July 1, 2023

Retired UAW President Ray Curry Receives
Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award

Retired UAW President and Region 8 Director Ray Curry recently received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper presented the award to Ray Curry. Curry is just the third union member to receive the award.

Since 1963, the Order of the Long Leaf has been given by the Governor of North Carolina to individuals who have contributed to the state and their communities through exemplary service. Those added to the order become Ambassadors for the State of North Carolina.

Ray Curry is a native of North Carolina, who was hired at Freightliner Trucks in Mount Holly, North Carolina in 1992 after serving in the United States Army for three years. While working at the plant, Ray Curry attended college, finishing while on layoff during a downturn in the business. After graduating, Curry was offered several positions in the banking industry, but was offered his right to return to work at Freightliner. He made the decision to return to the plant and became involved with UAW Local 5285, first serving on committees and later on was elected to several positions including financial secretary. “I have always believed that it is a duty to make change happen. My years on that standing committee gave me both a deep understanding of our great union as well as the awareness of what can happen when we work together,” Curry recalled.

In 2004 he was appointed to International Staff by President Ron Gettelfinger, after being recommended by Region 8 Director Gary Casteel. He served as a servicing representative, before being appointed Region 8 Assistant Director in 2010, elected Region 8 Director in 2014 and International Secretary Treasurer in 2018. Following the retirement of UAW President Rory Gamble in June of 2021, he was elected as UAW International President by the International Executive Board.

“I am humbled and honored to be included in this prestigious Order,” he states. “It was an exciting day I will never forget.”

President Curry was joined my union members from Locals, 5285, 3520, 5287 and 2404 from North Carolina. Congratulations President Curry!

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper Presents Ray Curry with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award




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