Lesia Shannon Kudelka
Communications Director and Ombudsman
Counsel to Office of Communications
Shane Ray was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley as South Carolina State Fire Marshal July 31, 2012. Ray came from within the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation where he served as the Superintendent of the South Carolina Fire Academy since October of 2011. Understanding the important role of training volunteer, career, industrial, and airport firefighters as well as fire prevention codes and standards, Chief Ray is passionate about using a common-sense and practical approach to keep firefighters and citizens safe.
Prior to moving to South Carolina, Chief Ray served 13 years as Fire Chief of the Pleasant View Volunteer Fire Department in Tennessee and Director of Public Fire Protection for the National Fire Sprinkler Association. He began his fire service career in 1984 and worked through the ranks of career and volunteer organizations serving from firefighter to chief. He currently volunteers with the Clarendon County Fire & Rescue.
Chief Ray is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, the University of Maryland's Leadership Development Program, and the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program. Shane's education not only comes from universities and institutions, but from practical experience as well. He served six years as the mayor of the Town of Pleasant View in Tennessee and has a keen interest in improving quality of life bringing all the stakeholders together on issues.
Shane was selected as Fire Chief Magazine's Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year for 2005 and Eastern Kentucky University's Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award for 2006. He was also selected as Tennessee Fire Chief of the Year in 2011.