Ray Caraballo
Director Of Venues
Severance Music Center / Cleveland Orchestra

At age 31, Ray Caraballo is wise beyond his years — thanks to making good use of early opportunities and taking good advice. Now, he’s sharing that advice and putting that experience to work.

“I was fortunate to have worked and learned from NBA, NFL, and MLB franchises all before I was 23, and those experiences currently help me in my current role in the performing arts center world,” Caraballo says, noting his time with Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and the Cleveland Cavaliers practice facility, Cleveland Clinic Courts, before joining the Severance Music Center. The center covers the 2,000-seat Mandel Concert Hall, 400-capacity Reinberger Chamber Hall and 250-capacity Grand Foyer.

His first job, while still in college, was as an usher at Cleveland Indians (now Guardians) games.

“There is no such thing as a negative work experience because you can always learn skills and traits that translate to other positions,” he said.

Born and raised in Cleveland, Caraballo says he’s eager to bolster Severance Music Center’s reputation as a first-class venue.

“In my current role, helping to facilitate the performances of new acts such as Colin Jost and Chaka Khan is exciting as we are currently working on expanding our rental events in the venue,” Caraballo said. “While we are home to one of the most prestigious orchestras in the world in The Cleveland Orchestra, our venue has the capability to bring in new and diverse opportunities to one of the true hidden gems of Cleveland.”

Caraballo says that today’s workforce environment is focused on mental health and the individual aspect, which goes a long way in building loyalty within staff.