Cooper Leaving Chamber for Mote Marine

Business

BY LISL LIANG SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY DEC 13, 2018

Kevin Cooper, president of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, will step down to take on a new position at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.

“Ever since I began working with the team at Mote on the creation of the Siesta Key Crystal Classic sand-sculpting event, I’ve admired the organization,” Cooper says. “I feel blessed to have the opportunity to devote my time to Mote’s transformative efforts.”

Mote officials announced late Wednesday that Cooper would join the organization as Vice President for Communications & Strategic Initiatives starting in early 2019. The move comes as Mote looks to expand its footprint and its research initiatives. Mote leaders announced plans earlier this year to open a new aquarium in Nathan Benderson Park while devoting its existing Sarasota aquarium to research space.

Mote President Michael Crosby says Cooper will also help evolve execute a long-term vision and strategic plan for the organization.

“A critical role for Kevin will be to work with and influence people across the entire organization and external stakeholder groups, and provide me with recommendations related to optimal effectiveness and efficiency of overall Mote operations,” Crosby says. “Mote’s mission depends on strategic thinking coupled with caring commitment—this is exactly what we see in Kevin.”

Cooper has played increasingly significant roles in the region’s business community since his arrival here in 2008. He led the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce before coming on as vice president at the Sarasota Chamber. He briefly left that organization to work as director of Community Investment for the Gulf Coast Community Foundation before returning to serve as president of the Chamber again.

Cooper will remain with the Chamber into 2019 before making the switch to Mote, and he plans to work with organization leaders on a transition. “In the meantime, Kevin will continue working hard on initiatives that will further The Chamber’s mission in our community,” says John LaCivita, Chamber chairman.

LaCivita says the Chamber remains strong as Cooper looks at his next move. “I am proud to say The Chamber could not be in a better place, and membership is continuing to grow within the community,” he says.

Photo by Wyatt Kostygan: Kevin Cooper

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