TAVARES — For the second time this month, a former Lake County Government employee is returning to the ranks as a director. Lake County welcomes Dottie Keedy this week as the new Director of the Department of Economic Growth and Redevelopment and two weeks ago greeted R. Wayne Bennett as the new Planning Director of the Department of Growth Management.
Similar to Bennett, Keedy began her public servant career as a community planner in the Growth Management department. In 1997, Keedy became the planning and zoning director of the City Tavares. After 10 months on the job, she was promoted to city administrator.
Among her responsibilities as the municipality’s top manager was overseeing economic development efforts. Some of her accomplishments in that role included the relocation of Blue Rhino and 84 Lumber to the Southridge Industrial Park near the intersection of county roads 561 and 448.
“There are so many opportunities in Lake County for the growth of high-paying jobs,” she said. “Bringing more jobs to Lake County will prevent people from having to leave the community to find work.
As the first director of the newly created Department of Economic Growth and Redevelopment, Keedy has a long list of goals. She says some of her short-term goals include creating an inventory of available properties available for industries and organizing a concerted economic development effort.
“Bringing the players and information together for prospective businesses is key,” she said. “There are a lot of individuals working on economic development in Lake County. I think if we can coordinate those efforts it will help us be more successful.”
Born and raised in the Leesburg community, Keedy earned a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Florida State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Central Florida. She currently resides in the Town of Howey-in-the-Hills with her two children, Clayton and Grace.