MANATEE — When William Laddison Waldo and his wife, Sally, came to Florida three years ago, he had the same dream that lures so many people here.
“It didn’t take long for me to figure out that three days of golf every week wasn’t as fulfilling as I thought it would be,” said the Lakewood Ranch Country Club resident.
Waldo still plays golf, but the 65-year-old has a new job — chief executive officer for Easter Seals Southwest Florida, which provides services to children and adults with disabilities and other special needs.
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“We conducted a search for a CEO,” said Joe Najmy, chairman of the Easter Seals Southwest Florida board of directors, in a prepared statement. “Ultimately, it became clear to us all the best person for the job was already here.”
Waldo, who goes by “Ladd,” had been chief financial officer at Easter Seals for three years.
He succeeds Bill Lloyd, who was CEO the last two years, according to Najmy.
A native of Aliquippa, Pa., Waldo spent eight years with the accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand — now PricewaterhouseCoopers — then made the change to nonprofit management, a mission he embraced for more than 30 years.
“I audited both for-profit and nonprofit and I liked what I saw happening in hospitals where the focus was on the mission and not the bottom line,” Waldo said. “I applied my financial skills and knowledge to where I knew it would make an effective difference in the delivery of services to help people.”
He has previously served as an officer with the Oak Park/River Forest, Ill. Chamber of Commerce; United Way board member and treasurer; as well as a coach for middle school math Olympics.
More recently, Waldo and his wife served as volunteers with Shelter Box USA in Lakewood Ranch. He has also served as a board member and treasurer there.
All that experience has prepared him for his new role.
“You carry the ultimate responsibility in delivery of the mission,” Waldo said. “It’s good to have the opportunity to be in a position of ultimate responsibility. I welcome the challenge.”