Ray joined Cooperative Extension in 2010 as a Community Educator, informing residents in Tompkins County about the various alternative transportation options available to them. Ray implemented several public awareness relating to sustainable transportation such as CarShare on the Commons, which celebrated Ithaca CarShare and the rideshare platform Zimride, Bike to Work Day, which saw nearly 500 individuals commute to work in Ithaca via bicycle,World Car-Free Day, which awarded individuals with free bus passes for using public transit that day and many other activities. Ray has spoken at several conferences throughout New York State about sustainable transportation, specifically around education and community engagement. He has been published by the National Center for Senior Transportation, a program of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. Administration on Aging for examining senior drivers and their attitudes towards transportation barriers, and has written nearly $1,000,000.00 in funding proposals to continue transportation education in Upstate New York.
Ray became more involved in Fundraising and Event Management in 2011 when he was asked to be the Marketing Coordinator for the Tough Turtle, Ithaca’s first 5K obstacle course. Through various social media, print and broadcast marketing initiatives, this first-year event sold out in under 15 hours, and raised nearly $70,000 dollars. Shortly thereafter, Ray was asked to oversee an annual 5K race for 4-H Youth Development, a fundraiser that typically had 100 participants and raised $1,500. By making a few small changes to the event, it grew to having over 600 runners and raising nearly $10,000 that year. Seeing the interest and popularity in these types of events, Ray took a leap of faith and organized a glow-in-the-dark 5K race, once of the first of its kind nationwide. This race was one of the largest ever in Ithaca with nearly 2,400 runners and raising approximately $30,000. In addition to 5K races, Ray has organized other events such as benefit dinners, community service events and capital campaigns.
Ray brings his campus and community connections to the table as the new Director of Peaks, and is looking forward to helping individuals accomplish their crowdfunding and fundraising goals using the PEAKS Platform!