Mote Marine Laboratory is proud to welcome new Trustee Rod Hershberger, a Sarasota-area resident and local business leader.

Hershberger enhances Mote’s Board of Trustees with his enthusiasm and passion for the community, including his support of Mote’s campaign Oceans for All: Improving Access to Marine Science & Technology. This campaign reinforces the Lab’s Vision & Strategic Plan for the rebirth of Mote’s public outreach aquarium as the new Mote Science Education Aquarium, to be located at Nathan Benderson Park. Read more about this initiative here.

“Knowing that our oceans influence nearly every aspect of our lives and having a life-long love affair with salt water — on in or under it — I’m excited by the opportunity to serve as a Trustee of Mote Marine Laboratory,” said Hershberger. “Our goal has to be to give our children and grandchildren sustainably cleaner waters for their use and enjoyment.”

Hershberger is a co-founder and past CEO of PGT® Innovations, a Sarasota-based company. Founded in 1980, PGT® is the nation’s leading manufacturer of impact-resistant windows and doors. Hershberger has served PGT® in a variety of capacities, and following his retirement from the company in 2017, he now serves as the non-employee Chairman of the Board for PGT®.

While serving as the company’s CEO, Hershberger and PGT® supported the construction of the North American river otter habitat at Mote Aquarium. Otters and Their Waters, a 1,400 square feet, multi-story habitat, features PGT®, high-impact glass, giving guests clear views of Mote’s three resident otters.

“Rod has a great love for the oceans, and will be a powerfully energetic addition to Mote’s dedicated Board of Trustees,” said Mote President & CEO Dr. Michael P. Crosby. “As an entrepreneur that built a successful business enterprise, Rod will significantly bolster the unique culture of Mote’s entrepreneurial spirit for cutting-edge marine research and science education. Rod changed the paradigm in developing solutions for his field of business at PGT®.  I am confident his insightfulness and enthusiasm will help Mote continue pushing the frontiers of science to find innovative solutions that address challenges our oceans are facing.”

In addition to his Mote service, Hershberger supports a variety of other organizations in the Sarasota region, including service with the Argus Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, and the 2017 World Rowing Championships.

Mote’s Board of Trustees supports the Lab in its mission of advancing marine science, education and outreach. Read more about Mote’s Board of Trustees here.