The goal of The Bay Park Conservancy (BPC) is to implement a long-term master plan for the Sarasota Bayfront area that will establish a cultural and economic legacy for the region while ensuring open, public access to the Bayfront. Increasing Sarasota’s visibility as a cultural capital, The Bay will exist for broad-based enjoyment of our Bayfront for all generations. Click on one of the members below to learn more!
Cathy Layton is a retired commercial real estate broker who has lived in Sarasota since 1970, and continues her life as a public servant. Layton has served in various public advisory positions, such as the Professional Selection Committee for the School Board of Sarasota, the Sarasota County Planning Commission, and the Public Housing Authority for the City of Sarasota, and was an elected official for twelve years. She was Chair of the Board of Trustees of Marie Selby Gardens, formerly Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, and serves on several local private foundation’s Board of Governors.
Robert “Rob” J. Lane is a CPA and Managing Shareholder of Kerkering Barberio. His practice areas include Audit, Advisory, and Assurance, Enterprise Risk Management, Nonprofit Organization Services and Succession Planning. He is responsible for audits and reviews of entities such as nonprofit organizations, general contractors, and manufacturers.
Jennifer Compton is Attorney and Managing Partner for the Sarasota office of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, a national business law firm with more than 240 attorneys, with focus in employment law, counseling, and litigation. She is a lifelong Sarasota resident and serves on the board and executive committee of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, acting as their legal counsel. She’s also chair of Girls Inc. of Sarasota County.
Kyle Scott Battie grew up in District 1 and graduated from Sarasota High School. He has a long family history in the community. His mother, Mrs. A Jean Battie taught in the Sarasota County School System for thirty (30) years and His father Henry “Hank” Battie, was, at the time, one of the few African American entrepreneurs to establish a business downtown Sarasota at the old Quay. Growing up around his father’s shop and later working in hospitality, Kyle Battie learned firsthand the challenges facing local business owners and working families in the city of Sarasota. Kyle Battie moved back to Sarasota eight years ago and now he hosts a local television show on ABC 7, while striving to make a difference in District 1.
Steve Botelho, ICMA-CM, serves as Deputy County Administrator and Chief Financial Management Officer for Sarasota County Government. Botelho joined Sarasota County Government in 2005 as a debt analyst and later became the Budget Director. In 2012 he became the county’s Chief Financial Management Officer, a position he continued to hold when he was appointed Assistant County Administrator in March 2014.Botelho is a Credentialed Manager (ICMA) and a full member in good standing with that association. Under his management, Sarasota County continued to be recognized with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award which is the award is the highest professional recognition in governmental budgeting and is presented by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA).Botelho, a 1999 graduate of the University of South Florida, began his financial career as an advisor with the global financial services firm Morgan Stanley. During his tenure with the firm, Botelho earned various financial accreditations and licenses. Botelho has called Sarasota home since 1993.
Keith Dubose is an attorney and shareholder with the Matthews Eastmoore law firm. He’s involved in many areas of practice the law firm including personal injury, professional malpractice, and commercial litigation. As a lifelong Sarasota resident, Keith is active in our community and champions programs benefiting youth, especially early childhood school readiness.
Stevie Freeman-Montes works at the City of Sarasota as Governmental Relations Manager, supporting legislative priorities of the Sarasota City Commission and public, and serves on the City’s Executive Staff Team. Her experiences have provided her with a well-rounded understanding of city functions and strong community relationships. She is particularly passionate about conserving natural resources, as evident by her leadership in the city’s first-ever climate change adaptation plan, commitment to 100% renewable energy, living seawall demonstration project, and more.
Charles has been practicing law in Sarasota County since 1990, and in addition to his legal background, he has owned a regional medical supply company in Southwest Florida, and has served on the Sarasota County Commission since 2012, (twice as its Chairman). Charles has also served on the West Coast Inland Navigation District, a four-county special taxing district, (twice as its Chairman). Since 2012, he has been an active member of the Florida Association of Counties, (a State-wide organization), serving in various leadership roles, on its Board of Directors and on multiple advisory committees.
Charles has demonstrated strong leadership skills and the ability to build consensus among his peers and colleagues in order to accomplish significant projects and policy changes benefitting the residents of Sarasota County and his clients. He has shown logical and creative thinking toward issues affecting his legal clients, his personal business interests, Sarasota County and the State of Florida. For 30 years he has served his community through volunteering his expertise with multiple non-profits and civic organizations. He has been recognized for his management abilities and strategic contributions, and several times has been tasked with bringing an organization out of significant financial difficulties to again prosper and contribute to improving the community.
Charles was elected to County Commission in 2012, and won his next term in 2016 without political opposition. He has helped lead and set policy for Sarasota County, which has approximately 2,300 employees, a budget of over One Billion dollars, and a population of more than 417,000 residents. In addition, he has served as a Board Member on the following regional organizations: Gulf Coast Consortium – BP Oil Spill/Restore Act, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Southwest Regional Planning Council, Charlotte Harbor Estuary Program, and the Sarasota/Manatee County Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Michael Klauber is President and Founder of Michael’s on East. As an almost 50-year resident of Sarasota, Michael is a seasoned, award-winning restaurateur and wine professional experience in the hospitality industry, real estate, financial management, and community outreach.
Carlos de Quesada
Continuing his 25+ years of business, managerial, and finance work, in October 2011, Carlos de Quesada founded Vera Cruz Advisory, LLC focused on providing financial advisory and strategic consulting services. It serves nonprofits by providing financial business practice consulting and implementation support.
Leslie is a board member for Ohio-based FirstEnergy Corporation. She recently retired as Senior Vice-President and General Counsel for The Hershey Company and previously held the position of General Counsel for Coca-Cola North America. Her 30 plus years of experience in strategic planning, multi-stakeholder considerations and collaborative decision-making include her tenure as a Washington D.C. based law partner and a U.S. Senate confirmed appointee at the U.S. Department of the Interior under then-Secretary Bruce Babbitt. Deeply committed to developing the pipeline of diverse leaders, Leslie’s board service includes Georgetown University, Georgetown University Law Center, and the HBCU Stillman College. Previous board participation includes the next generation leadership work of the Student Conservation Association, the social justice initiatives of Georgia Appleseed and the equity and fairness work of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. Active in the community where she resides, Leslie is a founding member of the local Sarasota nonprofit, Impact 100SRQ and provided advisory support to another local nonprofit, Miracle Swimming.
Emily Walsh is publisher of Observers – East County Observer, Longboat Observer, Sarasota Observer, Siesta Key Observer, Season magazine, LWR Life magazine and YourObserver.com. She leads the company’s overall digital strategy and operations. She has also been active in the community, most notably as a chair of fundraising events for nonprofit charities.
A.G. Lafley is the former CEO and Chairman of Procter & Gamble. In his first term as CEO, P&G sales more than doubled, profits and cash tripled, and the market capitalization more than doubled, making P&G one of the five most valuable companies in the U.S. and among the 10 most valuable companies in the world. In his second term, Lafley led the transformation of P&G by streamlining the Company’s businesses and brands, putting the leadership team in place to deliver more balanced and consistent growth. In Cincinnati, Lafley chaired Cincinnati Center City Development Corp (3CDC) from its inception in 2004 until 2010. Over the past 12 years, 3CDC has invested more than $1 billion of mostly private dollars in the redevelopment and renewal of the downtown area.
Chief Operating Officer
Bill Waddill is a certified planner and landscape architect with over 32 years of experience managing the design, public engagement, and implementation process for both public and private projects, including the Bradenton Riverwalk, Siesta Beach Park, Perry Harvey Park in Tampa, Babcock Ranch Town Center in Ft. Myers, and Baker Park in Naples. He is a member of the AICP, PLA, and ASLA.
Lori Denny serves as Project Coordinator for The Bay Park Conservancy. As a former business owner and marketing and communications professional, Lori has been active in the community through board positions at the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance, and Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Inc. She is excited to be a part of the team bringing the 53-acre legacy Bay Park from planning to reality for the Sarasota community.
Activation & Program Manager
Frances joins the Bay Park Conservancy Team as part of the Activation Team aiming to elevate park goers’ experience and exceed their expectations. Her career includes over 10 years of experience serving the public as part of Sarasota County government in the civic space of public libraries; Potomac Overlook Park in Arlington, Virginia, and The Conservatory Park in Manatee County.
Having recently earned her master’s degree in Public Administration with an interest in Public-Private-Partnerships, Frances considers the Bay Park’s extensive collaboration between the visionary citizens of Sarasota, the city, the County, and local philanthropy to be exemplary – a model for enhancing communities.
“It is the deliberate attention, emphasis, and prioritization of listening to the voices of the community that has led us to realize Phase I’s Common Ground, Civic Green, the ecological restoration and enhancement of the Mangrove bayou. And that is just the beginning of this beautiful park we call The Bay. There is so much more to come!”
Donor Experience Officer
Amber Lamerson focuses on private philanthropic giving for The Bay Park Conservancy. Amber has been a part of the Sarasota philanthropic community for nearly a decade with her work efforts focused on community engagement and education. She was a member of the Philanthropy team at Gulf Coast Community Foundation, who has been a part of The Bay’s journey from the start. As Donor Engagement Officer for The Bay, Amber will be working with individuals, families and businesses helping to create a public park for all.
Director of Operations
Derick Kitson joins The Bay as Director of Operations, and will be helping to manage, maintain and grow everything relating to park operations. Derick holds an extensive professional background in the execution of entertainment events from the production side as well as the operational side.
Kitson, a certified Facility Management Professional, spent the last eight years working with the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall as Director of Technical Production & Facility Manager and later as General Manager. During that time, Kitson managed all operations and oversaw facilities, technical and production, safety and security, patron relations, IT, and risk management.
Activation & Program Manager
Mykenzie Johnson joins the team as an Activation & Program Manager, strengthening and expanding The Bay’s free programmatic offerings to the community.
A Sarasota Native, Johnson graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelors in Events, Tourism, and Recreation Management, and is currently working toward a master’s degree in Sports Management. Her passion for hospitality and community development has led her to work with various non-profit organizations around the world. Mykenzie is eager to help design unique, exciting programs and create a meaningful experience for the community at The Bay Park.
Development Project Manager
Jordan Allison, a longtime Sarasota resident, joins the team as Development Project Manager. Allison has nearly a decade of development industry experience under his belt, working on the execution of luxury mid-rise townhomes and custom residential projects in the Sarasota area.
Jordan will work closely with Chief Operating Officer Bill Waddill to build the growing park, manage design and construction teams, and coordinate with contractors and project consultants.