By Staff report
Posted Sep 21, 2017 at 8:28 AM Updated Sep 21, 2017 at 5:21 PM
Randy Benderson, CEO and director of Manatee County’s Benderson Development Co. and leader of the Nathan Benderson Community Park Foundation, has been named USRowing Man of the Year, the national sports federation said in a news release at 11:14 a.m. Thursday.
That was a corrected release, because at 7:48 a.m. the Princeton, New Jersey-based organization had announced that the annual award had been won by Sarasota Crew executive director and head coach Casey Galvanek.
“Randy Benderson is our Man of the Year,” USRowing spokeswoman Allison Mueller said in a brief telephone interview. “Casey Galvanek was in the running and we just made a mistake.”
USRowing said the award is presented “in recognition of outstanding contributions to men’s rowing and/or to an outstanding man in rowing.”
Randy Benderson is a member of the board of the Nathan Benderson Park Foundation, which is responsible for raising private funds to partially support construction at the Nathan Benderson Park rowing facility. He was instrumental in securing the bid to bring the 2017 World Rowing Championships back to the United States for the first time in 20 years.
Benderson Development, one of the nation’s largest private real estate companies — owning, developing and managing retail, commercial, hotel and residential properties in 38 states — worked with Sarasota and Manatee County officials and world rowing experts to transform Cooper Creek Park into a world class international rowing course, USRowing noted.
“I am very honored by USRowing’s award,” Randy Benderson said Thursday in an emailed statement.
“There are countless members of our community who worked tirelessly to make Nathan Benderson Park a world-class rowing facility. The partnership built by Sarasota and Manatee counties and the state of Florida, along with our local rowing clubs, has deepened our sense of community and elevated our local rowers to a national and international stage.
“The World Rowing Championships couldn’t be a better reflection of what’s possible when our community works together. The park was graciously named in honor of my dad a number of years ago and I couldn’t be prouder that it has become a place where young rowers and rowers and paddlers who are young at heart come together to build and celebrate their health and well being.
“This is a great moment for our community and I’m deeply grateful to USRowing for making it happen with us.”
Benderson is a member of the board of directors of Kobernick House of Sarasota and the International Council of Shopping Centers. He also received the “Excellence in Leadership Award” for the Buffalo United Way Campaign and was a co-recipient of the 2008 National Federation for Just Communities Family Philanthropy Award.
Born and raised in western New York, Benderson and his wife, Lori, moved to Sarasota in 2003 when the Benderson corporate headquarters were moved here.
The earlier release cited Galvanek’s successes at Sarasota Crew and as a junior national team coach.