Lawrence Raia, PE '65
Principal and Executive Officer, RAIA Properties Corporation
Newark College of Engineering Board of Visitors
Lawrence A. Raia is currently a principal and founding partner of Raia Properties Corporation, a family business that invests in and manages Class A apartments in the southeast and southwest. He graduated from Newark College of Engineering in 1965 with a BS in civil engineering and joined the New Jersey Highway Department as an assistant engineer.
He soon joined the family business, a ready mix concrete and construction materials company in Garfield, NJ. Over the next 20 years, Lawrence and his two brothers grew the business to 10 plant sites and 150 concrete mixers, a quarry, an asphalt plant and employed over 500 people. Raia Industries supplied concrete and aggregates to most of the major projects completed in North Jersey. Innovation and technology were employed to make the company a leader in service and quality. The company was sold in 1987 and Lawrence and his two brothers continued expanding their real estate holdings by focusing on acquiring and developing a commercial real estate portfolio. Building warehouses and office buildings soon led to the development and management of a self-storage group.
The family partnership has recently transitioned into its present form as owner and manager of Class A rental apartment complexes. Along the way, there was a focus on education. Lawrence received an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1979 and a P.E. License in New Jersey in 1992. He now chairs the NCE Board of Visitors and he and his wife, Elaine, also provide a family scholarship to NJIT students. He is board member of a family initiated charity, Homes Fit for Heroes, an organization that provides housing for wounded United States Special Operations Soldiers and their families during their medical treatment.
Besides being a member of the Saddle River Zoning Board of Adjustment, he is a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, a former trustee of the Dwight Englewood School, and has served on various philanthropic, civic, and religious organizations. He received the NCE Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2001 and was inducted into Tau Beta Pi in 2009.
Lawrence and Elaine have just celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary and have three children who are married to terrific spouses and have a total of eight grandchildren. His spare time is spent golfing, sailing, reading about history, and enjoying his family.