(June 12) BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — The state’s fresh citrus industry has honored one of its early leaders.

The Lakeland-based Florida Citrus Packers Inc. presented its annual John T. Lesley Award of Excellence to William Raley, the former president and chief executive officer of Dundee Citrus Growers Association.

Raley, who died in 2003 at age 85, had been involved with the state’s citrus industry since the late 1950s. The fresh packers group characterized him as a man whose long and illustrious career contributed much to Florida citrus.

Raley’s son, Lindsay Raley, Dundee’s president and chairman of the board, accepted the award at a June 7 legislative luncheon during the third Florida Citrus Mutual citrus industry conference in Bonita Springs.

William Raley, who had been a citrus mutual president and served on the Florida Citrus Commission, Lakeland, received many awards for his industry and civic involvement. He had been involved with the Dundee growing operation since 1960.

“Bill was very giving to the industry,” said Raphord Farrington, vice president of Ben Hill Griffin Inc., Frostproof, and a Florida Citrus Packers executive committee board member. “He was a great mentor to young people and served in so many places in a leadership capacity for this industry. A testament to his leadership is Dundee Citrus Growers is the largest citrus packinghouse in Florida.”

Former citrus industry leader honored posthumously
Lindsay Raley (from left), president and chairman of the board of the Dundee Citrus Growers Association, Dundee, Fla., accepts an award presented posthumously to his father, William Raley, by Raphord Farrington, a board member of Florida Citrus Packers Inc., Lakeland, during Florida Citrus Mutual’s conference June 7 in Bonita Springs, Fla.