It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of Long-time Customer, Ray White. Below, you will find Zech Strauser’s recount of our relationship with Ray and the impact he has had on us as professionals and individuals here at Strauser’s.
I met Ray about 13 or so years ago on the street while laying sod at one of his neighbors houses. While he hired us to do some work for him at his private home over the years, most of our relationship was based on the community of CCP North HOA and his position as a board member. That day on the street he asked if we were interested in receiving a RFP for snow services and put me in contact with the property manager.
This interaction on the street led to 13 years of a relationship that would help shape our business and my leadership skills. What I liked about Ray was his ability to be a coach to anyone around him. Even if I didn’t always ask for it, he would give me advice. As always at the time you don’t always see the importance of what someone is telling you. But what I can say about Ray is I found out quickly that he had everyone’s best interests in mind and would work hard to get things moving. We all know on any board, it’s hard to get things organized and to have traction. He saw through a lot of the clutter and could get the traction needed.
Some examples of things I remember Ray doing was holding a community Come Alive Outside day with us at the clubhouse, pushing boards to move on decisions when things were not moving, bringing boards together when they didn’t see things clearly, telling me I should advertise I have been in business 10 years (13 years ago), my managers need to move faster on getting back to them, let me know when they been doing great as well, coming to our 20 anniversary event speaking on a customer panel and telling our staff what they could do better or had been doing great. Helping me get along with a property manager when we had some challenges and brought the two of us to see things from each other’s point of view. Last but not least, “…Zech I know you’ll keep the pencil sharp on this correct?” “Yes Ray we will be certain to study our costs…” These are just a few of countless memories I have on a business level with Ray.
Personally, he would say how proud he was of me and my team over the years. He would say how in his experience in leading teams in the business world, we had impressed him and many of the other board members. That meant a lot to me coming from Ray as he expected what was on the contract. On a personal level I remember him also encouraging me to start a family and then saying how happy he was when we had our first baby girl and that meant a lot to me.
What I can say is Ray got things done but made me feel important and I had the pleasure to experience his leadership. Remember this is in his retirement all free of charge to everyone around him. He was a giver of his time and we all know what the most priceless asset we all have is and he gave it.
I once asked a retired person how it was going. He replied by saying I never have worked so hard. If I spoke for Ray I could say he fell into this category. Like so many servant leaders and board members in private communities do.
This is a tribute to Ray and may his hard work impact and inspire all the other hard working board members presently and in the future. Keep serving your community as the community needs you!
You and all you taught me about serving others will not be forgotten Ray White!!