MANATEE -- Todd J. Pokrywa, who has served for the past decade as vice president of strategic affairs at Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, has accepted a new job near Melbourne on Florida's east coast.
Starting Oct. 1, he will become senior vice president, land-use planning and development for the Viera Co. Viera is a large master-planned community south of Cape Canveral.
Stephen L. Johnson, president of the Viera Co., announced the appointment Friday in a press release.
Pokrywa will be responsible primarily for the ongoing expansion of Viera, Johnson said.
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"Todd brings a wealth of experience in community development," said Johnson. "His hands-on experience as well as his professional commitment to urban and regional planning will be of great value to us as we continue to achieve the vision for Viera."
At SMR, Pokrywa was closely identified with many of the major projects at Lakewood Ranch, including The Villages of Lakewood Ranch South, Lakewood Centre, the Northwest Sector Development of Regional Impact (Central Park, Bridgewater, and Esplanade), Greenbrook East and Country Club East, The Lake Club, and more.
Pokrywa, an avid hockey fan, developed the partnership between the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning and Lakewood Ranch. That agreement led in December 2013 to the sale of 245 acres in Lakewood Centre to Canada's largest homebuilder, Mattamy Homes.
"I am very proud of the goals I was able to achieve with the SMR team during the past 12 years as Lakewood Ranch has continued to evolve. The Viera Co.,
provides an excellent opportunity for me to further expand my current scope of responsibilities, thereby enabling unique and exciting avenues for professional growth while joining another highly respected organization dedicated to quality development," Pokrywa said Friday.
Rex Jensen, president and chief executive officer of SMR, said he was sorry to see Pokrywa move on.
"Although we are sad to lose Todd, we are happy that he was offered such a great position with A. Duda & Sons. This is a step up for his career and an opportunity that he simply could not decline," Jensen said.
"I wish him well, knowing equally that I'll miss him greatly. Nonetheless, Todd has given much to SMR and we owe him thanks and fond wishes for his success," Jensen said.
A replacement has not been named. SMR is expected to conduct a search to find a replacement for Pokrywa.
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Pokrywa moved to Florida in 1995. He became a U.S. citizen in 2010.
Pokrywa serves as chairman of the Association of Florida Community Developers. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, American Planning Association and the Florida Planning and Zoning Association.
Well known in Manatee County, he served on boards for the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance, Southwest Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross, and the Women's Resource Center of Manatee.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter @jajones1.