Tony Souza is elected as new Chairman of the Downtown Sarasota Alliance
The Board of Directors of the Downtown Sarasota Alliance elected Tony Souza to be its new Chairman of the Board which was announced at its Annual Dinner held at Marina Jacks on Wednesday, December 12.
Tony Souza is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker’s Longboat Key office and specializes in downtown residential real estate. He also provides services to Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Sarasota-Manatee, an organization that he dearly loves.
He retired as Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Sarasota, Inc. in 2009 and previously served as the President of the former Downtown Partnership of Sarasota, Inc. In that position, he was the leading force to create the Downtown Historic District. At the Partnership, He also led the planning for the revitalization of Fruitville Road and the creation of a Downtown Improvement District.
Souza has a long career in downtown revitalization before moving to Sarasota 8 years ago.
He served for 10 years as the Executive Director of WHALE, Inc. the Waterfront Historic Area League of New Bedford, (MA) Inc. That organization led the effort to revitalize 14 blocks of the old downtown area which was named the New Bedford Whaling National Park in 1996. Under his leadership, WHALE was awarded the 2002 Trustees Award for Organizational Excellence from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and he received the Charles Elliot Award for Organizational Excellence from Preservation, Massachusetts, Inc. In May, 2010, he was awarded a Senator Paul Tsongas Profiles in Preservation Award by Preservation Massachusetts as one of the outstanding Massachusetts Preservationists of the 20th Century for his past work.
He also worked for many years for the City of New Bedford serving as Director of Housing and Historic Preservation. Prior to joining WHALE in 1995, he was the CEO of the New Bedford Economic Development Corporation.
Before he became a Board member of the DSA, he served on its Advisory Council and was Chairman of SemCon 2010 and 2011. The recommendations from those public planning sessions now serves as the basis for the current downtown public improvements being managed by the (DID) Downtown Improvement District.
He holds a degree in Building Construction Technology from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA. He also has a BS in Building Construction and Historic Preservation from Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. He lectured widely on downtown development and historic preservation for the National Trust and at Boston University. He is a graduate of Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management at Harvard Business School.
He and his wife, Elsie Souza, are principals in CHELSTON Partners, their consulting firm. They consult on Interior design and construction, historic Preservation, nonprofit management, and property management.