BPC President and CEO Stephanie Crockatt steps down to pursue other opportunities.
SARASOTA, Fla. – October 30, 2023 – 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 that President and Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Crockatt has stepped down to pursue other opportunities.
The BPC Board has asked AG Lafley, Founding BPC CEO, to rejoin as CEO, effective immediately. Lafley served as volunteer chair of the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization master planning committee (SBPO), and then as volunteer BPC Founding CEO between December 2019 and May 2023.
Jennifer Compton, BPC Board Chair said, “I appreciate Stephanie’s efforts and wish her the best in her next endeavor. The Board is confident that AG will pick up where he left off and progress the park and Conservancy’s plans and priorities. I look forward to The Bay continuing to be a beloved gathering place for our community by delighting park guests every day with all the park has to offer.”
Lafley says, “I am proud of what the BPC has accomplished thus far to create this signature ‘one park for all.’ Working with the many partners and the BPC team to build on this momentum, I fully expect we will continue delighting park guests who visit the current park; make The Bay Park Conservancy sustainable in every way – financially, operationally and environmentally; and build ‘more park for all’ with Phase 2 and beyond.”
Crockatt, who joined BPC as its first full-time President and CEO in May 2023, was previously Executive Director of Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy in Buffalo, New York. Crockatt said, “I have complete faith that the leadership team will continue to carry the vision of the community forward and that The Bay will thrive and achieve its full potential.”
The Bay recently celebrated its one-year anniversary of the first 10-acre phase of the park which opened in October 2022. More than 250,000 people visited the park in the first year. Design and development of Phase 2, the next 14-acre $65 million development, is underway and will be completed over the next 3 years. Phase 2 includes a revitalized Cultural District along Tamiami Trail, an extended resilient shoreline along Sarasota Bay, a magnificent Sunset Pier and the addition of day docks north of 10th Street. Phase 2 capital improvements are fully funded through a $48 million Tax Increment Funded (TIF)-backed bond and other government grants.
About The Bay
The Bay is a signature, public park along Sarasota Bay. Designed to be “one park for all,” The Bay is open and accessible, free and welcoming to the full and rich diversity of the community, now and for generations to come.
The Bay preserves, restores and transforms 53 acres of precious city-owned land along Sarasota Bay into a blue and green oasis – providing a sustainable bayfront gathering place for the community to experience and enjoy a wide range of park uses, free programs and events.
The park recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the first 10-acre phase which opened in October 2022. More than 250,000 people visited the park in the first year. Design and development of Phase 2, the next 14-acre $65 million development, began this summer. The completed park in total will cost an estimated $175-200 million and will take approximately 8-10 years to complete over four or more phases.
About The Bay Park Conservancy
The Bay Park Conservancy (BPC) was formed as a 501c3 not-for-profit organization in 2019 to implement the Master Plan approved by the Sarasota City Commission to conserve 53 acres of public land for a signature park along Sarasota Bay. The BPC entered a long-term partnership with the City to help fund, develop, operate, maintain and program the park for the benefit of the community now, and for generations to come.
For more information about The Bay and The Bay Park Conservancy, www.thebaysarasota.org.