PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Clearwater Marine Aquarium announced Friday its CEO, Frank Dame, announced his resignation from his position, effective Nov. 5.
Dame has served in various leadership roles at CMA for the past 15 years, most recently succeeding the previous CEO, David Yates.
According to CMA, Dame has been battling a rare form of blood cancer, called Myelodysplasia Syndromes (MDS), for almost two years and is expecting a bone marrow transplant, if eligible.
“It has been my absolute pleasure to serve this incredible organization,” said Dame in a letter to CMA stakeholders. “As I face and overcome my health challenges, I will always have CMA, its animals, dedicated employees, and mission in my heart.”
CMA’s Board of Directors will now lead a nationwide search for the next CEO. In the meantime, Executive Director of Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute Dr. James “Buddy” Powell will serve as president and CEO.
“Frank has truly poured his heart and soul into CMA over the past 15 years and we wish him and his family the very best as he addresses his health challenges,” said Board Chair Paul Auslander. “He is leaving CMA at its strongest financial condition in our history. Now, we will focus on searching for a worthy successor who, with this as a foundation, can lead the aquarium into the future.”
Dame will remain as Chairman Emeritus after he steps down and will serve as an ambassador to CMA and provide counsel to the board.