bid for a rowing regatta Suddenly, he spots it: trash at the lake's edge, near one of two bridges that have been built to connect to a man made island.
Grabbing a walkie talkie off the boat's center console, he calls to Benderson Development Co. employees volunteering on shore and requests that the litter be removed.For the former military man and Benderson executive, anything amiss becomes something in need of a solution. But on that particular April weekend, the stakes for Blackketter and for Southwest Florida's bid to attract major rowing competitions had rarely been higher.That is because April 15 marked the day officials from rowing's international governing body were inspecting the park, in advance of awarding the 2017 World Rowing Championships.Blackketter will be center stage next month, too, both when he, Benderson executives and Sarasota County government and tourism officials submit a final bid package to the International Federation of Rowing Associations, and again when the group makes a formal pitch in Switzerland to to host the 10 day event.If this courtship is successful, a vast team of public and private partners will have transformed a former shell excavation pit used for construction fill into a world class rowing center one that could have major tourism implications for decades to come.For Blackketter, the trips also will cap a long and unlikely journey that began far away from water and rowing."I was a football player; I didn't know a thing about rowing outside of those motivational posters you used to see in classrooms," Blackketter said. "But I saw an opportunity here."Blackketter, a former Benderson retail planner, is now chief operating officer for the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Association, a nonprofit that is directing development at the park that bears the name of the Benderson family business' late patriarch.In that role, oakley fuel cell polarized Blackketter is leading volunteers, together with county and tourism officials, in what has emerged as Southwest Florida's greatest sports tourism venture to date.It all began about a decade ago, when a high school rowing coach saw potential in the large body of water that ran alongside Interstate 75 east of Honore Avenue and south of University Parkway.In time, Benderson Development President Randy Benderson black and purple oakley sunglasses would personally tap the rowing novice to captain the project and make it a reality."Paul has demonstrated a unique expertise in working with diverse constituencies, including municipalities and neighborhood groups, while heading the planning of our development projects," Benderson said.A Bradenton born military brat who grew up in Arkansas, Blackketter, 46, freely acknowledges he knew little or nothing about rowing.But through the years, Blackketter had amassed key knowledge, and used organizational and other skills that would prove valuable when applied to developing a rowing center."He was always that tough, big brother type," said Donna Garrett, his twin sister, who lives near Dallas. "I was lucky to have the protective brother in oakley sunglasses near me high school."At 18, he followed in father into the service and joined the Army, where he was an enlisted infantry mortar man. In 1991, he attended officer candidate school and attained the rank of second lieutenant in branched infantry."He was always a natural leader and never afraid to take charge," Garrett said.During his extended stint in the Army, Blackketter was deployed to 15 major natural disaster sites to assist those in need.He returned to Florida in the 1990s after Hurricane Andrew devastated the southern part of the state. Following the 9/11 terror attacks, he ran security operations at Orlando International Airport for six months.
In 2003, he was deployed to Iraq, where he spent a year developing relationships with local leaders and assisting in the reconstruction of the city of Ramadi.For his service there, he received a bronze star and a combat infantry badge.To this day, Blackketter is a major in the Army Reserves, where he is responsible for a ?? ? ??? brigade's logistical operations.
Prev: oakley gold sunglasses
Next: oakley aviators mens