September's featured IEM alumnus is Ray Shaffer, Executive Vice President and Director of Information Technology at Compass Bank. With responsibilities over telecom, operations, distributed systems, IT customer service, IS security, data warehousing, and disaster recovery, Ray's responsibilities at Compass are far reaching. Prior to Compass Bank, Ray served as Director of Technology Management for Regions Bank.
Ray got his start in IT back in the 70's on an IBM mainframe programming in COBOL. Ever since then he has been hooked on technology. To further his knowledge, he obtained a bachelors degree in computer science from Alvernia College in Reading, Pennsylvania back in 1987. Rounding out his academic career Ray graduated from the IEM program in 2008.
One of the biggest challenges that Ray sees amongst workers in IT is getting stuck in a rut. Part of his reason for entering the IEM program was to expand his mind and the way that he approached problems. Ray feels that IEM teaches you to think outside the box and approach problems from different angles.
Ray's favorite class of the IEM program was the entrepreneurship series.[EGR 642- Technical Entreprneurship] In the class he came up with the idea for Summer Breezze - a safe, portable, personal air conditioning system. Unique amongst the other IEM alumni, Ray actually built a functioning prototype of his product while in the program. Ray hopes one day to build a company around his design.
Ray heralds from the steel town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania where he grew up with his five brothers. All of his brothers were athletic and he recalls many great neighborhood football games over the years. Ray’s wife is a retired registered nurse and the logical side of the family. Ray has two sons; one is a police officer living in Montgomery and the other is an analyst working at CTS. Ray's hobbies include working, camping, and radio controlled boating.
Join Ray on LinkedIn.