A few years ago, former Guilford County Commissioner Ray Trapp announced that he’d be leaving his job as a commissioner to take a job working at North Carolina NC A&T State University.
Now, Trapp has taken a new job with the 61-year-old Research Triangle Foundation – the steward organization of Research Triangle Park that promotes economic development in the Park and the surrounding region.
Trapp served as director of external affairs at A&T, leading that university in government relations and advocacy for three years. Trapp will now serve as vice president of strategic engagement for the Research Triangle Foundation.
He told the Rhino Times it wasn’t an easy decision since he loves this area so much and he has really enjoyed his work at the university.
“I was born in Greensboro and I love Greensboro, so it was a very difficult decision,” Trapp said.
Nevertheless, he’s now moving to Durham.
In his new position, Trapp will work closely with the foundation’s leadership, as well as its planning and marketing teams, to help market Research Triangle Park as a great place to put a business.
He’ll also represent the Park on committees and working groups meant to strengthen relationships among the area companies, universities and the Parks’ regional partners.
Trapp has been a big cheerleader for the Guilford County area in the past, so it’s too bad that he’ll now be touting the horn of the Triangle region, which often competes with Guilford County for new businesses and corporate presences.
Trapp said that he doesn’t feel his new job puts him in competition with those who are promoting business in Guilford County.
“The way I see it,” he said, “what’s good for Research Triangle is good for Guilford County and the rest of North Carolina.”
The affable Trapp, who never seems to be in a bad mood, is one of the most universally liked people in Greensboro and Guilford County. When he was a county commissioner, the Rhino Times even ran a story with the headline “Everybody Loves Raymond” – and the conservative paper did so despite the fact that Trapp is a Democrat.
Trapp served as Guilford County’s District 8 commissioner from 2012 to 2017.
He stepped down after taking the governmental relations job at NCA&T, which would have been a conflict of interest with being a county commissioner.
Trapp, who holds a master’s degree in agricultural education from A&T, has worked in military, government and educational environments. He served in the US Navy as an interior communications specialist and in other capacities as well.
Jud Bowman, the chair of the Board of Directors of the foundation, said Trapp was chosen because he demonstrates “a strong understanding of how our local university, government and business communities collaborate.”
Trapp earned the National Association of Counties’ 2016 Public Health Achievement Award for the “Food Desert Storm” project, which addressed food insecurity in Guilford County, and the Triad Business Journal once recognized Trapp as one of the “40 Business Leaders Under 40.”
Trapp, interestingly, remains in possession of the Guilford Cup trophy – a trophy that technically is supposed to remain with either the City of Greensboro or with Guilford County, depending on who last won that now defunct series of sports contests between the city and the county.
Trapp said he will not be returning it.
“Oh no – that trophy is going with me,” Trapp said, chuckling, when asked about the trophy. “It’s going to be sitting on my desk in the Triangle.”