Originally from Oklahoma, T. Ray’s family’s roots in business extend back to 1889. The challenges his family faced not only created an abundance of knowledge to pass on to his clients, but also fueled his passion for working exclusively with privately held and family-owned businesses.
“My family’s business, Dawson Produce, was a tri-state operation but could not withstand a transition of ownership. With proper succession planning, the operation as a family business could have survived.”
In 1998, he opened a specialty boutique firm now called Family Business Legacies, LLC. He became the first person in Indiana, and is among 500 nationwide, to successfully complete the Certified Family Business Specialist (CFBS) designation offered through the American College in Bryn Mawr, PA. Additionally, he holds the Accredited Estate Planner (AEP) designation from the NAEPC, as well as, the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation and Graduate Certificate in Business Succession Planning from the American College.
He specializes in Business Continuation, Owner Exit Objectives, Leadership Succession and Wealth Transfer Planning for families in business. He operates on the principle that transition and exit planning are akin to the disciplines of law, accounting, and even medicine. He believes advice must be independent and thorough in its "diagnosis," and the client should be aware of all benefits and burdens of their decisions. This encourages a proactive approach to an Owner’s Business.
On most weekends, T. Ray and his wife, Tia, can be found watching the Oklahoma Sooners, Chicago Cubs, traveling or coaching his two children, Thomas and Audrey, in the sports they love. He also is active in several civic organizations, including the Management Fellows Advisory Board at DePauw University, the Downtown Indianapolis Kiwanis Club, The Oaks Academy, Broad Ripple Haverford Little League, Millennium Indy Soccer Club and North Central High School Boosters.