People don’t often associate a love of numbers with a love of social interaction. But for Emily Gray, Clatsop County Historical Society’s recently hired business manager, those two factors drove her to the new job.
“It makes me giddy and happy to be in an Excel spreadsheet, so I knew it was kind of a good fit.” Gray said. “I also get a chance to go out and interact with people in the museum.”
Gray, 39, joined the historical society in December after working as a bookkeeper at Warrenton Fiber. After growing up in Salem and moving around the Pacific Northwest, she settled in Astoria with her three sons in 2006.
She soon enrolled at Clatsop Community College, where her father — Tom Gill — is the director of institutional research. Initially lamenting the lack of amenities compared to a larger city, she grew to enjoy Astoria.
“We thought it was a great opportunity for my kids to be near their grandparents,” she said. “I love the sense of community. You find so many unique people together. I don’t think I’ve found that anywhere else I’ve been.”
She earned an associate degree in applied sciences at the college and then an accounting degree online at Eastern Oregon University. Upon graduation from the community college in 2010, she earned the outstanding business student award.
Academic success appears to run in the family. Her oldest son, Enoch, recently graduated from Oregon State University at 19 years old. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in actuarial sciences.
With her education finalized and family entrenched in the community, Gray made the move to the nonprofit historical society, which she believes offers her a chance to maximize both her skills and personality.
“I love what they stand for and what they’re doing in the community, and I wanted to be a part of that,” Gray said. “I love accounting and I knew that would be a part of it. I’m an extrovert and I love being around people.”