Debra M. Jacobs
President and CEO
In January 2009, Debra Jacobs became the President and CEO of The Patterson Foundation (TPF) based in Sarasota, Florida. TPF works with partners to accelerate positive change by sharing fresh perspectives on strategy, contributing new ideas, and providing resources. TPF believes the act of creative collaboration produces results and knowledge that can be applied more broadly to transcend any single act of philanthropy.
Before transitioning to TPF, Debra was President of the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, based in Sarasota, Florida. In addition to the Selby Foundation, she was responsible for the administration of eight other independent foundations.
Prior to joining the Selby Foundation in May 1998, Debra was the Vice President for Institutional Advancement for Ringling College of Art and Design. Debra came to this position after 11 years as Executive Vice President for SunTrust Bank, Gulf Coast. Before joining SunTrust in December 1985, she was Senior Vice President and Retail Division Administrator of Central Trust Company in Rochester, New York.
Debra received her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1971 and earned her MBA in 1981 from the University of Rochester.
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In May 2015, Beth Duda became one of the driving forces of the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is an initiative for Manatee and Sarasota counties that is designed to explore new ways to deliver the support and resources children need to achieve reading proficiency early in life and build a strong foundation for future success. An award-winning playwright and educator, Beth's twenty years of experiences working with students in elementary schools as Director of Education for Florida Studio Theatre fuel her commitment to improving reading proficiency in our region and beyond.
Beth developed an innovative outreach program focused on literacy, emotional connections, and self-expression with a focus on children and young people who did not normally attend the theater — often children at the poverty level or below. Since the program's inception in 1992, Beth and her team of teaching artists reached thousands of students, teaching life lessons in collaboration, acceptance, and understanding. Beth also developed a performing arts program for special needs youth and piloted video conferencing workshops for K–5 classrooms.
Working with The Patterson Foundation, Beth directed the community dedication of Patriot Plaza, a 2,800-seat ceremonial amphitheater at Sarasota National Cemetery. Following the dedication, she conceived and directed "Celebrate Service & Sacrifice" at Patriot Plaza for an audience comprised of guests from 25 states and the District of Columbia.
Beth has written, co-written, and conceived several one-act plays including "Rumplestiltskin, A Modern Twist on a Classic Tale," "RAP-Punzel," "The Frog Prince," and "Jack and the Enchanted Beanstalk." Her full-length play, "Up To Home," was a semifinal selection at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center. In Beth's twenty-plus years of arts education, her sensitive and visionary approach to educating and learning has inspired students, parents, and teachers.
Beth was raised in Central New York and received her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from SUNY-Oswego.
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Nancy Henry joined The Patterson Foundation (TPF) in July 2010 as Office Manager, handling each and every aspect of TPF's office management, as well as the President/CEO's calendar.
After moving to Sarasota, Florida, in January 2008, her love of animals and interest in animal welfare brought her communication and customer service skills to Animal Rescue Coalition as a Community Outreach Assistant for their spay/neuter program. This role soon led to her promotion as Office Manager.
Nancy's diverse 20-year administrative career began in Vancouver, British Columbia, working primarily in the lumber exporting industry in various senior administrative assistant roles, sales, customer service, and event planning.
With Florida now her home, her leisure time is spent with her husband, Dave, and all their fur babies.
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Stacy Sternberg believes that life experience forms a person, and her path to becoming the Communications Coordinator for The Patterson Foundation (TPF) is anything but linear. She also believes that things happen for a reason, so when she decided to move back to Sarasota, the timing for TPF's call for a Communications Coordinator was serendipitous. Stacy is responsible for executing strategies that maximize communications opportunities for TPF including website updates, newsletters, support for social media efforts, and support for other public-focusing activities.
Stacy holds a BFA from Ringling College of Art and Design and a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Upon graduation, she traveled to New Delhi, India, for a three-month art residency at Global Arts Village. After completion, she spent a brief time in the United States working for William Massie Architecture before traveling to Mustique, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. In Mustique, she worked as a sculptor, fabricator, and liaison for both William Massie Architecture and Sutherland Studios for almost four years. As she evolved, her passions grew to include the digital world as a creative outlet. In 2011, Stacy returned to the United States where she interned with Andre Freiats at AFX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, and simultaneously studied digital programs. In 2013, Stacy was introduced to the nonprofit world at Home of New Vision in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she learned to bridge her creativity with social good.
Stacy is interested in many things, but most currently she is re-exploring the head casting process to create a bronze bust, practicing mindfulness, and working on her cast iron balloon animals from the iron pour she attended in November 2016.
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Stacey Gadeken joined The Patterson Foundation in July 2017 as Administrative Support. She manages the schedule, coordinates lunches, and aids in other administrative duties as they arise.
Stacey has moved around her entire life, first as an Air Force brat and then as a coach’s wife. She lived in 11 states but, since 2012, Stacey is proud to call Bradenton her home.
In a past life, she was Mrs. Gadeken, a high school anatomy, biology, and chemistry teacher. In this life, when she is not changing the world at The Patterson Foundation, she volunteers at her sons’ schools, church, and as a leader with the Boy Scouts. Stacey enjoys traveling, sewing, reading, and practicing martial arts.