June 9, 2010 – One of downtown Knoxville’s most important civic facilities now bears the name of one of the community’s most important and iconic civic leaders.
On Tuesday, Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and Susan Whitaker, Commissioner of Tennessee’s Department of Tourist Development, dedicated the building housing the Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation (KTSC) as the Gloria Ray Building. Ray is the President and CEO of the KTSC, which annually generates in excess of $100 million for the local economy.
She led the drive to plan and construct the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and this year is an inductee.
Ray initiated the plan to build the Knoxville Visitor Center. She was the first woman to Chair KUB’s Board of Commissioners, the first woman to serve on the Executive Committee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee Board of Directors and the first Women’s Athletic Director at the University of Tennessee.
Commissioner Whitaker noted that Ray is known in the tourism industry for “developing and embracing cutting edge innovation in reaching the tourist.” She also thanked Ray for her “ongoing generous support of the Department of Tourist Development.”
In addition to the Knoxville Visitors Center, the Gloria Ray Building houses the headquarters for the KTSC as well as the broadcasting studios of Americana radio station WDVX, the Café Gourmet Coffee bar and the “Uniquely Knoxville” gift shop.