Salient Federal Solutions, Inc. this week regretfully announced the passing of its co-founder and board chairman, Ray Oleson.
A service for Oleson was held March 8 at Christ Lutheran Church in Hilton Head, S.C., with burial at Six Oaks Cemetery in Hilton Head. Born in Windom, Minn., Oleson passed away March 3 at age 69 of sudden causes on his favorite golf course, according to his obituary. He resided in Hilton Head.
“We are all very saddened by Ray’s passing,” said Brad Antle, CEO of Salient. “On behalf of the board and the Salient team, we extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. His years of service, integrity and lifetime committed to leadership has had a profound impact on our community and on the IT industry. Ray helped build a foundation for Salient’s success and he was a true pillar in our industry. I have lost a partner, mentor and a dear friend.”
Oleson was a government IT services veteran and worked with Salient’s founding members for more than 20 years. He joined Salient’s board of directors in 2009.
Oleson brought a sense of enthusiasm to the company that was contagious, and with his vast experience, he was a valued voice to the Salient team, according to a released statement from Salient.
“Ray’s vision, presence and commitment to civic engagement brought valuable experience to everything he touched over the years and especially these past few years at Salient,” said Bill Parker, COO of Salient. “He was a prized friend and mentor. Our hearts go out to Ray’s family and colleagues in this time of sadness. He will be dearly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.”
His obituary noted, “He always said, ‘I will quit working when it is no longer fun.’ It is no surprise that he died before he retired! He loved his career.”
Oleson served in senior positions with SI International, CACI, SASC, CSC and Sperry-Univac. His vision, presented to Frontenac private equity in 1998, was to acquire and integrate a group of government IT services companies with complementary offerings. Growth would come through acquisitions and by offering new capabilities to existing customers. His team led the identification, acquisition and integration of nine operator-owned companies to create SI International, Inc. where Oleson served as chairman of the board and founder. The company was later sold to Serco, but not before growing to more than 5,000 employees and $580 million in revenue.
In mid-2009, Oleson and Antle gathered a management team from previous successful ventures and entered into a new partnership with Frontenac, focused on building Salient Federal Solutions. SFC, headquartered in Fairfax, is focused in the government services arena and provides information technology, training, engineering and intelligence analytic services to agencies in the intelligence, defense, Homeland Security, cyber security and federal civilian markets.
Oleson graduated from high school in Tyler, Minnesota and later attended Gustavus Adolphus College. He graduated from Mankato State University in 1966, the same year he married his wife, Kathy Oleson (nee Johnson). He also received a master’s degree in Applied Statistics from Villanova in 1970.
Donations in Oleson’s memory may be made to Hospice Care of the Lowcountry in Bluffton, S.C. or The Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head. To view the obituary or sign the condolences guest book, click here.