SE MI Heritage Tourism Networking Event featured speaker bio: Scott J. Bentley


Scott J. Bentley, former Superintendent at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in Texas, is the first Superintendent of the River Raisin National Battlefield Park located in Monroe, Mich. 

Scott J. Bentley, Superintendent, River Raisin National Battlefield Park


Bentley, a 19-year National Park Service (NPS) veteran and native of Hillsdale, Michigan, reported for this new position on January 16, 2011.

“Scott brings experience as a Superintendent of three very different NPS units and as the first Chief of Operations at the start-up Oklahoma City National Memorial with him to River Raisin National Battlefield Park.  He has a track record of innovative leadership, successful partnerships with community organizations and local governments, and a broad knowledge of the breadth of challenges of managing a national park, especially a new site,” said Ernest Quintana, director of the NPS 13-state Midwest Region. 

 “I’m delighted that Scott has accepted the assignment to be the first Superintendent at River Raisin National Battlefield Park, and we welcome him back to the Midwest Region.” Quintana added.

 “It is a great privilege and honor to be selected by Regional Director Quintana to serve as the first Superintendent of River Raisin National Battlefield Park in my home state of Michigan.”   

Bentley added, “I look forward to working with the many dedicated individuals and organizations that have tirelessly fought to bring national recognition to the significance of the Battle of the River Raisin.  Together we will ensure all Americans remember the rally cry of the Raisin and the lessons of virtue that continue to ensure America’s liberty for our children.”

Bentley’s NPS career has been broad and varied, both professionally and geographically.  He joined the NPS in 1991 as a Park Ranger at Yellowstone National Park.  Following Yellowstone, Bentley served as a Park Ranger at San Antonio Missions NHP, as a Supervisory Park Ranger at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and as the Chief of Operations for the opening of Oklahoma City National Memorial before becoming a Superintendent. 

 In Oklahoma City, Bentley was instrumental in shaping an unprecedented partnership at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and implementing startup operations for this world class memorial.  

Prior to accepting the position of Superintendent at San Antonio Missions NHP, Bentley served as the Superintendent of George Washington Carver National Monument (NM) in Diamond, Mo., and then at Assateague Island National Seashore (NS) along the Maryland and Virginia coasts.  He also served on a detail in Washington D.C. as a special assistant to the NPS Director responsible for the kick-off of the NPS Centennial.   

Bentley brings innovation to the NPS

To reach new audiences and engage visitors at San Antonio Missions NHP, Bentley oversaw the development and implementation of a series of new cell phone tours, pod casts, interactive virtual tours using 3-D LASER/LIDAR imaging technology in partnership with CyArk, and created the NPS’s first virtual visitor logbook

 Bentley also oversaw NPS components of a $300 million partnership project to restore and reconnect the San Antonio River to the historic Missions. 

 At George Washington Carver NM, he worked with the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands to fully evaluate the short- and long-term effectiveness of park interpretive techniques, and guided the development of numerous interactive interpretive exhibits at a new visitor education center at the monument while simultaneously completing final land acquisition and environmental remediation necessary to complete the national monument.

 He worked again with the Institute while at Assateague Island NS to conduct an in-depth visitor survey to fully learn about the motivations, expectations, interests, and needs of visitors, to plan a new visitor center and visitor center exhibits, and to guide general management planning for the seashore.

Personally speaking

Bentley graduated magna cum laude from Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.  He met his wife Maryne while they were both working for the NPS in Yellowstone National Park.  Maryne has a passion for giving back to her community through an assortment of volunteer opportunities. 

 The Bentley’s have two children, Joshua, 19, and Andrew, 14.   Spending time doing a variety of outdoor recreational activities with his family and helping others tops Scott’s list of the best ways to spend his free time.

Bentley has received numerous Special Achievement Awards and recognition for his contributions to achieving the mission of the NPS including a National Accessibility Award, Federal Employee of the Year Award, and the national Andrew Clark Hecht Memorial Public Safety Achievement Award. 

About the River Raisin National Battlefield Park

Authorized in 2009 and established earlier this month, River Raisin National Battlefield Park commemorates two consecutive battles in January 1813 between American forces and the British and their American Indian allies during the War of 1812.  Although American forces were victorious in the first battle, the second ended in the most disastrous defeat for the U.S. during the war; a devastating loss that included mass killing of the wounded. 

 Perhaps the most historically significant event to emerge from the battles was the cry, “Remember the Raisin!” which persuaded forces to fight successfully at the Battle of the Thames later that year.  The American victory at the Battle of the Thames sealed the War of 1812 in the western theater for the Americans; however, it claimed the life of the great Shawnee leader Chief Tecumseh.       


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