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.
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.
By Bill Gray
Established in 1954, The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business offers a range of programs that emphasize entrepreneurship and ingenuity, an international outlook, and a solid understanding of business ethics. The school’s top-ranked Master of Business Administration (MBA) program integrates three distinctive elements. It utilizes the Case Study Method, allowing students to examine real-world business matters and problems, contribute ideas and debate openly, and devise solutions. The program also employs a student-focused faculty whose members encourage innovation and contribute their own well-regarded research and scholarship. Furthermore, the MBA program maintains a highly collaborative learning environment that enables students to grasp the fundamentals of business, like accounting, operations, and communications, while enhancing their ability to think strategically and gain new insights.
The Darden School of Business also encourages global business experience. Students can study with partner schools in several countries where they visit and tour companies as well as interact with influential business leaders and politicians. In addition, the school’s Global MBA for Executives program helps prepare executives for international leadership by introducing them to an array of economies, markets, and cultures. The 21-month program includes six two-week residencies in Europe, China, India, Brazil, and the United States.
About the author: The former Co-CEO of Ogilvy Group North America, Bill Gray received his MBA from the Darden School of Business and is a frequent guest speaker and lecturer. Mr. Gray currently acts as an Independent Trustee for the Century Capital family of mutual funds.