Angela Gary-McClary

Accounting 2004
Chapter Leader at Parents of Murdered Children (POMC)

“My education at Hodges [University] provided me with opportunities to excel in my career,” said Angela Gary-McClary.

Retiring in December 2014, McClary spent 34 years working in the government arena. Employed 31 years with the Florida Department of Health, she worked her way up the career ladder as an accountant, purchasing manager and chief accountant in Lee County. However, as easy as it may sound, advancing within an organization is not always easy. For McClary, a Fort Myers native, it was enrolling at Hodges that enabled her to earn a degree and achieve the position of chief accountant.

“I attended the local schools in Fort Myers and graduated from Fort Myers High School in 1978. My mother could not afford to send us to college. Therefore, it was my goal to pursue college on my own.  After graduating from high school, I enrolled and graduated from Edison Community College as an elementary major, earning an associate degree. I was employed with the Lee County School Board before obtaining a job with the State of Florida,” she explained.

As an accountant working in the accounts payable and receivable departments, she desired to move into upper management; however, in order to make it happen, she needed an accounting degree. As a wife and working mother of five, Hodges offered the program and schedule she needed in order to earn her degree, and in 2002, she enrolled in Hodges’ Bachelor of Science in accounting program.

Taking classes at night, she admits, “As an adult in college, it was a different life. I thought it would be very difficult. My focus was staying on task, maintaining good grades and completing college with my degree. However, I found myself meeting new friends, who were a big part of me accomplishing my goals. I formed a great relationship with my classmates and discovered many were working mothers just like me seeking a higher education. They were my family away from home.”

Graduating in 2004 with a 3.65 GPA, McClary’s degree led her to management positions in procurement and accounting. From 2005-2013, she served as the Florida Department of Health’s purchasing manager, overseeing the purchasing operations of the agency. In 2011, she received her certification as a certified professional public buyer through the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC), saying, “No one at my agency has ever obtained this prestigious certification.”

In 2013, McClary advanced even further, accepting the role of chief accountant for the Department of Health in Lee County. “I am so grateful for my education, which I obtained from Hodges. It opened doors I believe I would not have been able to walk through without an education,” she said. “Hodges is a great college to attend. It offers just as much, if not more, of the necessary courses to complete your degree…The staff and professors care about you and your educational needs.” 

At the age of 54, McClary retired from her work as chief accountant to pursue another passion – becoming an advocate for survivors of murdered loved ones. After the death of her son, Deonté Redding, and his half-brother on June 7, 2014, McClary sought support from others in similar situations. In an effort to take a more active role, on July 25, 2016, she started a Parents of Murdered Children (POMC) chapter in Fort Myers. 

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