Dr. Ray is an accomplished executive who uses his broad experience in leadership and management to assist business leaders with issues and challenges related to leadership, structure, and execution at all organizational levels. Ray has over 35 years in both public and private sectors, large to small organizations, non-profit organizations, and municipal government. Dr. Ray has led teams that deliver large, complex projects to help organizations realize the full value of their financial, social, and community capital. Ray effectively partners with all levels of clients, from managers to executives, to develop solutions that address their specific business needs.
Experience and Expertise
Prior to joining The Executive Edge®, Ray has spent his career assisting organizations in transforming themselves by creating strategic focus and then aligning the organizational design and systems to execute on this focus. He has done change management work and coaching in start-ups, existing organizations, and mergers in several industries. Ray facilitates high involvement to build ownership and helps his clients think differently about the issues they face. Ray has presented extensively on the topics of leadership and management and is presently working on several publications.
Dr. Ray completed a distinguished military career, retiring in 1996 in the grade of Colonel. Dr. Ray served in numerous leadership and staff assignments within the US Air Force and the Department of Defense (DoD). Dr. Ray developed a diversity of talents as an educator, professional recruiter, logistician, HR director, chief financial officer, chief operating officer, senior strategic planner, and executive director of one of the first Department of Defense regional health systems and managed care plans. Dr. Ray’s reputation as a change leader placed him in many challenging assignments, including the post-Cold War restructuring of the military services, the planning and execution of major infrastructure changes resulting from base realignments and closures, and the transformation of the Military Health Services System into an integrated military-civilian partnership.
Dr. Ray’s return to civilian life placed him in corporate transformation efforts within four medium-to-large companies. Dr. Ray directed field operations in two states for a management services organization responsible for executing a multi-year, multi-billion dollar DoD managed care support contract. He subsequently led a total company transformation within the dental division of a major healthcare insurance company and a major internal departmental transformation in a large Chicago academic medical center. Dr. Ray has been consulting since 2005 serving the needs of leaders seeking to build high-performing, character-based organizations. Dr. Ray’s key areas of expertise include:
- Facilitating senior leadership and management groups, especially those focused on strategic development
- Guiding change management initiatives with cross-functional teams
- Guiding organizational transformations, including business models, leadership development, organizational culture, knowledge creation and management, and operational practices
- Designing interactive workshops and experiential learning activities
- Deploying large scale organizational learning and change initiatives
- Facilitating senior leadership and management groups
- Implementing quality and performance improvement programs
- “I have known Ray to be of consistently high integrity and commitment. He has demonstrated caring for people and for quality of work. His work ethic to ‘get the job done – well’ has been consistently evident, appreciated and recognized by his colleagues and clients. He has tremendous knowledge and experience in many areas but especially in Leadership and readily shares these resources as an excellent teacher.”
- I have had the pleasure of being a participant in several of Ray’s workshops. Ray is a polished speaker, knowledgeable consultant, and passionate resource in the area of Leadership Development. He has an effective way of involving the audience and keeping them engaged. In my opinion, Ray is "top shelf" in helping organizations understand and permeate a culture based upon character.”
- “I highly recommend Ray Benedetto as he is adept at applying his vast knowledge of leadership and management to practical situations. He is a talented communicator and easy to do business with. Ray adds considerable value through his on-point understanding of how to blend organizational direction and customer needs.”
- “Ray’s vision, leadership knowledge, and skills were a driving force in the management teams addressing and dealing with issues that arose. Ray is very committed to improving not only himself, but others as well. I looked to Ray not only for information, but as an example of a strong leader who can gain commitment from managers and employees and drive organizational change.”
Honors and Awards
Dr. Ray’s leadership and contributions to healthcare and academic organizations have been recognized with two Regent Excellence Awards from the American College of Healthcare Executives, Volunteer of the Year Award for the Penn State Alumni Association, and Service Excellence awards from the US Air Force Medical Service Corps and the Department of Health Planning and Administration at Penn State. Dr. Ray has also received numerous military awards and distinctions including the Defense Superior Service Medal and five Air Force Meritorious Service Awards.
Dr. Ray has been board certified in Healthcare Management since 1981 and a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) since 1986. Although no longer actively engaged with direct healthcare delivery, Dr. Ray maintains his professional certifications and stays current with changes in the healthcare arena as well as business in general through the Academy of Management.
Dr. Ray lectures and presents to local, regional, national, and international academic and professional organizations such as the Academy of Management, several Penn State academic departments, the Illinois City/County Managers Association, and character coalitions in communities like Elk Grove and Elmhurst, Illinois. He is also certified in The Executive Edge®: Coaching AdvantEdge™ , The Executive Edge®: Strategic Planning for Competitive AdvantEdge™ and the Forté Assessment Instrument.
Education and Professional Associations
Dr. Ray holds three degrees: a BS in Health Planning and Administration from Penn State, a MS in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, and a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. Dr. Ray also graduated from the Interagency Institute for Federal Healthcare Executives, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and various professional military schools, including the Air War College, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL.
Dr. Ray is a faculty practitioner with the University of Phoenix MBA Program Chicago Campus where he teaches leadership and the introductory MBA course.
Dr. Ray is a member of the Academy of Management and serves as Board President for True to the Call, a faith-based company that serves the financial needs of law students, and on the Education Committee of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce.
More About Ray
Ray and Joan, his wife of 38 years, reside in Batavia, IL. They have four adult children and six grandchildren, ranging in age from six months to 12 years. When not writing, conducting research, teaching, or serving clients, Dr. Ray can be found riding along bike trails in northern Illinois. He likes to vacation with his wife on the Jersey and Texas coasts with family and friends.