Member Bio|    |  

November   2015

JOHN GRAYSON, Director
Hotel Paradise Africa, LLC

Business:

Mr. Grayson operates an independent business consulting service providing a wide range of services for a variety of clients. His clients include high technology manufacturing and services firms, insurance sales agencies, real estate developers, churches between 200 and 20,000 members, community services providers, sports and recreation and automotive industry suppliers.

Mr. Grayson is the President of the FICWFM Federal Credit Union (in formation). He is responsible for developing the business plan, acquisition of the charter, establishing a high technology operational facility and the general management of the credit union. The credit union under development will be the first to start as a full service institution and is projected to be a $600,000,000 organization within its first 3 years of operation. His business travels have included: Most of the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. In 2007 he was a part of a trade mission to the Peoples Republic of China that was joint sponsored by the City of Long Beach California and China.

Prior to his consulting services business he had more than twenty-seven years of experience in the development and management of high technology engineering and manufacturing organizations which provided equipment for the aerospace and defense industries. From 1970 through 1986 he developed an entrepreneurship; Univox California, Inc. Univox began as an electronics assembly operation of three persons. It became a high technology company that manufactured a wide range of electronics products and state-of-the-art reverse osmosis water purification equipment. The staff grew to over 250 people, was located in the low income area of Los Angeles with 90% of its employees coming from the community and the annual sales reached over $35,000,000. Under his direction, UNIVOX was recognized as among the top 100 of the fastest growing small businesses in America for three consecutive years, by Inc. Magazine.

Mr. Grayson was appointed by the President of the United States as the Deputy Director of the Office of Minority Business Enterprise, in the Department of Commerce (the predecessor agency of the Minority Business Development Agency.) In this position, he planned and implemented the de-centralization of the agency to increase its effectiveness in serving the business community. This decentralization took 3 months while the “experts” insisted it would take a minimum of 3 years. This position also provided frequent opportunities to represent the director of the agency at the staff meetings of the US Department of Commerce.

He has been called upon to serve the larger business community, several of the committees of the U.S. Congress, the Governor of the state of California and two Presidents of the United States. His appointment to head a task force for the U.S. Small Business Administration to investigate the impact of the energy crisis on the small business community gave him a national and global energy perspective. His contributions have resulted in policies and legislation that have formed the basis of small and minority business development in the state of California and the nation.

Prior to his entrepreneurial career, Mr. Grayson developed a career in the defense and aerospace industry as an engineer, manager of engineering, manager of aerospace programs and the business and administration management of a 250-person engineering laboratory for TRW Systems Group. His career covered the period from before the first artificial satellite to the space shuttle program. The highlight of his aerospace career was participating in the design of the Lunar Excursion Module that was instrumental in rescuing the Apollo 13 astronauts.

Community:

He recently was the Owner Representative for the Westminster Jefferson Park Housing Corporation responsible for the construction of a $6,000,000, 56 unit apartment complex for low income senior citizens located on the corner of Jefferson Blvd and Arlington Ave. in Los Angeles. The project was sponsored by the Westminster Presbyterian Church, and funded under the HUD 202 program. It was completed in April of 2004 and is 100% occupied. He continued as the president of the owner corporation. He is currently a director of the Vermont Village Community Development Corporation that is charged with the redevelopment of the Vermont Ave. corridor between Florence and Manchester Avenues in Los Angeles.

An active churchman in the Presbyterian Church, USA, Mr. Grayson has served the denomination in a variety of ways. He currently serves on the Committee on Staff, the Committee on Preparation for Ministry. He has served on several committees of the Presbytery of the Pacific and Hawaii, is a former moderator of the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii and served two terms on the General Assembly Mission Council of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

He has served on the board of trustees of the following denomination related institutions:
San Francisco Theological Seminary, San Francisco California

Whitworth College, Spokane, Washington

Personal:

Born in Brooklyn, New York

Completed primary and secondary education in the New York public school system

B.S.E.E. from Pacific States University, Los Angeles, California

Mr. Grayson served in the U.S. Army from 1950 through 1955 and was honorably discharged a Sergeant First Class.

John is married to Dorothy L. Grayson a Retired Registered Nurse and they have 4 daughters, 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

References:

Hon. Diane Watson, Member U.S. Congress, Retired

Hon. Maxine Waters, Member U. S. Congress

Hon. Herb Wesson, President Los Angeles City Council

Hon. Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles County, Supervisor

Hon. Yvonne Braithwaite-Burke, Member, U. S. Congress, Retired

Apostle, Frederick K.C. Price, Crenshaw Christian Center, Los Angeles, CA

Ms. Angela M. Evans, President Crenshaw Christian Center, Los Angeles, CA

Mr. Bob Blake, President, Bob Blake Insurance Agency, Long Beach, CA

Mr. Grayson's many years of experience in business continues to provide invaluable advice and counsel to Hotel Paradise Africa, LLC.