Stephanie Crockatt will lead The Bay Park Conservancy
The Bay Park Conservancy (BPC), the non-profit organization responsible for designing and developing 53 acres of City-owned land on Sarasota Bay into a signature park, and then operating, maintaining and programming the park as it opens to the public, has announced Stephanie Crockatt will become BPC’s first full-time President and Chief Executive Officer.
Crockatt will assume overall responsibility for building out the 53-acre park known as “The Bay.” Crockatt will also focus on securing funding to support ongoing BPC operations, maintenance, programming and endowment, and build on the strong partnership with the City, and relationships with the County, foundations and philanthropists, business partners and friends of The Bay, and the broader community.
As CEO, Crockatt will report to BPC Board Chair Jennifer Compton and work closely with the BPC Executive Committee, Board of Directors and staff. “I am looking forward to working with Stephanie as we continue to deliver on BPC’s mission for our community,” says Jennifer Compton, BPC Board Chair. “Together, Stephanie and I, the board and the park conservancy staff, will endeavor to complete the design and development of a signature park for Sarasota and build a strong dedicated park conservancy team that delivers a delightful park guest experience every day at The Bay.”
Crockatt is an accomplished park conservancy leader with significant development and fundraising experience as Executive Director of Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy (BOPC) the first nonprofit organization in the US to manage and operate an entire urban park system consisting of six Olmsted-designed parks and 850 acres. In nine years as BOPC Executive Director, Stephanie secured substantial park maintenance funding from the city through an unprecedented public-private partnership, built reliable annual fundraising from private sources, secured a major foundation gift to ensure sustainable conservancy operations, secured millions in capital support, fulfilled over 50 capital restoration projects from an award-winning master plan, and built an inclusive team of professionals to manage and operate the park and engage constructively and productively with partners and stakeholders.
“I am filled with great enthusiasm and excitement to join The Bay Park Conservancy and be given the honor and privilege to serve as its first President and CEO,” says Crockatt. “Conservancies are such important public-private partners, and I know this nonprofit will become one of the leading examples of park innovation, community engagement, and mission-driven success. Coming to Sarasota in this capacity feels amazing and I am looking forward to being part of this beautiful city and its robust culture.”
Stephanie will be succeeding AG Lafley who served as volunteer chair of the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization master planning committee (SBPO), and then as volunteer BPC Founding CEO since 2019. Lafley plans to stay fully engaged and involved to ensure a smooth transition and to maintain the momentum and progress already underway.
“At The Bay, we know the importance of being sustainable in every way – environmentally, financially, and operationally,” says AG Lafley, Founding CEO of The Bay Park Conservancy. “Stephanie is the right person in the right place at the right time. She has the combination of experiences and skills BPC needs to complete the build-out of the park and the build-up of the park conservancy.”