The City of Fort Worth (pop. 935,508) is seeking an innovative strategic leader with strong tactical management and effective program implementation skills. The ideal candidate should possess significant large jurisdiction parks and open space operational experience who is a highly collaborative professional with excellent communications and community engagement abilities to fill the Assistant Director position of the Park & Recreation Department’s Park Operations Division. This position reports to the Park & Recreation Director, supervising a park operations staff of 122 full-time employees through five direct reports. The division has a total annual operating budget of $20 million for the 2024 budget year. The Park Operations Division actively maintains 263 parks (6,252 acres) and public spaces citywide within an overall park system of 300 parks (13,000 acres). 

The Assistant Director will assist the Director of Park & Recreation and other team members with the general leadership of the Park & Recreation Department. While overseeing their areas, the successful candidate will be expected to continuously demonstrate the character, interpersonal skills and judgment to create trust, deliver results, influence a positive and inclusive team culture.

The next Assistant Director of Park RecreationPark Operations Division shall:
  • Possess experience of setting high standards for park maintenance and operations for parks and open spaces guiding and holding staff accountable to meet and exceed service level standards.
  • Be a strategic and transformative leader with a strong commitment to excellent customer service and a highly motivated self-starter combined with a proven track record in the management of parks and open spaces.
  • Be a strong administrator with an engaging communication style and excellent listening skills.
  • Possess a strong park operations background with the ability to explore and develop creative approaches to challenging, fast-paced conditions and issues.
  • Have a vision for the future of parks and open spaces by planning out five to ten years and being prepared to continue to enhance a high standard of parks operations into the future.
The ideal candidate will effectively lead the activities of the Park Operations Division including but not limited to the following: 
  • Plan, coordinate, administer and evaluate current projects; ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws, regulations, codes and/or standards as well as City, Department and Division policy and procedures. 
  • Supervise staff (five direct reports) including the prioritization and assignment of work, conduct performance evaluations and make personnel decisions or recommendations. 
  • Assist with development and implementation of departmental goals, objectives, and policies as well as development and oversight of external and internal communication activities. 
  • Review park operations policies and procedures as well as maintenance programs and practices; review of all park operations resources and user fees as part of the annual budget process; oversee the development of the annual budget recommending the annual budget for the Park Operations Division. 
  • The candidate should have the ability to analyze and assess parks operational needs and make appropriate adjustments if required; prepare strategic business and annual work plans to implement and consistently meet enhanced service delivery standards; the candidate must demonstrate the capacity to set effective and equitable priorities to serve the needs of a demographically diverse community.
  • The candidate should have strong people skills including the experience and capacity to maintain positive employee morale and the ability to collaborate and build strong relationships with community organizations, neighborhood groups and other City departments. 
Key Projects and Initiatives:
The PARD is undergoing an Aspirational Study to determine how: “By the year 2030, the Fort Worth Park and Recreation Department will be recognized as one of the top 10 park and recreation departments in the nation.” 
The resultant Aspirational Plan will provide a blueprint of annual phased improvements in each of the next five fiscal years FY2025 – 2029. The Assistant Director of Park Operations will be expected to:

  • Develop and implement enhanced operation and maintenance standards; and identify, document, achieve and communicate performance metrics related to elevated service levels. 
  • Lead the development and implementation of service plans including the effective and timely allocation of operational resources. The candidate must have the ability to effectively guide and delegate the development and implementation of management service plans to meet new expectations and standards. 
  • Plan for and assume the management and operations of additional parks and open spaces of an increasingly growing park and open space system including the effective development of staff and service plans, the identification of technical equipment/technology needed to maintain additional park inventory in a consistent manner to high standards meeting or exceeding service level expectations. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to be an effective listener and creative and innovative problem solver. 
  • Capacity to plan for the operations and maintenance of future capital improvements and new properties developed and acquired through bond funded capital improvement programs, grants, contributions, park dedication fees and the annual cash capital reinvestment program.
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in recreation, physical education, public or business administration, or a related field, and six years of increasingly responsible experience in park maintenance operations, including three years of administrative and supervisory responsibility. 

Possession of a Valid Driver’s License at the time of hire. If licensed from another state, the candidate must have the ability to obtain a valid Texas Driver’s License within 90 days of employment.

One or more of the below is desired and preferred but not required:
  • Experience working within a large municipality.
  • Experience with the management and operations of multiple public parks, open space, and amenities.
  • Master’s in public administration is a plus.
  • CPRP (Certified Park and Recreation Professional) or CPRE (Certified Park and Recreation Executive) Certification is preferred.
Compensation & Benefits
The City of Fort Worth offers a competitive salary and benefits package.
The salary range for the position is $120,000 – $149,000 DOQ. The City offers tuition reimbursement to employees wishing to improve or continue their education. 
How To Apply
Candidates must apply by Monday, April 22, 2024, with resume, cover letter and contact information for five work-related references to the attention of Chuck Balling, Vice President, or Joe DeLuce, Vice President, GovHR USA, Tel: (847) 380-3240 x 130 or x 155.

The City of Fort Worth, Texas is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Application Deadline: April 22, 2024

Posted: 2024-04-06

To apply for this job please visit

Having trouble opening PDFs? Download Adobe Reader here.