Photo by Lukia Costello
With 20 years’ experience in the aerospace industry followed by nearly 15 years in the Western New York non-profit sector, Linda Ray is a successful trainer, coach and strategist. She brings a rare for-profit sensibility to the work of non-profit organizations while appreciating the unique challenges and joys associated with community-impact work.
In 2010, Linda established her own consulting and coaching practice for mission-driven organizations in Western New York. Her clients include organizations working in community development, arts and culture, health and wellness, human services and education. She has provided coaching, training, consulting and facilitation for these clients in the areas of strategic planning, board development, sustainability planning, succession planning, organizational assessment, change management, staff recruitment, organizational and leadership development and process improvement.
Prior to founding her own consulting practice, Linda was the Executive Director of the Family Justice Center of Erie County (FJC), whose mission is to provide free, one-stop services for victims of domestic violence through the work of a multi-agency collaboration. Linda was hired to stabilize the young organization financially and structurally, and she did just that. While leading the complex collaboration of governmental agencies and non-profit organizations, Linda moved the FJC from a fledging, underfinanced agency to one positioned for growth and long-term sustainability.
Before joining the FJC, Linda coached and trained more than 200 non-profit organizations across North America to build sustainable funding for their missions, diversify their revenue streams and maximize their assets in service of their clients.
Linda’s first executive role in the non-profit sector was as senior director at the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society, where she managed both the fund development and the communications programs. Linda led a successful campaign to fund the community’s Pan American Exposition Centennial Celebration and was a key resource for the community-wide collaboration that brought the year-long event to fruition.
During her 20-year aerospace industry career, Linda served as manager of business systems and corporate contracts. Responsible for more than $40M of repeat business annually, Linda led her team of business managers to provide high quality services to demanding customers while achieving contractual obligations within budget and on time. Additionally, she led process improvement teams and cost-reduction projects using a variety of analytical and statistical tools.
A native Texan, Linda has called Western New York home for 34 years. She earned a MS in organizational leadership from St. Bonaventure University with a thesis on the characteristics of women’s philanthropy in Western New York. Linda earned a BA from Texas Tech University in English and journalism with a minor in history.
Linda Ray has inspired this Board to embrace enthusiastically the task of finding the resources to sustain and grow this revered institution.from the Buffalo History Museum's Board of Managers resolution honoring Linda Ray, adopted on 11/23/2003