Linda Gray, DCL
Linda Gray, DCL
Linda Kay Jordan
August 17, 1952
|Citizenship||United States of America|
|Height||5 ft 2 in (157 cm)|
|Spouse(s)||Robert L. Gray|
Linda Gray (born August 17, 1952) is an American businesswoman, author, nonprofit consultant, community outreach expert, and certified SCORE mentor. She is known for her extensive work in nonprofit management and community development, having founded Corporate Connections, a nonprofit consulting business. She also serves as the director of development for the Apple Community Development Corporation.
With over 17 years of experience as a certified business mentor with SCORE, she has made a significant impact on many lives and communities through her expertise in program planning, grant research and development, grant management, workshops, seminars, technical assistance, and entrepreneurial and business development planning and implementation. Gray's commitment to creating positive change in underserved communities has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including the Phoenix Perseverance Award, the Business Advisory Council Business Woman of the Year, and the Business Entrepreneurs Award.
Early life and education
Gray was born in Midland, Texas, to Eldridge L. Jordan, Sr., the first black educator and principal of George Washington Carver School and Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Midland, and Thelma Millard Jordan, a homemaker. She graduated from Midland High School in 1970. She later pursued an associate degree from Midland College in 1971–1972. In 2015, she received an honorary doctorate in Christian leadership, theological and ministerial studies from Juliana King University in Houston, Texas.
Gray started her community service career as a volunteer for non-profit organizations in Corpus Christi, Texas. She began as a program assistant with the Department of Health and Human Services, focused on developing programs for seniors, disabled individuals, family self-support, and the Department of Pardon & Paroles. After that, she held leadership positions as the executive director of the Lighthouse Community Development Corporation and the diversity outreach coordinator for the Women's Business Assistance Center. She also served as the MLK Community team leader for the City of Mobile, Alabama, and the manager of the Senior Center Meals on Wheels Program at the Dearborn YMCA. Throughout these roles, Gray learned about the fundamental structure of non-profit organizations and how they can achieve sustainability by working with government programs.
As a result of her extensive experience, Gray founded Corporate Connections in Mobile, Alabama, in 1998 and has been serving as its president since its inception. The organization offers consulting services for nonprofits, including research and information provision, management, grants, volunteer recruitment, proposal development, and business plan creation for social enterprises. Gray also provides workshops on community organizing and professional development.
With more than 17 years of experience, Gray is a certified business mentor with SCORE. As a resource partner of the Small Business Administration, she offers mentoring through face-to-face sessions and business workshops.
Additionally, Gray helped create the Nonprofit Management Certification Series at Collin Community College, where she also serves as a part-time instructor. This program is designed to provide startup consulting services to small businesses based in the community, with a special focus on nonprofit organizations and churches located in underserved areas of Dallas.
Since 2013, Gray has been a founding board member of the International Women ThinkTank. She currently serves as a board director of development for the Apple Community Development Corporation, Community ReBuild and is a member of various organizations, including the Texas Association of African American Association of Chamber of Commerce, the Southwest Black Chamber of Commerce, and the NAACP in Huntsville, Alabama.
Gray's dedication to community service is further exemplified through her role as a Commissioner of the Prison Ministry under the National Baptist Association, where she endeavors to bring about positive changes in the lives of incarcerated individuals and their families.
She has also conducted several workshops on grant writing, grant management, and obtaining minority and women's business certifications. Furthermore, she is a grant reviewer for various organizations, such as AmeriCORPS, the US Department of Education, the HUD Fair Housing Initiative, and the US Department of Justice. Her expertise in HIV/AIDS issues has led her to be enlisted as a consultant for the National Minority Aids Council, where she provides technical assistance to organizations working on addressing the issue. Various federal grants awarded as a result of Gray during the year 2022-2023 include Texas A&M Covid-19 Vaccine Grant, SBA Community Navigator Pilot Program, and Dallas County CARES Act Covid-19 Outreach.
Gray co-authored her first book, "Soulful Prayers," in 2020.
Awards and recognitions
Gray has received numerous awards for her work, including:
- The Phoenix Perseverance Award for Outstanding Contributions during Hurricane Katrina in 2007.
- The Business Advisory Council Business Woman of the Year in 2005.
- The Mt. Calvary Baptist Church Community Service Award in 2006
- She also received the Doretha N. Hornbuckle Business Entrepreneurs Award from IOTA Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. in 2021.
- SCORE Mentor of the Year 2012
- Soulful Prayers (2020)
Gray currently resides in Sachse, Texas. She is married to Robert L Gray for 48 years, a retired engineer with ExxonMobil Corporation for 38 years. He is currently an Associate Minister with True Lee Missionary Baptist Church, Dallas TX and has served the homeless community since 2007 and a mentor at Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Elementary School in south Dallas, TX. She has three daughters: LaWanna; Tami Gray, a Navy disabled veteran; and LaTonya Thompson, is a paralegal specialist who works for the Small Business Administration (SBA).
- Stories, Local. "Meet Linda Gray of Corporate Connections in Dallas and Collin County - Voyage Dallas Magazine | Dallas City Guide". voyagedallas.com. Retrieved 27 April 2023.
- "Linda Gray is Making a Difference Across America?". nyweekly.com. 12 April 2023. Retrieved 27 April 2023.
- "Linda Gray - Director of Development at Apple Community Development Corporation". THE ORG. Retrieved 27 April 2023.
- "Empower Series - Empower Series July 20th & 21st Invitation | Facebook | By Empower Series | Here is another attendee of the Empower Series telling about the things he has learned at our events. So Why Not Come and join us for the Empower Series..." www.facebook.com. Retrieved 27 April 2023.