Who is Ed Bray?

What his parents and family will tell you

“Ed was a curious child,” according to Ed’s mom, Betty-Jane. “If there were 100 stones to be overturned, he would turn them all over and then drive us crazy looking for the 101st stone. It was annoying [But looking back, I guess I was like that too. Darn genetics.].”

“Edmund was my first grandchild.  He can ask all of the questions he wants,” snaps Ed’s 103-year-old grandmother.

“My dad is thoughtful and fair to everyone around him,” says Sarah, Ed’s teenage daughter. “That’s why we love him.”

“I don’t think so,” says Liam, Ed’s twelve-year-old son. “Remember the time he told me I needed to finish my schoolwork before I played Roblox?”

“Yeah, and the time he told me I couldn’t stay up all night facetiming my friends and then sleeping all day,” says Corinne, Ed’s fifteen (going on twenty-five) year-old-daughter. 

“Don’t let your father hear you talking like that,” interrupted Ed’s wife, Christy. “You know we only make decisions because we care about you, and just think, if you didn’t get all your schoolwork done or were absolutely exhausted, you’d never be able to fully experience our Disney Up-like adventure of a life.”

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What Ed will tell you

My favorite phrase is “Don’t burn the day” from the Dave Matthews Band song “Pig” (If you haven’t heard it, go listen to it.). I’ve consciously lived that motto every day of my life. Whether it was intently listening to my father and grandfather, human resources executives at IBM for over seventy-five years combined, talk about life in the working world to becoming a professional student graduating from three colleges with a BS, JD, and MBA and passing the bar exam in New Jersey to moving ten times to better our lives to marrying the love of my life and building a wonderful family of five and a dog, I’ve never wasted any minute of any day.

Over the past twenty-five years, I’ve had the opportunity to work in human resources at ten companies, including Hawaiian Airlines, and Apria Healthcare. I am currently a senior director in human resources at Ross Stores, Inc.

That’s a lot of career moves, five states dragging my family along on these work adventures, and packing up and moving. I’ve moved from a cubicle to the corner office and even worked from home. I’ve had the opportunity to manage one to over twenty-five staff members. 

Over this period, I’ve had the good fortune of being promoted four times, was named human resources Rookie of the Year in 2017 and Change Champion in 2018 at Ross Stores, Inc., appeared on the cover of a national human resources periodical, Employee Benefit News, in 2013 for a human resources project I led at Hawaiian Airlines, and taught human resources courses at the University of California–Irvine from 2012 to 2018, where I was presented with the Distinguished Instructor Award in 2017.

In addition, I’ve presented human resources topics at major human resources association conferences, including HR Executive and WorldatWork, served as a contributing editor and blogger to major human resources periodicals, including Employee Benefit News and cfo.com.

I’ve also been appointed to advisory councils for major employers and human resources associations, including Anthem, Kaiser Permanente, Wells Fargo, and the Retail Benefits Group, where I’ve shared feedback to help these respective organizations serve employers appropriately.​

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When I switch gears to my home life, I live in Dublin, California, and enjoy sports (go New York Yankees, Jets, and Knicks), traveling (the Great Barrier Reef was my favorite so far), exercising (running is my thing: marathon and three half-marathons), and spending time with my wife, Christy, our three amazing children, Sarah, Corinne, and Liam, and labradoodle, Alfie.

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Moral of my story

 

Given my work and family experiences, coupled with my passion for maximizing the value of every day, my hope is two things: (1) to equip you with the knowledge and tools to help you achieve whatever you’ve defined as success in the working world and maybe even life; and (2) to help you pay forward whatever you learn as there is no better feeling than helping others achieve what they want to be.

Fun facts about me

  • My wife and I appeared on the TV show, Hell’s Kitchen, as diners. Unfortunately, our kitchen was kicked out by Gordon Ramsay before dessert was served as one of the chefs in the kitchen serving us just couldn’t get anything right that night.

  • I’ve had a piranha and jellyfish as pets. The piranha’s scales were so soft! (just kidding)

  • I’ve visited forty-seven states. Arkansas, North Dakota, and Michigan, here I come!

  • I’ve seen the big five in Yellowstone National Park (bison, elk, grizzly, moose, and wolf).  If you ever have an opportunity to visit Yellowstone, do it. You will see the true majesty of nature in its most pristine form and won’t regret it.

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