Executive director of the Florida Community Design Center Randolf Wells has advocated for returning vacant property to a productive use for the surrounding neighborhood and the city as a whole for seven years. This year his efforts were successful as the city formally accepted ownership of the closed US Army Reserve facility in east Gainesville, and repurposed the building as the new home of a growing local manufacturing firm Phalanx Defense Systems. The grounds have been designated as a new community park dedicated to the reservists who served and trained on this site for 51 years.
“My passion is finding creative ways to build capacity within our community,” explained Wells. “I help facilitate this by bringing together different groups who can combine resources and complement one another to achieve a shared vision.”
Wells volunteers as executive director of the Florida Community Design Center, but also serves on the boards of Friends of GRACE Marketplace, Welcoming Gainesville and Bike Florida. He is a member of the organizing committee for Bulla Cubana, a Cuban cultural festival planned for Gainesville between January and March 2017. In November, he will be on the Gainesville delegation (for the second time) to visit our Israeli and Palestinian sister cities of Kfar Saba and Qalqilya.
Get to Know Randy:
What is your go-to coffee order?
Cafe con leche with plenty of sugar (my grandfather called it “kid’s coffee”)
Who had the biggest impact on your life?
As a child, the biggest impact on my life was my grandfather. As an adult, the biggest has been my wife, Ondine.