SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (September 27, 2021) — The Sarasota County Economic Development Corporation is pleased to announce the addition of several new members to its board of directors. It also voted in a new slate of board officers.

At its August and September board meetings, the board voted to appoint the following professionals to its roster for the 2022 fiscal year:

  • Dr. Todd Fritch, Executive Vice President, and Provost, State College of Florida
  • Dr. Karen Holbrook, Regional Chancellor, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee
  • Devaney Iglesias, External Affairs Area Manager, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL)
  • Dr. Mark Pritchett, President, and CEO, Gulf Coast Community Foundation
  • Rick Severance, President, Wellen Park
  • Heather Williams, CPA, Shareholder, Kerkering Barberio & Co.
  • Dr. Bill Woodson, Chief Diversity Officer, New College of Florida

Joe C. Hembree of Hembree and Associates was named the new board chair, while Mark Irwin of Truist was named vice chair; Shaun Merriman of SouthState Bank was named treasurer; Erin Cigich of Perform [cb] was named secretary, and Charlie Murphy of The Bank of Tampa became the past chair.

“As the EDC continues to reconnect with its purpose, we recognize that an expanded and diverse board is essential,” said Sarasota County EDC President and CEO Lisa Krouse.  “Therefore we are proud to welcome some of our area’s most respected and influential leaders from business, nonprofit and higher education.”  Krouse continued, “As we continue to field inquiries nearly every day from businesses from throughout the world that are interested in Sarasota County, these new board members will help guide our future and ensure that we continue to perform the vital work of supporting business and diversifying our economy.

Krouse noted that the EDC will continue to evaluate board representation to ensure the entire community has a voice in the economic development work carried out by the EDC Team.

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About the Sarasota County Economic Development Corporation

The Sarasota County EDC is Sarasota County’s economic advocate and the only organization in the county focused solely on growing and diversifying the local economy. In existence since 2004, the public-private organization works to help companies in diverse sectors expand and establish in Sarasota County, contributing to an increase in the local tax base and additional employment opportunities while reducing vulnerability to external shocks that can undermine our community’s long-term economic health.