The City of Fort Worth (pop. 935,508), ranked the 13 largest and one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., is seeking an innovative strategic leader with strong tactical management and effective program management skills. The ideal candidate to fill the Assistant Director position of the Park & Recreation Department’s Recreation Division is a highly collaborative professional with excellent communications and community engagement abilities and possesses extensive recreation management experience. This position reports to the Deputy Director of Park & Recreation, supervising Recreation staff of 483 total employees through seven direct reports. 

The Recreation Division will have a total annual operating budget of $14 million for the 2025 fiscal year. The Division actively manages 21 community centers, three aquatic facilities, the Log Cabin Village living history museum, the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, and other contracted recreational facilities and services. The Park & Recreation Department provides services, programs and opportunities that enhance the well-being of the community. Unique facilities such as skate parks, mountain bike trails, and dog parks reach a diverse population. Programs pertaining to fitness, nature, arts, culture, and education are offered throughout the Department.

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

The next Assistant Director of Park & Recreation-Recreation Division shall:
  • Have enthusiasm and energy for working at a fast pace with the ability to prioritize and delegate effectively.
  • Possess experience of setting high standards for recreation programs and services while 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 successful management and operation of a large and complex recreation department with multifaceted programs, facilities, and amenities.
  • Be a strong administrator with an engaging communication style and excellent listening skills.
  • Possess a strong recreation background with the ability to explore and develop creative approaches to challenging, fast-paced conditions and issues.
  • Have a vision for the future of recreation and services by planning five to ten years into the future, while continuing to enhance and improve current recreation programs and facilities.
The ideal candidate will effectively lead the activities of the Recreation Division including but not limited to the following: 
  • Plan, coordinate, administer and evaluate current recreation programs; ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws, regulations, codes and/or standards as well as City, Department and Division policies and procedures. 
  • Supervise staff (seven 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 the development and oversight of external and internal communication activities. 
  • Oversee the development of the annual budget for the Recreation Division, including the review of policies and procedures; programs and practices; and all resources and users.
  • Analyze and assess programs and services and make appropriate adjustments if required; prepare strategic business and annual work plans to implement and consistently meet enhanced service delivery standards. 
  • Set effective and equitable priorities to serve the needs of a demographically diverse community.
  • Possess 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, key partners, neighborhood groups, city leadership, elected officials, and other City departments. 
Key Projects and Initiatives:
  • Oversee the transition of seven community centers, 108 Authorized Positions and an additional $3.6M budget as the community centers are transitioned to the Park & Recreation Department from the Neighborhood Services Department
  • Oversee the grand opening of the new Northwest Community Center – expected to open in November of 2024.
  • Oversee the recreation program planning and assist with capital planning of the Stop Six Hub community center and pool.
Additionally, the Park & Recreation Department is undergoing an Aspirational Study to determine how: “By the year 2030, the Fort Worth Park & Recreation Department will be recognized as one of the top 10 park and recreation departments in the nation.”  

The Aspirational Plan will provide a blueprint of phased annual improvements in each of the next five fiscal years FY2025 – 2029. The Assistant Director of Recreation will be expected to implement the recommended program and facility enhancements from the plan.
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 programs and services, 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 community centers, aquatic facilities, and special use facilities.
  • Experience in developing innovative programs, special events, and services for the entire community.
  • 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 Friday, June 21, 2024, with resume, cover letter and contact information for five work-related references to the attention of Chuck Balling, Vice President, or Joe DeLuce, Senior 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: June 21, 2024

Posted: 2024-06-07

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