Born in Cebu City, Philippines to an American father and a Filipina mother, Ray grew up in Istanbul, Turkey. He received his B.S. in Computer Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 2001.
Ray started his professional career as a computer geek writing software for a range of companies including Silicon Valley startups, Fortune 500 companies, the U.S. Government and NGO's. In 2006 he decided he wanted a career change, joined the U.S. Peace Corps and was assigned to Mexico where he worked in the largely indigenous area of Chiapas, Mexico. After completing his 2 years of service, he married his Spanish teacher - Laura - and stayed in Mexico to start with her a chain of successful brick and mortar language schools.
In 2008, he launched Live Lingua to compliment the in-person classes offered at the expanding chain of brick and mortar schools. Then in 2010, by which time it had become clear that the online language school would require his full-time attention, he sold the brick and mortar part of the business to focus on growing Live Lingua.
What inspires Ray to work?
As the CEO of an online business I have the unique freedom to work when I want, wherever I want. I like to say that "I am always working or always on vacation depending on your point of view". It is not unusual for me to work 12-14 hours a day, but I love every minute of it. I also love the flexibility to be able to work in the office, on the beach or while traveling around the world. As long as the place I go has a good internet connection I have the freedom to be anywhere.
Entrepreneurship has its ups and downs and it is not for everybody. It would be a lot less stressful to work at a 9-5 job and get paid every 2 weeks, but I don't think I could ever go back to working for somebody else. I just don't get inspired if what I am doing is a task I don't believe in. As an entrepreneur, I work many more hours than I would as an employee, but I get to choose my goals and it is up to me whether I reach them or not. I still remember the days when I was satisfied with a 3% raise each year. Never again. Once you taste the freedom of fully reaping what you sow, you work hard not to go back.
I am an introvert. But you would never know it if you meet me. I have been told many times in gatherings or at conventions that I seem very outgoing and comfortable around other people. That is actually true. But the confusion seems to be because people think that the word "introvert" is synonymous with "anti-social". That is definitely not the case for me. I like being around people. It is just that it exhausts me.
The best description I have heard to describe the difference between introvert and extrovert is that an extrovert gains energy from being with people. An introvert looses energy when they are around people. That applies entirely to me. I have no problem with a 3 day convention, but afterward I need a week of down time to recover.
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Food: Apple Pie with sharp Cheddar cheese
Favorite Strange Food Combination: White rice with ketchup
Favorite Drink: Hot Coffee (even when it is over 100 degrees out)
Favorite Animal: Dogs (specifically scruffy mutts)
Favorite Movie: 5th Element (it is so bad it is good)
Favorite Sport: Kendo
Favorite Pastime: Travel
Ray has 23 years of experience in I.T. and Education.
He speaks 3.5 languages though not very well.
He needs 3 cups of coffee to get going everyday.
He is a semi-professional sword fighter.