Billy Rader was elected as Panama City Commissioner Ward 3 on May 15, 2007.
Billy was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas in 1956. After college he, his wife Becky, and the Rader Family moved to Panama City, Florida in January 1978 and built an entertainment complex theater they named The Ocean Opry Show at Panama City Beach, Fl. With a strong musical background in his family, the Rader Family owned, operated and performed at their self owned 1,000 seat theater/venue for 28 consecutive years performing 200 plus shows every year. In doing so, they brought in nationally recognized talent and performed along side with many of the top Grand Ole Opry stars from Nashville, Tn. Having been very involved in many local organizations and several charitable functions, the Rader Family soon became a fixture in the Bay County and the Northwest Florida area, and was soon dubbed the “first family of music on the Gulf Coast.” He and his family hosted countless TV telethons and several local and national charitable fund raising shows and events. Billy and his family still perform whenever the opportunity arises, whether it is festivals, special events, or churches. They love to share their joy and gift of music.
Billy was a member of the original Panama City Beach Seafood Festival board of directors, and served as the entertainment coordinator along with his dad, Wayne. He has a strong passion for hard-work ethics and the love of Panama City. He believes strongly in giving back to his community. He was a Panama City school teacher for 9 years teaching music, fine arts, and various string instruments. Communicating with folks and being a good listener, while using common sense is important to Billy.
Billy is a member of the Florida League of Cities, and he serves as the secretary for the Bay County League of Cities. He also serves as the representative for the city commission on the West Florida Regional Planning Council.
Strong family values and using common sense is important to Billy. He and his wife Becky have been married for 33 years. They have two children; Shawn 28; and Ashley 20, who will be attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Beginning September 2010. Their two children both attended Bay county schools and graduated from Bay High School. Shawn and his wife Jennifer have two daughters. Being a Grandpa is one of the greatest Blessings ever bestowed to Billy. Always the family man, Billy coached little league baseball and football for 10 years and served on PTO committees while his children were growing up.
Billy is deeply committed to the future of Panama City. Preserving our unique city and its past is important to him. But he believes we should move forward responsibly and prepare for the future. Billy has stated many times; “It is a great honor and privilege to serve the citizens. Not only Ward 3, but the entire city of Panama City.”