The Education Foundation of Sarasota County Jan. 5 announced the appointment of Susan Scott as the nonprofit’s new executive director, following a special meeting of the organization’s board of directors.
Scott starts work Jan. 9.
Board chairman Mike Bryant headed the search, following Cindy Kaiser’s departure to deal with family health issues at the end of October.
"As we approach our 25th anniversary, we are all enthusiastic about the selection of Susan Scott as executive director,” Bryant said in a news release. “The board is committed to the vision of expanding the Education Foundation’s presence and growing the impact our programs and financial support have on the school children of Sarasota County.”
Scott resigned in late July from her position as director of communications for Sarasota County. She was deputy county administrator from 2003 to 2011, overseeing financial planning, human resources and technology. Former County Administrator Jim Ley had demoted her in early 2011 to the communications post.
At the time of her resignation, Interim County Administrator Terry Lewis said the action was not related in any way to the Procurement Department scandal, which had claimed 10 other county employees at the time Scott left. Lewis told the Sarasota Observer he just wanted to see the Communications Department move in a different direction.
In naming Scott to the Education Foundation post, Bryant cited “Scott’s record of success in government, education and business,” adding that she was the unanimous choice of the group’s search committee, which received more than 60 applications for the position.
“With Susan's selection, the Education Foundation takes the next big step in becoming the source for this community's generosity and philanthropy when it comes to improving our public schools and keeping this district one of the best in Florida,” Bryant said in the news release. “Susan's accomplished history in this community and her exceptional skills, experience and community knowledge will provide us the strong leadership needed to reach our growing and expanded vision,” Bryant added.
The Education Foundation news release says that while Scott was deputy county administrator, she developed and implemented a series of initiatives that received national attention, including a collaborative of nonprofits that allocated millions of dollars in federal funding for housing.
From 1998 to 2003, Scott served as vice president of institutional advancement for Ringling College of Art and Design. There she led communications and marketing, development, admissions, financial aid and career services. She established a development operation that raised millions of dollars for the school, including a major Kresge Foundation challenge campaign, the Education Foundation news release