Darin Gray named president of Little Rock-based CJRW

Springale resident Darin Gray of Springdale has been named the president of Little Rock-based Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods, Arkansas’ largest advertising, marketing and public relations companies.

Gray earlier this month announced he was leaving his job as publisher of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal.

Wayne Woods, who has served as president, will continue to work as chairman and CEO of CJRW.

Gray Matters, LLC, of Fayetteville, had been placed in a family trust to be administered by his wife, Tami. In 1997 Gray began serving as President and Publisher of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal and its related publications. In June of 2004, Gray acquired the Northwest Arkansas division of Arkansas Business Publishing Group.

“For some time now, we have been planning to name a President of the firm so that we can best manage and plan our growth and development and prepare for the future,” Woods said in a statement. “During that process, we identified a number of qualities that we wanted in a President. Chief among them are executive experience in managing a multi-faceted business, proven leadership qualities, a working knowledge of Northwest Arkansas, and a deep understanding of the Arkansas business community and the state in general. ... I am hard-pressed to think of anyone who has those qualifications and is more widely respected and genuinely admired around the state than Darin.”

“The cliché that ‘timing is everything’ certainly applies in this case,” said Gray. “At the time my family and I were talking through ‘what’s next?’ CJRW reached out to me. A casual conversation became a serious discussion and here we are today. I have long had deep respect for the agency, its founders and principals, and what it has meant to the business community and the entire state.

As president, Gray becomes a member of CJRW’s Executive Committee and its Board of Directors. Continuing to serve on the Executive Committee will be Wayne Woods, chairmen Emeriti Wayne Cranford and Shelby Woods, and Steve Allen, senior vice president and chief financial officer.

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Gray, his wife Tami and son, Caleb, live in Springdale and will maintain their residence there. Gray will split time between CJRW’s Northwest Arkansas office in Johnson and the agency’s downtown Little Rock location.

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