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The Bay Sarasota
Sarasota Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 7 months ago

Bayfront group announces transitional leaders

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The Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization is transitioning to The Bay Conservancy, a group that will oversee the redevelopment of 53 acres of public land.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

The group tasked with implementing a master plan for 53 acres of city-owned bayfront land has named its first leaders, all of whom were involved in the process of developing the vision for revitalizing the site around the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

The Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization, which produced the master plan the City Commission adopted in September, is now transitioning into a new entity: The Bay Conservancy. Per an agreement with the city, The Bay Conservancy is slated to oversee the redevelopment of the bayfront property and manage the public land in perpetuity.

Today, The Bay Conservancy announced several SBPO members would serve in leadership roles. Cathy Layton, a retired commercial real estate broker and SBPO treasurer, is the conservancy’s chair.

Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick attorney Jennifer Compton will serve as secretary, and Kerkering Barberio CPA Rob Lane will be treasurer. SBPO board members Keith Dubose, Michael Klauber and Cynthia McCague will also serve as board members for the conservancy.

A.G. Lafley, the former Procter & Gamble CEO and SBPO chairman, will serve in a new role for the conservancy. Through 2019, he will act as the conservancy’s “startup CEO,” according to a release. That position will be responsible for fundraising, operation strategies, organizational planning and community outreach, the release stated.

SBPO Managing Director Bill Waddill will continue to fill the same role for The Bay Conservancy. Waddill will be responsible for overseeing the design and construction of the bayfront site.

The Bay Conservancy is still in the process of negotiating a formalized agreement with the city outlining the organization’s responsibilities and relationship with the city, which will continue to own the bayfront site. At the Dec. 3 City Commission meeting, Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown said city staff was close to finalizing an agreement for the commission’s consideration.

As The Bay Conservancy prepares to embark upon a project expected to take more than a decade and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, its new leaders expressed optimism about their ability to work together productively.

“I believe in this team,” Lafley said in a release. “And I believe an enhanced, enlivened and iconic bayfront park will benefit our community.”

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