During my years as education director at IAAM, I worked continuously with Ray on many projects. We warmed up to one another, he in a mentor role to me. Am I the only person Ray mentored? I worked briefly with Bill Cunningham in the mid-90s when IAAM was collecting its history for its 75th anniversary. At lunch in Austin, Texas after visiting the IAAM archives at the University of Texas, Bill told the story of his decision to hire Ray at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum as his assistant. I believe Ray had recently finished a master’s degree at the University of California-Santa Barbara and included in his job application a reference from some sports-related agency he had interned with. Bill called the reference and received a glowing recommendation except that Ray sometimes seemed to be too much of a perfectionist. With that warning, Bill said he knew Ray was the right man and hired him. So these two perfectionistic, Type A personalities, by all accounts were masterful as facility managers and as longtime leaders of IAVM.
Editor’s Note: Don Hancock will share more about these industry legends in the July/August issue of Facility Manager magazine. We invite anyone who has a memory of Ray Ward and/or Bill Cunningham to please email your brief comments to R.V. Baugus at firstname.lastname@example.org to be part of the tribute package that we will be paying to honor these men.