About Ray


Business, communications, and marketing strategist. Publisher. Interviewer. Writer. Professional-development coach. Autism, intellectual disability, and neurodiversity activist and trainer.

While my professional work has usually involved creating—writing, editing, designing, publishing, growing businesses—my most significant successes and certainly greatest satisfaction come from partnership: partnering with colleagues while listening to community and customers, creating a holistic vision and strategic plan, and then getting the work done.

I’ve run businesses successfully and believe wholeheartedly that’s because I put people first: the people who work for me and the clients and customers for whom we work. That’s the model for any meaningfully profitable business and, equally, what imbues nonprofit organizations with meaning. My emphases, accordingly, include relationship-building, community, integrity, a core commitment to excellence, and, always, the professional development and general well-being of my colleagues.

Ray Hemachandra hosting a retailing panel in Denver, Colorado, at the International New Age Trade Show, with business owners Candace Apple, Jean Haller, and David Cronin.

I’ve worked at a newspaper (sports reporter, copy editor), a magazine (various editorial jobs ranging from book-review editor to, ultimately, editor in chief), and a book publisher, as senior editor for three years and then team lead and business manager for the founding three years of Lark Jewelry & Beading. This sub-imprint drove Lark Books’ overall profitability under my acquisitions, creative, business, and marketing planning and direction. I’ve worked as a member of the management team for an environmental engineering firm, overseeing its human resources, recruiting, marketing, and editorial/quality control. And I’ve done consulting work for several businesses and nonprofit organizations.

I currently serve on boards or advisory committees for a half-dozen nonprofit and governmental organizations. I’m particularly active in the autism and special needs communities, supporting individuals, families, and professionals by offering consultation, training, and talks for organizations, universities, and conferences.

Ray Hemachandra offering a presentation about autism and neurodiversity at the University of North Carolina Asheville in 2015.

I authored a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and Amazon Book of the Month, along with a couple of dozen other well-reviewed books. More important to me, though, were the greater number of books I was privileged to acquire, develop, publish, and publicize and the authors, creatives, and publishing professionals with whom I had the pleasure of collaborating in that work.

I’ve interviewed many mind/body/spirit and spiritual teachers—Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Marianne Williamson, Sakyong Mipham, Thomas Moore, Chan Khong, and Rabbi David Zeller among them—along with musicians, artists, and business leaders. Similar to my work in autism and neurodiversity, at mind/body/spirit and book-industry trade shows and conferences I have led trainings and seminars, moderated panel discussions, and conducted interviews on stage with business leaders and spiritual teachers.

Ray Hemachandra moderating a panel at the University of North Carolina Asheville, with autistic adults and autism/disability professionals talking about the value of disabled lives prior to the 2018 Disability Day of Mourning.


My work and, I hope, this blog hold together by a consistent mission of supporting people in their lives—this informs my leadership approach, my business and organizational consulting, my writing, and my personal expectations and ethos.

You can see my work on other sites across the Web. For a few examples, click through to see my interviews with Sister Chan Khong on the Plum Village site here, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer here and here, and an article about Native Americans and the New Age (talking with Vine Deloria Jr., Ted Andrews, Jamie Sams, and Robert Doyle) here as a PDF. An excerpt of my “Autism 101: Hating Your Autistic Child” article was reprinted in India’s Autism Network Journal in its April 2017 issue, which is accessible online here.

I currently live in Asheville, North Carolina, with my son.

I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter or to contact me using the form below:


3 thoughts on “About Ray

  1. Pingback: love, attention, and autism | TAG: The Autism Gathering

  2. Pingback: On blackness and autism, identity and essence | TAG: The Autism Gathering

  3. Ray, I left you a message today on FB –it is jean yates (this is my flickr name! can’t figure out how to change it)


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