The RAFT family is sad to share the passing of our current board member and longtime friend and supporter, Nigel Ball.

“During the many years that I had the joy of knowing Nigel, I found him to be a kindred spirit.  He shared my passion for RAFT and found similar joy in supporting teachers as I do. He jumped in wherever he was needed, and served as RAFT’s Director of Marketing, as its Interim CEO, as a leader on the board, and as my mentor and friend. Moreover, he pitched in as a truck driver, painter, video producer, and more! In fact, there was nothing he wouldn’t do. He was well-loved by everyone on our staff and we all will truly miss him.”
Mary Simon, RAFT Founder

“It is hard to imagine anyone other than RAFT’s founder, Mary Simon, who has contributed more to RAFT than Nigel.  He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and also by RAFT. We are very grateful for all of Nigel’s contributions to RAFT over the years.”
Webb McKinney, Former Board Chair

RAFT’s mission of providing hands-on STEAM education held a special place in Nigel’s heart, and he was always willing to serve in whatever role RAFT needed. Beginning in 2009, Nigel worked as RAFT’s Marketing Director as an Encore Fellow from Hewlett Packard. Eventually, he transitioned back to the tech industry, working at Oracle Corporation, but continued to serve on the RAFT Board of Directors for multiple terms.

In 2018, Nigel served as Interim CEO and incorporated RAFT’s commitment to hands-on learning into his role, from managing marketing and development goals to tinkering with new kits to helping in the store, and even driving the RAFT truck to pick up material donations.

Nigel’s commitment to RAFT never faltered. During the past year, he served on RAFT’s board and used his leadership skills to help make RAFT’s resources available to as many as possible during a difficult time.

He was an integral part of the success of our event “All Aboard the SS RAFT” last year helping to not only host the event but also to raise funds in order to support educators and students during the pandemic. 

RAFT was Nigel’s favorite cause, and he was always excited for our next chapter in supporting our education community. He will be greatly missed, and RAFT will always remember his lasting impact. 

For any questions, please email In lieu of flowers, Nigel’s family asks for any contributions made in his honor to go to RAFT.


Jason Morrella, CEO