One of the roles that is dearest to his heart is in honoring the men and women who have faithfully served our country and local community. To that end, Reg serves as Chair of the “Spirit of ’45” which holds a breakfast each year to honor the veterans of World War II. “I am proud to lead an amazing group of volunteers who provide such a wonderful outpouring of thanks to those who gave so much so our great country could survive.”
Fundraising for Freedom Memorial
Reg is also a co-founder of the Collier County Freedom Memorial Foundation. The memorial pays tribute to members of our Armed Forces who have sacrificed their lives in the defense of our Nation, along with the law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and civilians who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Reg was one of five community leaders who painstakingly reviewed 37 designs for the memorial, narrowing the choices to the two. The design selected by the Board of County Commissioners is an unfurled American flag made of granite. Reg spent 11 years raising funds to complete this important Memorial.
Honoring our Emergency Responders
Reg is also one of four co-founders of the Distinguished Public Service Awards, annually presented by the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Naples Daily News. The awards recognize outstanding professionalism and public service rendered by those in law enforcement, fire safety, emergency medical services, and support services. In this photo, Reg is standing in front of a plaque presented by himself and other community leaders.
Sandra Lee and Reg had a special lapel pin commissioned for all past and future honorees of the Distinguished Service Awards. “It is our duty to honor the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect our community and our quality of life,” says Reg.
Working to Keep Our Community Safe
Reg’s commitment to public safety is exemplified in his many years of service with the American Red Cross. As a Board member for six years, and then as the Board President for two years, Reg was committed to ensuring that our community can effectively respond to any disaster that may come our way. Reg was Board Chair during Hurricanes Wilma and Katrina, as well as four other hurricanes and many other disasters and fires. He fought to keep the shelters in Collier County manned by American Red Cross volunteers during these emergencies. In 2010 Reg was honored with the Red Cross Hero Award, which recognizes outstanding service to the community.
Reg’s commitment to ensuring the public’s safety in an emergency doesn’t stop there… he has also served since 2002 as the business representative to Collier County’s Emergency Operations Center as a member of the Collier County Citizens Corps.
The Collier County Citizens Corps was started in November 2002 in response to 9/11. The eleven member committee was established to support public safety, emergency services, law enforcement and disaster prevention, preparedness and response. They facilitate communication between Collier County and State and Federal agencies on mitigation activities as well as enable Collier County to identify outside resources such as grants, training opportunities and equipment. Reg has served as a member of the Collier County Citizens Corps since its inception.
Caring for Our Neighbors in Need
Reg feels that it is our duty and privilege to care for our neighbors in need. He cares deeply about women and children, and he has dedicated himself to leadership activities with local charities that help our neighbors in need, such as: Avow Hospice, Baby Basics, David Lawrence Center, Drug Free Collier, Fun Time Early Childhood Academy, Make-A-Wish, Shelter for Abused Women and Children, United Way of Collier County, among others. Reg served on the Board of the United Way of Collier County for 6 years, during which time he served as the Campaign Chair and later as Board Chair. One of Reg’s contributions as Board Chair was to establish a Governance Committee which helped to establish new policies and to improve the Board’s performance, a contribution which still serves the United Way by helping the Board maximize its effectiveness today.
Improving Children’s Quality of Life
Several years ago Sandra Lee and Reg were approached by Make-A-Wish who asked them to start the first Make-A-Wish Council in Collier County. As Council Co-Chairs, and later as Chairs, Sandra Lee and Reg worked hard to advance Make-A-Wish in Collier County. With Sandra Lee’s and Reg’s leadership, the first gala for Make-A-Wish in Collier raised over $135,000 to grant wishes to children with life threatening illnesses.
Reg is proud to have served on the Board of the David Lawrence Center Foundation, helping the David Lawrence Center to grow and become one of the county’s largest employers as well as one of the most comprehensive centers providing mental health and substance abuse treatment services to adults and children across Collier County. During his time of service, Reg was also a member of the Finance and Governance committees for the David Lawrence Center Foundation.
Reg is particularly concerned about protecting our children from substance abuse. Through his work with the David Lawrence Center, Reg came to recognize how dangerous drugs and alcohol can be for children and in particular, how susceptible youth can be from their peers encouraging the use of alcohol and controlled substances. Reg is committed to preventing underage drinking and drug use.
Preserving/Enhancing Public Amenities
Reg has served on the governing board for a number of cherished institutions, including the Naples Art Association at the von Liebig Art Center and the Naples Zoo. He is a proud supporter of the cultural and educational institutions that enhance our city.
His leadership roles as Metropolitan Planning Organization, City of Naples Planning Advisory Board and the Friends of Baker Park have provided Reg with a keen insight into some of the pressing issues facing the county today. Reg recognizes the need for sensible growth that balances economic development with the need to preserve features of the county that make it a great place to live, work, retire and visit.
Supporting Community Organizations
Reg has helped many other organizations raise funds and spread the word about the important work they are doing. Golf tournaments, fundraising luncheons, campaign kick-off breakfasts, afternoon teas, evening galas, garden parties, barn dances and art shows… Reg and Sandra Lee have been hard-working supporters of these events and many more to raise funds for the services and supports that make Naples a wonderful place to live.
Reg’s long history of leadership and service to the organizations that make our community strong have providing him with the experience needed to lead as Collier County Commissioner.