A senior advisor of Blackstone Portfolio Operations Group at The Blackstone Group, Private Equity Group, Bill Gray formerly fulfilled responsibilities as co-CEO of Ogilvy Group North America and as a member of the board of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. Bill Gray’s interests include diverse community involvements; among these, he supports the American Red Cross in New York. For his contributions to this organization, he earned the 2008 Humanitarian of the Year Award.
In an effort to bring American Red Cross initiatives and disaster response activities into public awareness, the organization developed the National Celebrity Cabinet in 2002. Personalities including musicians, athletes, actors, and other public figures commit to a one-year term, during which they help the Red Cross spread its messages to encourage citizens to help in urgent situations.
When country music star and contestant on All-Star Celebrity Apprentice Trace Adkins joined the National Celebrity Cabinet in 2012, he experienced firsthand the value of the American Red Cross. After he lost his home to fire, Red Cross volunteers came to the site with assistance for Mr. Adkins and his family. Today, Trace Adkins helps the American Red Cross reach his significant audience of fans. To learn more about the National Celebrity Cabinet and the work of the Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org/supporters/celebrities.
Between 1978 and 2010, Bill Gray worked for Ogilvy Group North America, serving as the co-chief executive officer his last four years. Previous to pursuing a graduate education and career in business, Bill Gray earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Harvard University, and today he serves as a trustee for the New York Public Library.
The New York Public Library, second in size only to the Library of Congress, is currently in the midst of planning a major renovation to its popular Fifth Avenue building. The innovative building design, which will cost the library an estimated $300 million, calls for a high-ceilinged reading room with bookshelves standing 53 feet high. The library had initially released plans for renovation that saw the building’s original book stacks completely demolished and overhauled, but the public outcry was enough to sway the library into retaining the stacks as a central feature of the newly planned circulating space beneath the Rose Main Reading Room. The library had intended to begin the renovation in 2013, but progress has been delayed by a number of governmental reviews of the project.
With more than 30 years of experience, Bill Gray spent many years working for Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide’s North America region. Dedicated to giving back to his community, Bill Gray has served on the board of several community-based organizations, including the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club in Southport, Connecticut.
The Wakeman Boys and Girls Club was first created in 1913 on Christmas Day and has been committed to improving children’s social, emotional, and physical development ever since. The Wakeman Boys and Girls Club offers several programs and events across its clubhouses in the area, and strives to instill the importance of being active citizens within the area’s youth. At its Southport Clubhouse, the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club has a program known as the Keystone Club. Open to boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 18, the Keystone Club is a service and leadership club dedicated to building good character and growth among its members.
As a Keystone member, young teens are able to elect their own officers and create their own service projects by working together. These service projects focus on the core areas of education and career exploration, character and leadership, and service to club and community. Through participation in the Keystone Club, teenagers learn how to become productive and successful adults.
Bill Gray, Ogilvy North America’s former co-CEO and founder of the Ogilvy & Mather’s Diversity Council, has worked with a variety of well-known companies, including Coca-Cola, Time Warner, Inc., and Yahoo! Inc. In addition to currently managing Hulls Highway, Inc., Bill Gray is also a trustee of the New York Public Library.
Since its founding in 1895, the New York Public Library (NYPL) has provided citizens with free information, books, and education. As the largest public library system in America, the NYPL is made up of over 80 neighborhood branches and four research centers. One of the library’s current exhibitions is “The ABC of It” which looks into children’s books and their impact on society. It examines what these books teach children, what they say about society, and why they are important.
The exhibit portrays the varying art, history, popular culture, and overall change that its collection of children’s books has to offer. It explores the cultural folklore that many children’s books are based on, the various arts that reflects worldwide traditions, and many ways that these books changed the dreams of young readers across time. With a wide collection of children’s books and activities, “The ABC of It” promotes the importance of children’s books across both culture and time.
Former co-CEO of Ogilvy North America, Bill Gray has more than 30 years of experience within the advertising and marketing sector. Committed to supporting public service organizations, Bill Gray is a Fresh Air Parent and strong supporter of the Fresh Air Fund.
Founded in 1877, the Fresh Air Fund provides children from low-income communities with the opportunity to enjoy their summer in the country. The program first started during the tuberculosis epidemic among children living in New York City, and served as a way to provide children in need with country air, which was believed to cure respiratory illness. The program grew over the years and has helped more than one million children in need experience the country.
Through the Fresh Air Fund, families and communities located in rural areas and the suburbs can volunteer to host children from the city. Through these host families and communities, Fresh Air Fund children are given a place to stay and the chance to experience summer get-togethers and activities outside of the city. Children that are a part of the Fund live in low-income communities within New York City, and range from ages six to 18. Through the Fresh Air Fund, these children are able to experience a brief vacation from their home, participate in summertime activities, and have a chance to make new friends.
Formerly a board member for Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, and co-CEO of Ogilvy Group North America, Bill Gray is an accomplished senior-level executive with a wide range of philanthropic interests. In addition to his decades of service with Ogilvy, Bill Gray previously served as the chairman of the board for the American Red Cross in Greater New York.
The American Red Cross in Greater New York is known for its robust corporate partnership program. In addition to offering companies opportunities to support disaster relief work through corporate giving programs and in-kind donations, the organization leads volunteer training programs for employees who want to contribute their time to disaster relief efforts. These employees may be called upon to support first responders during local disaster response efforts. The Greater New York Red Cross also provides emergency preparedness training programs to reduce losses of life and property in natural and other disasters.
With a substantial former career in the advertising and marketing field, Bill Gray served Ogilvy Group North America as co-CEO and sat on the Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide board of directors. Among his professional affiliations in the advertising industry, Bill Gray served as director for the American Association of Advertising Agencies and The Advertising Council, Inc.
A non-profit organization, The Ad Council enlists the aid of communication and advertising professionals and leverages the media to convey important messages to the general public. It also provides an ongoing seminar series during the year that is designed to offer guidance on designing effective public service campaigns. The “Seminar Series on Effective Public Service Advertising” educates foreign nations, non-profits, and government agencies on such topics as taking advantage of online video, social media, and mobile marketing; using online contests and blogs to engage audiences; designing effective websites; and achieving virality with marketing campaigns.