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May 14 - Bea Wray of Hilton Head Island Named New Executive Director of the Creative Coast

Category: Savannah Area Business News

By Lou Phelps

May 14, 2013 – The Creative Coast has named Bea Strickland Wray of Hilton Head as the new executive director of The Creative Coast, according to Dana Braun, member of the non-profit’s board of directors.

She is a 1990 graduate of Emory University, and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1999. Wray has also worked in real estate since 2010 for Collins Group Realty concurrent with launching the digital platform KinValley.com in February 2011.

Prior to Collins Realty, Wray worked for The Daufuskie Island company, enhancing her knowledge of Savannah and Lowcountry. The board of directors of The Creative Coast conducted a national search over the past months for a new director to replace Jake Hodesh who resigned to return to Ohio and head a technology incubator in the Cincinnati area, but chose to go with a local candidate.

According to Braun, “After an exhaustive search process in which we received and reviewed almost 300 applications, we are excited to announce Bea Wray as our executive director and welcome her to The Creative Coast.  The board is confident that under her direction, The Creative Coast will be taken to the next level.”

Wray has contributed to Savannah’s Creative Coast for more than a decade.  She brought investors and entrepreneurs to StartUp Lounge, served as a FastPitch coach, has been a featured speaker at the brown bag lunch series on the Georgia Tech Savannah campus, and contributed to the Georgia Tech’s ATDC Executive Roundtable.

Wray has also held technology positions with several leading companies, including The Siemens company and has been a local member of ‘Start-up Chicks,’ an incubator for women developing technology companies. Most recently, she has been a part of the StartupChicks Savannah leadership team encouraging female entrepreneurs and served on the board of the Coastal Venture Investment Forum. She has also participated in the Ariel Savannah Angel Partners and partnered with Seacoast Synergy.

Her KinValley.com Web site solution is similar to Facebook, in that it “allows you to connect in meaningful ways with everyone you care about, including kids, in the same place. Whether you are cataloging your important memories, sharing with the people who matter most, passing lessons to grandkids, or dealing with life issues that require the support of your friends and family,” according to the site. Also, she has developed other digital platforms over the past 10 years, as well.

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