Barron Collier III is the grandson of Barron Gift Collier and the leader of Barron Collier Cos.
The Colliers have remained a defining force in southwest Florida since Barron Gift Collier - Collier County's namesake bought 1.25 million acres in the 1920s. Today, the family retains mineral rights beneath 800,000 acres. A 2002 deal that would have netted the Colliers $120 million from the federal government in exchange for the mineral rights under 765,000 environmentally sensitive acres fell through in the wake of congressional scrutiny. But talks to revive a deal are ongoing. The family's holdings - divided primarily between Collier Enterprises and Barron Collier Cos. - include more than 70,000 acres of agricultural land, various real estate holdings and mineral operations that have extracted 110 million barrels of oil since the 1940s. Now, Barron Collier Cos. is partnering with Domino's Pizza founder Tom Monaghan to build Ave Maria University in eastern Collier County. Barron Collier Cos., led by grandson Barron Collier III and granddaughter Judy Sproul, donated the land for the university and is developing the 5,000acre town of Ave Maria.