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Columbia Association hires new president; Alabama woman will face COVID-challenged budget

The Columbia Association announced the hiring of its new president Thursday.

Lakey Boyd, a strategic analysis consultant for a company she founded in Alabama, will begin a four-year term May 1, replacing Milton Matthews, who is leaving after two terms.

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Boyd is the founder of Birmingham, Alabama-based consulting firm Re: Posit Strategies, specializing in economic and community planning and development. She will be the CA’s sixth president/CEO.

“I am thrilled,” Boyd said in a CA news release. “I am particularly excited to be moving into this position at such a pivotal time for Columbia and am looking forward to helping in CA’s adaptation and evolution as we all define what the next normal will be.”

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Boyd was selected by the CA’s board of directors among 80 applicants after a nationwide search by firm Baker Tilly. Andy Stack, the board’s chair, said Boyd brings a “wealth of skills” to the Columbia Association, which is both a homeowners association that serves more than 100,000 residents and a membership organization with almost 60,000 members.

Lakey Boyd will being as the Columbia Association's president and CEO on May 3.
Lakey Boyd will being as the Columbia Association's president and CEO on May 3. (Photo courtesy of the Columbia Association)

“She is a dynamic and forward-looking individual,” Stack said. “Her career has spanned public, private and nonprofit organizations. She has a focus on transparent and inclusive leadership.”

Before founding Re: Posit Strategies, Boyd was a strategy and innovation director for the city of Birmingham’s transportation department. She was also operations director for Innovate Birmingham, a nonprofit organization that aims to place Central Alabama residents in tech jobs.

When Boyd was in graduate school, she studied city planning and learned about pioneering real estate developer James Rouse’s creation of Columbia, a planned community founded in the 1960s with the goals of eliminating racial, religious and class segregation.

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“I am also honored to become part of the esteemed legacy of James Rouse’s work by serving in this critical role and will strive to embody the culture that we are always growing toward better,” Boyd said.

Boyd steps in to lead the CA during a challenging time for the association due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In fiscal 2021, the association’s budget was nearly 30% lower than its pre-COVID projection, which caused the closure of all 23 of its pools and the cancellation of its 17 summer camps. Most of the revenue shortfall stems from a decrease in sports and fitness memberships and community services due to the pandemic.

Last month, the association’s board approved its fiscal 2022 budget, which included keeping eight of its pools closed and the permanent closure of the Haven on the Lake wellness center. While the CA is expecting a 14% revenue increase in fiscal 2022, it is still 20% less than what the pre-COVID fiscal 2021 budget was.

Matthews, whose tenure ends April 30, said the CA moving past the pandemic is “far from over.”

“I am incredibly grateful for the resilience of the CA team and the Columbia community,” he said. “I am confident everyone will bring the same level of passion, optimism and endurance to the next phase of leadership and continue to see this organization grow and thrive.”

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