PALMETTO, Florida – Already moving record cargo volumes, recently rechristened SeaPort Manatee is bolstering its senior staff with addition of Dan Fitz-Patrick in the newly created position of director of planning and project development.
“As SeaPort Manatee advances initiatives to adeptly meet global commerce demands for generations to come, I look forward to playing a role in guiding future growth of Manatee County’s seaport,” Fitz-Patrick said today [Tuesday, March 1].
Fitz-Patrick comes aboard at SeaPort Manatee following nearly seven years with the Florida Department of Transportation, having served since 2018 as manager of FDOT’s Seaport Office and for three preceding years as state seaport program coordinator. With FDOT, Fitz-Patrick facilitated state participation in more than 100 seaport infrastructure projects spanning Florida’s 14 active deepwater ports.
Prior to joining FDOT, Fitz-Patrick was coastal planner with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, hazard mitigation planner with the Florida Division of Emergency Management and instructor of urban planning at Florida State University, in addition to holding planning and teaching positions at Valley Forge National Historic Park, Brandywine Land Conservancy, Environmental Resource Management, Cumberland Geotechnical Consultants, Bryn Mawr College and West Chester University, all in Pennsylvania.
Fitz-Patrick earned master’s degrees from Florida State University and West Chester University and a bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He holds professional designations from the Certified Port Executive Program (CPE) and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). He has served since 2017 as a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Standing Committee on Ports and Channels.
“SeaPort Manatee is delighted to enhance its senior management team with the vast professional capabilities of Dan Fitz-Patrick,” said Carlos Buqueras, SeaPort Manatee’s executive director. “Dan is swiftly assuming an integral role in establishing a solid foundation of sustained growth of SeaPort Manatee as the preferred global gateway for Southwest and Central Florida and beyond.”
Relaunched in February as SeaPort Manatee, Manatee County’s seaport handled all-time-high activity in its fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2021, including a record 135,660 twenty-foot-equivalent units of containerized cargo, up 53.3 percent from fiscal 2020 and more than 3 1/2 times the container throughput in fiscal 2018. Meanwhile, an expert consulting team is working to complete an updated port master plan to lay the groundwork for future infrastructure development on thousands of acres both on and adjacent to SeaPort Manatee’s waterfront facilities.
Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” SeaPort Manatee is a dynamic global trade hub, serving as the vibrant ships-to-shelves gateway for burgeoning Southwest and Central Florida markets. The closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, SeaPort Manatee offers 10 deep-draft berths, proficiently fulfilling diverse demands of container, liquid and dry bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The self-sustaining port generates more than $3.9 billion in annual economic impacts while providing for more than 27,000 direct and indirect jobs – all without benefit of local property tax support.
Director of Communications and Public Relations