Panther Ridge's Anne Ross fills Town Hall executive director role.
LAKEWOOD RANCH — When Panther Ridge resident Anne Ross met with Lakewood Ranch residents Oct. 7 during a candidate meet-and-greet, she placed herself in the center of the room at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall and staked her claim to its executive director post.
It was obvious Ross considered herself the best candidate, and that confidence was rewarded.
On Oct. 8, members of the Lakewood Ranch Inter-District Authority board unanimously agreed to hire Ross, the assistant town manager for the town of Longboat Key, following interviews with her and Highlands County Assistant County Administrator Randy Vosburg.
Pending successful contract negotiations, Anne (pronounced Annie) Ross will replace Eva Rey, who completes her last day with Town Hall Oct. 15. IDA supervisors are expected to finalize a three-year contract with Ross at their Oct. 15 meeting.
“I am thoroughly excited and honored they chose me,” Ross said following the vote. “They won’t be disappointed. I can take the talents I’ve gained and use them for the community I live in. I want to see Lakewood Ranch succeed in whatever shape it takes in the future.”
Ross said she expects to start in her new role the first week of November.
“That’ll give me a little time to wrap up a few things on Longboat Key,” she said.
IDA supervisors said they felt both Ross and Vosburg both would be great leaders of their organization, although each had different strengths and experiences. Ross has an engineering background while Vosburg has a background in planning, for example — and both demonstrated they could lead and manage well, plan for the future and be the “change agent” the IDA looked to hire.
“I went in 100% for Anne, but after talking to Randy, I’m impressed with his strategic planning,” IDA Supervisor Nancy Johnson said at the Oct. 8 meeting just before Ross’s hiring was announced. “He’s definitely got the skill set and customer service experience. I’m going to have a very difficult time making a decision.”
Ultimately, Ross’s local connections with Manatee and Sarasota counties and other agencies in the area, as well as her similarities in personality and leadership style to Rey, won her a unanimous vote.
“If our objective was to hire an Eva II, then she’d be it,” Supervisor Alan Silverglat said.
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