LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. – The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange, a nonprofit organization comprising more than 400 local members of the construction industry, is celebrating its 65th anniversary this month.
“It’s pretty amazing to be a part of an organization that has been here for 65 years —through good times and bad times,” said Mary Dougherty, executive director of the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange.
Founded in 1952 by 20 Sarasota contractors, the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange has been pivotal in guiding southwest Florida’s growth while also preserving its history. Over the years, the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange has overseen a number of significant historical restorations, including Sarasota’s original 1920 pump station, Paul Rudolph’s famous Umbrella House on Lido Key and the Siesta Key Beach Pavilion.
The organization was an early supporter of the creation of Nathan Benderson Park, which recently hosted the 2017 World Rowing Championships, as well as the new Atlanta Braves Spring Training facility currently under construction in North Port.
The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange recently spearheaded work on Sarasota County’s latest 10-year comprehensive plan and is currently helping to guide land development regulations and the unified development code. Additionally, this year the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange hosted a Construction Rodeo to introduce recent high school graduates to local careers in the trade.
“We remember our roots,” said Dougherty. “Local businesses, members doing business with members and being here regionally and locally — that’s a part of who we are. It’s a proud legacy to be a part of.”
About The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange
The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange was established in 1952 and is a not-for-profit corporation operating as a trade organization under the guidance of a volunteer board of directors as representatives of the industry. The not-for-profit organization represents a broad cross section of the building industry, including contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and others from affiliated industries.
The GCBX membership is comprised of close to 400 companies in Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties. It includes some of the most respected contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, service providers and businesses in construction‑affiliated industries. GCBX’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the building industry are conducted in Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties. For more information, visit www.GCBX.org.