Ray brings twelve years of experience as a three-time CEO, a decade of experience as a private equity investment partner, and a background as an investment banker. As Head of the NextLevel Operations team, Ray’s primary role is to accelerate portfolio company growth by supporting their CEOs.
Ray joined Level full time in November 2023, after serving as President of CivicPlus, a Level Equity portfolio company that in June of 2022 acquired Optimere, a Level Equity portfolio company focused on cloud-based social media archiving, risk management, and analytics, where he was CEO. Ray previously served as CEO of Astute until its acquisition by Audax Partners in June of 2019 and as CEO of NeoNova for the six preceding years. Prior to his operational roles, Ray spent a decade as a Partner at Azure Capital Partners, investing in early-stage companies. Ray began his professional career in the technology practices at Robertson Stephens and CreditSuisse, raising public and private capital and advising on mergers and acquisitions. Ray has also served on numerous Boards of Directors, including at Kelly’s Roast Beef, a multi-generational family business.
A graduate of Stanford University, Ray was an NCAA champion butter-flyer and represented the USA in the 1996 Olympic Games. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with his wife, Beth, and their two children, Edward, who attends Ole Miss, and Kathryn, who attends VCU.