May 12, 2017

Honoring Raymond Powell

Raymond F. Powell is a long-time member of VSPE and currently serves as President of the VSPE Education Fund board of trustees. Last September, he was inducted into the Newton Pride Foundation’s 2016 Hall of Fame, at Newton High School in Newton, New Jersey. VSPE congratulates Ray on this honor, and we’re proud to call him a peer and friend. Below is a copy of the letter VSPE shared in his honor.

Raymond F. Powell, PE is one of the upcoming inductees in to the Newton Pride Foundation’s 2016 Hall of Fame. Ray is a 1961 graduate of Newton High School (NHS) and garnered a love for the land as a student growing up on a farm, as well as participation at the local and state levels, and currently a Life Member of the National Future Farmers of America Alumni Association. He never stops learning and loves to share stories that demonstrate and teach through practical experience and observations of nature. He is one who listens thoughtfully and is patient with others, while holding high expectations of himself. Ray instills energy and inspires all of us who are fortunate to call him a friend.  He loves life and his family, and gives his time and expertise with a smile.

Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting Ray as a guest speaker to about 200 students, parents and teachers (coaches) at our Virginia State Mathcounts event, and attributing to Ray’s story telling style, all of us learned the practical ways to measure and count the effect of True North compared to Magnetic North, from the cockpit of a young pilot in training for the duties of an Army Senior Aviator. Part of Ray’s narrative included words of advice given to him by his flight instructor – never stop learning. This advice was given with the levity of someone who knew lives depend on this mantra at the time when our Country was at war, but Ray doesn’t know any other way to think or believe.

Ray has strong faith and lives his life making each day count toward bettering those around him and for those generations yet to come. His mark can be seen and enjoyed at the Woodstock Va. Presbyterian Church where an ambitious undertaking was completed in 2012 – a Fellowship Hall Building Project addition. He worked with the architect, Church trustees and congregation, contractors and local government officials, to help ensure the historic integrity of the addition was appropriate, while including modern day technological and accessibility features, within a constrained budget.

Ray’s leadership in service to the Virginia Society of Professional Engineers (VSPE) includes an ever growing number of schools in a large region of the state who compete in the annual math competition for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students across the country, called Mathcounts. Ray has spearheaded a group of professionals who meet and volunteer to conduct this test competition each year in Virginia’s Northern Virginia area. VSPE honored Ray with the Engineer of the Year Award in 1998, and he is a long standing member of the VSPE Education Foundation Board of Directors. He is a proud father and grandfather. His wife, Judy, shares Ray’s commitment to serving others and she is a registered nurse as well as loyal volunteer for Mathcounts. Ray’s daughter Melissa is an elementary school teacher in Portland OR, his son Scott is a licensed Professional Engineer and his other son Jason is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Airforce, Aerospace Engineer.

Inductees into the Newton Pride Foundation Hall of Fame likely all share Ray’s spirit and kind hearted energy. Those of us here in Virginia, his friends from VSPE, are honored to be a part of this celebration.