IN THE PUBLIC EYE: Mark Smith

 

IN THE PUBLIC EYE: Mark Smith

 

Date: October 21, 2011
by: Rachel Brown Hackney | Staff Writer

 
 

 

Age: 56
Home: Siesta Key
Education: Bachelor of Science and Master of Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Profession: Registered architect in the state of Florida since 1983; he became a U.S. Green Building Council LEED accredited professional in 2006.

Volunteer work:
President of the board of directors of All Faiths Food Bank; he has been a member of the board since 2006. “The need is so much greater than it has been in the past,” he says of the nonprofit organization’s efforts to provide food for low-income families in the community. “Feeding the hungry is probably one of the most rewarding things I’ve done.”

Smith has been a member of the Siesta Key Village Association since the late 1990s. “I had just moved my office to where it is now (5032 Calle Minorga),” he says, when he received a letter in the mail about the county’s plans to create a zoning overlay district for Siesta Village. “I thought it would be almost professional malfeasance” not to participate in the discussion, he adds.

Then he began assisting the SKVA with master planning for the Village. “I think it was important that the (SKVA) had a volunteer professional” to help with that effort, Smith says.

He was president of the SKVA from 2005 until 2010 and remains on the board of directors. About 2000, he says, the SKVA members began talking seriously about the need for the county to overhaul the look of the village. During his tenure as SKVA president, Smith began prodding county officials to commit to the Village Beautification Project. Work finally began just after Memorial Day weekend in 2008; the project was completed in March 2009. Because of his professional experience, Smith was able to serve as a liaison between Village businesses and the county staff and contractor. As a member of the Siesta Key Village Maintenance Corp., he continues to help oversee Village upkeep.

“I’m very happy with the way the Village looks,” he says, adding that he regularly hears compliments about it.

Smith points out that Siesta Key contributes about 30% of the county’s annual tourist tax revenue, “and the Village is a major commercial center. It looks great, as it should.”

The beautification project, he adds, “definitely helped increase the traffic in the Village … It was the right thing to do.”

 

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