As guardian of the Ray Charles legacy, Valerie Ervin is committed to carrying forward the vision and philanthropic mission set forth by Ray Charles.
Prior to being named President of ‘The Ray Charles Foundation’, Valerie Ervin established her tenure with the organization by working closely alongside Ray Charles and his long-time manager/business partner Joe Adams, as Executive Assistant and Vice President of Operations. Ms Ervin’s approach to business and the daily management of The Ray Charles Foundation remains consistent with the principles, tenets and integrity with which Ray Charles and Joe Adams conducted business for more than five decades.
In addition to leading the foundation in its grant-making initiatives, Valerie also oversees the negotiation of music licensing contracts and manages all the commercial, business, marketing and financial interests from revenues generated by the Ray Charles Foundation. She has been Executive Producer on multiple music and media projects, including the Academy Award Winning bio pic, “Ray” as well as an "In Performance at the White House” PBS special honoring Ray Charles, hosted by President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama. In every project, Ms Ervin endeavors to add value to the Ray Charles brand and has positioned the Foundation as a significant player in the world of American Philanthropy.
Valerie Ervin has received dozens of awards, plaques of recognition and appreciation from the City and County of Los Angeles. Numerous business organizations, entertainers, record companies, secondary and higher learning educational institutions including an Honorary Doctorate degree from Dillard University and other foundations, have all recognized Ms Ervin for her unrelenting efforts in spearheading the agenda of the Ray Charles Foundation.
Under her leadership, the Ray Charles Foundation has donated millions of dollars in grants, making Valerie Ervin one of the most influential legacy estate guardians.