All those vacation visits to Sanibel has paid off for Keith Williams and his family.
The payoff came last week when Williams left his native Georgia to start his new job as the director of the Sanibel Public Works Department.
"When we vacationed here my wife and I fell in love with the area," said Williams. "We've always kept an eye out for the chance to live here."
Williams, 33, replaces Gates Castle, who retired in April after 20 years of service on the island.
"I'm looking forward to working with him and his staff," said Sanibel City Manager Judith Zimomra. "He has a background in environmental engineering as well as engineering which makes him a perfect fit for Sanibel."
Scott Krawczyk, who served as acting director when Castle retired, returns to his former post as deputy director. He also was a member of the committee charged with finding a new director.
Since 2007 Williams had served as a city engineer in Smyrna, Ga., after a brief time in the private sector. He grew up in Marietta, Ga., and earned his civil and environmental engineering degrees from the University of Tennessee.
"I think he's a good guy and he has the right credentials," said Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane.
He brings a youthful energy to the Public Works Department in his new role as director.
"This is a great opportunity for me," said Williams. "It's my goal to continue the rich history of Sanibel. I like the setting of Sanibel and way the city and island have handled its culture and the natural element."
Williams will be overseeing the city's utility department and water services as well as continuing to provide the island with safe, well maintained roads, shared use paths, parks and public beach accesses.
Williams and his wife, Tiffany, have three sons ages 8, 5 and 2.