Healthcare Foundation President to Retire Fall 2022


MAY 16, 2022

Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation announced today that the organization’s president, Mason Ayres, has decided to retire effective September 30. Ayres has served in this role since 2016.  Under his leadership, the Healthcare Foundation was transformed into one of Sarasota’s most successful non-profits, raising over $100 million, including two of the largest gifts in the Healthcare Foundation’s 47-year history.

“Mason’s decision to retire at this time is bittersweet. During his tenure, the organization has grown exponentially, and has proven its ability to help SMH maintain its level of healthcare excellence for our community,” says Healthcare Foundation Board Chair, Deb Kabinoff.  “We respect Mason’s decision and are incredibly fortunate that the organization he is leaving behind is on a trajectory to even greater success in the future. His achievements will not be forgotten.”

Ayres was instrumental in leading the Healthcare Foundation’s largest fundraising campaign in its history to support the creation of Sarasota Memorial’s new Cancer Institute. The Leading with Care cancer campaign launched in 2018 with a fundraising goal of $50 million. With a transformational gift of $25 million from the Brian and Sheila Jellison Family Foundation the original goal was exceeded and raised to $75 million.

“The health system appreciates what Mason has accomplished at the Healthcare Foundation,” says Sarasota Memorial Health Care System President and CEO David Verinder.  “Personally, I value the friendship and partnership we created over the past five years and I wish him and his family the best.”

Most recently, Ayres spearheaded the team that acquired a $10 million gift to support the creation of the Cornell Family Behavioral Health Pavilion on the SMH-Sarasota Campus. Ayres’ other accomplishments include rebranding the organization to better align with the health system’s goals and vision, and creating the annual Hospital Gala, which has raised over $5.4 million in support of the hospital’s greatest needs. Ayres says his greatest accomplishment was the incredible team he built at the Healthcare Foundation.

“My time with the Healthcare Foundation has been tremendously rewarding and working alongside the Sarasota Memorial team has been an honor. I am also proud of the amazing relationships we cultivated with our donor community and grateful for their unwavering support of our mission. This decision wasn’t an easy one. However, I am excited to see what my next chapter in life brings,” says Ayres.

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