Sarasota, Florida–Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy (NBPC) is excited to announce the appointment of Bruce C. Patneaude as its Chief Operating Officer.
Patneaude joined NBPC in August 2022 as Vice President of Operations. Before joining NBPC, Bruce served as Vice President of Operations at IMG Academy for 12 years managing more than 150 employees, achieving significant operational efficiencies and successfully leading functional teams through tremendous programmatic growth and expansion of facilities including overseeing $100 million in new construction.
Patneaude takes the reigns from Stephen V. Rodriguez who will be transitioning out of his current role in early March. Rodriguez joined NBPC, formerly Suncoast Aquatic and Nature Center Associates (SANCA), in 2017, just prior to the World Rowing Championships. Rodriguez stewarded the park through challenges including two named hurricanes and a global pandemic. He also attracted and hosted major championships, grew programming including growing the sport of dragon boat paddling and launched community events such as Fireworks on the Lake and Trick or Treat on the Lake. Notable championships hosted at the park during his tenure include the 2017 World Rowing Championships, 2018 World Rowing Masters Regatta, 2019 World Rowing U23 Championships, three NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships and the 2022 International Dragon Boat Club Crew World Championships.
“On behalf of the Board, we are grateful to Stephen for his contributions and leadership,” said Michael Taaffe, chair of Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy’s Board of Trustees. “As a new chapter for the park is set to begin, we will continue to build on the success of recent years including attracting major international sporting events to the region and building the new multi-sport indoor complex. We welcome Bruce and are confident he has the skills and experience to expertly lead the park’s future.”
The park has a full roster of events and team trainings slated for 2023. These include USRowing Youth National Championships in June, Sarasota-Bradenton Triathlon in March, USA Swimming Open Water Championships in April and United States Dragon Boat Federation’s Club Crew National Championships in July.
About the Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy
The Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy is a not-for-profit 501c3 business created to manage Nathan Benderson Park, a community/public asset and world-class, multi-use sports venue. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for our community and be an economic generator for our region. The Conservancy’s primary purpose is to develop and promote the park as a world-class event center, team training site and Sarasota County park, while providing outreach programs through recreation, safety training, education and volunteering as a service to our community. See more at nathanbendersonpark.org.