Gulf Coast Community Foundation CEO Dr. Mark S. Pritchett Announces Retirement

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Pictured: Dr. Mark S. Pritchett, President | CEO, Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Photo courtesy of Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

This week, President and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Dr. Dr. Mark S. Pritchett announced his plan to retire in 2023. Pritchett joined Gulf Coast in 2008 as Vice President of Community Investment and was named President|CEO in 2015.

With Pritchett at the helm, Gulf Coast has provided strategic and financial support to pioneering projects such as The Legacy Trail, The Bay, and the COVID-19 Response Initiative. He has led historically impactful initiatives in the region including: 911 Reform, CareerEdge, and STEMSmart, which revolutionized how math and science and eventually language arts and social studies is taught in middle school.

Although he has worked for 55 rewarding and productive years in a variety of careers; Pritchett looks back at his years at Gulf Coast as some of the most fulfilling. “One of the most rewarding initiatives was the 911 Reform work which I completed my first year at Gulf Coast in 2008-2009,” he tells us. “The Denise Amber Lee story was tragic and heart wrenching. Her kidnapping and murder made national headlines and was featured on shows like Dateline and 48 Hours. It was an honor to work with widower Nathan Lee, his family, and law enforcement professionals to help him turn a tragedy into a national training network for 911 operators and responders. We did groundbreaking research, public policy work, lobbying, and helped him get his own foundation up and running. This is just an amazing story and shows the power of a community foundation to impact positive change not only locally, but statewide and nationally.”

Under Pritchett’s leadership and together with donors, Gulf Coast’s asset growth and philanthropy is at an all-time high. It has seen growth of nearly $360 million in new gifts since he became CEO while grants to nonprofits increased by $342 million. Pritchett played a significant leadership role in two successful initiatives: Florida’s 2000 post-election reforms and the process to resolve homeowner damage disputes from the 2004-2005 catastrophic hurricane seasons.

“Gulf Coast is peaking and we have never been stronger across all measures,” says Pritchett. “We have an exceptionally talented team, passionate board, and some exciting goals we want to accomplish over the next 3-5 years. I have been planning my retirement since COVID and now is the perfect time for that next leader to take Gulf Coast to that next level.” As a retiree, he looks forward to visits with family and friends, hiking near his Colorado home, and traveling with his love, Gina Taylor.

“I am fully committed to supporting our board, our team and to help our next leader fully succeed,” adds Pritchett. “I am most grateful for the opportunity to have served the Sarasota region and communities throughout Florida. My motivation has always been about vision, passion and determination to make this world a better place. Work doesn’t get better than that.”

Pictured: Dr. Mark S. Pritchett, President | CEO, Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Photo courtesy of Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

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