Meet Jim


A young Jim Bray (left) participating in the dedication of the Warm Springs, GA Airport.

1964. Jim greeting then Georgia Governor Carl Sanders. Also seen in photo, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr.



Jim Bray is a retired Public & Government Relations consultant for the local oil and gas industry. Previously, he was the Public Affairs Manager for Pacific Coast Energy Company (PCEC).

Prior to joining PCEC, Jim spent 12 years with Plains Exploration & Production Company (PXP) in their Health, Safety & Environmental Dept. Before PXP, Jim spent 23 years with Unocal in a variety of positions, including over 15 years in public, government and community relations. His last assignment there was as Manager, Public Relations for Unocal’s Central Coast Group, where he focused on Unocal’s remediation efforts in Avila Beach and Guadalupe Beach, California.

Military & Public Service

Before joining Unocal, Bray spent two years as a legislative assistant to the Lt. Gov. of Georgia. Prior to that, he served two years’ active duty in the U.S. Army, and retired with 28 years combined active/reserve service. Bray, who was a Special Forces Lt. Colonel, spent a nine-month tour in 1997 and 1998 with his reserve unit in Bosnia-Herzegovina. During that assignment, he served as the American Special Assistant to NATO’s Deputy Commander, Lt. Gen. Philippe Mansuy (Fr. Army). For his work with the French, Bray was awarded France’s La Medaille de La Defense Nationale, Echelon “Or” (National Defense Medal, Golden Echelon) by France’s Minister of Defense.

Community Involvement

Jim is active in the community. He currently serves on the Allan Hancock College Foundation board, the PCPA Foundation board, is an advisory board member of the California Oil Museum, and an Honorary Commander of Vandenberg Air Force Base’s 30th Operations Group. He is past chairman of the board of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, past board member of the Santa Maria Valley YMCA and Element Christian Church, past president of the Santa Barbara County Industry-Education Council, and a founding board member of the Orcutt Children’s Arts Foundation. He served as chairman of VTC’s Quality Life Services Building Campaign, and as Co-Chair of the 2015 Special Olympics’ Santa Maria Host Town Committee for the Special Olympics World Games. In 2017, Bray was named the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara’s Ambassador of the Year, as well as an awardee of the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Celebrate Philanthropy award. He belongs to the Santa Maria Breakfast Rotary.

He has served for the past seventeen years as the KCOY-TV on-air color commentator for the Santa Maria Christmas Parade of Lights.

Jim has actively worked on the Central Coast AirFest Committee to bring back an airshow to SMX and the Central Coast, scheduled for October 6-7.

[Photo: Jim Bray at last October’s 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Allan Hancock Foundation, Hosted at the SMX WWII Hanger. An event he co-chaired.]

Education & Family

Bray earned his BA degree in Political Science and French in 1972 from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.

Jim and his wife Denise reside in Orcutt, California. They have one son, Tyler, who is a junior high school teacher and Army 1st Lt. in the California National Guard. And their daughter-in-law, Amy, is a third grade teacher.

Connect with Jim