Steve Wray is a Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, at Econsult Solutions, Inc. (ESI). In this role, Steve develops, oversees and helps implement programs and projects that support ESI’s vision and short- and long-term plans. He supports the work of the firm’s principals and senior staff in developing new partnerships, expanding and building on existing practice areas, and integrating the firm’s strengths in economic analysis and thought leadership. Mr. Wray joined ESI in 2017 as a Director and was promoted to Vice President, Strategic Initiatives in 2019.
Mr. Wray leads projects focused on regional economic competitiveness and civic strategy and policy. He brings to ESI’s clients extensive experience connecting the public, private and non-profit sectors with analysis and strategy development of economic growth, talent development, infrastructure and governance issues. Mr. Wray is a creative project leader and manager, and is skilled at conceiving and managing complicated research, campaign and strategy initiatives. He is a national and internationally recognized expert and speaker where he excels at translating complicated issues and concepts to diverse audiences.
From 2006 to 2017, Mr. Wray was the executive director of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. In addition to managing the strategy and operations for the $1.6 million civic leadership organization, he led the development of the ground-breaking World Class Greater Philadelphia initiative, engaging regional leaders in scenario planning and strategy teams to build a long-term agenda and projects for economic growth and opportunity for the tri-state region. He was one of the founding partners of Pre-K for PA, a statewide coalition focused on increasing access to high-quality pre-kindergarten, and created the Metropolitan Caucus to convene the county elected officials of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
From 2008 to 2017, Mr. Wray also served as managing director of the statewide Pennsylvania Economy League, Inc., where he was responsible for oversight of the activities and finances for the three Economy League offices in Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre and Pittsburgh.
Mr. Wray was the deputy director and director of research from 1995 to 2006 for the Economy League in Philadelphia. He led numerous major initiatives, including analyses of the region’s healthcare, arts and higher education industries; strategic analysis of Penn’s West Philadelphia economic development strategy; a feasibility study of Philadelphia’s potential to host the Olympics; and numerous economic impact and regional development projects. He also created and managed IssuesPA, a first-of its kind political communications campaign that was recognized both in the state and nationally as a cutting edge political education effort.
Mr. Wray also served as policy director for PA Lt. Governor and Acting Governor Mark Singel from 1992-1995 and as an investment research associate for the real estate firm Jones Lang Wootton from 1989 to 1991.
Mr. Wray lives in Newtown, PA with his wife and 2 daughters. He is also an active civic leader, and is the Board Chair of the Health Care Improvement Foundation; a member of the Board of Trustees for the Bucks County Historical Society overseeing Mercer Museum and Fonthill Castle; a member of the Governor’s Early Learning Investment Commission; an executive committee member of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau; and an Executive Fellow of Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Economic Development at Heinz College.