Director of Parks, Recreation, and Community Resource
What is your main responsibility?
My role oversees the day-to-day operations of our department, to include both the recreation and operations divisions.
How big is your team, and what is it responsible for?
Currently, our team consists of 31 fulltime and eight part-time team members, along with many seasonal (workers). The team is responsible for the Acworth Community Center, all city programs and events, 12 parks spanning 800 acres, 10 indoor facilities, 10 baseball fields, two football fields, the Horizon Field, and oversight of the Acworth Lake Authority, Tree Commission and the Acworth Housing Authority. We also maintain Liberty Hill Cemetery and the landscaping throughout the Historic Downtown District.
Describe your first month on the job.
It has been busy! The challenge has been to find the balance of our people, tasks and meetings. It’s also in my nature to know everything I need to know immediately, but (I am) just reminding myself it takes time. I appreciate the support that I’ve been given, and the grace shown.
When did you start working for the city and what is your background?
I started with the city of Acworth in July 2012 as an assistant recreation coordinator. Prior to that position, I was a recreation coordinator for Cherokee County for seven years, then a sports manager with Special Olympics Georgia for almost five years. I earned my bachelor’s degree in sport management from Western Carolina University, with a minor in marketing.
What kinds of growth/changes have you seen in Acworth?
The growth in the city and within our department has been amazing over these past nine years. Our community is so fortunate to have visionaries amongst our mayor and City Council members. Specifically, to our department, I’ve witnessed the replacement of an outdated playground, the expansion of Logan Farm Park, trail extensions, baseball field renovations, construction of Depot Park and Doyal Hill Park, as well as the construction of the Acworth Community Center. This has all tied in with the overall redevelopment of the Parkside District.
What has been the biggest surprise about your job?
The amount of support that we receive from other city departments and our community partners. Everyone is willing to step in to help wherever needed, whether it’s their job or not. We are all working toward the common goal of creating a great quality of life. It’s not really been a surprise, but it certainly is special to witness.
What can residents expect to see from your department?
James Albright (former director, recently named city manager) left an amazing legacy with our department, and it’s an honor to follow in his footsteps. We will continue to pride ourselves on the opportunities we offer through our programs and events. We will look for new and efficient ways to maintain our parks, keeping them to the high standard that our community has been accustomed to. We look forward to being called on by the community for ways we can assist.
We do have a few projects on the horizon. Expect to see the Rosenwald School renovations moving forward, as well as the update and opening of the caboose. We are also excited about some big transformations at Cauble Park in the next 3-5 years, thanks to the SPLOST program.
What services are people surprised to learn that your department offers?
We truly have something for everyone! We offer programs and events for little ones, active adults, and everyone in between. If you’re not interested in structured programs or leagues, you can visit any of our parks, trails, beaches or the Acworth Community Center. It’s hard to be bored in Acworth, between parks, programs and events! Citizens from Acworth and the surrounding areas are always surprised that they can participate in our open play pickleball, open play basketball and walking track free of charge.
What do you like most about your job and the Acworth community?
I am most excited about continuing to serve and make an impact in our community. Acworth is truly a special place, with many special people, and I’m proud to call it home.
Tell us about your family and hobbies.
My wife, Amber, and I live in downtown Acworth with our three dogs. We love visiting our state parks, and most recently have begun traveling to our national parks, with the goal of visiting them all one day. You can find us watching football in the fall, camping in the spring and exploring during the summer. I am also a proud member of the North Cobb Rotary Club.