Gilroye A. Griffin, Jr., Esq. a native of Columbia, South Carolina, was born in 1938 into a family that stressed excellence and achievement. He certainly met all those expectations as he rose to the top of the corporate ladder. Griffin’s parents were both public school teachers who valued education and instilled that philosophy in their only child. He attended Waverly Elementary School and Booker T. Washington High School. He then went north to pursue his undergraduate education at Dartmouth College, from which he earned a B.A. degree in English. He subsequently achieved a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia University, with a specialty in labor law.
After receiving his law degree, Griffin spent two years as a company commander in the United States Army, stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, and Barstow, California. Following military service, he joined the Mobil Oil Corporation as an executive trainee. After two years, he was promoted to Mobil’s corporate legal staff and was named counsel to the North American Division of the company. Three years later, he accepted an offer from the Bristol-Myers Company (currently Bristol-Myers Squibb) to become its manager of labor relations. Endowed with knowledge and additional experience, Griffin in 1971 accepted an offer to become vice-president of corporate administration and associate general counsel of Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon and Eckhardt, Inc., an international advertising agency. After serving in this position for five years, he moved to the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), Inc. in the role of vice-president of management development.
In 1979, Griffin returned to Bristol-Myers as vice-president of employee relations, directing staff personnel, management development and labor relations activities. He eventually became vice-president of corporate relations, his responsibilities including control of public affairs activities at the pharmaceutical manufacturing sites as well as civic and community outreach programs on a global basis. In 1994, Griffin made another move in the corporate world by joining Ray & Berndtson, an executive search firm in which he is currently a partner. Ray & Berndtson specializes in recruiting the best executives for outstanding companies all over the world. It is the sixth largest executive search firm in the United States and one of the ten largest in the world.
Griffin’s practice is highly diverse. He works extensively in consumer products, healthcare and energy, with expertise in diversity recruiting, human resources, law, and public affairs. Griffin’s professional and community affiliations indicate excellence as a public servant and leader. He serves on the boards of trustees of Charles R. Drew University School of Science and Medicine in Los Angeles and Benedict College in his hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. He is on the board of directors of both the Productivity Forum and Associated Black Charities. He is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, the International Radio and Television Society, the Studio Museum of Harlem and 100 Black Men of New York. Even though Griffin has lived in New York since 1962, he still maintains his membership of the First Calvary Baptist Church of Columbia, South Carolina.