Virginia Beach, VA (PressExposure) July 21, 2009 -- Whether on land or at sea, Donald "Pat" Patterson was a benevolent force to be reckoned with.
As the executive vice president of Landmark Communications and president of Landmarkâs broadcasting division until his retirement in 2004, Pat was known throughout Hampton Roads, VA as an astute business man with a heart of gold. Later that same year, he parlayed those virtues into his role as president and CEO of SteelMaster Buildings in Virginia Beach, VA, and remained in that capacity until his death from cancer in July 2008. Ever the eternal sailor, Patâs passion for the art of sailing was another big part of his life. He sailed for recreation as well as for sport. In 2006, Patâs boat "Orion" placed 2nd in the Onion Patch Race from Newport to Bermuda.
His love for his family and his community served as a compass that pointed him toward serving in leadership roles for such organizations as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Norfolk State University, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, the Schooner Project, and the Neptune Festival just to name few.
With that in mind, it is befitting that on the 1st anniversary of his death, the Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach, VA is poised to open a new reptile, amphibian, and bird exhibit housed in a SteelMaster building which was donated by Pat and the company that he and fellow founder Rhae Adams managed. "Pat saw a need in the steel building industry for a company that was fully committed to his core values of integrity, ethics, and responsibility to customers," says Michelle Wickum, SteelMaster's marketing director. âHe recognized those same values in the work being done at the Virginia Aquarium, and he wanted to help them further their mission any way he could."
Dorcas Browning is the president of the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Foundation, the same position Pat held years ago when he was also the foundationâs capital campaign chairman. Browning says that Patâs legacy is still very much alive among those working with the foundation and throughout the aquarium. "The Foundation benefitted from his discipline, energy, and passion for our conservation through education mission," says Browning. "Pat's legacy to the Virginia Aquarium is more than just a building, exhibit, or funding. He embodies the spirit of dedication to a cause and pride in community treasures like the aquarium. He is an inspiration to us all, and we were fortunate to have shared his life."
For more information on SteelMaster, visit http://www.steelmasterusa.com or call (800) 341-7007.