SimplyHome’s Jason Ray Honored with Business Leadership Award

SimplyHome is proud to announce that our Chief Development Officer, Jason Ray, has been awarded the 2017 Small Business Leader of the Year Award by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce.


Watch the Video: Jason Ray, 2017 Small Business Leader of the Year

Watch the Video: Jason Ray, 2017 Small Business Leader of the Year


SimplyHome’s Jason Ray receives the Small Business Leader of the Year Award. Source: Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce 



Several of the SimplyHome staff attended the May 15th event (the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Asheville Chamber and Economic Development Coalition), which took place at Asheville’s Omni Grove Park Inn, to see Jason receive the award in person.




SimplyHome’s Customer Service Representative Michelle Russell chats with another attendee at the Annual Meeting of the Chamber of Commerce. Source: Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce 


The Small Business Leader of the Year Awards program recognizes two individuals who clearly reflect quality and dedication in the operation of business in the Asheville area and provide leadership accomplishments including innovation, initiative, and civic responsiveness.

Jason Ray is this year’s award recipient in the category of 16-50 employees for his dedication in serving people with integrity and using innovative technology to provide solutions.


Jason Ray with family and employees of SimplyHome and ISI, Inc.



Jason and Jayme Ray pose for a picture at the Award Dinner

In April of this year, the Asheville Chamber of Commerce also awarded SimplyHome with the Sky High Growth Award. This is the sixth year SimplyHome has garnered this award.

Sky High Growth Award 2017

Jessica, Deborah, and Allen receive the 2017 Sky High Growth Award on behalf of SimplyHome.

One Person, A World of Difference: Congratulations to Xia Xiong!

Wisconsin Direct Service Provider of the Year: Xia Xiong


When Meg Anderson remembers the beginning of her son Grant’s journey with autism, she uses phrases like “when he was a year old, we lost our son” and “he began to regress into his own world.”

She remembers feeling helpless in the face of Grant’s challenges, behaviors, and frequent hospitalizations: “We were at the end of our rope. We were exhausted. We had nowhere to turn.”

But one day a county support worker was able to create some solutions for Grant’s needs, by helping him move into a shift foster home with an amazing staff of caregivers.

As a parent, Meg felt that this was all she could hope for. She was grateful and pleased with the solutions that allowed her son to be safe and cared for: “As a parent, there is nothing more vulnerable than putting your special needs child in the care of others. Nothing.”

One member of the caregiving staff, Xia Xiong, went above and beyond to make a difference in Grant’s life.

Xia was recently honored as the Wisconsin DSP of the Year at the 2017 ANCOR Conference, after being nominated by Meg’s family and by Innovative Services as a truly phenomenal DSP.

According to Meg, when Xia became a member of Grant’s team, that’s when everything changed:

“With Xia, I got so much more than I merely hoped for – I got what I dreamed of. I dreamed of staff that would love him and care for his emotional health – even when at times he is hard to love. I dreamed of staff that would look for innovative solutions to problems as they arose – because we knew that there would be problems. I dreamed of staff that would use their creativity and compassion to improve Grant’s quality of life – not just maintain it. I dreamed of staff that would always look at the positive in every situation – even when I was at my lowest.

From her hand-drawn signs around the house helping remind Grant of daily procedures, to her willingness to try new things to better Grant’s life – like taking him swimming or building him his own Advent calendar, to her ability to look past his extreme behaviors to protect his emotional well-being, even when he is at his most unlovable- Xia epitomizes the type of caregiver every parent dreams of for their child. She doesn’t come to “work” every day – she comes to “Grant’s house” and works to make his life the best it can be every single day. She makes the team stronger. She makes life better for Grant – and she makes life better for me because I know my son is not just kept safe, but cherished and protected. She is his advocate and his champion.”


Xia’s fellow staff at Innovative Services, Inc., have also recognized her outstanding approach to working with her clients:

“Xia was instrumental in preparing Grant to spend a portion of Christmas with his family last year – the first time he had spent any holiday with his family in years. Xia assisted with developing social stories as a learning tool to prepare Grant on what to expect.

Xia has helped Grant to build relationships with his peers at school as well as to manage relationship transitions when his primary educator changed. Outside of school, Xia is involved with Grant in the community, helping him to pursue his interest in swimming.

When Grant began struggling with his perception of law enforcement, Xia was part of the team brainstorming positive interactions in safe environments.

Xia has also developed tremendous relationships with Grant’s family, as well as with the rest of Grant’s care team.

Xia has championed safety protocols within her program, and develop a method for buckling and unbuckling Grant in vehicles to minimize risk – a creative approach which has been recognized as a best practice to be shared with other organizations.

A talented artist, Xia develops chore charts to help Grant as he learns additional responsibilities. She also updates Grant’s communication board and feelings board as his capabilities expand.

When working with Grant, Xia encourages him to be active in his choices. She presents him with new skills to advance, such as lacing his shoes, but keeps an easier alternative of Velcro shoes available, in case he becomes overly frustrated.

Although Xia primarily works with Grant, she is willing to step forward wherever there is a need. She understands everyone needs something, and she takes the time to figure out how to provide for other’s needs, tuning in to each person, asking the right questions, analyzing body language, and searching for the silent signs. She is able to mold herself into the support that each individual needs, even when she is supporting multiple people at once.”


According to Rick Bahr, Innovative Services, Inc.’s COO, Xia exemplifies ISI’s core values in her efforts to support people living the lives of their choice: “Xia makes our organization better, and her service has made a difference for the people she supports. Our organization is eternally grateful for Xia and our entire team of direct support professionals, managers and others who redefine what is possible each and every day.”

Congratulations to Xia – thank you for empowering others through your amazing gifts and heart of service!


Enjoy this story? Follow SimplyHome’s Facebook page for more stories about empowering people with disabilities to live with greater independence and self-determination!



SimplyHome Recognized by OUTSIDE as Best Places to Work 2016

SimplyHome Top 100

SimplyHome has been named one of OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work of 2016. Each year, OUTSIDE recognizes the top 100 companies in the United States that help their employees strike the ideal balance between work and play. These companies encourage employees to lead an active lifestyle, are eco-conscious and prioritize giving back to the community.


SimplyHome ranked #48 on the list.  Other organizations on the list included New Belgium Brewing, Toad&Co., Smartwool, and Big Agnes.


To create the Best Places to Work 2016 list, OUTSIDE started by comparing employers to five core categories, reflecting the magazine’s values and focus: Adventure/Travel, Wellness, Culture, Gear, and Media. OUTSIDE then conducted a rigorous vetting process in partnership with the Best Companies Group to assess the policies, practices, and demographics of hundreds of companies.

Funny Group Picture

 Empowering The Person

A dog park to accompany a dog-friendly office, company breakfasts, ping pong tournaments, and birthday celebrations sometimes involving a piñata, are only a few of the perks that come with being part of the SimplyHome team.

But, what really excites us about working at SimplyHome is learning to understand what it means to be person-centered – to listen to the goals and desires of people that are often written off because of their disabilities. As people, we all crave the same things: independence in our daily lives, deep connections with other people, and the opportunity to work towards our goals.

Group Picture

Empowering Individuals Through Independence

We recognize that quality of life does not have to be compromised because of someone’s age or disability.  Many individuals living with a developmental disability or wishing to age in place have the ability to live independently in their homes – if given the proper support. In addition, rising costs of health care and the economic climate impact quality of life. We develop assistive technology to empower individuals to have the freedom of choice – the choice on how they want to live and where they want to live.

Our technology proactively alerts loved ones and caregivers of changes in behavioral patterns via text message, email or phone call alerts. Whether it’s grandma turning the stove on in the middle of the night, grandpa forgetting to close the front door or your son leaving his bed at an unusual hour, family and care staff can be instantly notified.

Group ping pong photo with quote

The Importance of Passion: Q&A with Allen Ray, SimplyHome’S CEO and Co-founder

Q: What separates SimplyHome from other companies?

A: Our people make us uniquely different. As a technology company, outsiders think it’s all the cool, shiny objects that separates us from others. The reality is the technology we use changes all the time…it’s the people who make the difference.


Q: SimplyHome hires people who live a very passionate life.  What do you see as the relationship between passionate employees and excellent work?

A: When a person has passion in their personal and professional lives, it creates vision and purpose to make the magic happen in every part of their day. One key interview question we ask every applicant is “What do you do outside of work”? We know everyone is uniquely different, but we want the common thread to be a zeal for life because it makes the most of every day. In short, we believe a genuine passion will lead to outcomes of excellence and a life filled with joy.

Beau - Blog PostQ: How does hiring passionate people contribute to the overall tone of the office?

A: To make a difference you must have balance, joy and self-direction as a natural part of who you define yourself to be. The company’s responsibility is to feed each person’s desire to make a difference through supporting their compassion. We all benefit from being surrounded by people who connect the love of outdoors, community involvement and personal values with a focused passion to help others. I believe they go hand in hand. Essentially, the culmination of what we do and the outcomes we are honored to create every day, is better because of our people.


Q: How has being located in Asheville helped SimplyHome to thrive as a company?

A: I believe the place and people you surround yourself with makes a huge difference in the pure joy each of us experiences! Being a part of this beautiful area replenishes the energy needed to be the best person you can be. An afternoon hike on the Mountains-to-Sea trail, a bike ride along the Parkway, a stroll through the Arboretum or kayaking through a national forest, topped off by your favorite local brew will replenish your soul like little else. Being in Asheville allows the opportunity to connect like-minded people into a cohesive team, while affording all of us the opportunity to call this beautiful place home.


Above all, SimplyHome believes in doing the right thing for those we are serving, ourselves and our community.


Want to explore how technology can empower independence? Check out our Facebook Page or subscribe to our blog for up-to-date news!


For any questions, contact SimplyHome at 877.684.3581 or email



OUTSIDE is America’s leading active lifestyle brand. Since 1977, OUTSIDE has covered travel, sports, adventure, health, and fitness, as well as the personalities, the environment, and the style and culture of the world Outside. The OUTSIDE family includes OUTSIDE magazine, the only magazine to win three consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence, The Outside Buyer’s Guides, Outside Online, the Outside Podcast, Outside Television, Outside Events, Outside+ for the iPad, Outside tablet edition, Outside Books, and Outside GO, a revolutionary, 21st-century adventure-travel company. Connect with OUTSIDE online, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.



Best Companies Group works with national and local partners around the country and internationally to establish and manage “Best Places to Work,” “Best Companies,” and “Best Employers” programs on a national, statewide, regional and industry basis. Through its thorough workplace assessment, utilizing employer questionnaires and employee-satisfaction surveys, BCG identifies and recognizes companies who have been successful in creating and maintaining workplace excellence.




VA Awards $200,000 Assistive Technology Grant to SimplyHome to Empower Independent Living for Veterans

SimplyHome will develop a platform bridging the gap between voice controls and a wide range of assistive technology in the home

ASHEVILLE, N.C., Aug. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — SimplyHome, LLC, a leader in the field of customized assistive technology, is pleased to announce that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded them a $200,000 Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology (SAHAT) Grant to develop a new platform simplifying the user experience of voice commands to control assistive technology in the home environment of Veterans and Servicemembers.

The purpose of the SAHAT Grant Program, authorized by Congress, is to expand home modification options for Veterans who apply for VA’s Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) benefit, and to augment their options for living independently in their own homes.

When using the new SimplyHome platform, Veterans and Servicemembers with physical disabilities will be able to issue single voice commands to accomplish complex sequences of pre-customized actions. A single command such as “time to go to bed” can lock doors, set the thermostat, and turn off lights in the home.

“Empowering our Veterans to control their home environments is important not only for the quality of life of the individual Veteran and his/her family, but also vital to maintaining the fabric of our communities that depend on these Servicemembers,” says Jason Ray, Vice President of Business Development at SimplyHome.

While the platform that will be developed through the VA Grant is new, SimplyHome has been providing innovative in-home assistive technology solutions since 2004. These solutions address a broad range of concerns, including the management of an individual’s medication, home environment, and health, and can provide immediate notifications to family members or caregivers of the individual.

North Carolina State Senator Thom Tillis and State Representative Mark Meadows recently expressed their support of the VA grant. Tillis attested, “As our communities face an increasing demand for this technology, I believe that SimplyHome will help meet the technological advancements needed.”

In a recent Benefits and Services report published by the VA, more than 4,000,000 Veterans received Disability Compensation in 2015. The SAHAT Grant project, totaling $783,421, will be in effect through September 30, 2017.

About SimplyHome:

SimplyHome designs and installs wireless technology products and related care-focused services. The company is committed to providing affordable and dignified solutions for independent living – specifically to aging and disabled populations nationwide. SimplyHome is known for its highly customizable systems that are tailored to meet each individual’s specific needs.

To learn more about SimplyHome, visit our website or email

This article was funded in part by a grant from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Media Contact: Kristen Suttles, 1-828-684-8441,

SOURCE SimplyHome, LLC

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SimplyHome, LLC Awarded Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grant

SimplyHome, LLC has been awarded the Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology Grant (SAHAT) by the Veterans Benefit Administration (VBA).

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and Rep. Mark Meadows acknowledged their support of the grant.

“I applaud you for your dedication in providing each individual in the disabled veteran community an opportunity to live independently,” wrote Tillis.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently released the following:

VA Awards Grants to Develop Technology to Help Veterans,
Servicemembers Modify Their Specially Adapted Homes

WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today the award of $783,421 in Specially Adapted Housing Assistive Technology (SAHAT) Grants to eligible individuals, researchers, and organizations to develop new technologies that would enhance Veterans and Servicemembers’ ability to live in specially adapted homes.

The SAHAT Grant Program was authorized by Congress to design assistive technologies to expand home modification options for Veterans who apply for VA’s Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) benefit. Grants of up to $200,000 have been issued to four selected grantees.

“We’re excited and expect that the technology developed with these grants will augment Veteran and Servicemembers’ options for living independently in their own homes,” said Curt Coy, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity. “New technology will serve Veterans who currently live in specially adapted houses and open doors for more Veterans looking to modify their homes to fit their needs.”

Read the full article here.

To learn more about SimplyHome, visit our website or email

The article was funded in part by a grant from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

2016 Sky High Growth Award

2016 Sky High Growth AwardWe’re excited to announce SimplyHome has received the 2016 Sky High Growth Award by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce.  This award, based on growth in revenue and employment, also recognized 35 other companies in Asheville.  We believe our growth has been parallel to that of Asheville and the work we do reflects the work of this city. See the entire list here. 

Allen Ray, Co-founder and CEO of SimplyHome, says, “We could have chosen anywhere in the country to have as our corporate headquarters and we choose Asheville. What I like most about living in Asheville is I’m surrounded by people who also happily choose to live and work here.”

Did you know…

Visitors are often greeted by one of our office pups – Since it’s a dog-friendly office!

One room of the office contains a ping pong table used for company tournaments.

The SimplyHome name came from a conversation with a nursing home resident who stated no matter how well she’s treated, how great the food tastes, or how well she likes living in this nursing home, if given a choice, she’d want to “Simply be home.”


SimplyHome System Powered by Aeris Receives 2015 Telehealth Award

Posted by Aeris Communications on December 10, 2015 at 8:00 AM

We’re proud to announce that the SimplyHome System, powered by Aeris, has received a 2015 Telehealth Award from, a leading healthcare technology news source.

TMC, a global, integrated media company helping clients build communities in print, in person, and online, recently revealed the recipients of the 2015 TeleHealth Awards, presented by HealthTechZone. The HealthTechZone TeleHealth Awards recognize and honor technologies that help to improve healthcare delivery and overall health wellness. Applicants of the TeleHealth Awards were judged based on their proven ability to improve health delivery and management.

“It is my pleasure to recognize the SimplyHome System, powered by Aeris, an innovative solution that earned SimplyHome the 2015 Telehealth Telehealth Award,” said Rich HealthTechZone-TeleHealth-2015Tehrani, CEO, TMC. “I look forward to seeing more innovation from Aeris and SimplyHome in the future.”

The SimplyHome System is an assistive care technology platform that is revolutionizing home care for the aging and disabled communities. By connecting innovative caregivers and concerned family, the SimplyHome System uses Internet of Things technology to cost-effectively address the growing problem of in-home healthcare.

“We are thrilled to receive this recognition for creating innovative products that are working towards the advancement of healthcare,” said Jason Ray, SimplyHome VP of Business Development. “Our technology allows people the option to live where they want to live and the peace of mind to know that alerts will be sent and received quickly when help is needed. By including the cellular connection that Aeris Communications offers in our systems, we are confident our customers benefit from the most comprehensive network coverage.”

Learn more about SimplyHome and how the company uses Aeris connectivity to improve the lives of seniors in this case study.

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Asheville’s 40 Under Forty: Jason Ray

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Last week Jason Ray, Vice President of Business Development at SimplyHome; Certified Aging in Place Specialist, was named one of Asheville’s 40 Under Forty. The 40 honorees were selected for the award based on their business success and their achievements as an active member of the community. The event was sponsored by The Biltmore Beacon, a weekly newspaper circulating in the Biltmore communities of Asheville, and the Young Professionals of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce.

Since 2004, SimplyHome has designed, engineered and used assistive technology to increase independence and lower costs for seniors and people with disabilities. SimplyHome was the first company to receive national accreditation (CARF) using technology in support of independent living and aging in place. Since beginning with SimplyHome in 2008, Jason has been a national speaker/presenter on assistive technology use to associations, state and national agencies, and provider groups.  Jason was named in 2012 as a recipient of the Stephen E Sallee Excellence in Technology Award, and accepted the 2012 Edison Award for Best New Product for SimplyHome.  Jason’s work with SimplyHome has been featured on multiple episodes of ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition along with many other national publications.

Jason has been a coach for many youth sports teams over the last decade and currently serves on the Board of Directors for South Buncombe Youth Sports for their Baseball, Softball and Basketball programs.  As an active member of Skyland United Methodist Church, Jason serves as a member of the Lay Leadership Council.  Finally, Jason serves on the Advisory Board for Family Life Coach, which provides therapeutic and consultation services for individuals, families, ministries, and businesses seeking to move to the next level in personal, relational, and organizational performance.

We are so excited to have Jason as a leader at SimplyHome! Congratulations, Jason!

Drue Ray’s Asheville Chamber of Commerce Award

Take a look at this wonderful video about Drue, her hard work and how deserving she is of winning the 2014 Entrepreneurs Best in Business Award.  Congratulations Drue and thank you for all you do!

Drue Ray named Women Entrepreneurs Best in Business Award


Drue Ray, Vice President of SimplyHome, is this year’s recipient of the 2014 Women Entrepreneurs Best in Business Award, which was awarded at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting. The Chamber of Commerce presents annual leadership awards to individuals and businesses that stand out in the business community.

This award, presented and sponsored by Webb Investment Services, recognizes a woman who demonstrates the transformation of her dream into the reality of a product or service and who exhibits the traits of an entrepreneur.

“My dream was to give people independence. Technology is one tool that allows that to happen. SimplyHome and the hard work of those around me allow me to see that dream become a reality every day,” said Drue.

Being focused and willing to take risks to develop models, Drue has been an advocate for the human rights of those with developmental disabilities and the aging. Her commitment and vision have inspired others and contributed to legislation that has set the standard for the use of assistive technology in community integrated residential services for people with disabilities.

“Drue has always been the dreamer and forward thinker in our family and for our companies. Her vision of care for people with special needs and the elderly has paved the path to where SimplyHome is today,” said Allen Ray, Drue’s husband and CEO of SimplyHome.

Drue, along with husband Allen, son Jason and business partner Rick Bahr, founded SimplyHome in an effort to keep those with developmental disabilities, the aging population and persons with physical disabilities in their own homes and independent for as long as possible. The Rays insist that this be done with the individual’s needs and desires in the forefront while fulfilling the requests of the caregivers as well.

“She is a woman who lives by her passion and her dreams. Ever since she was a little girl, she has been dedicated to people who have developmental disabilities,” said Cameron Kempson, Coordinator of Client Care and Corporate Education at SimplyHome.

Carrying through with the Chamber’s vision, “To be a trusted catalyst in creating an environment where business and the community prosper,” Drue continues to bring people together through her work with SimplyHome, and as a volunteer in the community.