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Remembering Chris Ray

by Karen Knapstein

November 15, 1960 – February 18, 2021

Chris Ray was the National Sales Manager at Levi’s Building Components since 2014. In his position, he helped the company grow tremendously, leading the sales team to exceed expectations year over year. More than that, Chris was an incredible person. He was genuine, humble, and patient. To those under his management, he was the kind of boss for whom it was easy to grow fond of. His down-to-earth attitude didn’t just make him highly approachable, but a great person to simply sit and talk with about anything from music to travel to great restaurants. Chris was also an incredibly creative person, with loads of ideas and big hopes for what could be accomplished if we work together. The memories of Chris will continue to be an inspiration for many. Here are a few from those who had the privilege to work beside him:

“Chris Ray was an incredible boss. I started my career with Levi’s at the beginning of Covid shutdowns last March. Chris went out of his way to make sure I was given every opportunity for success. Chris was knowledgeable and caring. He was hands-down the best boss I have ever had; our entire sales team would agree. We were blessed to have been given the time with him that we were, and he will be greatly missed.” 

-Shannon Zimmerman,
Inside Sales Agent

“Truly a Renaissance man of our time. Chris was able to bring some unique characteristics to his style of leadership. He was well versed, very bright, and able to communicate his ideas effectively to anyone. Chris was a hardworking guy, a great sales manager, and instrumental in Levi’s becoming a successful business. Chris loved his family and spoke often about how proud he was of all of them. He loved life and looked forward to new friendships and experiences. Everyone who knew him will miss him dearly.” 

-Ed Machowski,
Senior Technical Sales Agent

“Chris was a real great guy to be around. He was full of life—a real gentlemen. I am not sure I ever got to go through the door behind him; he was always holding the door open for people. One of the great phrases he used: ‘It takes all of us together—it takes a village to get the job done.’ Another one was: ‘Today is a gift. Let’s make the best of it.’ He has left us big shoes to fill.” 

-Steve Fisher, President and CEO

At the request of the family, if anyone would like to give in memory of Chris Ray, please do so by making a donation to the American Cancer Society. 

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