Resident Feature

Meet Stephen J. Ronan, MD

Born and raised in Northern California, Dr. Ronan grew up in the farm country of Petaluma. “I had pigs, sheep and cows to take care of growing up. My nearest neighbors ran a dairy and a Christmas tree farm. The hard work and modest upbringing of my youth contributed to my traditional values as an adult. I’ve had a job and have been working hard since 5th grade,” says Dr. Ronan. 

The Ronan family has called Blackhawk home for about 20 years. Dr. Ronan says it was a combination of factors that led him to chose Blackhawk, “I ended up in Blackhawk when I started my plastic surgery practice, Blackhawk Plastic Surgery, 20 years ago. I chose Blackhawk because I thought it would be a great place to live, raise kids and support a plastic surgery practice. All of those things turned out to be true. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to live and work.” 

Since he was a young child, Dr. Ronan always knew medicine was his calling. He attended UC Davis and earning a BS in Physiology, he went on to attend medical school at the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University. After earning his MD, he did is internship, fellowship and residency at the Medical College of Virginia and continued as the Chief Surgical House Officer at Columbia Hospitals for several years. Once he returned home to the Bay Area and became Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Ronan opened Blackhawk Plastic Surgery in 2002, and this year he is celebrating 20 years of helping people look and feel their best. 

Blackhawk Plastic Surgery and Blackhawk Surgery Center are in the top 1% of national plastic surgery practices. “I have been very fortunate in my career to do something I love in the community I live in. Along with my surgery practice, I am the Medical Director for Cutera, a public aesthetic laser and technology company, where I oversee the clinical trial and research studies, assist with R&D and commercialization of products. The trials typically involve testing laser, radio-frequency or other energies for aesthetic treatments. We recently got FDA approval of a laser that will cure or significantly improve acne, which I am excited about. I’ve also had the opportunity to travel multiple times with the non-profit organization, Operation Kids, to Guatemala where I volunteered my time on a relief mission, operating on children with cleft lips/palates, burns, congenital anomalies and other birth defects. Those trips and the look on the kids’ and their families’ faces after we operated are highlights of my career I will never forget,” says Dr. Ronan. 

Over the years, numerous companies and organizations have invited Dr. Ronan to participate as a strategic advisor, investor or board member. “I currently work with several large and small companies, assisting in both funding and the commercialization of products. The types of companies I work with are diverse, from aesthetic companies to textiles, tech and finance. It’s been highly rewarding to help these creative entrepreneurs bring beneficial products to the marketplace. I look forward to doing more of this,” says Dr. Ronan. 

Along with medicine, flying has been a life-long passion for Dr. Ronan. A seasoned pilot with numerous ratings and endorsements, he says there is nothing like the feeling you get while flying, “My irresistible attraction to flying started from a young age, and I always knew once I accomplished my career goals for my medical practice, I would pursue my pilot license. For me, aviation isn’t just a way to get from one place to another. It’s a way to experience nature from above, connect with family and friends, and find peace. My next goal is to become a turbine instructor, as part of my retirement activities, someday.” 

Two of his most common places to fly are Lake Tahoe and Palm Desert, as the family keeps homes there. “Our family spends a great deal of time on Lake Tahoe during the summer and down in Palm Desert during the winter. Of course, we fly to both, which makes it easy to visit often.” Other popular destinations include Sedona, Bend, Jackson Hole, and Southern California. 

An avid wine enthusiast, Dr. Ronan has his own wine label and works with a long-time friend and renown winemaker to create an annual release of Cabernet blends from Napa. He also grows grapes on his Blackhawk property. In the past, he has donated his wine to help fundraise for The Ronan Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to raise significant funds for Bay Area youth development programs in order to provide opportunities for Bay Area youth to play sports in a safe and educational environment. 

Dr. Ronan’s children are both in college now. The oldest, Jack, is 22 years old and is a senior at UC Berkeley with a double major in Computer Science and Business. He is the captain of the UC Berkeley Lacrosse team and made All-American for lacrosse this year. He’s lined up a job after graduation in private equity. Dr. Ronan’s daughter, Charlotte, is 20 years old and currently attends college in Georgia, where she made the President’s List. She works as a nanny part-time and has a serious boyfriend who recently got dad’s approval. 

A one-year-old English Goldendoodle named Tahoe completes the household. “He’s one of the sweetest dogs with a wonderful disposition. He is like a rock star wherever he goes, drawing tons of attention. All he wants in life is to be pet and is very gentle,” says Dr. Ronan. 

After moving into his Pheasant Run Estates home in 2008, Dr. Ronan says he began a total overhaul of the property. “I have just about completed my bucket list of renovations to the house. The interior is complete and the massive outdoor build of a nearly 2000 sq ft pavilion has been finished. Now, the exterior is getting a re-do that should be completed by summer. When I first saw the house, I loved the privacy and the beautiful views. Being next to Mt. Diablo never gets old. I enjoy walking in my neighborhood and taking in the beauty. As a golf player, I, of course, enjoy the beautiful amenities The Blackhawk Country Club has to offer. I feel very fortunate to call Blackhawk home.”


By Megan Scott, Resident since 2010 

Photo credit: Images courtesy of Ronan family 

Resident Feature is proudly sponsored by Tucker Associates Real Estate