Nora Patterson was elected to the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners in 1998. Commissioner Patterson represents the county and chairs the Sarasota County Tourist Development Council. She also represents the County on the Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the Peace River Authority. In addition, she serves on RESTORE (the Gulf Coast Consortium) the FAC coalition authorized by the governor to develop a plan regarding BP settlement money.
Mrs. Patterson brings a diverse background to her office. A native of New York City, she has lived in Florida since the late 1960’s. She attended Duke University and holds a BA in Psychology and a post graduate degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Florida. Her first job was as a teacher. In 1970, she and her husband John moved to Sarasota and became very active in the community, serving on boards of a number of civic organizations, while co-owning and operating a garden center and raising their daughter Kimberly. After selling her business several years later, Mrs. Patterson became a real estate broker/salesperson.
In 1991, she was elected to the Sarasota City Commission and served two, four year terms. During her tenure, she held a seat on the Manasota League of Cities, which she chaired for two years, and she served on the Executive Board of Directors of the Florida League of Cities. Mrs. Patterson also served as Mayor of the City of Sarasota from 1994-95. She was appointed by the Governor and served two years on Florida’s Legislative Committee on Intergovernmental Relations from 1996-98.
Mrs. Patterson and her husband John were awarded the 2005 'She Knows Where She's Going Visionary Award' by Girls Inc. of Sarasota County and also the Community Youth Development "Leadership Award." Mrs. Patterson was named in 2001 a “Women in Power” for her leadership by the National Council of Jewish Women of Sarasota/Manatee and was chosen in 2003 as Siesta Key’s Citizen of the Year by the Siesta Key Association. In 2010, she received an award by the Sarasota Republican Executive Committee as the Sarasota County Elected Official of the Year.
She has been re-elected three times to the Sarasota County Commission, twice without opposition, and is now serving her fourth term.