Rissler moving from COO of SANCA to Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources post

She will become deputy director of operations for the department

Nicole Rissler. Photo courtesy Sarasota County
Nicole Rissler. Photo courtesy Sarasota County

Less than a year after she left her position as director of sports at Visit Sarasota County to become chief operating officer of the Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center (SANCA) — which manages events at Nathan Benderson Park — Nicole Rissler has been named the new deputy director of operations for the Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department, the county announced this week.

Rissler joined SANCA on July 20, 2015. The most recent SANCA newsletter on the Benderson Park website says her focus with that organization was business development, expanding and elevating the level of events, “exploring new ways to generate revenue, and overseeing marketing and communications strategies.”

A county news release issued this week says Rissler, who accepted the conditional offer for the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources post, is expected to start in early May. It adds that she will serve in a leadership role assisting the department’s director, Carolyn Brown, “in planning, implementing, directing and managing all operational functions and resources of the department.”

Rissler will oversee five divisions: sports development and athletics; recreation and special events; natural area parks, preserves and trails; beaches and water access; and neighborhood parks and maintenance services, the release notes. In addition, the department’s quality assurance team reports directly to the deputy director of operations, the release adds.

“Nicole already has a great working relationship with the county and is very knowledgeable about how we operate from her experience with SANCA and Visit Sarasota County,” said Sarasota County Administrator Tom Harmer in the release. “We look forward to her joining the county’s team and serving the community in this role.”

In addition to working at Visit Sarasota County, Rissler served in leadership positions within Sarasota Family YMCA and the American Red Cross, the release notes. She also is a past chair of the county’s Parks Advisory and Recreation Council, the release continues.

“She is well known throughout the community and has a passion for parks,” said Brown in the release. “We welcome the opportunity to work with a professional who is bringing with her so many years of experience that have been invested into this community.”

Rissler earned a bachelor’s degree in sports and exercise science from Gettysburg College and then earned her master’s degree in business administration from Lynn University, where she later coached collegiate-level volleyball, the release adds.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources team and excited that I will be able to continue to have an active role in the success of Nathan Benderson Park along with all of the county’s great parks, beaches and preserves,” Rissler said in the release.