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.
An 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.