Babcock Ranch announces leadership change

Syd Kitson, CEO of Kitson & Partners, has announced Al Dougherty as Chief Operations Officer for Babcock Ranch, America’s first solar-powered town located just northeast of Fort Myers on Babcock Ranch Road/State Road 31.

Dougherty will continue in his role 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 include overseeing all operations at Babcock Ranch, including land sales, builder partnerships, marketing, ancillary businesses, retail, food and beverage, and business development.

“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 Kitson & Partners in 2013, has more than 30 years of experience in community master plan development, including acquisitions, budgeting, planning, and entitlements. Prior to joining Kitson & Partners, Dougherty served as the deputy secretary of land and recreation for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, overseeing 171 state parks and the acquisition of all state lands.

Dougherty’s newly expanded role at Babcock Ranch comes on the departure of Rick Severance, who served three years as president of Babcock Ranch. Severance is relocating within Florida.

“Rick has worked diligently to implement the strategic business plan for Babcock Ranch, and his efforts have helped position the town for continued success,” said Kitson. “We appreciate his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors.”