Ray Beerhorst, a native of Grand Rapids, has had a rich and dynamic career in some of Michigan’s leading businesses. Ray’s experience includes every link in the value chain. From the factory floor, to quality assurance labs, to executive meetings, Ray has learned first-hand what it means to create environments for success. Throughout his career it has been Ray’s goal to unlock others’ skills and creativity and guide each person to achievement as well as fulfillment.
An early love of cars led Ray to dreams of a job in the auto industry. However, without a formal education, he entered the industry as a mechanic, an experience he credits to this day with giving him hands-on knowledge of the meaning of quality work.
While working at Haworth Corporation, Ray began studying at Western Michigan University to solidify his technical credentials, graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1988. Soon Ray seized an opportunity to work at Herman Miller, a global icon of industrial design. It was Ray’s call to redesign the company’s quality assurance system, readying it for the 21st century, and defending Herman Miller’s unparalleled reputation. It was also during this time that Ray began to discover the power of outstanding leadership under Herman Miller’s renowned CEO, Max De Pree.
Ray’s early dreams of a job in the automotive industry came to fruition in 1992 when he took a position at Gentex Corporation, an innovator in high tech electronics that works with nearly every major automobile company in the world. Over the next 16 years Ray would design and implement the quality/reliability engineering system that made Gentex’s name synonymous with excellence. During his tenure at Gentex Ray received certifications in Quality, Reliability, and Six Sigma.
Soon Ray’s leadership was put to the test by an economic downturn that nearly obliterated the automotive industry in Michigan. Throughout these times Ray continually observed that the ability to coach team members to exceptional performance while working together is the only thing that can sustain a business in jeopardy. In 2009 Ray was recruited by Whirlpool Corporation. As Senior Manager of Lab Operations, Ray established an accelerated reliability testing facility that ensured the quality of Whirlpool dishwashers sold worldwide. Most recently, in 2011, a new position as Director of Operations at Energetx Composites took him back to Holland, MI, to work on the cutting-edge of wind-energy technology.
In recent years Ray has become certified as a Co-Active Coach through The Coaches Training Institute and has used his many experiences to help others uncover and build on their natural strengths. For numerous individuals and corporate executives, Ray’s coaching has fostered clarity, purpose, and achievement. One client writes, “I went to Ray looking for guidance in how to change our corporate culture and to help me with leadership development. When I started working with Ray I was Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. With Ray’s coaching and mentoring I was able to demonstrate to our Board of Directors enough growth to inspire them to make me President and CEO. This was over an eight month period of time.”
Another client lists some of the benefits he has received by working with Ray, such as, “standing up for myself when before I would walk away, completing my handbook for the shop, completing wage reviews for the team, getting the team to work together, and developing a bonus program.”
For many clients, Ray’s analysis using the Denison Leadership Assessment has been transformative. One client reports that, “Ray’s coaching and instructional material has given me the confidence and courage to implement several programs that are driving a very positive corporate cultural change in our company. Ray assisted me in developing actions to address the specific areas that the Denison Assessment pointed to.” The contemporary business world is dynamic and multi-faceted. That is why Ray’s approach is adaptable to each unique situation. Many clients have been amazed by Ray’s ability to tailor his coaching to their specific needs and goals. “In my experience,” writes one client, “corporate-sponsored mentoring is frequently focused on career path and gaining better understanding of business principles…Ray’s coaching digs deeper and forces me to truly understand the issue at hand, challenging my perspective in every situation.”
No matter the circumstances, Ray’s coaching has brought results, helping individuals, groups, and corporations turn unproductive situations into environments that cultivate the highest levels of success and fulfillment.