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Creative Coast chief resigns, effective immediately

Subheadline: 
Bea Wray joined local nonprofit in 2013, will now pursue other projects

  • Wray

Bea Wray, executive director of the Creative Coast, announced her resignation Tuesday, effective immediately.

Wray made the choice to step down so she could pursue other projects, according to a press release sent Tuesday afternoon.

“Bea Wray has made the personal decision to resign as executive director of the Creative Coast,” said Sean Brandon, chairman of The Creative Coast Board of Directors, in the statement.

“The staff and Board of Directors of The Creative Coast appreciate her service. In her time here, she has made great contributions to our organization and the Savannah community as a whole.”

Attempts to reach Wray on Tuesday were unsuccessful. Jennifer Abshire of Abshire Public Relations stated that the board of directors had no further comment.

An interim director is expected to be announced soon, according the statement.

Wray joined the local nonprofit — which consults and advocates for tech, digital and other knowledge-based businesses — in 2013.

Before taking the role, Wray spent five years advising and consulting for businesses around the country, including ERLink, Kin Valley and Twitch, the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers.

She also founded and sold several startup companies, including SourceHarbor, based in Hilton Head and Deposix, based in Germany, and served as CEO for San Franciso-based Data Securities International, which is the world’s leading intellectual property protection firm.

The Creative Coast was founded in 2007 by Chris Miller after he merged his Creative Coast Initiative and cBETA, a group that offered support services such as professional development and networking to existing businesses. Miller headed the group while working for the Savannah Economic Development Authority before leaving SEDA in 2007.

In 2010, SEDA split the Creative Coast off as an independent organization and put it in charge of fostering the support of knowledge-based businesses to attract new ones. After the split, Jake Hodesh led the organization, opening an office in the historic district and starting several programs including FastPitch and assisting in planning the first  TEDx event started by Frank Spencer, along with networking and consulting services for local entrepreneurs.

Wray is a graduate of Emory University and has a master’s degree from Harvard Business School. She was chosen from a pool of nearly 300 applicants to succeed Hodesh, who stepped down in early 2013.

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