Vice President Gaming & Hospitality
Background & Experience
Ray brings over 35 years of experience in all aspects of the commercial real estate industry to NAI Sawyer. Ray is a 3-time recipient of Grubb & Ellis’s “Circle of Excellence” award, which recognizes the top 3% of Grubb & Ellis brokers nationwide. Ray is also a multiple-time recipient of the “Diamond” award for having the highest gross commissions of all commercial brokers in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Association of Realtors. Ray has in-depth experience and knowledge in all facets of the real estate and commercial development business, from construction, development, and financing, to sales and marketing, asset and property management, and personnel management and training. Ray has worked with NAI Sawyer Commercial, formerly Grubb & Ellis/Sawyer Commercial, for 24 years, and has been a resident of the Gulf Coast of Mississippi in Ocean Springs for 28 years. Active in the commercial real estate business since 1979, Ray started his career in the multi-family and investment division of C.B. Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc. in New Orleans, Louisiana. This position involved specializing in the multi-family division of C.B. Commercial for 4 years, working in the feasibility and investment analysis, and subsequent acquisition and disposition, of apartment complexes with over 100 units throughout the Southeastern United States. Ray then moved into the investment division of the company where he expanded his expertise into office buildings, industrial parks, retail shopping centers, and other income producing properties throughout the same area. Ray then moved on to become Senior Vice President with Cal Equities and Securities Company, Inc., a real estate development company based in New Orleans. Licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ray frequently assisted in the formation of business entities for various purposes, including for acquisition of properties for investment purposes, such as retail shopping centers and multi-family units. Ray also searched for, identified, and performed analysis of potential investment properties located throughout the United States for purposes of company acquisition, renovation, leasing, and/or management. As a result, Ray has a unique perspective in the brokerage business and understanding of the needs and objectives of buyers and sellers, as well as owners of multi-tenant lease and other investment properties. In 1986, Ray and his partner, Mike Lipsey, founded The S & L Group, Inc., an asset management company which assisted the Federal Savings & Loan Insurance Company (FSLIC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC), and the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) in seizing troubled Savings and Loans and other financial institutions throughout a five state area, including an office in Biloxi, Mississippi. As owner of the company, Ray was responsible for management and disposition of over $200 million in real estate, comprised principally of large apartment complexes, hotels, and condominium properties. With the coming of the gaming industry to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Ray moved his family to Ocean Springs in 1988, and subsequently joined Sawyer Commercial. Since then, Ray has served both as a commercial real estate broker as well as a real estate developer in multiple large, and well-known projects around the Gulf Coast.
Ray attended the University of Illinois prior to being called to serve by the U.S. Army in 1970. Upon completion of his service, Ray graduated from the Realtors Institute and has completed CCIM Courses 1, 2, and 3. Ray has obtained his SEC Series 6 and 34 licenses, and regularly attends real estate related seminars and courses.