Remembering Raymond V. Haysbert, Sr., minority business pioneer and mentor

Raymond V. Haysbert Sr., a Baltimore business legend, minority business pioneer, and former Greater Baltimore Committee board member, died on May 24 at Union Memorial Hospital. He was 90.

For 44 years, Haysbert was the CEO of Parks Sausages, one of the largest minority-owned businesses in the country. He served on the GBC board of directors from 1981-1985.

More recently, Haysbert was the CEO of Forum Caterers. He was well-known as a tireless advocate for minority business development and mentored dozens of minority entrepreneurs, helping them launch and expand their businesses.

“It was easy to like Ray Haysbert. He was a legend in the business community, but was also very approachable and gladly shared his knowledge and wisdom,” said Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee. “I particularly valued his guidance and support for the GBC’s minority business development program, Bridging the Gap.”

Haysbert was among the founders of the Presidents’ Roundtable, an organization of black business leaders in Baltimore. The organization partnered with the GBC in performing a series of management and efficiency reports from 2000 to 2003 for Baltimore City government and for the city’s public schools. The organization also helped the GBC launch the Bridging the Gap initiative.

Born in Cincinnati in 1920, Haysbert’s career included service in the Army Air Corps during World War II as member of the all-black 332nd Fighter Group – the Tuskegee Airmen. He earned a degree in mathematics from Wilberforce University and earned a degree in accounting and business administration from Central State University in Ohio.

African American entrepreneur leaves cluster of know-how,” Jay Hancock, Baltimore Sun


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