Executive director of the Civic Center Foundation and the general manager of OKC Broadway, Elizabeth Gray graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in engineering, then worked at Walters Power International. Shortly after, she received a mayoral appointment to the Civic Center Foundation’s board of directors, and in 2015, she became its first executive director. In time, her team took over the management of the Civic Center Music Hall from the City of Oklahoma City, as well as management of OKC Broadway. Gray lives in OKC with her husband and son. We caught up with Gray and got her thoughts on …
… how her job has evolved over the years.
Being on the board of directors for the Civic Center Foundation is quite different than overseeing all the operations of the Civic Center Music Hall! As a board member, we’re tasked with general oversight of the organization, but that often came in the form of monthly/quarterly committee meetings. As executive director, it is a 24/7 job. My time on the board was extremely beneficial in that I was a part of the decision making for where the organization is now, and it gives me a greater insight, now, as to what’s important information to share with the board and their vision for the future.
… utilizing her engineering degree.
Interestingly enough, my role is not very “artsy,” it is very much business oriented. My engineering degree has helped streamline processes and problem solve to move the Civic Center Music Hall operations from where they were to where they are today – and hopefully progress even more in the future. A special thanks to all my programming and statistics professors from OU, because Excel is a life-saver in the business world!
… her proudest accomplishment.
Every day there is a new accomplishment to be celebrated, but probably the No. 1, looking back over the past seven years, is the enhanced relationship that we, the music hall management, have formed with the resident user groups. We now communicate better and complement each other’s goals in ways that were previously non-existent. I feel as if we truly are partners in furthering performing arts in Oklahoma City. My second greatest accomplishment is building a team that often acts more like family – the ‘family’ that you enjoy spending long days with.
… her favorite Broadway show.
I didn’t grow up frequenting performing arts events or attending Broadway musicals, so I still consider myself a ‘rookie’ Broadway connoisseur. One of the most moving musicals I’ve ever seen has been Come From Away. Not only because it’s a true story based on the events of 9/11, but also because it tells a part of the story few have ever heard. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the highly anticipated return of Hamilton next spring.
… what she’s looking forward to.
The successful completion of the renovation currently underway at the building. It will be the culmination of almost a decade’s worth of research, planning and work, and is going to enhance the patron experience exponentially. And to have a state-of-the-art Little Theatre will open up doors to all sorts of other arts organizations.
… her life outside work.
I work a lot! But when I’m not, I enjoy spending time with my husband and 2 ½ year old son. Outside of those activities I enjoy being a member of Rotary (Club 29) and serving on the Children’s Center Foundation board of directors.