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Mr. Ray L. Farabaugh is president and co-owner of D-Patrick, Inc., a privately held, multi-franchise automobile dealership in Evansville, Indiana, that holds franchise agreements for nine lines of domestic and import vehicles. He is regarded as an expert in automobile dealership management and operations. Farabaugh has been elected to serve on multiple boards in the automotive industry and has been a guest speaker at various conferences. He is a civic leader, serving on numerous community boards, including the Romain College's Board of Advisors which is composed of senior business leaders who are acquainted with the needs of the community and of commerce and have a strong interest in establishing and maintaining direct and effective communication between the business world and the business classroom.

farabaugh headshotWhat is your connection to USI, and what makes USI and the Romain College of Business special to you?
Joseph O'Daniel, who was heavily involved with USI in the beginning years, introduced me to the University. In addition, I was on the SIHE (Southern Indiana Higher Education) Board that held and donated the land on which USI was built.

From your prospective, what is unique about the Romain College of Business?
I have been impressed by the faculty and the "can do" attitude of the entire staff. I'm also impressed that Ron Romain has been so active and involved in the positive growth and direction of the business college.

Tell us about some of the highlights as you've advanced in your career path.
The highlights include the incredible leadership training and developmental opportunities that were afforded me early in my career while working for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) from 1980 to 1989. Another highlight was the mentoring of my father-in-law, Pat O'Daniel, while I was learning the automobile business. I was able to purchase 50% of the company in 1999.

What attributes make a person successful in your industry?
Success is built by hard work, commitment, discipline and creativity. This is true not just in my industry but in all industries.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were in college?
To take classes in all disciplines (arts, sciences, humanities, business) to get a well-rounded education.

What advice would you give a recent college graduate?
Make a positive name for yourself in your first job by being the best you can be. It will help you as you progress in your career and life.

How would you finish this sentence: If I were back in college, I wish I would have gotten a better understanding of                         _
Accounting and law.

What are some challenges you see your industry facing in the short-term and in the long-term?
The short and long term challenges in the automotive industry are the intelligent use of technology to make vehicles safer and more environmentally friendly. Because of this technology, automobile dealerships have a need for highly skilled and technologically sophisticated employees to sell and service these advanced vehicles.

Who do you think are the most important/influential people in your industry today?
The most influential people in the automotive industry today are Mary Barra, Chairman of General Motors, and Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla.

What's the most effective daily habit you possess? 
I make it a point to go to the gym every morning to play tennis or work out.

What factors do you consider most often when planning for the future?
The factors I consider most when planning for the future are:

  • In what direction is technology going?
  • What are the best practices of the most innovative businesses in my industry?
  • How will our employees be trained to meet the future demands of our industry?

What are you passionate about?
In business I am passionate about our employees and making sure that I am providing leadership and training opportunities that enable them to be as successful as they wish.

Published January 16, 2019