UNIVERSITY PARK -- The Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates Inc. Board spent most of its meeting Wednesday discussing its image in the community.
The board discussed branding and logo changes to make Nathan Benderson Park's rowing facility more welcoming to community members and world-class athletes.
The board also hired an investigator to conduct an external review of Paul Blackketter's tirade caught on video.
The SANCA board chose former FBI agent Kelly James Thomas to conduct an external review of a video in which Blackketter, the nonprofit's president, screamed and used expletives.
Ronald Shapo, SANCA board member and senior counsel with Holland & Knight, said: "It is my recommendation, not because of the fees as much as the background, that we engage Thomas."
He cited Thomas' FBI background and experience in external investigations as the main reasons for his recommendation. The board approved Thomas unanimously.
Shapo has "headed the investigation," said Bill Robinson, board president and co-owner of Bradenton business Fit2Run.
Robinson asked Shapo how long he expects the investigation to take and how much of it will be made public.
Shapo said the investigation should take weeks, rather than months, and he expects he investigator will give a full report to the board, including an explanation of his methodologies. It is unclear how much of that process will be public information.
"The conclusions will be public, I'm sure," Shapo said. "Whether or not every detail of what he does will be public, I'm not sure."
Blackketter remained silent throughout the discussion about the investigation. He spoke of his personal growth during the president's report.
"A lot of growth has been taking place," Blackketter said. "I got in touch with my preacher and had a good conversation and I actually went to speak to a counselor."
He and the counselor discovered he has two trigger points, he said, and Blackketter should continue to be cognizant of those trigger points.
"You learn a lot from those different things and reflect," Blackketter said. "I had a Paul day and did things I felt like I needed to do; visit with my dad, go out and visit with my best friend. I took a timeout for five to six years since this rowing facility started and I never really took time for Paul."
Blackketter said he learned an important lesson about work-life balance.
During the branding and logo change discussion, Nicole Rissler, SANCA chief operating officer, said the new plans going forward focus on making sure the facility is as welcoming to community members as it is for world-class athletes.
"World class is how and what we deliver but we need to communicate it in a way that does not disassociate community park users," Rissler said. "At end of the day, you don't have to be a world-class athlete to use this park."
Though there was some disagreement about the new park logo designed by Sarasota County and presented by Carolyn Brown, director of the Sarasota County Park and Recreation Department, the board agreed they could all learn to love it.
"No disrespect to your team, but we would've been much happier if we'd had a little say," said Joanne Fava, sports medicine chiropractic physician and SANCA board member.
The logo will be used in marketing materials for events such as the 2016 Olympic team rowing trials. Blackketter provided an update about the finishing tower.
"Sarasota County had a list of things they wanted to see and we are incorporating line items into the agreement," Blackketter said.
Janelle O'Dea, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow her on Twitter@jayohday.