Director of Parks and Recreation City of Kennesaw
What is your main responsibility?
Along with the day-to-day operations, I am responsible for the implementation and execution of the department’s short
and long-term goals.
How big is your team, and what is it responsible for?
We will have 28 employees when we open the new Recreation Center this month. We have nine people on the maintenance side of our department. They are the ones who keep our parks beautiful and safe. We will have 11 people who work at the front desk at both of our locations (Ben Robertson Community Center and Recreation Center). They help with registrations of our programs and sports, or help with information and rentals of our facilities. The remaining eight are our administration team, which is in charge of our programming, events and facilities.
Describe a typical day.
No two days are the same. We are here to serve our community and to help enrich the lives of our citizens.
When were you hired, and what was your background?
I was hired in January 2019. I spent 16 years at Dalton Parks and Recreation before coming here. I have a degree from the University of Georgia in recreation administration. I played football for the (Georgia) Bulldogs and was a four-year starter.
What has been the biggest surprise about your job?
The support our department gets, from not only our mayor, council and city management, but also our citizens. When we have thousands of people show up for our events, it makes our department feel like it makes a difference in the quality of life for our citizens.
What do you like most about your job?
Having the opportunity to shape the present and future of Kennesaw is a great responsibility for every city employee. However, when you are the department head, you can truly leave your footprint on a city for generations to come, which is what I like most about my job.
What kinds of growth/changes have you seen?
My department has had quite a bit of change and growth in the three short years I have been here. The largest is the SPLOST projects the city has used to build new buildings and renovate existing parks. We have renovated an 18,500-square foot playground to make it one of the largest inclusive playgrounds in the country. This month, we are opening a new 42,000-square-foot Recreation Center with three basketball courts, a walking track, 6,500-square foot gymnastics center and two fitness rooms. We will be breaking ground on a new amphitheater in 2022 in the recently renovated Depot Park. It is truly amazing the projects that I have gotten to be a part of in the short time I have been here.
What services or features are offered that surprise people the most?
Most are surprised at the number of classes we offer. We have adult and youth classes. I also think people forget the facilities we have for rent. We have rooms that can accommodate 10 to 300 people. We have pavilions at Swift-Cantrell Park that are available to rent for birthday parties and family reunions.
What can residents expect to see from your department?
The addition of the Recreation Center will allow us to offer youth and adult basketball, volleyball and pickleball leagues. It will allow us to expand the impact we can have on the quality of life for Kennesaw residents.
What are your goals?
My goals professionally revolve around our department and ensuring we leave a mark on the community for years to come. Making sure the programs and events we offer are making lifetime memories for the people attending.
Tell us about your family and hobbies.
I have a wonderful wife of 27 years, Amy. She is a teacher and loves affecting lives as much as I do. I have a son, Jake, who also is a teacher and football coach. An interesting fact about Jake is he played football at Kennesaw State University and was a member of the inaugural team. My daughter, Carson, also works for the school system. She played golf at the University of North Georgia, where she earned All-Peach Belt Conference honors. I love deer hunting and trout fishing, and I am a motorcycle enthusiast.