Longtime Director and Founding Member To Retire from SND Executive Director Post

Jan 1, 2004

NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI. - David B. Gray, executive director of the Society for News Design, will retire May 31, 2004, after more than 25 years of service to the organization.

Gray has been a member of the NPPA for more than 28 years, joining NPPA in November 1975.

He will step down after eight years as the executive director of SND. Warren Watson, SND immediate past president, said they will undertake an international search to replace Gray, who was hired in 1996 and is only the second executive director in the group's 25-year history.

"Dave has done more than any other individual to foster and strengthen SND. He is one of the giant figures in the history of newspaper and media design," said Watson.

Watson said that Gray would remain a consultant to the organization through the early Fall, helping to plan and coordinate SND's biggest event of the year, the Annual Workshop and Exhibition, to be held September 30 through October 2, 2004, in San Jose, CA.

Under Gray, SND expanded its training offerings in news, new media and advertising design and information graphics workshops. During his tenure, the organization became more active in working with other journalism organizations to spread the message that well-designed newspapers are good newspapers, Watson said. SND's membership peaked over 2,700 in 2003, there are now more than 16 student chapters of SND around the world, and the number of entries in the Annual Best of Newspaper Design competition have increased more than 50 percent in the past eight years.

Gray is a 1963 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), with a bachelor's degree in graphics and photography. After serving as a graphic designer and art director in an advertising agency and as an associate in a design firm, he joined the Providence Journal Co. in 1968 as a graphic designer in the promotion department. He was brought to the newsroom and named Journal-Bulletin photo editor in September 1975, graphics editor in 1980 and managing editor/graphics in 1984. In 1994, Gray was named to the new post of managing editor/technology, responsible for implementing desktop publishing and training. In 1996, he left the Providence Journal-Bulletin to take the SND position. That appointment capped 18 years of volunteer service in the organization for Gray, who was a founding member of SND in 1978.