Pat Gray

Area Manager, Product Promotion Center

Southwestern Bell Telephone Co.

Little Rock

Pat Gray

Pat Gray says seeking guidance and finding strong mentors are keys to success in any endeavor.

"A support system is always needed," Gray says. "It doesn't always come from whatever corporate or business structure you're in."

Gray, a graduate of Hendrix College, began her career with Southwestern Bell as a comptroller trainee in 1980. After working as assistant manager and then manager of comptrollers, she became an area manager in 1985.

She says she was able to climb Bell's ladder because she listened to others and was supported in her career.

"Having some people in the business that I could count on to give me good guidance and be honest - but fair - has been important to me," she says. "In business you find people who are dishonest and not fair."

Besides her working life, Gray holds positions on several corporate boards: Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, First Pyramid Life and USAble Systems. She also volunteers her time on boards of the Arkansas Arts Center, Heifer Project International and the National Conference of Christians and Jews, among others.