Scott Cietek joins Sarasota firm from New York economic development post
Michael Saunders & Co. has hired a former economic development executive from New York to head its commercial division.
Scott Cietek, 57, joins the Sarasota-based residential real estate firm from the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority in New York, where he worked as vice president of economic development and real estate for the past 17 years.
“I feel like I’ve joined the Yankees,” Cietek says of his new firm, comparing Saunders to New York’s oft-champion Major League Baseball team. “The reputation of the firm is second to none.”
Cietek says he decided to relocate from upstate New York to Southwest Florida last year after visiting friends in Sarasota.
He replaces Matt Drews, who left Saunders last month after more than three years to pursue a development career with Casto Southeast Realty Services, which is part of the development team behind the $500 million Midtown Tampa mixed-use project and several others along the Gulf Coast.
Drews, a former Yankees’ first-round draft selection, follows his father into development. The elder Drews built communities such as The Landings and the Plantation Golf & Country Club.
“My first goal is to not screw up the good work of my predecessor, and then to grow the division strategically, maintain the reputation that’s been developed over many years and then grow the staff,” Cietek says.
“And we’ll really be focused on our Orlando office,” he adds. “That’s going to be the big push for 2019 for us.”