A native Virginian, businessman, and former Army Ranger, Gary McCollum is not a politician, but a proven leader with a record of service to our nation and community. Gary’s an independent voice who will stand up for the people of Hampton Roads.
Gary grew up in a Richmond housing project, he lost his mother at a young age and became the first in his family to graduate from high school and go to college. Gary attended James Madison University where he was in the ROTC program, played football, and was on the charter line of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
After graduation Gary served eight years as a US Army military intelligence officer. His last active duty assignment was with the US Army Rangers. Most recently Gary served on the Defense Intelligence Agency Civilian Advisory Panel and he served as a Major in the Army Reserve.
Gary was in business for the last 26 years, working his way up to run one of the largest companies in our state.
A passionate advocate for early education, Gary has long been a supporter and mentor at the Boys & Girls Clubs. In 2012, Gary helped found Elevate Early Education, where he serves as a member of the board. In conjunction with this effort, he was a co-founder of the New E3 School, which opened in Norfolk in January of 2015.
Gary is a leader in our community. He serves as a member of the Virginia Port Authority and is the former chair of the Virginia Beach 2040 vision committee, where he is helped the city plan for its future. He is a past board member of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the Hampton Roads Business Roundtable, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Business Council, and the Access College Foundation.
Gary and his wife, Cookie, live in Virginia Beach. They have two daughters, Arielle and Ruth.