Craig Ray is the Director of Visit Mississippi, the Tourism office of the Mississippi Development Authority. In this role, he promotes Mississippi as a travel destination and film location by highlighting the state’s culture, heritage, history, natural resources and recreational opportunities through a multi-faceted marketing effort. Ray oversees a diverse number of programs and initiatives from Mississippi’s 13 welcome centers to the Mississippi Film Office.
Ray returned to the Mississippi Development Authority in 2016 after serving as a Principal in The Talon Group, LLC, a government relations firm providing advice, advocacy and access to federal and state government agencies. Prior to joining The Talon Group, Ray served as President of DCRAY Consulting and as Executive Producer of a number of statewide and national events, including Mississippi Night at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles and the Mississippi GRAMMY Celebration. Ray has also served in senior-level positions for three United States Presidents and for two state governors.
Ray previously served as the Director of the Tourism Division at the Mississippi Development Authority from 2004 – 2009. During his tenure he played a key role in developing the branding campaign for “Mississippi – The Birthplace of America’s Music” as well as launching the groundbreaking Mississippi Blues Trail. Today, the Mississippi Blues Trail has more than 185 markers throughout Mississippi and the world.
A Mississippi native, Ray graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Business Administration. He has one daughter, Emma Claire.