Tara Lynn Gray was appointed by Governor Newsom to Director of the California Office of the Small Business Advocate on March 19, 2021. Prior to her appointment, she was Chief Executive Officer of the Fresno Metro Black Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Foundation (FMBCF), where she engaged, educated, and empowered small businesses in California’s Central Valley.
As California’s Small Business Advocate, Gray sits on the Small Business Advisory Council which provides input on policies and practices that impact small business participation in the state procurement and contracting process and is led by the California Department of General Services (DGS).
Gray has leveraged the green economy to advance equity, developed an employment & training program in green jobs for young adults 18-24 years old, and managed a network of organizations working to advance electric vehicle ownership. As part of the region’s DRIVE Investment Plan, Gray was instrumental in developing the local initiative Betting Big on Small Businesses Owned by Women and People of Color which aims to provide economic mobility for entrepreneurs in disinvested neighborhoods, closing opportunity gaps, and providing culturally competent entrepreneur education & technical assistance.
Gray has been an Advisor for Solano and Alameda County Small Business Development Centers, served as a non-profit Program Manager and Director of Operations as well as run her own consulting business. Past and present boards and commissions include Central Valley New Market Tax Credit Fund, CA Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Caltrans Small Business Council, State of CA Employment Development Department Small Business Employer Advisory Committee (EDD SBEAC), CA Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, Hospital Supplier Diversity Commission, and Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP).
Gray’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from St. Mary’s College, Moraga, CA; a Master of Arts in Christian Studies from Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ; a Management Development for Entrepreneurs Certificate, UCLA Anderson School of Management; and various Information Technology certifications.