Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > College of Business and Entrepreneurship > Department of Informatics > Gray
Management Information Systems & Web Development
Mr. Gray is a graduate of Fort Hays State University. He earned his Bachelors degree (1995) and Masters degree (1997) in Communication. During the mid-90s at the college, Mr. Gray witnessed the arrival of the Internet on campus and participated in much of the excitement and many of the discussions that followed between both faculty and students about what we now call media "convergence." Mr. Gray's thesis dealt with how traditional radio stations would use this new media access to interact with their listeners.
Upon graduation, Mr. Gray accepted a position with Eastern New Mexico University (1997) and later moved on to Colby Community College (1998 - 2000) where he became the instructor for the first web development course to be offered at CCC. Mr. Gray noticed most of those first web development students were non-traditional students and business owners. The students shared intentions of moving their brick & mortar businesses into the early world of ecommerce. Taking inspiration from his students, Mr. Gray launched an ecommerce site in 1999, selling sports supplements that were available in the fitness center he co-owned with his wife in Downtown Colby. The site and company grew quickly. Developing a successful business plan approved by the SBA, Mr. Gray moved the company to Wichita, KS in 2001 for centralized shipping and warehouse needs and the potential for brick & mortar growth. After positioning his company as one of the largest online outlets for sports nutrition supplements, Mr. Gray accepted a buyout offer from a national competitor in 2005.
During the rapid growth of his company, Mr. Gray maintained the role of network and database administrator. In addition to web design, Mr. Gray developed custom "back end" software for the company based on departmental needs in the areas of customer service, accounting, shipping, purchasing, marketing and web design. This custom software also integrated 3rd party solutions for specific needs from credit card processing to shipping solutions. The departmental module approach Mr. Gray developed the software in is now commonplace in today's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solutions although Mr. Gray had no influence on the similar, now widespread, approach.
After the sale of his company, Mr. Gray worked in consulting and adjunct faculty roles. He is now excited to have returned to Fort Hays State University and The Department of Informatics.