WCI Communities Ranked 39 February 17 marked a day of change for Bonita Springs, Fla.–based WCI Communities. On that day, the company announced both its acquisition of Reston, Va.–based Renaissance Housing Corp. and Al Hoffman's move from company CEO to chairman of the board. “Part of the responsibility of a CEO is succession planning and making a change before it's needed,” says the 71-year-old Hoffman, who was replaced by WCI's president, Jerry Starkey. “My major interests right now are less in operations than they are in setting the vision, the dream, and the strategy.”

During Hoffman's 20-year tenure at WCI and its predecessor, Westinghouse Communities, he's executed the company's strategy of creating amenitized communities for active adults and vacation-home buyers. That strategy's taken the company to Northeast markets with similar buyers. “They're geographically outside Florida, but they're entirely in keeping with the strategic plan for Florida,” Hoffman says.

As for Hoffman's future: He plans to take “a long break,” but will remain active in the arts community and with an assisted living company he helped found. “You're only as young as your newest project,” he says. “I intend to have a lot of new projects.”