Meet Your Neighbor: Ron Reame

12686721485?profile=RESIZE_710xRon Reame of Highland Beach says he got involved with governing his condominium ‘because I want to be happy in our 3.2 miles of paradise.’ He says his business background helps. Tim Stepien/The Coastal Star

Ron Reame never planned on getting involved in condo politics when he and his wife moved from Michigan to Highland Beach 13 years ago.

He never planned on having a leading role in overseeing the multimillion-dollar restoration of his building, which became the first in Florida to comply with the state’s new recertification laws.

And he certainly never planned to be a leader in a David-versus-Goliath struggle as town residents, especially in the south end, took on Palm Beach County in an effort to stop development of a beachfront park.

But then he ran into his neighbor Doug Hillman and before long they were leading the board of their 122-unit building as well as leading the umbrella board at Boca Highland Beach Club & Marina.

Hillman, who died in early 2023, would become mayor and Reame would later step into Hillman’s roles at Boca Highland, becoming the president of both organizations.

“I wasn’t thinking anything about getting involved in a condo association when I got here,” Reame said. “I’d never been involved in a condo association before.”

Although he had been president of his 14-member homeowners association in Franklin, Michigan, he knew getting involved with a condo board would be much different.

Reame has degrees in management from Michigan State University and finance from Wayne State University. He worked for large corporations and ran successful businesses himself. Now he is putting his business background to use as he focuses on keeping the condo associations running smoothly.

Early in his career Reame worked for big names in the corporate world — IBM and General Motors — before running companies in the equipment leasing and computer industries and getting experience in how to run businesses.

Reame said that he started questioning the way things were being run at his building, Dalton Place, soon after moving in. He and Hillman, who moved in about the same time, were playing golf one day and discovered they both had questions.

“The more questions we asked, the more we got involved,” he said.

Reame, 78, says his wife, Nancy, understands why he takes on the challenges that come with leading a condo association.

“I do it because I want to be happy in our 3.2 miles of paradise,” he said. “I want to protect my investment and enjoy living here.”

Reame, who chairs Highland Beach’s financial advisory board, enjoys traveling, one reason he’s not more involved in town government.

— Rich Pollack

Q. Where did you grow up and go to school? How do you think that has influenced you?
A. I grew up in Detroit and attended Michigan State University and Wayne State University with degrees in management and finance. I had solid Midwestern values and came from a working class, loving, Italian family.

Q. What professions have you worked in? What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
A. I have worked for the most part in the equipment leasing sector and in the computer industry, mostly in services, training, and hardware and software. I have a very varied background in business with both corporate America and starting and running and selling small businesses.

Q. What advice do you have for a young person selecting a career today? 
A. Unless you’re lucky to invent something that no one else has and that everyone on the planet needs, you’re going to actually have to work really hard to be successful. I’ve found that few people actually know what that means. Hence the reason that not everyone does well in business.

Q. How did you choose to make your home in Highland Beach?
A. We looked from South Beach to up past Jupiter. We fell in love with the Highland Beach location and cohesive beach community and the fact that no one, including people who live in Delray or Boca, knows that we’re here.

Q. What is your favorite part about living in Highland Beach? 
A. Superb beachfront location with access to all of the best parts of South Florida and a well-run community.

Q. What book are you reading now?
A. Kill the Father, by an Italian author, Sandrone Dazieri. A murder mystery.

Q. What music do you listen to when you need inspiration? When you want to relax? 
A. I like good old rock ’n’ roll. And for some reason it relaxes me.

Q. Do you have a favorite quote that inspires your decisions? 
A. Make every day count — most important at this age. When I make decisions, I do not take a survey of the people.

Q. Have you had mentors in your life? Individuals who have inspired your life decisions?
A. I’ve been very lucky to have been surrounded by the best family and friends that one could have. Each is an inspiration in many ways to me.

Q. If your life story were made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
A. I suppose it would have to be Bruce Willis. People say daily that we look alike. Unfortunate medical issues for him now.

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