Inside Track: Macalester alum Lt. Clovis Ray remembered

  • Article by: NEAL ST. ANTHONY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 15, 2012 - 9:04 PM
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The late Clovis Ray, a one-time Wells Fargo banker, as a Macalester football player

Twins Clovis and Ed Ray were co-captains of the 1998 Macalester College football team and accomplished students who went on to successful business careers. They were high-achieving students and the working-class sons of a disabled Army Vietnam veteran from Texas.

Ed Ray, 35, an Ecolab manager in China, came home to St. Paul and "Mac" on a recent Saturday to remember his brother as a man who put service above self. At age 32, Clovis Ray resigned from a job at Wells Fargo & Co. to enlist in the Army.

Last spring, Lt. Clovis Ray was killed as he led his Army platoon in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. Earlier this month his brother, flanked at the halftime of a Mac football game by several dozen former Mac players and Macalester President Brian Rosenberg, dedicated the stadium flagpole to the memory of Clovis Ray, an understated American hero.

"We both ... embraced the Mac culture of internationalism and making the world a better place," Ed Ray said last week. "Clovis told me how excited he was about leading and protecting his platoon. All of his men safely returned from Afghanistan.

"Clovis was an unselfish, fearless leader with a big heart. I truly believe Clovis would have wanted us to focus on remembering the good times together rather than the sorrow due to his passing. He would have wanted everyone he knew to live their lives as he lived his: Make every second count. Turn negatives into positives. Make a difference in whatever you do. Set goals and be prepared to work to achieve your dreams. Unselfishly love your family and friends. Give back to community and country."

Sounds like an excellent plan for us to honor the memory of this fallen warrior.

An inspired Mac team won that game on Sept. 8. Ray is survived by his wife and 5-year-old son.

TURKEY BACON DEBUT

Hormel's Jennie-O launches a new advertising campaign this week for its turkey bacon product. The campaign, created by BBDO Proximity in Minneapolis, features the classic upstate New York village of Sleepy Hollow where real residents and actors are shown dining on lower-sodium turkey bacon and other turkey breakfast staples, including sausage links and patties.

The campaign is a continuation of Jennie-O's "Make the Switch" theme that began with an effort to get consumers to substitute turkey for beef and eat more turkey burgers. That advertisement involved setting up a Jennie-O restaurant in a Los Angeles neighborhood and serving 2,500 free turkey burgers to the locals there. Last year, Jennie-O partnered with TV reality show "The Biggest Loser" to promote the leanness of turkey products.

"The Jennie-O Turkey Store is on a mission to help the world discover the great taste of turkey," said Jen Ehresmann, Jennie-O Turkey Store director of marketing.

The campaign must be working. The Jennie-O brand accounted for 20 percent of Hormel's second-quarter sales with an operating profit that rose 50 percent.

DAVID PHELPS

SHORT TAKES

•Cielostar, formerly Outsource One, a benefits administration and technology company that is growing in anticipation of state-based health care exchanges through the new health care law, has named John Reynolds as CEO. Reynolds, 50, succeeds Bill Mehus, 57, the company's founder in 1988. Mehus is executive chairman and will help direct the company's strategic direction. Reynolds will focus on adding services to Cielostar's nationwide customer base that's capitalizing on the health care consumerism movement and emerging technology, including private exchanges. Reynolds joined Minneapolis-based Cielostar after selling FIS Healthcare Division to Lightyear Capital in August. He was president of FIS Healthcare, Government and Biller Solutions.

•Two Minneapolis attorneys have co-written a guidebook to help other lawyers set up pro bono programs to help low-income inventors navigate the sometimes daunting patent application process. Amy Salmela, a partner at Patterson Thuente, and Mark Privratsky, a partner at Lindquist & Vennum, are behind "Patent Law Pro Bono: A Best Practices Handbook." The lawyers developed the book after participating in a successful pro bono pilot project in Minnesota last year. Demand for the handbook increased when the America Invents Act (AIA) added a provision requiring the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to set up pro bono programs across the country.

DAVID PHELPS

•Scott Anderson is the new chief economist for San Francisco-based Bank of the West. The former senior economist at Wells Fargo in Minneapolis left for Northern California last month. He was author of the California and Minnesota outlooks for Wells Fargo. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Minnesota. In the new job, he will analyze world and national economic trends for Bank of the West managers and clients.

ADAM BELZ

•Allianz Life Insurance of North America has extended its financial literacy partnership with BestPrep and Junior Achievement to help Twin Cities youth. A $600,000 donation extends the relationship through 2015 with each organization receiving $100,000 per year, as well as scores of Allianz Life volunteers to those nonprofits.

•RBC Wealth Managment, the seventh-largest full-service retail brokerage with nearly 2,000 financial advisers, says women constitute nearly 40 percent of its trainees. The company, part of RBC Financial, just held its 20th Women's Association of Financial Advisors conference in Minneapolis. About 20 percent of RBC and industry financial advisers today are women.

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