Candidate Statement from Ray Rivero

Statement from Ray Rivero, candidate for 2020–2021 Club Growth Director:

Born in Odessa, Texas, Ray Rivero grew up in Texas, Colorado, and California. He graduated from Texas A&M University in May 1987 with a bachelor of science degree in Industrial Engineering, and also has a second bachelor of science degree in Computer Science from Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.

Ray has worked for the US Army for more than 30 years, starting his career as an operations research analyst in 1988 at Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, Illinois. He has worked on a variety of programming projects, ranging from mainframe applications to personal computing. He also worked as an Internet programmer for 10 years, and provides customer service for a variety of Army online logistics programs. He currently is a logistics specialist at Detroit Arsenal, working in the Integrated Logistics Support Center for the Tank-Automotive and Armament Command (TACOM). He is certified in level III life-cycle logistics, received from Defense Acquisition University (DAU), which includes training in product support, planning, managing, and implementation of logistics hardware and software systems.

Ray joined Toastmasters in February 2012 as a member of Tankmasters Toastmasters, a club that meets on Detroit Arsenal. He also has been a member of Optimistic Orators since October 2017. He has served as a club president, vice president of education, vice president of membership, vice president of public relations, and secretary, and has served in several positions for the district, including a Division E Pathways guide, Area 21 Director, and is currently the Division E Director and District TEAM Pathways co-chair. He also spoke at the 2019 District 28 Conference and moderated a panel during District 28 Webinars Series-Successful Clubs session this year. He received his Distinguished Toastmasters award in November 2017 and has completed the Strategic Relationships path in Pathways. He also is enrolled in three other paths – Innovative Planning, Dynamic Leadership, and Motivational Strategies.

Over the past 5 years District 28 has seen a decline in the number of clubs, in its membership, and in the number of education awards received by its members. Toastmasters provides ways for members to improve upon their communication and leadership skills, and these methods work! Our members invite corporations and community organizations, from teens to young adults to senior citizens, to experience Toastmasters. If I’m elected club growth director, I will work to invite potential members to come, to experience, and to become better communicators, better leaders, and better individuals. As Club Growth Director I plan to help members get the most out of Toastmasters, to partner with corporate and community organizations to educate about public speaking, and work with existing clubs to recover from the shock of COVID-19 and extend the benefits of communication and leadership education.

Ray has been married to Mercedes Luna-Rivero, a member of the Macomb Motivators Toastmasters club, since 2006 and has one son, a 10-year-old boy, Benjamin.

Since we won’t be holding an in-person conference this year, we’ve created a virtual Candidates’ Corner on our District Council meeting event page, where we’ll be publishing statements from each of our candidates as we receive them.