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Welcome To Nathan Benderson Park

About Us

Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy

at Nathan Benderson Park

About NBP

Located in Sarasota, Fla., Nathan Benderson Park is a unique 600-acre community park that includes North America’s premier 2,000-meter sprint rowing course and a regatta center.

One of a handful of sites in the United States identified as having all of the natural attributes that make up a world-class rowing and recreational facility, Nathan Benderson Park began hosting organized regatta competitions in 2009.

Top rowing facility in North America – Rowing News

More than $40 million has been committed to the facility’s development, including nine 2,000-meter racing lanes and straight shorelines, coaching lanes, wave attenuation, a multi-function boathouse and athlete training center, starting huts and finish towers, grand stands and a state-of-the-art-boat maintenance and testing facility.

As a result, the community park offers the perfect destination for a range of championship and recreational events, vendor opportunities, team training and development trips and so much more.

The Vision

Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy’s vision of Nathan Benderson Park is to serve as a global, innovative, and premier destination that welcomes and connects people, while fostering a healthy, sustainable and safe environment.

Located on

The beautiful Florida Suncoast

Visit and see what the area has to offer!

Acres

Meter Rowing Course

Mile Exercise Trail

Areas to rent for events

Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy

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 Nathan Benderson 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.

Staff

STEPHEN V. RODRIGUEZ

STEPHEN V. RODRIGUEZ

Interim CEO & Chief Operating Officer

Facility & Operations

MICHAEL WASHINGTON

DIRECTOR OF FACILITY OPERATIONS

BOB BERRY

BOB BERRY

MAINTENANCE MANAGER

BOB STEM

BOB STEM

MAINTENANCE TECHNICIAN

BOB BOUCHARD

BOB BOUCHARD

MAINTENANCE TECHNICIAN

Programs & Aquatics

Miriam Ward

Miriam Ward

PROGRAMS & AQUATIC MANAGER

Fiona Bowers

Fiona Bowers

PROGRAM COORDINATOR

ANGELA LONG

ANGELA LONG

HEAD PADDLING COACH

Events

SARAH KUPIEC

SARAH KUPIEC

DIRECTOR OF EVENTS & EVENT SERVICES

AMANDA SWEET

AMANDA SWEET

EVENT COORDINATOR

ACCOUNTING

Melanie Humlicek

Melanie Humlicek

Director Of Finance

ADMINISTRATION

Sandy Sacks

Sandy Sacks

EXECUTIVE OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR

Development

Betsy Mitchell

Betsy Mitchell

DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

Lynn Hobeck-Bates

Lynn Hobeck-Bates

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING

Douglas E. Jessmer

Douglas E. Jessmer

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Board of Directors

Michael Taaffe, J.D.

Michael Taaffe, J.D.

Chairman of the Board

Taaffe is a preeminent trial attorney and director of Shumaker’s Broker-Dealer and Data Breach Groups. He has a lifelong involvement with rowing, including service as a founding member and coach of Sarasota Crew, which he led to several regional, state and national championships.

Joanne Fava, D.C.

Joanne Fava, D.C.

Secretary

Fava has overseen the medical side of the park since the beginning. She also helms a successful sports medicine practice.

Curtis Jordan

Curtis Jordan

Chairman Elect

Jordan has more than 30 years of experience as an elite international and intercollegiate coach, most recently with USRowing. Jordan coached the U.S. men’s coxed four in 1988 and 1992, the men’s four and bronze-medal lightweight four in 1996, and the lightweight men’s four in 2000.

Ron Cutsinger

Ron Cutsinger

Director

Cutsinger, a Sarasota County commissioner, has been a financial advisor and is the owner and managing director of Waypoint Wealth Management, a full-service financial services firm, for nearly 30 years. He is an active water sports enthusiast.

Linda De Mello

Linda De Mello

Director

Linda’s career is distinguished by her leadership of complex, dynamic, and diverse organizations and communities in the fields of healthcare, career and workforce development, and higher education.  Linda recently served as the Manager of the Cross College Alliance (CCA), a remarkable 21st Century partnership of five universities and colleges in Sarasota Manatee committed to leveraging the assets of each institution to collaboratively enhance the learning opportunities for all students, the excellence of the region’s workforce, and the quality of life available to all members of the community.

Molly Jackson

Molly Jackson

Director

Jackson serves on the board of The Gulf Coast CEO Forum, and served on the board for Girls Inc. for the last 6 years. She often shares her talent and expertise from her retail banking/finance where she served as a vice president for a premier private banking operation, extensive retailing experience, and omni-channel marketing perspective to not only help grow and expand their retail businesses but to also support the community and many non-profit organizations.

Louis Kosiba

Louis Kosiba

Director

Louis Kosiba’s experience includes work with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (1988-2017) Manager Field Services (1988-1990), General Counsel (1990-2001), Executive Director (2001-2017), Teacher’s Retirement System (1983-1988) General Counsel Florida Commitment, 2017 Retired and moved to Lakewood Ranch, 2018 Co-Treasurer for “Vote Yes For The Legacy Trail Extension”, a political action committee ( Sarasota County), 2019 President of The Friends of The Legacy Trail, 2020 Treasurer for “ Vote Yes for Water and Land”, a political action committee ( Manatee County ), 2020 Campaign Steering Committee member for Wildlife Center of Southwest Florida.

Carolyn Mason

Carolyn Mason

Director

Mason is a Sarasota native who grew up in the Rosemary District, historically a Black community. She worked for the City of Sarasota for a decade, including stints as city commissioner from 1999-2003, and as mayor from 2001-03. In 2008, she became the first Black member of the Sarasota County Commission, and was its chairwoman in 2013 and 2015.

Jay Riley

Jay Riley

Director

Riley is the Senior Director of Corporate Partnerships and External Affairs for the Office of External Affairs and Government Relations, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee; works with current and potential partners across all USF campuses to strategically identify and access the institution’s vast resources. He works closely with students, faculty and staff to effectively manage mutually beneficial partnerships between the university and stakeholders.

The Mission

To manage and promote Nathan Benderson Park by providing recreational opportunities and facilities for people to enjoy and engage in activities that promote health and enhance the quality of life and environment, and to generate economic impact for our region.

Core Values

EXCEED EXPECTATIONS: To go from ordinary to extraordinary.

EMBRACE CHANGE: Unlimited thinking creates unlimited possibilities.

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: It is all about you.

VARIETY OF OPPORTUNITIES: Something for everyone.

HEALTH & WELLNESS: Provide and promote healthy lifestyle opportunities for our staff and community.

INTEGRITY: Do everything personally and professionally with the highest sense of ethical values.

VALUE PEOPLE: Enable individuals to learn their value to the community through recreational opportunities.  Our staff is our greatest resource and investment for success.

EDUCATE: Help the members of our community learn the importance of living a healthy lifestyle through the assistance of recreational programs. 

OUR COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION

Nathan Benderson Park is a community park and world-class event facility which welcomes and is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of individuals from throughout the world.  These individuals represent a diversity of backgrounds, identities and abilities. 

As stewards of the park, Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy is committed to creating and, continuously improving, an inclusive and equitable environment in which all visitors and staff members feel safe, respected and valued – regardless of any aspect of one’s identity, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, socioeconomic status, ability or age.  We strive to provide opportunities and access to all who wish to enjoy the Park. 

Sport makes Nathan Benderson Park unique and it is one of the major drivers of the Conservancy’s mission.  We recognize, celebrate and embrace the opportunity sport provides to unite a diversity of individuals in a common interest. 

Striving to have a Board and staff representative of a diversity of identities, the Conservancy celebrates our place in a diverse global community.  We embrace and recognize that representation and diversity of thought and perspective makes us stronger and best able to serve our global community.  

Park History

Situated just west of Interstate 75 in tropically beautiful Sarasota, Fla., Nathan Benderson Park is a unique 600-acre community park providing the public access to a picturesque 400-acre lake and an exciting world of recreational pursuits.

NBP is situated west of Interstate 75 and east of The Meadows residential community. In the early 1990s, Sarasota County purchased the site, which was an active shell excavation pit for road construction fill.

Cooper Creek enters the east side of the large lake and exits at the northwest corner. The newly constructed Cattlemen Road extension allows access to the park from Fruitville Road and University Parkway.

Nathan Benderson Park is one of only a handful of sites in North America identified as having all of the natural attributes that make up a premiere rowing facility. The park began hosting organized regatta competitions in 2009.

Athletes look forward to rowing on the park’s world-class, permanent, FISA Class A 2,000-meter sprint rowing and training course — the only such course in North America — while families and visitors can get on the water in a kayak, rowboat or stand up paddleboard, find a scenic spot to enjoy an afternoon picnic, or walk, run or bike our peaceful, neatly manicured trails encircling the shimmering lake. The choices are virtually endless and every moment takes place amid the sights and sounds of Florida’s pristine natural beauty – with the possibility of seeing an osprey, splashing fish or blooming flowers along the way.

Nathan Benderson Park is home to a range of international championships as well as a host of recreational activities for anyone who enjoys the outdoors – from dragon boat, canoe and kayak races to triathlon and cross-country events, 5- and 10k runs, corporate training events and more. The community park is also conveniently located immediately adjacent to University Town Center – Southwest Florida’s newest shopping, dining and entertainment destination.

Whether you’re an athlete in training or just looking for fun things to do outdoors, come spend some time with us at Nathan Benderson Park – the perfect backdrop for any recreational outing.

Park History

 

  • Sarasota County purchased the site in the early 1990s
  • In 2007, the Benderson Family donated $1 million to Sarasota County to transform Cooper Creek Park into a health and wellness destination
  • Subsequently, the county renamed the park after the late Nathan Benderson
  • Nathan Benderson, founder of Benderson Development, envisioned a community park where local residents could walk, bike and fish
  • In 2009, the park held its first successful regatta
  • In 2010, Nathan Benderson Park Conservancy (formerly Suncoast Aquatics Nature Associates, Inc.) was created
  • Construction at the park began in 2011 and is two-thirds complete
  • The Benderson Family Finish Tower was completed in 2017
  • A proposed boathouse and additional park infrastructure and amenities are in the future

PARK OPERATIONS

Nathan Benderson Park is open to the public and offers year-round recreational opportunities for all ages. Challenge your stamina with a walk, jog, or ride on our neatly manicured trails. Take to the water with a canoe, rowboat, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard. Enjoy an afternoon picnic with a picturesque backdrop of pristine natural beauty. Or become a spectator to a thrilling international championship event.

  • Boat ramp for small, non-motor watercraft, rowboats and kayaks
  • Running/biking trail encircling the picturesque 400-acre lake
  • A full calendar of championship events, community causes and more
  • Ample parking
  • Picnic areas
  • World class facilities
  • Pet friendly

General Inquiry