At thirteen years old, Benjamin Raymond made a life-changing decision. The son of a white mother, who often broke down under the strains of her mental illness and drug addiction, and a black father, who had long since disappeared, Ben took control of his destiny and put himself in foster care. He was placed with a family that encouraged his natural athletic ability. He attended the University of Minnesota as an athlete, became a corporate executive turned entrepreneur, philanthropist, a motivational speaker, a development coach, and mentor. A raw portrait of growing up in a family burdened with mental illness and domestic violence, building relationships through prison walls, and discovering what living a rich life really means, Ben's book, Playing the Game Without a Coach, is a story of courage, resilience, and ultimately, forgiveness.
In the last 14 years Benjamin has successfully parlayed his skills and tenacity on the court into the business world, propelling his company to the status of Million Dollar Round Table Success (MDRT).
When opening the Benjamin Raymond State Farm Agency in 2008 he broke all the previous records held for the amount of sales applications & life policy sold in one month. Raymond has earned numerous awards including, Multiyear Ambassador Traveler for State Farm, Chairman's Circle Agent, President's Club Life Insurance, SVP Club and Exotic Traveler, to name a few. Benjamin has also mentored seven former staff members in opening their own agencies.
He is Chairman and CEO of Raymond Enterprises (RE), which provides high quality products and services that focus primarily on ethnically diverse and underserved urban communities through strategic alliances, consulting, and investments.
His entrepreneur skills were developed early in his career when he was as a top sales professional and business development manager for several fortune five hundred companies such as Eli Lilly, Cintas Corporation, Corporate Express, and Stryker.
In addition to eight years as a State Farm agent Benjamin understood that he had to do more for the community; prompting him to start Be The Ray Foundation in 2010. His nonprofit organization mission is to improve the lives of at risk youth and encourages educational enrichment and outreach to fatherless boys like himself. He also started an internship program at his State Farm Agency in 2008 giving over 35 high school student's hands on experience to succeed in the business world while earning a grade simultaneously.
As a philanthropic Raymond Enterprises has given eight scholarships to students to continue their education. For the last seven years he has spoken and mentored at his father- in -law Steve Harvey's summer camps across the country. Equally important to Benjamin is his volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity in Africa and New Orleans, LA where they built homes for those less fortunate much like himself as a child. With passion for the game of basketball combined with his love for children, Benjamin was invited to participate in NBA Basketball Without Boarders Program where he got the opportunity to direct basketball camps, educational programs, build homes, and put nets up to fight malaria in six different countries throughout Africa and China.
When Benjamin is not spending time with his family you will find him speaking across the country to motivate other people in the corporate world and inspiring young people like those recently at the National Boys & Girls Club Keystone Conference. Raymond has been featured on the Steve Harvey Talk Show and ABC Dallas News to discuss his success despite overcoming an incredibly difficult upbringing.