Ray leads 7,600 employees whose work generates an annual sales revenue of $4.3 billion. Burns & McDonnell ranks No. 10 on the list of largest engineering, architecture and construction firms, according to Engineering News-Record, and has been on Fortune’s List of 100 Best Companies to Work For, nine times.
Ray joined the firm in 1987, became an officer in 2001 and was promoted to president of the Energy Group in 2007. He joined the Board of Directors in 2009 and, in 2015, became the firm’s executive vice president and president of global practices. He became chairman and CEO in January 2017.
Out of the office, Kowalik invests time and energy into organizations that support education, health and economic development. He serves as the board chair for United Way of Greater Kansas City. Ray is also on the Board of Directors for the Kansas City Area Development Council, Union Station and Notre Dame de Sion. He is on the executive committee of the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, as well as the Kansas City Market Board of U.S. Bank. Ray is also a member of the Dean’s Engineering Advisory Council for the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri.
Ray earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He and his wife, Jill, have a daughter who is an engineering graduate of MU, and live in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.