I was struck by the energy, warmth and caring displayed by the community at Tim Dutton’s celebration event this week – a true testament to Tim and SCOPE. A loop of photos, assembled by Suzanne Gregory, displayed highlights of the breadth of topics and community enthusiasm for SCOPE’s mission with Tim at the helm. As I paid tribute to Tim and to SCOPE, I wanted to ensure that I captured the legacy and history of both the man and the organization while ensuring the community that the years of excellent work were not in vain and that the vision of an exemplary community will continue. I could have talked about how much I have learned from Tim, how the community has benefitted and how I actually feel cheated that he welcomed me to my chairmanship in July with the news that he was embarking on a new journey. I could also have talked about the uniqueness of SCOPE and how Tim has driven this organization since its inception. But rather than my point of view, I asked past chairs to share their thoughts:
“In the beginning, our concept of SCOPE was one big gelatinous mass, as formless and empty as heaven and earth prior to their creation by the Almighty. Along came Tim, who said, “Let there be light,” and there was light, and he separated the light from the darkness. And we all saw that the creation was good. Tim gave substance to our ideas by articulating SCOPE’s mission; securing its headquarters; hiring an exceptional staff; developing policies; launching its first initiatives, and creating a culture that openly plans for excellence. “ Dan Bailey – SCOPE’s first chair – 2000-2001
“Were it not for Tim, SCOPE would not be close to what it is! THE major player who will be missed!” General Howard Crowell – 2001-2002
“In my opinion, Tim Dutton has done an amazing job of bringing self-enlightenment to the our community and in the process has led us to discover and develop an honest look into our problems and to find realistic ways to improve them” Duncan Finlay 2003 - 2004
“Tim's legacy at SCOPE is that he tenaciously held to the belief that citizens can affect positive change in their homes ,neighborhood and the community at large if they are given a voice and an opportunity to engage with others in that change.” Sarah Pappas 2004 - 2005
“When I was serving on the Executive Committee, we'd periodically meet without Tim to conduct a performance review. The funny thing was, the discussion didn't spend time wondering how to improve Tim's performance, but rather how SCOPE would proceed if he were hit by a truck. Those discussions exemplified how central Tim was to both the mission and success of SCOPE.” Jono Miller 2006-2007
“I would describe my work with Tim as a learning experience. He connected us to other big thinkers and approaches. He led us in translating ideals into action …. not that it was fast or easy….but always interesting and challenging.” Nancy Roucher 2007 - 2008
“Tim Dutton is the one person who has taught me “how to think out of the box“ which was not an easy proposition. He is a man to be greatly admired because he lives what he preaches and is passionate about it during the process. No one has done more in our community than Tim Dutton as it relates to the pure gift of conversation.” Wendy Fishman 2008 – 2009
“I had the privilege of serving as SCOPE's Chair during the time Tim was initiating the Institute for the Ages concept. Tim brought a special knowledge of group dynamics and a passion to get things done to his position that is rare in an NGO executive. His talents will indeed be missed, but not forgotten.” Nick Gladding 2009 - 2010
“It was an honor working with Tim during my year as board Chair. I was impressed with his attention to detail and the depth of his love and devotion to our community. I saw the impact first hand as we went to each neighborhood and observed the respect that Tim earned from the citizens. Thank you, Tim, for your vision and crafting this thing called SCOPE!” Tracy Seider 2010 - 2011
“Tim has a passion for the enrichment of the community and is committed to that process. His vision and tireless effort in leading the creation of I4A will become a monument for Sarasota County for years to come.” Kevin Hicks 2011 -2012
As I read Tim Dutton’s August post I could not help but notice a question that he poses “How does a community get better?” I would venture to answer that a committed engaged community working together, openly planning for excellence, will get better and better. I know that SCOPE’s work is not done, and that the years of building an exemplary organization will propel this community into the 21st century as we continue to work together toward positive change.
Thank you Tim for ensuring that - Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence.
John Dart 2002-2003 – has been on vacation and unable to share his thoughts but remains on the SCOPE board and serves on the executive committee as Treasurer.
Roxanne Joffe Chair, Board of Directors