Crossroads Coalition announces the selection of Billy Ray, a Phillips County native, as the organization's new director of programs and development. Ray's responsibilities will include overseeing day-to-day operations and staff, program management, resource development, community outreach and membership services.
"We are thrilled to welcome Billy Ray to the Crossroads Coalition team," said Heather Maxwell, executive director. "Billy has many years of community and economic development experience – most gained right here in the East Arkansas Delta. He is a proven collaborative leader with a demonstrated commitment to seeing our region grow and prosper. Billy's knowledge and experience will be valuable as Crossroads Coalition continues to build a regional economic development program successful in competing in the global marketplace for jobs and industry as well as retaining and growing our existing industries in the region."
Ray is a graduate of Elaine High School, received an Associate of Arts degree in business administration from Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas in Helena before pursuing a marketing degree from Arkansas State University. He is a graduate of Mid-South Basic Economic Development course from UALR's Institute for Economic Advancement, a graduate of the Community Development Institute and the Mid-South Delta Leaders program.
His pulse on the Delta not only stems from being a lifelong resident and educated in the Delta, but also his involvement in past projects, boards and committees throughout the region. Ray has served on the boards for Arkansas Delta Byways, Main Street Helena, Helena Regional Medical Center and the Sonny Boy Blues Society as well as being involved with the organizing committees for the King Biscuit Blues Festival and the Wild Hog Music Festival and Motorcycle Rally, advisory boards of Phillips Community College's College of Business and the Delta Cultural Center.
He has also held roles with the Arkansas Festivals Association and the Arkansas Community Development Society. Before joining the staff of Crossroads Coalition, Ray served for several years as the executive director of the Phillips County Chamber of Commerce in Helena, and most recently as the Regional Economic Developer for Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District in Magnolia serving a 12- county region in Southwest Arkansas.
His community and economic development experience working in a multi-county region and with its stakeholders, his education and training, his past experience and connections throughout the Delta, and his passion for the region are all key to helping Crossroads Coalition further its mission of improving the economy of the East Arkansas Delta.
"I look forward to working with the staff and board of Crossroads Coalition and the region's many stakeholders to continue the momentum of the East Arkansas Delta region. I am proud to be from this area and call this place home. My roots are here and I want nothing more than to help lead the growth of both the organization and region,” said Ray.
Page 2 of 2 - In his spare time, Ray can be found volunteering for community events, riding the back roads looking over the Arkansas Delta scenery, taking pictures of the sunset and relaxing with family and friends.
To contact Ray, call the Crossroads Coalition at 870.238.5300 or email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.