community. Wellco, LLC also works with Senior Services to provide accommodating housing to meet their needs.

Wellco, LLC’s leasing structure allows for flexibility and accommodates change. They regularly provide short-term housing for traveling nurses.

Most recently, Wellco, LLC awarded their first scholarship for higher education, as part of their #WellcoCares campaign. They provided a student attending Kaskaskia College with one semester’s tuition. This student was one semester away from graduating but lacked the financial ability to continue by paying for her semester at school to complete her degree. 

“Wellco is a proud member of the community. One of my favorite things is that they proudly support underrepresented groups within the community. In April, they celebrated Autism Awareness Month. In June, they celebrated Pride Month to promote acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. In October, they participated in Mt. Vernon’s Downtown Trick-or-Treat event and offered cotton candy to the community. Finally, in November, they partnered with the United Way of Southern Illinois to hold a food drive. Recently, the company also donated a microwave to Life Boat Alliance after learning their microwave had broken,” said the anonymous nominator. “They constantly find opportunities to celebrate diversity and promote awareness in the community. Beyond their clear commitment to their community, they have an outstanding reputation for providing quality housing that is clean and affordable. Wellco, LLC is committed to improving their community as evidenced by their constant reinvestment into it. I love to watch their renovations via their Facebook page.” 

About One Region All Neighbors
Inspired by the life and legacy of Fred Rogers and in honor of his vision, WSIU’s One Region, All Neighbors initiative encourages community members to nominate those who are making positive contributions through acts of kindness, compassion and service. Each month, winners are chosen from nominations submitted by the public in five categories—individual, youth, educator, community group and business. WSIU recognizes these winners on its television and radio stations, website and social media. All awardees and nominators will be invited to attend a special ceremony where they will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to their communities.

Nominate Your Neighbors
WSIU encourages the public to participate in One Region, All Neighbors campaign by
nominating neighbors online at http://www.wsiu.org/neighbor and sharing on social
media using #WeAreAllNeighbors.

About WSIU Public Broadcasting
WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than five million people across six states and beyond through five digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website and education and outreach services. They partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at wsiu.org and on WSIU’s Facebook and Twitter pages.


Phone: 618.453.4343
Fax: 618.453.6186
Email: contact@wsiu.org