The Research Triangle Foundation (RTF), the steward of Research Triangle Park, today welcomes Ray Trapp to its leadership team as Vice President of Strategic Engagement. RTF leads the Triangle in creating a thriving business environment, promoting economic development and facilitating strategic partnerships that benefit the region and state. In his new role, Ray will support RTF in these efforts at a pivotal time in the Foundation’s 61-year history.
A Greensboro native, Ray is proud to hold a master’s degree in agricultural education from North Carolina A&T State University. In addition to his educational background, Ray brings a unique set of professional experience to the RTF team, having worked in military, government and educational environments. He served in the U.S. Navy as an interior communications specialist, and later, as a Guilford County Commissioner from 2012 to 2017. Most recently, Ray served as director of external affairs at North Carolina A&T State University, leading the university in government relations and advocacy.
“It was important to our Board that the VP of Strategic Engagement demonstrate a strong understanding of how our local university, government and business communities collaborate,” says Jud Bowman, chair of the RTF Board of Directors. “We’ve found that in Ray. Ray’s experience illustrates that he has the ability to strengthen the Foundation’s relationships, and we’re thrilled that he is joining the Foundation.”
Ray has also been recognized for working to improve the lives of North Carolinians, earning the National Association of Counties’ 2016 Public Health Achievement Award for the “Food Desert Storm” project, which addressed food insecurity in Guilford County. The Triad Business Journal also recognized him as a “40 Business Leaders Under 40.”
“Ray joins us as the Triangle Region is in the national spotlight as a top market for relocations and expansion,” says Scott Levitan, president and CEO of RTF. “Our companies want to be engaged with community, educational and workforce development partners, and are seeking leadership from the Research Triangle Foundation to enable this. Ray will be front and center in the effort – we’re excited by the possibilities he brings to the region.”
The Foundation has recently undertaken several initiatives to ensure the longevity of the Park, including special focus areas on mobility, diversity and inclusion, and workforce development. RTF also broke ground on the 100-acre Hub RTP mixed-use development in September, which will house the first-ever high rise office, experiential retail and residential apartments in the Park, as well as a 150-room hotel.
Ray will work closely with the Foundation’s leadership, planning and marketing teams to further these initiatives and help strategically position RTP as the best place for business in the country. Ray will also represent RTF on committees and working groups to strengthen relationships among RTP’s companies, universities, and local and regional partners.
About the Research Triangle Foundation
Since 1959, the Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina has served Research Triangle Park in its mission to facilitate collaboration among our region’s industries, universities and workforce, and create economic impact for the citizens of North Carolina by attracting the world’s most innovative companies and top-tier talent to North Carolina. Situated centrally among Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, RTP contains 7,000 acres, 55,000 employees, and over 300 companies and national labs, including Biogen, EPA, GlaxoSmithKline, Cisco Systems, Credit Suisse, NIEHS, Fidelity Investments, IBM, BASF, United Therapeutics and RTI International.
Director of Marketing & Communications