Lionel Ray Robinson was born in Walkertown, North Carolina, and attended school in the
Winston Salem Forsyth County Public School System. Upon graduating from North Forsyth High
School, Ray began his collegiate career at Elizabeth City State University where he majored in
Political Science and Public Administration. Winning such awards as highest grade point average
(GPA) among freshman students and the Ronald McNair Graduate Research Scholarship, Ray
was well on his way to success. After graduating from Elizabeth City State University, Ray moved
back to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and began a career as a community organizer with
Democracy North Carolina. It would be at Democracy NC that Ray discovered his niche for fund
development and community engagement. Ray later enrolled in High Point University to pursue
a Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management and Leadership.
Upon completion of his master’s degree at High Point University, Ray accepted a position
as Executive Director with Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania. Later that year Ray
would make history by solidifying the organization as a standing club and become the first
African American Chief Executive Officer of Evergreen Boys & Girls Clubs of Indiana
Pennsylvania. During his time in Pennsylvania, Ray oversaw the expansion and development of
new clubs and the initial contracts connected with renovating a local community center for club
members. In 2017, Ray answered the call again to lead a nonprofit organization when he
accepted the appointment to become the first African American and youngest Executive
Director of Outer Banks Sporting Events in Nags Head, North Carolina. In Nags Head, Ray
assisted the organization in creating over $55 million in economic impact to the citizens of Dare
County, North Carolina. In this effort Ray has served as a board member for State Employees
Credit Union (Nags Head, NC), Children in Youth Partnership, Kappa Foundation of the Middle
Eastern Province, 100 Black Men of Northeastern NC, Historical Guild (Duck Woods Country
Club), and Dare Education Foundation to name a few.
Today Ray leads a small private equity firm, The Columbia Group, in Greensboro, North Carolina.
In his free time, Ray enjoys boating and spending time with his wife, Glasher Robinson, and his
two daughters, Lauren Robinson and Logan Robinson.