About Ray

 

Business, social-media, and marketing strategist. Publisher. Interviewer. Writer. Professional-development coach. Autism 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 have come from partnership: partnering with colleagues while listening to customers and community, 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 customers for whom we work. That’s the model for any meaningfully profitable business. My emphases, accordingly, include relationship-building, community, 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 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 served as a member of the management team for an environmental engineering firm, overseeing its human resources, marketing, and editorial quality control. And I’ve done consulting work for several businesses and organizations.

I currently serve on the boards of businesses and numerous community 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 and university classes, as well as at regional conferences.

Ray Hemachandra making a presentation about autism and neurodiversity at the University of North Carolina Asheville

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, Doreen Virtue, Sakyong Mipham, Thomas Moore, Chan Khong, and 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’ve led trainings and seminars, moderated panel discussions, and conducted interviews on stage with business leaders and spiritual teachers.

Ray Hemachandra moderating a panel of autistic adults and autism/disability professionals at UNCA 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 strategies, my writing, and my personal expectations.

You can also see my work on other sites across the Web. For a few examples, click through to see my interviews with spiritual teachers Sister Chan Khong on the Plum Village site here, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer here and here, organization consultant Peter Block here as a PDF, 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 beautiful teenage 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)

    Like

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