Al Dougherty named chief operations officer at Babcock Ranch

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Al Dougherty has been named chief operations officer for Babcock Ranch, located in southeastern Charlotte County and the nation’s first solar-powered town.

Dougherty will continue as COO-communities for Kitson & Partners, the developer of Babcock Ranch, where he has managed planning, land development and construction for the new town.

His expanded duties follow the departure of Rick Severance, who has joined the West Villages development between Venice and North Port as president.

Dougherty will now oversee all operations at the 18,000-acre Babcock Ranch, including land sales, builder partnerships, marketing, ancillary businesses, retail, food and beverage and business development, according to an announcement from Syd Kitson, CEO of Kitson & Partners.

“Al has played an integral role in the success of Babcock Ranch from the very beginning, so expanding his leadership role is a natural transition,” Kitson said. “His extensive professional experience has long been an asset at Kitson & Partners, and we are fortunate to have him at the helm at Babcock Ranch.”

Dougherty, who joined the company in 2013, has more than 30 years of experience in community master plan development, including acquisitions, budgeting, planning and entitlements. He previously was deputy secretary of land and recreation for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, overseeing 171 state parks and the acquisition of state lands.

Severance served three years as president of Babcock Ranch. At West Villages he replaced Paul Erhardt, who was president there since September 2017.

“Rick has worked diligently to implement the strategic business plan for Babcock Ranch, and his efforts have helped position the town for continued success,” Kitson said.

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