Head of Live Baltimore announces departure

It's an awkward announcement for a man whose job for 10 years has focused on convincing people to live in Baltimore: He's saying goodbye to the city.

Steven Gondol, the executive director of Live Baltimore, will move with his family this summer to Ohio, where his wife is taking on a leadership role in her family's company. He informed the board of the nonprofit, which promotes city living and homebuying incentives, in January.


Gondol said he doesn't want people to interpret his departure as anything but a decision to follow his wife's career.

"It's tough," he said. "I didn't see leaving."

Live Baltimore plans to post the job this week and start interviews April 1, said Stacie Tobin, president of the Live Baltimore board. Tobin said the organization recently started an effort to develop a new long-term plan for the organization, which presents an opportunity for a new leader.

But this wasn't a change the board was looking to make, she said.

"We're sorry to lose him," she said.

Gondol, 38, a Patterson Park resident and father of two, has worked for Live Baltimore since 2007 and served as executive director since 2011. During his tenure, the organization launched a campaign targeting families and saw growing participation in incentive programs, such as Live Near Your Work. He oversees a staff of seven and budget of almost $1 million, of which 60 percent comes from the city.

Gondol, who grew up in Ohio, said he doesn't have a new job lined up. He said he expects to leave Live Baltimore by June 30 at the latest, though it could be earlier, depending on the process to find his replacement.