Larry H. Ray - Biography
Larry Ray was born in 1943 in Troy, Alabama. Larry attended Charles Henderson High School, graduating in 1961. As a high school student, Larry learned the value and rewards of hard work. He excelled academically and athletically, selected for both the Beta Club and the All State Track team. Upon graduation, Larry attended the University of Missouri where he pursued a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and competed on the University track team. A highlight of Larry’s college days was selection to the 1964 AAU All-American Track and Field Team. He graduated in 1965, and through participation in the ROTC program, was commissioned as a lieutenant in the US Army.
In the US Army, Larry served in a variety of command and staff positions. He graduated from both fixed and rotary wing flight school and served two tours as a helicopter pilot in Viet Nam. Larry later returned to the academic environment where, in 1973, he received a Master of Business Administration from Washington University and served there as an Assistant Professor of Military Science. Prior to his retirement from the military in 1987, Larry served as the Chief of the Force Structure Branch of US Army Europe. In this key job he was responsible for the allocation of resources, both personnel and equipment, for the Army in Europe. Larry's military decorations include the Bronze Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Legion of Merit.
After serving his country for twenty three years, Larry entered the private sector, initially as a project manager, developing software designed to track equipment readiness for the Army. In 1991, Larry shifted his focus from service in defense of his country, to service to the citizens of Collier County. He and his wife Pam moved to Naples and he joined the management team at Naples Community Hospital. As Vice President of Facilities and Construction, Larry has overseen the expansion of services to include the construction of the Shick Heart Center, the Lutgert Cancer Center, the Whitaker Wellness Center and the expansion of North Collier Hospital from 50 beds to over 300 beds. During his tenure at the hospital, Larry managed over 150 million dollars of capital improvements.
In January 2007, Larry joined the staff of the Collier County Tax Collector as the Compliance Officer. In November of 2008 he was elected as Collier County Tax Collector. He continues to faithfully serve the citizens of Collier County in that capacity. Larry is active in the Naples community having served on the boards of Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida and the Health Planning Council of Southwest Florida. Additionally, he has been a member of the Collier County Privatization Committee and the Collier County Transportation Citizens Advisory Committee. Larry is a graduate of Leadership Collier and the LEAD Institute Executive Management Program at Hodges University. He is a past president of the Naples North Rotary Club.