About Ray & Contact Form

Ray Hemachandra profile picBusiness, organization, management, and messaging professional. Interviewer. Writer. Professional-development coach. Strategist. Autism, intellectual disability, and neurodiversity advocate and trainer.

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

I’ve run businesses successfully and believe wholeheartedly that’s because I put people first: the people who work with 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, social justice, authentic communication and perspective-taking, and fundamental commitments to kindness, generosity, and excellence.

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.
Hosting programming in Denver, Colorado, at the International New Age Trade Show, here moderating a panel with business owners Candace Apple, Jean Haller, and David Cronin.

I’ve worked at a newspaper as a copy editor and reporter, a magazine publishing company in various jobs ranging from book-review editor to, ultimately, editor in chief, and a book publisher as a senior editor for three years and then as the creative lead and business manager for the founding three years of Lark Jewelry & Beading. The imprint drove Lark Books’ overall profitability under my acquisitions, creative, business, marketing, and publicity 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. I continue to perform consulting, board, and committee work for a variety of businesses and nonprofit organizations.

I serve on boards or advisory committees for numerous nonprofit and governmental organizations—among them, the Boards of Directors for the Center for Craft and Liberty Corner Enterprises, the Consumer and Family Advisory Committee (CFAC) for Vaya Health, the Advisory Council for Family Support Network of Western North Carolina, the Autism Advisory Committee for Western Carolina University and Project INTERACT, the Advisory Committee for Camp Lakey Gap, and the Steering Committee for the annual Zipping for Autism fundraiser. I am active in the autism, disability, and mental-health communities, supporting individuals, families, and professionals. I perform consultation, training, and talks for organizations and at universities and conferences.

Ray Hemachandra delivering the keynote address at the fall 2019 Autism & Neurodiversity Conference at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.
Delivering the keynote address at the fall 2019 Autism & Neurodiversity Conference at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.

I am a Community Grantmaking Fellow for the Tzedek Social Justice Fund, and I serve on the Review Committees for the Strategic Partnership Grants and Tipping Point Grants programs of Buncombe County, North Carolina. I am a longtime judge for the annual Benjamin Franklin Awards, the awards program of the Independent Book Publishers Association.

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. I was privileged to acquire, develop, publish, and promote many other titles and to collaborate with numerous authors, creatives, and excellent publishing professionals in that work.

I have interviewed mind/body/spirit and spiritual teachers—Eckhart Tolle, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Sakyong Mipham, Thomas Moore, Sister Chan Khong, and Rabbi David Zeller among them—along with musicians, artists, and many business leaders and authors. 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.
Moderating a panel at the University of North Carolina Asheville with autistic adults and autism/disability professionals—affirming the value of disabled lives prior to the 2018 Disability Day of Mourning event.

My work and, I hope, this blog are bound together by a consistent mission of supporting people in their lives and well-being—this intention informs my leadership approach, my business and organizational consulting, and my writing.

You can see my work on other sites, as well as this one. For a few examples, click through to see my interviews with Sister Chan Khong on the Plum Village site here and Dr. Wayne W. Dyer here and here, and an article about Native Americans and the New Age (interviewing Vine Deloria Jr., Ted Andrews, Jamie Sams, and Robert Doyle) here as a PDF. Numerous excerpts and reprints of my articles about autism have been reprinted in India’s Autism Network Journal, which is accessible here.

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

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

 

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