Salient Federal Solutions founder and chairman, Ray Oleson, dies at 69

Ray Oleson
Ray Oleson

Ray Oleson, 69, the co-founder and current board chairman of Salient Federal Solutions, Inc. (Salient), died of sudden causes on his favorite golf course on March 3.

“He always said, ‘I will quit working when it is no longer fun,’ said an obituary posted by the funeral home in Hilton Head, SC, where Oleson resided. “It is no surprise that he died before he retired! He loved his career.”

Salient is a provider of information technology, training, engineering, and intelligence analytic services to agencies in the intelligence, defense, homeland security, cyber security and federal civilian markets.

“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. Joining the Salient board of directors in 2009, Mr. Oleson brought a sense of enthusiasm that was contagious. With his vast experience, he was a valued voice to the Salient team.

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 he served as founder and chairman of the board.

Before being sold to Serco, Oleson and his team had created a world-class company that had grown to more than 5,000 employees and $580 million in revenue. In mid-2009, Oleson and Brad Antle gathered a management team from previous successful ventures and entered into a new partnership with Frontenac, focused on building Salient Federal Solutions, a leading company in the government services arena.

“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, chief operating officer 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.”

Donations may be made to Hospice Care of the Lowcountry or The Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head. For more information, please click here.