Betsy Waite, Director
“I’ve lived in over 10 cities during my adult life - the City of Gainesville offers something truly unique. You can tell just by walking around Gainesville how much this city cares about its parks and nature. Thank you, voters for allowing us to continue to create exceptional wild spaces and public places.”
Betsy Waite, Wild Spaces and Public Places Director
As Wild Spaces and Public Places (WSPP) Director for the City of Gainesville, Betsy Waite is responsible for the implementation of the City’s Recreation Master Plan and 352Arts Roadmap and manages many of the capital improvement projects supported by the WSPP funding source.
Prior to joining the WSPP Team in January of 2018 Betsy served as a Project Manager with the City of Gainesville Public Works Department. There she managed a variety of construction projects to include landfill remediation, multi-modal projects, storm water conveyance systems, and roadway reconstruction in excess of $7 million annually. Employment prior to moving to Gainesville included working as a Safety Engineer for Manson Construction Company, a dredging company specializing in beach re-nourishment and channel maintenance, as well as working as an active duty Army Officer in the Engineer Branch where she performed in a variety of leadership roles to include Battalion Adjutant, Maintenance Platoon Leader, Assistant Battalion Logistics Officer, and a Vertical Construction Platoon Leader. She managed construction both stateside and in Afghanistan while serving in the US Army.
Betsy holds a Bachelor of Science degree from West Point in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Business Administration with a focus on Project Management from Florida Institute of Technology. She is a professional engineer registered in the state of Florida.
Please contact Betsy you would like information on current projects, upcoming projects, or other questions about Wild Spaces and Public Places.
Betsy Waite, P.E.
Wild Spaces and Public Places Director
Office Hours: Monday–Friday, 7:00 am–4:00 pm
Mary Crenshaw, Logistics Coordinator
Mary Crenshaw is the Logistics Coordinator for the Wild Spaces and Public Places Department. She is responsible for preparing and routing contracts, coordinating purchases and payments, tracking spending, compiling data and preparing reports.
Mary has over 15 years’ experience working for the City, including 12 years as GRUCom Work Management Coordinator and most recently as a Legal Assistant with the City Attorney’s Office. Prior to working for the City, Mary was self-employed as an editor/proofreader and legal transcriptionist while homeschooling her children and enjoying Gainesville’s many wonderful parks.
Phone: Office - (352) 393-8372
Angie Gould, Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist
As Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist, Angie Collaborates with the Wild Spaces & Public Places director and team to develop the program’s communications. She develops marketing materials for the purpose of enhancing community engagement and awareness of WSPP’s achievements.
Angie received her BFA from the University of Florida's School of Art and Art History, and her MFA from Florida State University. She spent four years teaching university-level drawing, painting, figure study, and digital photography in the US and Italy. She has been a participating artist on the Friday night art walk, a performing musician for the city concert series held at the Bo Diddley Plaza, a member of the Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery and is actively involved in USTA tennis at Westside Park. She comes to us from the University of Florida and has had over 10 year’s communications experience.
Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist
Phone: Office - (352) 393-8182
Pete McNiece, Project Manager
Pete’s a life-long Gainesville resident and Buchholz graduate who went to MIT on an ROTC scholarship. During his 5 years as a naval officer in the Seabees, he completed tours in California, Iceland, and Philadelphia before moving back to Gainesville permanently. He’s a licensed Building Contractor, Professional Engineer, Real Estate Broker, and LEED Accredited Professional who’s spent his professional career managing construction projects. He enthusiastically joins the Wild Spaces & Public Places team to make a meaningful contribution to the community and looks forward to serving the residents of Gainesville as an advocate for public parks.
He’s married to Kirsty Freshwater who is a Nurse Practitioner at UF and has two daughters currently attending Emory and Duke. Pete spends most of his free time at the beach or engaged in activities that always involve the outdoors.
Phone: Office - (352) 393-8544; Cell (352) 514-8992
Jody Romani, Senior Construction Inspector
Jody Romani is the Senior Construction Inspector for the Wild Spaces and Public Places Department. He is responsible for conducting field inspections of complex construction work to ensure that projects are in compliance with all standards and regulations.
Jody has 30 years of municipal experience as an Engineering Assistant, Project Manager, Construction Inspector, Vehicle Maintenance Mechanic and Maintenance Utility Worker. While working for the City of St. Cloud he dealt with the (NFIP) National Flood Insurance Program, ISO/CRS Community rating system requirements and NPDES MS4 permitting. Jody is a certified Stormwater Operator and licensed water distribution operator.
Senior Construction Inspector
Phone: Office - (352) 393-8531
Part-time team members
Sarit Sela, City Architect
As City Architect for the City of Gainesville, Sarit Sela is responsible for planning, directing, and supervising the development and implementation of a long-range Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for the City's facilities and various Wild Spaces Public Places (WSPP) initiatives. She works with WSPP team and City departments to analyze projected needs, current conditions, and develop designs for long and short-range capital improvement programs to maintain or upgrade facilities, parks and nature amenities.
Sarit is an experienced architect and urban designer. She has led a wide array of flagship community initiatives worldwide from visioning and design, through community outreach and engagement, to construction and implementation. Sarit developed master plans, and led streetscape renovation, building rehabilitation, historic preservation, and interior design projects.
Previous to her current position as City Architect, Sarit served six years as a Project Manager with the Gainesville CRA and City of Gainesville. There she led the design and managed the Thomas Center Office Building renovations, Power District Catalyst Building adaptive reuse, GTEC/Cornerstone Master Plan, Seminary Lane Master Plan, and NW 1st Avenue Streetscape project. Before relocating to Florida, Sarit worked as an architect in the private industry in the Bay Area, CA, London, UK, and Jerusalem, Israel.
Sarit holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, and a Master’s degree in Planning & Development with a focus on Urban Regeneration from University College London, UK. She is a professional architect registered in the state of Florida and a U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design approved professional (LEED AP).
Sarit Sela, AIA
City Architect, Office of the City Manager
Phone: Office - (352) 393-8649; Cell - (352) 451-3383