Business Person of the Week Interview
Ray Ellis, Small Businessman, Community Volunteer Extraordinaire




11526 Sorrento Valley Road, Suite H
San Diego, CA 92121




Ray started a small mail order business from his San Diego garage in 1987 and
15 years later counted clients nationwide, production facilities on both coasts and more than 150 employees.

As a community volunteer for over two decades, Ray has focused on our public parks and the environment.  

Ray worked as a volunteer with Second Chance, helping chronically unemployed adults turn their lives around with the power of a steady job.  

Through Voices for Children, Ray has helped abused children thrive and reach their full potential with permanent, safe and stable homes. 

And at Social Venture Partners, Ray assisted the organization in improving education, increasing high school graduation rates and assisting military families. Social Venture Partners recently honored Ray with their Community Leadership Award for “A life dedicated to community service."

As a volunteer board chair of a local environmental organization Ray oversaw a regional quality of life report card measuring more than a dozen indicators, including water and air quality, mass transit and recycling efforts.

He has also led on important civic challenges like implementing pension reform as president of San Diego’s Pension Board.

His resume includes volunteer time with The Parker Foundation, San Diego Workforce Partnership Workforce Investment Board, Lux Art Institute, Neighborhood House Association and the Del Mar Mesa Community Planning Board. He is a member of the EDC Strategic Roundtable, San Diego Workforce Funders’ Collaborative and San Diego Grantmakers’ Finance Committee. 

Ray coaches his son’s basketball and football teams and is the principal of Ellis & Associates, LLC, an investment firm. He also manages a private foundation that helps fund numerous non-profit organizations, including Rady Children’s Hospital. 

He and his wife Gina reside in Carmel Valley with their son Jake. Ray’s son Matt and his wife Alaina live and work in San Diego. His daughter Jessica lives and works in Fort Worth, Texas.

The civic leader is currently running for the District One San Diego City Council seat being vacated by termed out Council President Sherri Lightner.