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$100 million builder names new president

John LaCivita has been with Willis Smith for more than 25 years.

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  • | 2:30 p.m. February 14, 2022
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LAKEWOOD RANCH — Willis A. Smith Construction, one of the largest builders in the region, has promoted longtime employee and executive John LaCivita to president.

John LaCivita (Courtesy photo)
John LaCivita (Courtesy photo)

LaCivita had most recently been executive vice president at the company, based in Lakewood Ranch. David Sessions will remain in his role as CEO, according to a statement.

A ninth-generation Floridian and a lifelong Sarasota County resident, LaCivita joined Willis Smith in 1996. He graduated from State College of Florida, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in building construction from the University of Florida in 1991. He became a state-certified general contractor in 1993, the release states.

“During his time with Willis Smith Construction, John’s contributions have been invaluable to not only driving the growth of the business but also creating a great company culture for our employees,” Sessions says in the release. “As president, John will continue to provide oversight to both the management and business development teams within our organization.

“His energy, construction expertise and dedication to client satisfaction have had a profound and positive effect on the company. I look forward to the ongoing impact he will make as we continue to advance the company during this, our 50th year, and beyond.” 

Willis Smith has some 70 employees and posted $101 million in revenue in 2021. Founded in 1972, it primarily serves Southwest Florida clients in commercial, industrial, education, health care, museum specialty work and sustainable construction. Current and recent projects include redevelopment of Selby Gardens in Sarasota, a new dining hall at Ringling College of Art and Design, the Waterside Place town center in Lakewood Ranch, the Mote Science Education Aquarium at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota and the East County library at Premier Park in Lakewood Ranch.


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