President, Stark Economic Development Board
Ray is the President/CEO of the Stark Economic Development Board, a non-profit economic development organization that has a mission of expanding and attracting business in Stark County.
Prior to leading SEDB, Ray was the CEO of First Communications in Akron. Ray and his team grew First Communications from $32 million to over $200 million in sales and from 80 to 380 employees with customers in all 50 states. During that time, Ray was responsible for leading his team in the integration of 9 acquisitions and involved in fund raising over $300 million of capital. In 2014 Hexamer helped finalize the sale of First Communications to Zayo and Canal Pointe Capital for $159 million.
Prior to First Communications, Ray spent 23 years at WHBC Radio starting as a “part time temporary announcer” and ending his time there as the President of the Company. He helped lead a $43.5 million sale of WHBC for its shareholders in 2002.
Vice President, Business Development
John is Vice President of Business Development for the Stark Economic Development Board. He will be the primary interface with companies seeking to grow in Stark County. John is an accomplished leader. His main goal is to plan and develop initiatives needed to promote positive organizational change. He will work directly with businesses to help them access local, regional, state and federal resources that will help them achieve their growth goals.
Vice President, Site Selection
Chris is Vice President of Site Selection for the Stark Economic Development Board. He has a BS degree in Engineering (Construction Option) from the University of Akron and an MBA from Bowling Green State University. Chris has 30 years of experience in the real estate industry, including his employment with SEDB since 1994. Chris can assist (in conjunction with communities, consultants, and brokers) with property searches, land development, brownfield redevelopment and specialty projects. Chris can also assist with infrastructure grants and company incentives.
Vice President, Strategic Services
Daniel is Vice President of Strategic Services for the Stark Economic Development Board. A graduate of Kent State University, he holds a BS degree in Biology and Chemistry. Dan also has an MBA from John Carroll University. Prior to his tenure at SEDB, Dan was a research scientist for a Fortune 500 firm. Dan has extensive experience leading Port Authority projects. Dan has helped many companies take advantage of operating in our Foreign Trade Zone as well as helping navigate zoning and incentive opportunities.
Annette handles all of the financial and accounting transactions for SEDB. In addition, to managing all aspects of the office she also is responsible for the SEDB fundraising campaigns. Her knowledge and ability to multi-task makes her valuable to our organization and members.
Business Retention & Expansion Representative
Rafael Rodriguez is the Business Retention & Expansion Representative for Stark Economic Development Board. His goal is to help local businesses succeed and to offer assistance in resolving any issues as well as new opportunities for your business to expand. He can help through providing resources at the city and state level to help with your specific needs.