Homeport Employee Profile: Ray George

Ray George

Ray George

Title: Director of Marketing & Brand Promotion

Responsibilities: I oversee the branding, marketing and public relations initiatives that fall under our Resource Development department. Marketing & Brand Promotion supports Homeport’s strategic goals of closing the shortfall in affordable housing, being laser focused in meeting the needs of residents in our communities, developing and nurturing partner relationships and creating a high-performance culture for co-workers. Our story is played out through our newsletter, website, social media, earned media, advertising and special events.

What do I like most about the organization?

For nine years I have worked with individuals who are passionate about moving the needle on the need for more affordable housing in Central Ohio. It is a growing crisis we are dedicated to impacting.

What have you done in your career you are most proud of, or that people may not be aware of?

A year after I moved to Columbus I noticed the absence of a large, city-wide bicycle tour that other cities use to generate tourism. Through a partnership with The Long Street Businessmen’s Association and its existing Long Street Tour I was able to coordinate and launch “Bike the Cbus,” a tour of Columbus neighborhoods. The first year, 2008, we hosted a 30-mile tour for 195 cyclists. In recent years, a metric-century tour of 62 miles, runs simultaneously and together with the neighborhood tour attracts over 500 registrants. Over 5,000 people have participated in Bike the Cbus.

Nik Olah, volunteer, left, joins Ray in the fun at the 2016 Bike the Cbus hosted at  Elevator Brewing .  In addition to being the founder, Ray's official title was Grand Poobah.

Nik Olah, volunteer, left, joins Ray in the fun at the 2016 Bike the Cbus hosted at Elevator Brewing.  In addition to being the founder, Ray's official title was Grand Poobah.

Favorite things I do outside of work?

The easy answer is bicycling. The long answer is giving back to the community by involving myself with Yay Bikes! and self-started initiatives like my blogs Columbus Rides Bikes! and Ohio Gravel Grinders. Between the two related Facebook groups there are over 4,200 members who are exposed to hundreds of bicycling events in Central Ohio. I love seeing people experience new areas and the roads that take them there. You don’t see the little things in a community or in nature unless you get on a bike or walk the areas. Of course, I prefer a bike.

Personal Heroes?

I would have to say my Dad. He worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in West Virginia so I was raised in an environmentally-aware household. Growing up in Wheeling, before going off to West Virginia University to study journalism, I heard my Dad speak often to the difficulties we as a society face in balancing the need for jobs and commerce and protecting the environment. I saw the work he did to make a difference across West Virginia. He passed away in 2003 while getting ready for Earth Day festivities. Seeing condolences from The White House, Congress and state officials made me realize how much of an impact one person can have in the community. I learned that giving back is a worthwhile endeavor and that hard work pays off in the end.  I miss my Dad every day.

What do I like about Central Ohio?

My wife and I moved to Columbus knowing little about the city beyond OSU, Wendy’s and Easton. Once here, I learned to navigate my bicycle through neighborhoods, their nooks and crannies. Columbus is a special town. I hope with all the development taking place that we protect its charm.