People of Kuma – Ray Kimble

Learn how Ray is always looking to improve Kuma and his client’s experience.

Tell us about your role. What’s a typical day like?  

As CEO and Founder of Kuma, a typical day consists of waking up around 5:30 am and taking a walk or going for a run. When I get back, I start my day off by reviewing the meeting schedule for the day and tackling any high priority items. During the day, it consists of taking calls (video preferred) with the team, clients, prospects and partners, allowing time for strategic planning. As the day winds down, I always make a point to review the meeting schedule for the following day and clean up my daily action list so that I am ready to start the following day effectively. This is a critical component of my day and for my sanity! Another thing I do on Friday’s COB is to go through my following week’s calendar and make sure there are no conflicts or adjustments needed. There’s nothing worse than canceling or moving a meeting the day of and changing someone else’s day. I always shut down for a couple of hours around dinner time to spend quality time with my family and I try my best to not send any emails or requests to the team after dinner or over the weekends. 

What’s been your proudest moment at Kuma?

Proudest moment at Kuma… There are so many that it makes it really hard to pick just one. I think overall just seeing the company grow each and every day – operationally, financially, culturally – and seeing the impact the company and our clients continue to make in the market. I also really love seeing each of our employees grow and continue to enhance their experiences, capabilities, and leadership qualities. I think if I were to pick when these moments most resonate, it’s at our annual holiday retreat where we get all of the employees and families together to reflect on the previous year and spend time with each other. As a completely remote team, this event allows us to spend time together as a team we otherwise wouldn’t have.

What do your friends think you do?

My friends, like I’m sure many of us in this field, always ask what I do and many forget or perhaps I’m not doing a good job explaining it! They know I run a company, run a non-profit, but I’m not sure how much they think about the details of what we do from a privacy and security perspective. 

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?

Hm, I’d have to go with something to do with nature. I love the outdoors, remote environments, and seeing wildlife. Perhaps a National Geographic Photographer.

Who inspires you?

From a business standpoint, I get my inspiration from many sources. Ideas and inspiration strike me at random moments – with family and friends, reading books, learning from other CEOs and successful entrepreneurs, traveling, going to an event, or witnessing how other businesses outside of our market services their customers or delivers their services. I’m always looking to improve the company and implement new innovative ways to deliver our services to our customers and that inspiration can really come from anywhere. If you simply take the experience you have with your local coffee shop or whatever favorite spot you visit – what makes you like that place? What are the feelings you get? What are they doing to make you feel that way? And then taking bits and pieces of that and incorporating it into Kuma and our clients. 

What’s your favorite local business?

Um, outside of Kuma and the Kuma Foundation? 😉 I’d have to say a local family-owned Greek restaurant nearby. It’s small, family-operated, and the food is the best, and most importantly the service and people there are passionate about what they do and it resonates with their customers.

What advice do you have for someone interested in joining the privacy and security sector?

Privacy and security experience can be learned or gained by years of experience delivering services. That’s not what makes you special in this vast market of experienced professionals. What makes you special is understanding why you do what you do and matching your job to that interest. As well as using your skillset to focus on solving a client’s problem whether they asked you to or not. Be a problem solver. Be innovative. Be empathetic. Be a leader. These are qualities that will make you special and stand out in a crowded field. 

My reason for doing what I do is that I believe there is a better way to run a consulting company, build the next generation of leaders, and offer more innovative service models to clients in the privacy and security market. The old delivery model of large consulting teams, unnecessary levels of management and bureaucracy, and rigid project scheduling/delivery stifle innovation negatively impacted the quality of clients and employees. Kuma is about providing expert services to our clients in a cost-effective, timely, and more efficient manner that makes a daily impact on our customer’s mission and improves our employee’s quality of life and professional growth at the same time.

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