Carl O. Gray
Carl Oneil Gray was born in Morant Bay, Jamaica in the Parish of St. Thomas January 29th 1969. At age 4 his parents, Kensley & Cynthia, brought him to the United States in 1973 to join his remaining siblings.
Being the last of six (6) boys and having a strong parental structure, these factors helped shaped his early years by carving out a path of discipline, humility, spirituality and sharing. The Gray family structure was one based on having vision and values, no special privileges, and everyone needed to work hard and earn respect.
Carl attended Martin L. King Jr. High School in New York City where he graduated as class Salutatorian with a Regents Diploma in 1986. He then attended The City College of New York (CUNY) where he received his Bachelors in Finance with a minor in Electrical Engineering in 1993. His college years taught him a life lesson about proper planning and execution. There are 6P’s or fundamental principles of planning which is he has
adopted...Proper, Planning, Prevents, Poor, Performance with Prayer. These principles eluded Carl during his college years wanting to accomplish too much too quickly instead of pacing himself. Once he regained his focus and drive for success, he took on corporate America with high expectations.
Carl Gray started working during his 11th year in high school as a Wall Street messenger and data processor for the Depository Trust Company (DTC) a brokerage/clearing house. Just like his studies, Carl sought to excel and be the best in his position. Carl began working with the Irving Trust Company (currently Bank of New York) as a full time Proof Clerk doing end of day departmental accounting earning him a position of team lead. He made a conscious decision to change majors from Electrical Engineering to Finance because of his years working on Wall Street it seemed like the best progression given his employment history at that time. This decision was considered the most expedient way to complete his undergraduate degree due to poor planning...therefore it was time to execute his 6P’s (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance w/Prayer).
He was employed at CHASE for eight years until he completed his BA in Finance. During these years with CHASE, Carl was a team leader and received recommendations from all levels of management in consideration as a candidate who should apply to various Management Development fast track programs within the company. However, all of the programs submitted applications would and did not accept him.
Not willing to accept rejection, Carl changed his career direction from Finance to Project Management & Business Systems Analyst within the Information Technology industry. He completed several courses in Project Management, Software Development, Database Management and Business Methodologies. Carl would be progressive in various corporate environments, however, he began to grow tired of corporate bureaucracy that led to roadblocks, downsizing and limitations on his career development, which prompted him to become more entrepreneurial.
The NetLinkz Group, Inc. was formed in 1998 as a premiere marketing and special events company based in New York. Carl Gray, President – CEO, started the business as means to manage revenue generated from a monthly event called the First Fridays After Work Mixer. The First Friday’s brand is a national program across the U.S. primarily known as a networking event for business professionals and partygoers.
For the New York and Tri-State areas (NY – NJ – CT), the First Fridays After Work Mixer hosted by his company and two other promotional companies were able to brand and grow this event from 250 to 3000+ patrons monthly between 1999 – 2002. It was through this event many other business opportunities were developed. Carl felt the need to build a network that would allow him to provide value added services to patrons who attended his events.
Carl did not want parties to define his direction in life.
He made a business decision to focus on building The NetLinkz Group, Inc. with a trademark slogan
“Providing & Fulfilling Services by Making the Best Linkz”. The organization focuses on being a multifaceted portal through which professional services can be attained by bridging concepts, ideas, lifestyles, professions, likes & passions within a professional and/or entertainment forum.
In 2002, Carl decided to launch a Management Consultant arm to his business providing Business-to-Business (B 2 B) & Business to Customer (B 2 C) services. He went on to do full-time consultancy utilizing his Project Management & Business Analysis expertise to land opportunities with fortune 500, small business and private clients.
Carl has design programs to help bring awareness and assistance to friends, family and associates. He was driven to create a strong professional and business services network. He developed a networking group on LINKED In entitled the Unified NetWork of Business Professionals, which was launch in 2007 and originally named the United Caribbean Professional Network. This is another portal of services through which any individual or entity can find a network of resources to assist with career development, transitions within industries, how- to-services, business development, professional services and opportunities.
He founded the WE ARE ONE JAMAICA & WE ARE ONE CARIBBEAN Facebook Social Networks initially created to provide support towards Caribbean athletes who participate in the annual Penn Relays held in Philadelphia, PA; fundraisers from the WE ARE ONE social program initiatives are donated to Team Jamaica Bickle the organization that helps these track athletes all year round.
The NetLinkz Group, Inc has been instrumental in developing signature high profile programs. Carl launched in 2006 the Young, Gifted & Black (YGB) Entrepreneurial Awards to honor the “Unsung Heroes & Heroines” during Black History Month in February by acknowledging key these individuals for their Talent, Ambition & Achievements towards the “Continued Pursuit of Success”. The YGB Awards program is a simple measure of giving recognition, highlighting and showing appreciation towards his peers. There is not a standard or defined criteria set to give the award other than the person’s strive for success, their accomplishment & achievement. Carl wanted people to see the path that they took from where they came… to where they are now… to where they are going. Carl position is…there many individuals in our lives that do not get the accreditations or notoriety, as they never mentioned in the media, but they are impactful at what they do for their industry. Since 2006, the YGB Awards Program has given out honors to over 200+ entrepreneurial recipients.
In 2012, Carl launched for the YGB Entrepreneurial Awards a new the mission summarized by the following acronym:
P.O.W.E.R. – N – M.O.T.I.O.N
Providing Opportunity With Effective Resources
Motivate Optimize Transcend Inspire Organize & Nurture
You and others towards empowerment!
His personal mission is coupled with the need to give back to those who are not aware of the resources available for others to excel in life.
Carl is actively developing for The YGB Entrepreneurial Awards a scholarship program summarized by the acronym:
Taking Ownership Of Life By Offering Xperience!
Carl continues his life knowing certain challenges may cause a shift in the path chosen or direction taken; however, being steadfast, diligent and positive, grants him the ability to always create the energy needed to ignite his passion to strive towards “The Continued Pursuit of Success”. He does not want to be limited by not attempting to accomplish his goals and aspirations. His “Life” is sometimes about defying the odds and daring himself to follow the paths less chosen. Mr. Gray will not FEAR success but EMBRACE the rewards of not willing to accept FAILURE.
When the dust clears then settles again, Carl would like to be known as an individual who made a positive difference within someone’s life and also as an excellent networker.
Public Awards, Endorsements, Certifications & Acknowledgments:
2017 MWBE Recognition Award for the Young, Gifted & Black (YGB) Entrepreneurial Awards, Office of the Mayor NYC, Bill de Blasio
2017 Proclamation Award for the YGB Entrepreneurial Awards Program - NYS Senator Kevin Parker
2017 Citation Award for the Young, Gifted & Black (YGB) Entrepreneurial Awards Program - Hon. Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President
2016 – Proclamation Award for Caribbean-American Heritage Month - Hon. Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President
2008 State of New York Executive Chamber Proclamation for Young, Gifted & Black (YGB) Entrepreneurial Awards for Black History Month – Gov. Elliot Spitzer
2008 Outstanding Leadership In Business Development – The Professionals Network Organization
2007 Merit Award in Marketing – Reggae in Symphony Program featuring Reggae Icons John Holt & Freddie McGregor
2006 Founder – Young, Gifted & Black Entrepreneurial Awards Program
2003 Black Men of Distinction Award – Sen. Marty Markowitz (NY)
2002 Founder – Unified Network of Business Professionals