By Helen Kelly

NeffWhenever I conduct an interview for Harbor Light, I become even more aware of and impressed by the diversified group of people who reside here.  Ann and Ray Neff are recent move-ins to Apt. E-308.  Sitting down with them, I was immediately impressed with their congeniality.

Ann is a petite bundle of energy who has already embraced the new Wellness Center.  Born into a farming family in Bryan, OH, she spent her early youth on no less than 100 acres where initially her father raised chickens before moving to Union City, MI, where he established a cattle farm.  Ann said she and her sister were already baling hay and milking cows before they were ten.  Her fondest memory is the birthday gift of a pony, beginning her lifetime interest in horseback riding.  Following high school, she enrolled in and received a diploma from Cosmetology school.  However, an opportunity to work in and ultimately to own a furniture store took precedence.

Ray Neff, born in Mt. Pleasant, MI, earned a Masters degree in Actuarial Science at the University of Michigan and began his career with the Michigan Insurance Department in Lansing.  Following a few moves, the now growing Neff family, including four teenagers, relocated to Tallahassee in 1979 and Ray worked for the Florida Insurance Department.   Another move in 1986, when Ray joined the FCCI Insurance Group, brought them to Sarasota, where they rented on Bird Key and in One Watergate where they met the late Jean Nunn.   Their home for the last eight years, which is on the market, is located at Lakewood Ranch.

Upon leaving FCCI in 1999, Ray established his own business, Neff & Associates.  He has been Chairman of the Board of Sabal Palm Bank and Beacon Aviation Insurance Services and Vice-Chairman of Maiden Holdings Ltd.  An affable, friendly man, he goes to the office of Neff & Associates every day after working out in the morning at our new “state of the art” Wellness Center.  On occasion, he finds time to play golf.

In fact, both Ann and Ray are ardent exercisers and bridge players.  They have parented four children and twelve grandchildren the majority of whom live in Florida, happily providing them with the opportunity to enjoy time together.  In between all of their activities, they are enjoying meeting and being entertained by their Plymouth Harbor neighbors and are anticipating joining one or more of the various Plymouth Harbor committees