Our Team

The primary company behind Babcock Ranch is Kitson & Partners. It’s a private, vertically integrated development company established in 1992. The firm has created three master-planned communities and has another in its pipeline, along with 1.5 million square feet of commercial space and 11 retail properties in its portfolio. Kitson & Partners has a long-term track record of place making, with emphasis on community development, land stewardship, and environmental sustainability.


Syd Kitson headshot

sydney kitson

Chairman and CEO

Thomas Hoban headshot

thomas hoban

President and CIO

Syd Kitson is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He enjoyed a notable career in the National Football League, playing offensive guard for the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. Upon retirement from professional football in 1985, he began his career in real estate and founded Kitson & Partners in 1992.

In 2006, Kitson completed the historic purchase of Babcock Ranch in Southwest Florida, encompassing more than 91,000 acres – an area five times the size of the island of Manhattan. Over 80% of the original land purchase (73,000 acres within Charlotte and Lee counties) has been preserved by the State of Florida and Lee County in the largest single land preservation transaction in the state’s history.

Kitson lectures at Princeton University and has served on multiple civic, education and non-profit boards. In addition to serving as Vice Chair of the Board of Governors for the State University System of Florida, he is Vice Chair of the Florida Council of 100 and was elected the 2016-2017 Chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Tom is President, Chief Investment Officer and Partner of Kitson & Partners. He has over 23 years’ experience in the real estate industry, with a deep understanding of capital markets. Tom helps set strategic direction and spends the majority of his time focusing on growth initiatives, through investment and capital sourcing. He oversees the company’s 1,500,000 square foot retail shopping center portfolio and its development pipeline of approximately 800,000 square feet of retail. Tom is also responsible for K&P’s Finance Division and Market Strategy team.

Prior to joining the K&P team in 2003, Tom spent eight years in New York City as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley, where he served as Vice President of U.S. Acquisitions for the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund. During his career on Wall Street, Tom worked on the agency and principal side of the real estate business, executing over $8 billion in real estate transactions.

Tom graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. He is a board member on the Economic Council of Palm Beach County and Babcock Ranch Transportation Services. In addition, Tom is an active member in the Urban Land Institute and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Babcock Ranch receives exceptional guidance and support from a world-class list of advisors and staff

Babcock Ranch advisory board

Lawrence Burns headshot

lawrence burns

Jeb Bush headshot

jeb bush

Peter Rummel headshot

peter rummell

  • Current Google Self- Driving Cars/Waymo Consultant (since 2011)
  • Current Peloton Technology Board Member
  • Former General Motors Corporate Vice President of R&D and Planning
  • Former Advisor to Hess, Allstate, FedEx, VantagePoint Capital Partners, Greentech Capital Advisors, Deloitte and IHS Markit
  • Former Professor of Engineering Practice at University of Michigan
  • Former Director of the Program for Sustainable Mobility at Columbia University
  • Author of Autonomy: The Quest to Build the Driverless Car and How it Will Reshape Our Worldd
  • 43rd Governor of the State of Florida
  • President of consulting firm Jeb Bush and Associates
  • Chairman of two leading K-12 education reform organizations: Foundation for Excellence in Education and Foundation for Florida’s Future
  • Board member of Tenet Healthcare Corporation and Rayonier, Inc.
  • Former Chairman of Walt Disney Imagineering and President of Disney Development Company
  • Former CEO of The St. Joe Company
  • Former CEO of Nicklaus Companies
  • Active member and former Chairman of Florida Council of 100
  • Former Chairman of Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the ULI Foundation
  • Multiple board positions, including AvalonBay Communities, The Haskell Company, The Alliance for World Class Education and Teach for America
William Smith headshot


Will Weatherford headshot

will weatherford

  • 33-year Wall Street executive
  • Former Managing Director of Morgan Stanley/Head of Morgan Stanley Realty
  • Former Head of Investment Banking at Dean Witter Reynolds
  • Former Head of the Real Estate and Financial Institutions Groups at Blyth Eastman Paine Webber
  • Multiple board positions
  • Managing Partner at Weatherford Capital, an innovative Florida based private equity firm
  • Former 84th Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives serving 2012 to 2014 (youngest Speaker of the House in U.S.); tenure in Florida Legislature was from 2006 to 2014
  • Multiple board positions including TECO Energy, Emera Technologies, Payit and MBF Healthcare Partners


Residential Development

Commercial Development

Al Doughtery headshot
Laura Keller headshot
Lucienne Pears headshot

al Dougherty

COO, Communities Division

  • Responsible for development and construction activities
  • VP of Development for
  • President/Owner of Principle Design & Development and The Principle Group
  • Deputy Secretary of Land and Recreation for the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Laura Keller

SVP Marketing and Sales

  • Responsible for strategic marketing plan
  • VP of Marketing for Park Square Homes
  • VP of Marketing/PR for WCI
  • VP of Sales & Marketing for Elias Brothers Communities
  • Owner of LVJ Marketing

Lucienne Pears

VP Economic & Business Development

  • Responsible for strategic business/industry promotion
  • Economic Development Director for Charlotte County, Florida
  • Sustainable Growth Manager for Marion County, Florida
  • Community Planning Manager, King Engineering

Matt Buehler

SVP Retail

  • Responsible for commercial development,  leasing, construction, property management and accounting
  • VP of Retail Operations for Kitson & Partners
  • Commercial Real Estate Manager, CBRE

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Closer than you think

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