About Ray

 

Ray Hemachandra profile pictureBusiness, communications, and marketing strategist. Publisher. Interviewer. Writer. Professional-development coach. Autism, intellectual disability, and neurodiversity advocate 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 collaboration: 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 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, 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.

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 team lead and business manager for the founding three years of Lark Jewelry & Beading. This 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. And I’ve done consulting work for numerous businesses and nonprofit organizations.

I currently serve on boards or advisory committees for a half-dozen nonprofit and governmental organizations: among them, the Consumer and Family Advisory Committee for LME/MCO Vaya Health, the Board of Directors for Liberty Corner Enterprises, 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 and special needs communities, supporting individuals, families, and professionals, and I offer 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 serve on the Review Committee for the Tipping Point Grants program of Buncombe County, North Carolina. I have served as a longtime judge for the annual Benjamin Franklin Awards from 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, 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. 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 hold together by a consistent mission of supporting people in their lives—this 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, including this excerpt from my article “Autism 101: Hating Your Autistic Child” 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:

 

3 thoughts on “About Ray

  1. 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

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

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

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