Ray J Hillenbrand


Ray J Hillenbrand
Honoring Ray J Hillenbrand


Ray J. Hillenbrand has served as Chairperson of the Board of the Company since February 8, 2008.  He previously served as a director of Hillenbrand Industries, Inc., the former parent corporation of the Company, from 1970 until March 31, 2008.  He served as that company’s Chairman of the Board from January 17, 2001, until March 31, 2006.  Mr. Hillenbrand was employed by and active for 19 years in the management of Hillenbrand Industries prior to his resignation as Senior Vice President and member of the Office of the President in 1977.  Mr. Hillenbrand is President of Dakota Charitable Foundation.  He is the Manager of the Dakota Partnership and the RJH Partnership, family investment partnerships, and Prairie Edge Inc., a family retail company.  He is the Chairman of the Board of the downtown Rapid City, South Dakota Economic Development Corporation.  He is also the Chairman of the Investment Committee and on the Finance Committee of the Catholic Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota.  Mr. Hillenbrand is a cousin of both W August Hillenbrand and Thomas H. Johnson.


I met Ray in 1988 while travelling through Rapid City to rock climb on Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.

When he first saw me I was coaxing his daughter to climb up the chimney

that rose from their back deck of their house.

I was a scruffy 24 year old climber, guide and carpenter

who lived out of my car to be able to afford to travel and climb as much as possible.

I owned 10 pair of climbing shoes, and one pair of sneakers

that definitely should have just been thrown away.

Ray saw much more than that in me,

and that has had a great affect on me and my life

ever since.

He is a very rare man indeed for far more reasons than you might think

if you just know of him.

I have the pleasure and honor of having known Ray J Hillenbrand for more than half of my life.

Eric Sutton