Education: BFA in graphic design, Mississippi State University
Current Position: Graphic design & marketing, Downtown Jackson Partners
That’s the effect Emily Ray had on her customers when she temporarily moved to South Dakota with her occupational therapist sister and spent the summer working in a coffee house.
“They were dumbfounded by my ‘yes ma’ams’ and ‘no ma’ams,” she says. “We got pulled over by the police just cause they wanted to meet the girls from Mississippi.”
In the same way she represented Mississippi to South Dakota, Ray is today representing Jackson to everyone from new residents to outside investors.
“When people ask me about Downtown Jackson Partners the easiest thing for me to tell them is we’re economic cheerleaders,” she says. “There have always been people that have supported Jackson and over time people have drifted away for various reasons. We bring people together. Every idea matters.”
Ray’s background in graphic design translates well into her daily marketing responsibilities whether its designing a logo or branding an idea. One of her heroes is Milton Glazer, the marketing guru behind the “I Love NYC” logo that is on everything from coffee mugs to T-shirts. “People were losing their faith in the city and his idea took off like wildfire,” she says.
While working for Jackson is still a new experience for the native Deltan, Ray says she considers herself lucky to find a job so rewarding. “I don’t have one of those jobs that people dread,” she says. Ray is a member of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi, volunteers for Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and enjoys coupon collecting and furniture shopping.
Mississippi’s best kept secret: “Downtown at Dusk, Fondren After Five- all the events that if you weren’t from here you wouldn’t know about.”
Must-have Mississippi food: Oyster Rockefeller at Parlor Market
Favorite Hangout: Julep
Favorite TV Show: “Top Chef”
Favorite Movie: “The Sound of Music”
Favorite Band: Dave Barnes
Last book read: “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
First job ever: Florist