The first time Marc Dosogne visited Bradenton was almost 30 years ago.
He remembered thinking, no wonder his parents, now deceased, had chosen to retire here in 1986.
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"I fell in love with it," the 60-year-old Chicago native said.
Next time Dosogne, his wife, Julie, and their son, Andre, are in town it will be to go house hunting. He starts Oct. 1 as the new chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County, succeeding the retiringCarl Weeks.
After serving the past decade as CEO for the Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh, Wis., Dosogne is looking forward to the change of scenery.
"We had been thinking of moving to a warmer climate at some point and if the right situation presented itself, we'd have to give it a serious look," he said.
"The national office said to take a look at this when the job opened up," Dosogne said. "I'm glad they did."
So are club officials here, who received nearly 230 applications for the position.
"The community was used to dealing with a highly respected person like Carl Weeks and we strived for that in our search," said Tim Knowles, chairman of the executive search committee.
Kurt Koeppler said they got the right man. He's the one who hired Dosogne 10 years ago.
"You're getting an excellent administrator and unbelievable person -- and the luxury of getting his wife who is neat lady," said Koeppler, an Oshkosh company CEO and club boardmember. "He's as good as it gets."
Particularly when it comes to fundraising, said Koeppler,
giving two examples:
$2.2 million raised for a new club in Berlin, Wis., a $2.5 million project.
$2 million raised for a new teen center at the Oshkosh club.
Neither resulted from a capital campaign.
The $4.2 million came from private donations.
"It's a tribute to Marc," Koeppler said. "He has the ability to make people feel it's not a donation, it's an investment."
That ability will come in handy for a man who spent 25 years as Boys & Girls Club administrator. Dosogne will be taking over an organization pondering the closing of the original Ninth Street Boys & Girls Club and upgrading the DeSoto Boys & Girls Club.
"I understand the challenges and want to be a part of that," he said. "You have to make sure the buildings are where the mission is being served and it's a facility that meets the needs of youth today."
Dosogne isn't just about fundraising, understand.
He has compassion for the needy.
Doug Hyde, a retired corporate CEO in Oshkosh, will vouch for it.
"I've told Marc if he wasn't doing this, he should've been a priest," the club boardmember said. "He's a man who cares deeply about children and families and is constantly looking for ways to better things. He talks the talk and walks the walk. It's not a job, it's a passion."
A fervor Dosogne will bring to his new surroundings.
"I really liked what I heard from the search committee and where they're going," he said. "I think I can help them."
Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix.