Mote Marine Laboratory Names New Chief Advancement Officer

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Mote Tom

Mote Marine Laboratory Names New Chief Advancement Officer

Mar 28, 2012

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium is pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Waters of Sarasota as the nonprofit marine research organization’s new Chief Advancement Officer. 

Mr. Waters, who will assume this new role April 9, will lead the organization’s fundraising and brand development efforts as defined within Mote’s 2020 Vision and Strategic Plan, which was adopted unanimously by Mote’s Board of Trustees at the beginning of 2011. The 2020 Vision serves as the blueprint guiding Mote’s innovative and transformative efforts in marine research, education, outreach and policy advice designed to meet the critical needs facing our oceans and positively impact society in this century and beyond. 

Glenda Wright, Mote’s current Vice President of Development, will continue to be involved in the organization’s fundraising efforts, focusing on major and leadership gifts. 

“We’re very pleased that Tom is joining us here at Mote,” said Mote President and CEO Dr. Kumar Mahadevan in announcing the appointment. “He brings a wealth of experience to our organization and we are excited to have Tom here to lead the charge to help us build a strong financial base for the Lab.” 

Building a strong endowment for Mote, which is an independent nonprofit 501c(3) organization, is a key step in achieving the long-term financial support required to achieve the core goals of Mote’s 2020 Vision and Strategic Plan, Dr. Mahadevan said. “The challenges and threats facing our oceans are enormous today and the investment needed to address these urgent needs are no less significant,” he said. “Mote stands at a critical juncture in our 57-year history and we’re pleased to bring Tom on board to help us secure our future.” 

“From Mote’s cancer research to its hands-on programs for children, our world becomes a better place each day thanks to the dedicated scientists, staff and volunteers involved with the organization,” Mr. Waters said. “The chance to make a difference locally, nationally and internationally does not come along very often, so I am thrilled to be joining Mote to truly help make a difference in our world. I would like to thank Kumar for this exciting opportunity.” 

Mr. Waters comes to Mote from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, where he served as the Foundation’s Vice President of Development and Donor Services since 2000. At the Community Foundation, he developed and led the fundraising efforts that enabled the organization’s planned giving program to grow to $200 million in assets with $200 million in future commitments. He also played a key role in the Community’s Foundation’s Season of Sharing, which helped raise $1 million-plus annually since 2009 and ensured that families in need could remain in their homes. 

“We are so grateful for all Tom Waters has done for the last 12 years to partner with our donors, professional advisors and nonprofit organizations in an effort to ensure donor dreams become reality,” said Roxie Jerde, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “He has truly been an integral member of our leadership team who has contributed greatly to building the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, which is now the second largest community foundation in Florida. As hard as it is to lose a valued member of our family, this is a wonderful opportunity for Tom to not only tap into his strengths that will add value to Mote’s newly created role, but also to foster the long-standing partnership we’ve shared with Mote Marine Laboratory for many years.” 

Mr. Waters has more than 26 years of fund development experience in diverse communities, including Sarasota, Denver and Louisville, Ky. He is married with two daughters, a son and two grandchildren and is active in numerous volunteer and civic organizations in the community, including the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council, Leadership Sarasota County and the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. 

Founded in 1955, Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 research organization based in Sarasota, Fla., with field stations in eastern Sarasota County, Charlotte Harbor and the Florida Keys. Donations to Mote are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Mote is dedicated to today’s research for tomorrow’s oceans with an emphasis on world-class research relevant to conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity, healthy habitats and natural resources. Research programs include studies of human cancer using marine models, the effects of man-made and natural toxins on humans and on the environment, the health of wild fisheries, developing sustainable and successful fish restocking techniques and food production technologies and the development of ocean technology to help us better understand the health of the environment. Mote research programs also focus on understanding the population dynamics of manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks and coral reefs and on conservation and restoration efforts related to these species and ecosystems. Mote’s vision includes positively impacting public policy through science-based outreach and education. Showcasing this research is Mote Aquarium, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 365 days a year. Learn more at


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