This article appeared in the November 2017 issue of the Georgia's Cities newspaper.
During the 2017 GMA Annual Convention GMA Deputy Executive Director Cal Wray received the Lifetime of Service Award from the association.
This summer, GMA Deputy Executive Director Cal Wray announced his retirement at the end of this year. In Wray’s 30-plus years at GMA, he oversaw the development of the association’s employee benefit funds: Health and Life Insurance, Workers’ Compensation Insurance, Property and Liability Insurance and Retirement Systems. Under Wray’s leadership, these funds have grown to over $2 billion in assets.
Wray received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Georgia College and State University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.
Prior to serving GMA, Wray worked as a city administrator for the Upper Savannah Council of Governments and as a management consultant for Public Research and Management, Inc. While at the Upper Savannah Council of Governments, Wray was responsible for five cities ranging in population from 500 to 2,800.
Wray’s contribution to Georgia’s cities and GMA is extensive. Under his leadership, the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System (GMEBS) Retirement Fund has increased from 166 to 284 municipalities and municipal authorities.
Wray spearheaded the formation of the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System Other Post-Employment Benefits Trust. The trust currently has more than 330 members. Membership in the Georgia Municipal Employees Benefit System Life and Health Insurance Fund also increased from 74 to 163 municipalities. In addition, membership in the Workers’ Compensation Self Insurance Fund Membership (WCSIF) has increased from 168 to 477 members.
Wray is also credited with many firsts including the development and implementation of GMA’s property and liability self‑insurance fund on May 1, 1987, the Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency (GIRMA). Since inception, the fund has grown to include more than 330 members.
He formed the Georgia Municipal Captive Insurance Company and implemented the jointly‑created non‑profit organization, Local Government Risk Management Services, Inc. (LGRMS), with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) to provide loss control services to GMA’s and ACCG’s risk management programs.
Wray has also dedicated his time and talent to various organizations outside of GMA including the Public Risk Management Association, Public Entity Risk Institute, Public Risk Data Project and the National League of Cities (NLC).
He served as GMA’s representative in the founding of the NLC Mutual Insurance Company, which was created to provide a permanent and stable source of reinsurance coverage for municipal leagues operated or sanctioned pools.
Wray is also an active participant in NLC’s Risk Information Sharing Consortium and a former board chair.
City officials, GMA staff and industry professionals applaud Wray for more than the growth of the association’s benefit funds, but for his dedication to keeping GMA members’ interests at the forefront by designing programs to meet their unique needs.
“Cal has had a long and remarkable career, and the association’s risk management and employee benefit services would not be what they are today without his visionary leadership, dedication and great management skills,” said GMA Interim Executive Director Bill Thornton.
“With his low, soft-spoken manner, Cal has been the backbone of our board and association and has always been available for support,” said Thomson Mayor Ken Usry and vice chairman of the GMEBS/WCSIF Board of Trustees. “We will miss his expertise, patience and style but wish him the very best in his retirement.”