WHO: Kyanne Merrill
POSITION: Lakewood Ranch Community Activities corporation director
“I try to stress to anyone wanting to live in the community the importance of Community Activities. It’s a unique amenity."
Although 2016 has just begun, Kyanne Merrill already is looking ahead to 2017.
The director of Lakewood Ranch Community Activities, Merrill still has a few major events remaining before she has worked a full year at her position.
Starting last April, Merrill has experienced all the major events on the Community Activities' calendar except for the Learn to Fish Seminar on Feb. 7, the Youth Fishing Tournament on Feb. 28 and the Irish Celtic Festival on March 14. Then the evaluation period is over.
She wanted to build relationships in the community and get feedback before she forged her way into the future.
Her goal was to get a feel for the current calendar of events rather than racing to make any immediate changes. She wanted to see what was working and what could be improved.
Merrill said the biggest changes to Community Activities' events will come in 2017. In the coming year, she will do a lot of planning. She wants to refresh the calendar in 2017 with new events, new venues and new ideas, especially making sure the events offered by CAC are appealing to multiple age groups. Merrill said that many of the events are geared toward families with younger children. She’d like to diversify the target age.
Some changes will occur this year. A few CAC-hosted events duplicate similar events held by other groups in the community and might be cancelled. Merrill wants to weed out ones that are too similar, such as the Splash Bash, or at least find different organizations to take over the management of the events.
An immediate goal for Merrill is to develop better branding of CAC events. She said something she encountered in the past year was that sometimes residents and visitors didn’t really know who was managing an event.
“There are so many pillars of our community, sometimes there’s confusion,” she said. “We want people to know what events CAC does.
“I try to stress to anyone wanting to live in the community that there aren’t any other planned communities in the area that offer this program (CAC),” she said. “It is a unique amenity.”