Not many places encourage you to grab lunch with members of the leadership team if you have questions, ideas or just want to get to know them better. ArchiveSocial is not like most places. So on the first Friday after officially joining the team, I invited ArchiveSocial’s new CEO, Ray Carey to The Parlor for some of Durham’s best homemade ice-cream to get to know more about our new leader. 

Before dipping into cones of Butter Pecan, all I knew about Ray was his professional career. I learned from his LinkedIn profile that he started his career in California and has held roles of increasing responsibility driving the financial strategy and viability of various entrepreneurial technologies. This will be his third time holding the title as CEO – first at NeoNova Network Services, then Astute Solutions, and, of course, now with us.  

I learned from initial conversations with the team that outside of the office, the father of two is a former Olympic swimmer, representing the United States at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. A lover of puzzles and problem solving, Ray is an avid supporter of Habitat for Humanity and served on the Board for two years- the maximum length allowed. To this day he remains a Board Member for Kelly’s Roast Beef, a family-owned business in Boston many people recognize from Good Will Hunting. 

But I wanted to know more about why ArchiveSocial fit in with his goals and what drove him to join us now. Joined by two of my teammates, Lindsey Rains and Em Seyb, we gathered around one of The Parlors tables and dug in. Here’s what we learned: 

Q: What attracted you to ArchiveSocial?

Ray: “The mission. I have always endeavored to drive transparency into the organizations I have led. When I found a company whose whole purpose is transparency, a company where my core values and the organization’s core values are so aligned, I knew it was the right place for me. That and [team] lunch Friday!”

Q: What makes you excited about the future of the company?

Ray: “We are still in the infancy of a massive change in the way humans communicate. Facebook did not exist 15 years ago; Instagram is not yet 10 years old, and we are adding networks every year.  

The idea that any citizen can have a two-way engagement with their elected officials, public officers or even the President of the United States is still a very new and evolving idea. Usage is growing across our public institutions and the need for legally compliant, factually accurate, and a comprehensive version of “what happened” is critical to these new communication tools and social networks being used for good, for free and open dialog.  

I am excited to see how we can do our part to keep up with this change and promote the freedom of information that this new mode of engagement provides.”

Q: As you finish your first full week here, what has stood out to you the most?

Ray: “That’s an easy one. The people. I had examined the company from a set of financials and market studies and was intrigued. I met Anil (our Chairman) and was impressed. But this week, after meeting (and eating!) with almost all of our 67 people, I was blown away.  

I have never been more welcomed nor seen an organization that is so laser-focused on solving customer’s needs with a maniacal mix of both fun and execution that I now know is called WorkLaugh Balance.”

As we finished up our ice cream, I knew a little more about his work history, his family, and aspirations for the company, yet there was part of Ray’s story I still didn’t know. As part of his onboarding, he made a request for each of the team members to write down their favorite movies. It was time to find out his own cinematic selection:  

Q: What is your favorite movie and why?

Ray: “I love movies. It’s a great way to give my brain a rest and escape for a couple of hours. My favorite has always been, The Princess Bride (1987). Why my favorite? I quote:

Grandpa (Peter Faulk) from the first scene says, ‘Are you kidding? It has fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles.’ 

Grandson (Fred Savage): ‘Doesn’t sound too bad. I’ll try to stay awake.’”

Well, I know the team at ArchiveSocial is wide awake looking forward to all the exciting adventures to come. Welcome aboard, Ray!