U.Va. Darden School of Business Alumni Have a Strong Economic Impact

February 27, 2015 Leave a comment

A graduate of the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, Bill Gray frequently returns to the university as a lecturer and guest speaker. The former co-CEO of Ogilvy Group North America, Bill Gray continues to support the university and is one of the Darden School’s featured alumni.

Offering MBA, Ph.D., and Executive Education programs, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business is one of the top business schools in the world. First established in 1955, the Darden School excels at providing entrepreneurial-minded students with the knowledge and skills they need to become responsible leaders. A recent survey found that alumni from the school have had a significant impact on the economy at the state, national, and international level.

The survey considered more than 220,000 graduates, many of whom have played roles in launching new companies. Of the graduates surveyed, 65,000 were responsible for starting new companies that generate more than $1.6 trillion a year and employ more than two million individuals. This high level of entrepreneurial activity among alumni has helped Virginia’s economy grow at a much faster rate than many other states.


Traits of an Effective Board Member

February 11, 2015 Leave a comment

The former co-CEO of Ogilvy Group North America, Bill Gray spends much of his time providing business advice and assistance to companies. Bill Gray has served as a senior advisor for Blackstone Portfolio Operations Group and as a board member for The Advertising Council and the American Red Cross as well as other entities.

A board of directors is only as strong as its individual members, and several basic traits are common among effective board members. Good judgment and the ability to make good decisions is an important part of being an effective board member. This ensures board members successfully handle difficult problems and make good decisions on hiring, legal, and financial issues.

Individuals who have experience and a proven record of successful leadership skills and business acumen often make good board members. They are familiar with the potential consequences of decisions, and others view them as leaders, which increases their credibility when they offer valuable feedback.

Board members should always have a valid interest in the company. If they lack motivation or interest, they may not devote the necessary time and resources to help the company flourish. In particular, having a financial interest in the company ensures board members are attentive and effective at handling their assigned responsibilities.

Serving on a board often takes a considerable amount of time, and this requires a fair amount of dedication. Effective board members are available to handle details and problems without overextending themselves to the point of failing to get the job done.


Healthcare is an endlessly fascinating journey. If Obama has done anything he’s actually gotten every American with in eye or earshot of media obsessed with this subject. There has not been an unleashing of consumerism like this ( barring device launches ) in as long as I can remember. It is indeed the law of unintended consequence. People are not neutral. They’re concerned and their actions are ” wait it out ” or ” go for it “. It will be the topic of all topics for the fall elections. 

It will change employees relationships with work and employers for a full generation. Amd vice a versa. It will force doctors , clinicians , hospitals , drug companies , insurers , retailers , and broad media to be consumed with a change revolution constantly unfolding. It won’t be long before healthcare is the topic of major entertainment and content forces I predict. DR Oz is looking like a very strong brand to run along aside if you can’t dominate.

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Darden School of Business Hosts Firsts Sustainability Pitch Contest

Darden-School-of-Business-University-of-Virginia-MBA-EMBA-Exec-Ed-UVA-DardenAn alumnus of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (UVA), Bill Gray earned his MBA from the school. Bill Gray, who spent more than 30 years a co-chief executive officer of Ogilvy Group North America, retains strong ties to his alma mater as a featured speaker and lecturer to current students.

UVA’s Darden School recently named winners of the first-ever pitch night competition based on business platforms dealing with environmental sustainability. Held in January at the W. L. Lyons Brown III Innovation Laboratory on campus, the event saw six individuals pitching ideas before a packed room. The Darden School supported the event to promote environmental awareness while also putting business students in a high-pressure, real-world situation. Anna Perry, a high school student, earned the People’s Choice award as well as the Most Feasible Idea award for her pitch on composting in elementary and high schools. Top honors, however, went to Joni Lane for her hemp-based insulation idea.

Freezin’ for a Reason Fundraiser Supports Wakeman Boys & Girls Club

February 13, 2014 Leave a comment

As the co-owner and operator of Hulls Highway, Inc., a consulting firm based in Southport, Connecticut, Bill Gray balanced a successful career as a business professional with numerous philanthropic activities. Bill Gray spent more than two decades as co-CEO of Ogilvy Group North America. A senior advertising executive, he provided a decade of volunteer service as a member of the board of directors of the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club of Southport, one of the numerous commitments he made over the course of his career to local and global charitable organizations.

Established in 1913 as The Wakeman Boys Club, the organization always included girls but the name remained unchanged until 1983. A member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Southport-based club, which includes outreach programs in Fairfield and Bridgeport, Connecticut, hosts numerous special events to raise program funds. One of the newest events, Freezin’ for a Reason, kicked off in 2011 with participants taking a freezing dip in the Long Island Sound. More than 130 Wakeman supporters took the challenge, raising more than $82,000. The money from the fundraising activity benefits sports, arts, and other educational programs provided to youth at all three Wakeman Boys & Girls Club clubhouses.

The First Tee of Connecticut Promotes Girls Golf Program

downloadAn award-winning senior advertising executive, Bill Gray joined Ogilvy Group North America in 1978, coming to lead the company as co-CEO until his retirement in 2010. Additionally, he was a member of the Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide board and sat on the board of the Harleysville Group. Throughout his distinguished career, Bill Gray found numerous ways to remain involved in his community, including serving on the board of directors of The First Tee of Connecticut.

In 2013, The First Tee of Connecticut, a youth initiative of the Connecticut Golf Foundation, became an official LPGA-USGA Girls Golf site. An all-female coaching staff and a female director lead instruction of the girls’ program, which emphasizes the continued engagement of young women in the game of golf. The program promotes a healthy and active lifestyle through the five “E’s” of girls’ golf: empower, engage, enrich, energize, and exercise. TFTCT’s Girls Golf Program develops a schedule of events for the participants to enjoy, including a “Spring Into Golf” Bring a Friend Day, where enrollees are encouraged to introduce a friend to the program; a girls-only summer camp experience; and a golf fair. Girls aged 7 to 18 can participate in most of the events at no charge through the support of The First Tee.

Volunteer Opportunities at the Fresh Air Fund

An independent trustee for Century Capital, Bill Gray previously sat on the Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide board and served as co-CEO of Ogilvy Group North America. Throughout his career, Bill Gray has remained devoted to giving back, and he supports a wide range of organizations, including the Fresh Air Fund. This nonprofit organization provides New York City children with unforgettable summer opportunities that allow them to engage them with the community and experience life outside of the city. The organization also offers various programs during the school year to encourage academic success and career planning.

Like any nonprofit, the Fresh Air Fund thrives on the assistance of volunteers. A number of volunteers tutor middle school students or mentor high school students as they prepare for the transition to college. Other volunteers allow students to shadow them in their careers or lead workshops on various career options.

For individuals with managerial skills, various special events committees always need assistance with planning for upcoming occasions, such as the Fall Benefit or the Spring Fling. Volunteers also staff various community outreach events.

Individuals can learn more about these opportunities at FreshAir.org/Volunteer.