Firm: Butler Snow LLP
Tray’s first “real” job was as a project manager in the Global Business Division for the Mississippi Development Authority, the state’s economic development agency. He traveled the U.S. and abroad recruiting new companies, helping them find sites in the state and to obtain incentives. Tray said he marveled at the work of the lawyers crafting the deals, which most always involved bonds, and that inspired him to become a bond attorney.
Whether admiring the public finance industry as an economic developer or as the governor’s counsel to the State Bond Commission, Tray says he feels incredibly satisfied working in a field he wanted to be part of for so long. Being a bond attorney gives him a great sense of accomplishment and pride, and he also enjoys showing projects he worked on to his wife and children.
“Tray Hairston has the experience and knowledge within the public finance and municipal bond industry that is usually only expected of those who have spent considerably more time practicing within it,” said Thad W. Varner, partner and Public Finance, Tax Incentives and Credit Markets Practice Group Leader at Butler Snow.
Although Tray never met Frank Stimley, he said Stimley is still lauded in Mississippi’s public finance industry as one of the best bond lawyers and the first African American attorney to earn the “coveted distinction” of being listed in the Red Book.
“I aspire to be a trailblazer in the industry like Mr. Stimley,” he said.