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Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance is an international program distribution and marketing group in the automotive replacement parts and supplies industry. Collectively, our membership represents billions of dollars in purchasing power.
Harry Ray has served as our general counsel since 1985. We rely upon him to oversee all of our legal needs, including for example, the relationship contracts and issues we have with our members and our product, marketing and information technology vendors, assisting with our antitrust compliance program, developing, maintaining and protecting our large portfolio of trademarks, managing all of our litigation matters, as well as assisting us with a wide variety of general corporate issues that arise from time to time.
We have come to expect the prompt, responsive service he and his team provide us when we call upon him. We trust his advice and rely heavily upon it. We have found Harry to be quite personable and a pleasure to work with. We regard him as an integral part of our operation.
I am pleased to recommend the services of our attorney Harry Ray to any new or existing buying and/or marketing group outside of our industry. If you desire further information about him, feel free to contact me.
John R. Washbish, AAP
Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc.
2706 Treble Creek, Suite 100
Key Wholesaler Group Association
Hello, my name is Mark Chavez. I am the President and CEO of the Key Wholesaler Group Association. We are a HVAC/R buying group that was started back in 1978 with 5 member companies and has successfully grown to our current 22 independent HVAC/R distributors, with 351 locations in 46 states within the United States. We are also in 85 of the top 100 United States trading markets.
When the Key Wholesaler Group was growing in size, they wanted to look for legal representation that had experience in antitrust laws as they pertain to buying groups and the wholesale industry. I had talked to approximately 4 different law firms, and not finding a “right match” for our group, I remembered a Mr. Harry Ray who was quoted in an article in the Supply House Times in 2002 who specialized in antitrust and buying groups. I gave him a call and within a few minutes of our phone conversation it was obvious he was the “right match” for the Key Wholesaler Group Association. He had extensive knowledge on antitrust issues as it pertains to buying groups and independent wholesalers as well. He was also nice, easy to talk to and not pushy or hard selling on himself or his firm.
Harry Ray helped the Key Wholesaler Group Association design a strict Antitrust compliance program that is still actively used today. From the beginning to today, Harry Ray has helped the Key Wholesaler Group handle membership agreements, vendor agreements, updated bylaws, drafted our Anti-Trust Guide, review meeting minutes along with many other minor things. He is easy to work with, experienced, dependable and have enjoyed working with Harry over the years. Not only is Harry our legal counsel but he has also become a close friend to each shareholder and principal within the Key Wholesaler group, myself included.
Mark Chavez, President and CEO
Key Wholesaler Group Association
WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Subject: Legal Services Of Harry Ray
It is my pleasure to provide the following letter of reference regarding the work you and your firm have done for HMI Buying Group and Red Tray.
In the way of background, I started HMI in 1983 as a buying group for private practice optometrists. Virtually all of the legal work we received prior to our relationship with you was high quality, but of a generic nature. The thing we really like about working with you is your background with the special legal needs of buying groups and purchasing alliances.
As I look back on the work you’ve done for us over the last three years, it also includes preparing applications for members, contracts for vendors, antitrust advice, trademark law and our special situation with credit card processing.
You have been excellent about responding to us promptly when needed as well as a pleasure to work with on a personal basis. We like your down-to-earth approach and have been very pleased with the advice and counsel your firm has provided. In my opinion, your services have been both timely and cost-efficient.
In closing, I would highly recommend your services to any buying group needing legal advice, whether they are well-established or just getting started.
Feel free to use me and Shirleen Prescott as personal references.
Jerry Hayes, OD
Owner and President
Buying Group Services
Buying Group Services, started in 1995, is a Buying Group Management firm specializing in the formation and management of buying groups.
For over five years I have known Harry Ray. His insightful and original thinking has provided keen observations to critical issues our company has faced over these many years. He manages that delicate balance of providing guidance under the law and guidance of good business. He has a unique ability to explain the law to even those of us who are legally challenged.
In addition to his knowledge of the law, it is his ever-growing experience in the buying group industry that we benefit from the most. His controlled emotional mannerisms make him a great partner at the negotiating table; you don’t want to play poker with this man.
My personal contact with Harry has been enriching and I am continually impressed by the astuteness of his observations. Harry has much to offer in a wide spectrum of practical businesses; his knowledge of the law is just a bonus.
William R. Mathisen
Executive Vice President
The School Place
It is a pleasure for me to recommend the legal services of Harry B. Ray and his firm with regard to buying and marketing groups. We have worked with Harry since December of 2008.
The School Place, LLC is a marketing group designed to assist retailers in the marketing of K-8 instructional materials, educational toys and games, arts and crafts and teaching supplies. Not knowing any attorney who specialized in buying/marketing group work, we found Harry through an internet search.
We involved Harry from the beginning. He worked with us in preparing all of the documents we needed to get the group up and running. He and his firm have also been helpful in getting our trademarks registered.
I found Harry and his firm to be very detailed, knowledgeable, thoughtful, proactive and easy to work with. A typical corporate attorney would not be able to provide the level of service that they provided due to Harry’s specialization and focus in buying and marketing group work.
If you would like to discuss our experience in using Harry and his firm further, please feel free to contact me.
The School Place
The Parable Group
Harry Ray has served our company as corporate attorney for a number of years. His service has been excellent and timely. He has become a friend who always has our best interest in mind.
The Parable Group is a privately held company that services 338 independent retail stores throughout North America, who have a combined annual volume of over $410,000,000. Our focus is on marketing services, such as catalogs and other printed pieces, radio/TV spot production and spot buys, and data collection and manipulation.
We began the company 10 years ago with only a very limited number of stores. As we grew, we recognized our need for written agreements and a more structured working relationship with our stores, and sought legal counsel. As we searched the West Coast we were unable to find anyone who understood our business.
Then I had the privilege of reading an article on buying groups written by Harry Ray. I immediately called him, and after a short conversation, we engaged his services. Patiently he helped us work through the process of membership agreements, contracts with vendors and numerous other projects. His work has always been exemplary.
We would highly recommend Harry to you for any marketing or buying group-related services.
The Parable Group, Inc.
3563 Empleo Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-7325
Christian Outlet Group
The Christian Outlet Group, Inc., would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding service and professional contribution that Mr. Harry Ray has rendered to our buying group as our legal counsel.
When our buying group was organized in early 1995 the group consisted of the original seven founding directors. In the past eighteen months we have added an additional 25 members and expect membership to exceed 40 by early 1997. Mr. Ray has been an essential part of this growth as he advised and guided the group in the establishment of our corporate charter with the state of Texas.
Mr. Ray provided the expertise in the development of our membership agreement, the membership application, the antitrust guide and confidentiality statement. He has also prepared legal documents with regard to procurement and the registering of our trademark.
As the assistant secretary of our board of directors he accurately prepares the minutes of our board and general memberships meetings.
We have found Mr. Ray to be astute in legal matters pertaining to buying groups and very helpful as we work through the growth and expansion of our organization.
Very truly yours,
Robert G. Coleman
Director of Operations
Christian Outlet Group, Inc.
Specialized Distributors, Inc.
I am the president of Specialized Distributors, Inc. My partner and I formed SDI to serve as a buying and marketing group for automotive engine parts distributors. We are based in Pinellas Park, Florida, which is near St. Petersburg. Since 1989, our group has grown to include 71 members.
When we first got started, buying groups were a relatively new concept in our industry. The attorney I used in St. Petersburg for other business matters did not feel comfortable in representing our group. He was not aware of anyone in St. Petersburg who had experience in representing buying and marketing groups.
We found out about Harry Ray through our contacts with Auto Value Associates, Inc. He came highly recommended to us and justifiably so. Harry brought exactly the type of expertise and knowledge we were looking for in a lawyer. His representation of other buying groups gave him a good familiarity with the problems and issues we were facing.
He was able to offer suggestions that he had found worked well with other groups, not just with respect to legal issues, but with regard to practical business points as well.
Harry is easy to work with and is very down to earth. That may be what makes him such a good negotiator. We have put his negotiations skills to the test on more than one occasion and have been very pleased with his performance.
Harry has represented SDI from its inception and has given us guidance and insight into legal matters ever since. I highly recommend him to any purchasing or marketing group in any industry, whether they are already established, or just in the beginning stages of formation.
I would welcome the opportunity to discuss Harry’s services further with any interested party at any time.
James K. Allen