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MASON CITY — A Mason City resident and businessman has been named the first honorary board member of Wright on the Park Inc.

Norman W. Ray, president of Raytheon International, Inc., one of the world’s largest defense contractors, is a part-time resident of Mason City. He brings new credibility to Wright on the Park, said Ann MacGregor, executive director of Wright on the Park, Inc.

“It was just perfect timing,” MacGregor said. “We’ve been working on this for a number of months.”

As an honorary board member, Ray will serve as an advocate for the organization’s mission, offer his special skills to the organization and provide feedback regarding public opinion about Wright on the Park. He will attend the Board’s annual meeting, but is not entitled to vote.

Ray and his wife, Priscilla, a Mason City native, maintain residences in Brussels, Belgium, Arlington, Va., and Mason City.

“He brings incredible experience,” MacGregor said. “But the main thing is, they have Mason City roots and he’s committed to our mission. We think he’ll be a tremendously valuable asset.”

At Raytheon, Ray has responsibility for the company’s international business development for Europe, with offices in Belgium, Poland, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain and Turkey. Raytheon has more than 80,000 employees and serves customers in more than 80 countries around the world.

Prior to joining Raytheon, Ray was NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Support and the senior American civilian serving NATO. In this position, he was responsible for NATO Armaments Cooperation, NATO C3 Policy and Interoperability.

Prior to assuming this post, he retired from the U.S. Navy with the rank of vice admiral. He served as deputy chairman of the NATO Military Committee from 1992 to 1995.

Ray was also a naval test pilot and a leader in anti-submarine warfare.

He served on the naval staff as director of Naval Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, as the Navy’s long-range planner and as executive assistant to the Secretary of the Navy. In his final Pentagon assignment, he was director of the Office of Program Appraisal for the Secretary of the Navy.

He joined Raytheon on June 15, 1999.

Ray is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy class of 1964.

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