The City of Cleveland, Ohio is seeking a Director of Parks and Recreation to be part of a team that reflects the diversity of the city and is committed to delivering modern, neighborhood based and responsive parks, recreation, and services. The City of Cleveland has a proud history as the healthcare capital of the world and the home of manufacturing. It is that ingenuity, grit, and resilience that they share as Clevelanders that will drive the new wave of leadership and innovation. The City of Cleveland employs over 8,000 people dedicated to public service. The city is looking for an emerging and experienced leader to help move the parks and recreation department forward. 

The city is seeking a Director of Parks and Recreation with both technical expertise and strategic vision for modernizing parks, amenities, facilities, and programs, creating and implementing a new playbook for Parks and Recreation Department as parks and recreation has been within the Public Works Department. This position reports directly to the Chief Operating Officer.

The Director of Parks and Recreation provides effective leadership for the city in designing, implementing, and evaluating organizational development and performance management programs. The Director of Parks and Recreation directs all activities of the Parks and Recreation Department. Work involves planning, organizing, directing, and coordinating activities of the department, including recreation and parks; and performs related work as required; to coordinate assigned activities with other city departments and outside agencies, organizations, and the public.

The Ideal Candidate Will Be: 

  1. Strategic and collaborative leader who understands how to achieve financial excellence and sustainability while looking ahead to changing service needs.
  2. An excellent communicator and listener who possesses a high degree of social and emotional intelligence. 
  3. A builder of strong partnerships and consensus at all levels of the organization through sound analysis, effective communication processes, and strategic planning.
  4. An approachable and supportive leader with a proven record of developing high performing teams. 
  5. A visionary leader who can develop the department’s mission, goals, and strategies in alignment with the city’s priorities and commitments.
  6. A transparent, knowledgeable, and engaged leader able to advocate for the profession and build trust with all stakeholders, including department team members, advisory boards, and the governing body.
  7. Innovative and experienced in identifying emerging industry trends and opportunities and able to effectively implement best practice solutions.
  8. Able to balance the needs for strategic thinking and direction with the day-to-day operations, cultivating a positive morale throughout the department.
  9. A strong, decisive, collaborative leader who can combine vision, strategy, and innovation.
  10. Able to upgrade current Parks and Recreation processes and refocus systems to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of the department’s key functions.
  11. An empathetic leader with an enterprising spirit and demonstrated success as an innovative change agent and initiative-taking strategist. 
  12. Experienced in principles of good governance making well-researched, data driven recommendations while building consensus with stakeholders.
Candidate Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation, or a related field. A master’s degree is a plus. 
  • At least ten (10) years’ experience in parks and recreation, with five (5) of those years served in a management capacity. Municipal or public sector experience is a plus.
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of all functions and facets of parks and recreation.
License or Certificate 

Possession of, or ability to obtain, a valid driver's license. 
Possession of, or ability to become, certified executive by the National Recreation and Park Association.
Compensation & Benefits

The expected hiring range for this position is $150,000 to $175,000 DOQ. A generous benefit and retirement package is also offered by the city.
Candidates must apply by Monday, July 22, 2024, with a resume, cover letter and contact information for five work-related references to to the attention of Chuck Balling, Vice President, or Joe DeLuce, Vice President, GovHR USA, 630 Dundee Road, #225, Northbrook, IL 60062. Tel: 847-380-3240 Ext.130 or Ext.155.

The City of Cleveland, Ohio is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Application Deadline: July 22, 2024

Posted: 2024-07-11

To apply for this job please visit

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