Ray Brace

Ray Brace

Class of 2007

Ray was born January 22, 1944, in Pittsburgh. He attended South Hills H.S. and later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University. Ray and his wife Patricia, whom he married in 1966, raised three children, Mark, Matthew and Marianne.

He retires from The Hershey Co. as senior vice-president of global operations in May 2007, ending a 40-year career with the company. He held various positions during his tenure, including plant manager, senior vice-president of operations, vice-president of conversion and procurement and vice-president of manufacturing and engineering.

Ray says he learned valuable lessons from all the Hershey CEOs he has served under, but credits his early Hershey mentor, double-amputee and plant manager Bob Bucher, as having the greatest influence in his life because he taught him about life and adversity.

Reflecting on his career, he shares that gaining as much experience as possible, doing each job well and recognizing that you must be fair to and treat all people with dignity and respect were essential factors of his success.

He says he has no regrets in his career, but if he had to change one thing, he would have sought cross-development assignments early on. He explains: Experiences in demand creation would have enhanced my supply chain career path.

Ray is the current chairman of the board of the Chocolate Manufacturers Association.

Outside of the business, Ray is credited as the co-founder of the Hershey Aquatic Club, and was president of the Hershey Rotary Club and a developer of the People Mover in Derry, PA. He has also served on the Dearden House Advisory Board.

In his free time, Ray owns and operates an 80-acre farm. He is also involved in collegiate wrestling, and in 2006, enjoyed the honor of presenting awards at the NCAA National Wrestling Championships.