Ray Chambers Made Me a Better Manager
In May of 2005, I stepped away from 17 years in commercial printing and accepted a position as the director for print and mail at Messiah College in central Pennsylvania. Two years later, I met Ray Chambers.
In 2007, I was tasked by senior administrators to find a consultant and complete something called an “Institutional Effectiveness Review.” The review was to include three broad areas of interest for study:
- Purpose: an evaluation of the purpose of the print and mail department and how that purpose relates to the purpose of the College.
- Process: an assessment of work processes, changes in demand, changes in types of work performed, facilities and resources used – including equipment and technology, and financial performance.
- Personnel: an assessment of staff skills and the relevance of those skills to the current portfolio of products and services.
At the time, I had no idea how to locate a qualified consultant, and so I plead for help on a listserv for higher-ed in-plants. I received precisely 13 responses. One response was a recommendation to reach out to a man named Ray Chambers and the other 12 were supporting testimonials of Ray’s qualifications and experience.
Today, I am so thankful I saved all those emails. I cannot think of a better tribute to a man who meant so much to me and to countless others. Here are a few of those testimonials:
“Ray has more than 30 years of experience managing and directing in-plants across multiple industry segments. He often consults with leaders in higher education across the country. You will not find a better man for the job than Ray.”
“In the mountains of amazing things that Ray has done for me over the years, the one thing that still resonates with me to this day (and will do so for the rest of my life) is that he gave me all the tools I needed to succeed as an in-plant manager. I owe all I have accomplished to him.”
“Ray is more than a consultant. He will come to you with years of experience doing exactly what you do. He possesses a graduate-level understanding of all the complexities and unique challenges that come with managing an in-plant at a college or university. Many of us have benefitted from his efforts.”
“The only thing you need to know about Ray that will convince you to hire him is that he is married to someone who will come to the table with him. He and Catherine have a great desire to help others and they have done research centered on developing and using tools that will help you with your review.”
“No one knows more about measuring and assessing an organization than Ray Chambers. His method of including clients (or as we call them: customers) in his approach to assessment is probably what saved our in-plant.”
“If you were to fast forward to three years from now, and you find yourself thinking back on your review, you will thank your lucky stars you hired Ray. He will not just generate a report and check boxes on a check list. He will alter the course of your department.”
“When you hire Ray, you are not just hiring a consultant. You will make a friend for life.”
I did, Ray. I truly did.
Related story: Ray Chambers: A True Believer in the Value of In-plants
Dwayne Magee is now in his 17th year as director of Messiah University Press and Postal Services. His department was recipient of the 2018 IPMA Organizational Impact Award, the 2015 IPMA Innovation Award, the 2017 ACUP Green Service Award, and the 2015 ACUP Collaborative Service Award. Prior to joining Messiah, he worked for 17 years at Alphagraphics as an assistant manager and ISO coordinator. He is president of the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He is currently an English major (part-time) with a concentration in writing at the college where he works. Outside of work, Dwayne enjoys exploring spiritual, environmental and social concerns through creative writing and the arts. He can often be found speaking on the topic of diversity in bookstores, public libraries and elementary schools, where he makes use of his award-winning children’s book “A Blue-Footed Booby Named Solly McBoo.” His travel writing and fictional essays have made appearances in various publications including the Northern Colorado Writers Anthology and the Goose River Anthology published by Goose River Press. Dwayne is the father of two boys and he resides in Mechanicsburg, Pa., with his wife Sue and their two dogs. Contact him at: DMagee@Messiah.edu