Board of Advisors
Tom Gray is a native Oklahoman, born in Purcell. He grew up in Guthrie and after graduation from high school, attended The University of Oklahoma and graduated with a BA Degree in Journalism and Public Relations. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Intelligence Branch, and served two years active duty, one of which was in Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, The Army Commendation Medal and the Air Medal during his service with the First Air Cavalry Division.
His work experience includes public service in the 1970’s where he worked for Lt. Governor George Nigh and was Assistant Director of the Tourism Division of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. He spent 8½ years in banking working as Vice President, Business Development and Special Assistant to H.E. Gene Rainbolt, Chairman of BancFirst.
Tom left banking in the mid 1980’s, launched a county wide economic development program in Creek County, and served as Executive Director for the Creek County Economic Development Corporation, the state’s first county-wide, public-private economic development organization. During his tenure in this capacity he also served as Chairman of the Governor’s Economic Development Team and Chairman of the Northeast Economic Development Association.
In 1990, Tom was appointed to be the Director for the newly created Tulsa Division of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. This office provided a variety of services to the northeast quadrant of Oklahoma including export trade assistance, business retention and expansion, the Oklahoma Film office (promoting Oklahoma for on location filming), and the Oklahoma Waterways office. In the fall of 2000, Tom was relocated to the Oklahoma City Office for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce where he launched the agency’s “pro-active” Lead Development Program. He traveled extensively throughout the United States meeting with corporate executives and site location consultants selling Oklahoma as a site for expansions and relocations. Several new companies located to Oklahoma as a result of his efforts.
Oklahoma State University hired Tom as Vice President for Economic Development in July of 2005. His responsibilities include matching University resources and assets to leverage economic development within the OSU Triangle, attracting technology businesses to Oklahoma utilizing the University’s research capabilities, and being a part of the team commercializing new technology spinning out of the University.