Today, Rick LoCastro announced he has filed to become a candidate for Collier County Commissioner, District 1. Since retiring from the Air Force as a Colonel in 2012 after 24 years of service, LoCastro was immediately recruited to Naples for a hospital executive position and moved to Marco Island. Since his arrival, he has become a county and state leader in healthcare, business, and a strong advocate for military veterans and first responders. He is running as a Republican and plans to campaign on a platform of proven experience. Workforce housing, real estate and land management, county finances and resources, environmental protection, emergency preparedness, and a concentration on community issues are on his list along with many other focus areas.
“I’m a resident of Marco Island and work in East Naples and the surrounding community. It’s given me the rare and unique opportunity to touch all areas of District 1. There’s no question our community is amazing, but we need to ensure we take experienced and proper steps to keep it that way,” said LoCastro. “I’ve had the privilege of developing leadership and problem-solving skills throughout my extensive military and business career, and I look forward to dedicating myself to the Commissioner position and the many challenges and opportunities in District 1 and all of Collier County.”
LoCastro is currently President of RJL Consulting Team, which provides strategic and operational expertise across multiple industries, including healthcare, local and state business, government, and veterans’ organizations. Previously, he served as a senior leader at Avow Hospice and prior to that was the Chief Operating Officer of Physicians Regional Medical Center– both in Naples. Throughout his Air Force career, he provided senior leadership to thousands of military and civilian personnel and administered multi-million dollar budgets. He served as Director of Human Resources of U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, was the Base Commander of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs (of which he is also a graduate), and of the 96th Air Base Wing at Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach. He also oversaw all Presidential operational support for Air Force One as a Commander on Andrews Air Force Base. In his various roles of military and civilian leadership, Rick was also an Emergency Operation Center commander multiple times through hurricanes, snowstorms, active shooter incidents, and major aircraft accidents.
“As the Commander of some of our largest and highest profile military installations, I’ve had the privilege to command all aspects of several bases. Housing, utilities, environmental protection, emergency response, healthcare, leading and working with thousands of personnel, and everything in between to run a large city. Also, leading a multitude of operations in a large local medical center contained many of those same responsibilities. I’m excited to bring that experience to the County Commissioner team as we deal with serious and complex issues in District 1 and the entire county.”
LoCastro stresses the need for seasoned leadership to represent the county on the multitude of key and complex issues ahead. “Open communication and engagement with our residents and business leaders as well as working closely with the commissioners of the other four districts is one of my priorities. It’s important all of our commissioners have depth in the issues and a proven record of leading teams and understanding and solving difficult problems. I’m fortunate and blessed to have done that in the military and in my civilian career… and I am dedicated to this community. I look forward to campaigning full-time so I can share my passion and views concerning our community and our future” he said.
Rick LoCastro earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and has three Master of Science degrees–to include one in Public Administration & Policy from Central Michigan University. He is a former Marco Island Chamber of Commerce Board Member and a Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce Leadership Collier graduate.