Ray Gibbs, Executive Director

Ray GibbsRay Gibbs has over 35 years of professional experience from all sides of the development table, including 24 years serving as the key executive of downtown and community development organizations in North Carolina and Virginia. He was the initial Main Street Manager for Smithfield, NC, serving in that historic town for twelve years. Later, Ray became the second President of Downtown Greensboro Inc., where, in his eight years, he grew both the organization and the city’s downtown.  From a nine-to-five professional office-dominated downtown, Ray helped ignite the near 24-7 downtown the city maintains today, with hundreds of housing units, dozens of restaurants and entertainment venues, theatres, a professional baseball stadium and a world-class center city park complex. The Master Plan he coordinated and helped draft remains to be the blueprint for continued Greensboro center city progress.

Ray is also a professional Landscape Architecture with a degree from North Carolina State University and its prestigious College of Design. He is licensed to practice in four states, including North Carolina. Ray began his professional career as a City Planner/Landscape Architect for his hometown in New Jersey before moving to Smithfield, NC. Other professional stops include several years as a Senior Associate for a major national development company, shepherding a series of multi-family developments in North Carolina. Ray’s experience also includes the private side of design practice, as a Senior Landscape Architect for one of the world’s largest engineering firms and through his own consulting firms.

For additional information, please contact Ray Gibbs at: or call 336.883.9891

Melissa Bocci, Office Manager

Melissa BoccciBorn in Syracuse, NY, Melissa and her family moved to Greensboro, North Carolina over 25 years ago. Since then she has worked as an office administrator with several non-profits and other establishments, including working with Ray Gibbs initially as an office manager for over 7 years for the Downtown Greensboro Incorporated (DGI). She brings to her current position over 35 years of experience in office management and over 15 years experience as an event planner. Melissa has also spent many years in downtown revitalization efforts beyond DGI and Forward High Point. During her tenure in other positions, she volunteered as the event chair for the Stokesdale Business Association, where she served on their Board of Directors in the capacity of Vice Chair for over 2 years. She then co-founded the Four-Corners Chamber of Commerce which is still in existence to this day. During that time, she also served as the Treasurer and Secretary for the board of ROADS (Revitalizing Our Ancestors Dreams in Stokesdale). The mission of all three of these volunteer organizations has been on building upon the hope and dream of making a vibrant downtown in Stokesdale. Since her son and his family reside in High Point, she feels an intense need to make sure that they reap the benefits of what a strong and prosperous downtown feels like. She believes that based on the leadership of Forward High Point, downtown High Point will be a place where the community will want to live, work and play!

For additional information, please contact Melissa Bocci at: or call 336.883.9892. 

J.T. Farabow, Intern

J.T. comes to us by way of High Point University and is a raising Junior.  J.T. is an outgoing and innovative young man with a passion for being a friend to all. J.T. is a big family man and lover of all things sports, outdoors, and music. A High Point Native and HP student, J.T. is very familiar with what our city has to offer. Now currently a Sophomore at High Point University, J.T. majors in sport communication and minors in marketing. J.T. is a great people person who loves forming friendships and relationships with everyone. He adds a hardworking and creative attitude to Forward High Point and plans to help in important tasks such as media production, business outreach, and social media influence.  Please take a moment if you see J.T. on the streets of Downtown High Point, to welcome him aboard! We are delighted to have him!

For additional information, please contact J. T. Farabow at: or call 336.883.9892.