The Director of Parks of Recreation reports to the Executive Director and oversees a staff of 134 career full-time employees plus numerous part-time and seasonal workers and tens of thousands of volunteer service hours. Nearly one-half of the full-time employees are represented by labor. The Director oversees a biennial budget of approximately $52 million.
The Director leads the administration, financial management, personnel and operations of the Parks and Recreation Department within Metro Parks. The Department is separated into three divisions: Business Operations, Community & Neighborhood Parks & Facilities, and Regional Parks and Attractions. Major assets include Point Defiance Park, Ruston Way waterfront parks, Point Defiance Boathouse & Marina, Meadow Park Golf Course, Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, they historic Seymour Botanical Conservatory, urban forestry, 6 community centers, 3 indoor pools and 2 outdoor pools, 10 spraygrounds, 46 playgrounds, dozens of neighborhood parks, and 87 miles of trails.
This position collaborates with the District’s two other Department Directors, Executive Cabinet members, elected Park Board Commissioners, and community stakeholders to provide vision, leadership, and decision-making that serves the needs of the Department, the District and the community.
Success in this role requires mastery of executive skills and behavioral competencies that support the District's overall performance and further its transformative impact on the communities and populations it serves. These executive skills and competencies include but are not limited to: strategic thinking; program strategy and alignment; leading and managing change; external awareness; financial management; workforce planning; cultural competency; champion of diversity and inclusion needs and strategies; stewardship; advocacy; external collaboration; entrepreneurship; mentoring staff; influencing others; building high performance; commitment to results; resilience; and accountability.
Provide expertise, information and assistance to the Executive Director regarding the planning, operation and maintenance of Parks and Recreation Department functions; assist in the formulation and development of District policies, procedures and programs.
Provide strategic direction, leadership, and vision for Parks and Recreation Department staff, programs, projects, budgets, operations, services, and activities.
Forecast changes impacting the Department and Agency and develop effective strategies in preparation for what lies ahead; be an agent for continuous improvement.
Establish Department goals, benchmarks and performance measurement objectives in accordance with the comprehensive strategic plan; implement strategies for providing services that provide measurable social and economic benefits to the community and contribute to the quality of life.
Plan and implement initiatives, programs and activities that develop, operate, and maintain park infrastructure, facilities, buildings, grounds, and services; evaluate programs and methods to assure job effectiveness and cost efficiency.
Direct the assessment of Recreation program needs and ensure the District's objectives and resources are focused on meeting those needs; monitor financial performance of revenue-supported activities to ensure that cost recovery targets are met.
Influence the development and implementation of the Capital Improvement Program, with a special emphasis on asset management.
Analyze resource needs and prepare budgets for maintenance, operations, and programs; analyze and review budget and financial data; control and authorize expenditures in accordance with established limitations; find innovative ways to stretch public resources to serve more people.
Forge partnerships with stakeholders, including the District’s foundations and fundraising partners; facilitate discussions with other agencies, organizations, and thought leaders to develop and translate business plans into opportunities for desired outcomes.
Promote and support diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and program offerings through staffing, promotions, training, and career development.
Participate in complex negotiations with contractors, concessionaires, consultants, private businesses, vendors, labor, and other public agencies.
Represent the District by participating on various community and professional committees or organizations; make public presentations to the community, professional, and academic organizations; attend, facilitate, lead and actively participate in division, District and external meetings.
Provide strategic leadership for the enhancement and operation of volunteer and alternative workforce programs to extend the District’s ability to serve.
Develop and advocate for legislation to further the interests of the Park District at the local, state, and national levels; analyze proposed legislation and regulations; participate in industry and intergovernmental activities to influence legislative and regulatory change consistent with the District's interests and needs.
Determine the status of Parks and Recreation operations during inclement weather and other unforeseen events.
The Ideal Candidate
For this important role the Metro Parks Tacoma seeks an experienced and unifying leader who is deeply committed to the success of the District and is a strategic big-picture thinker. The ideal candidate will have a passion for public service and will lead by example to gain the confidence of the public and staff. Integrity that aligns with the Metro Parks Tacoma’s organizational values is essential.
The new Director must have the desire and capability to lead a team in implementing innovative programs that care for the spaces, places and active lifestyles that define the identity and quality of life in the community.
A Bachelor's degree – preferably in public administration, business, recreation management, park administration or related field – and five years of senior management experience in a public sector setting. A Master's degree and completion of a National Recreation and Parks Association Certified Parks and Recreation Executive program (or similar industry-specific executive-level development program) is a plus.
The preferred candidate will have experience and demonstrated success in the following areas:
Visionary and strategic leadership.
Customer service and the ability to mentor, coach and direct the work of staff.
Ability to anticipate trends in the parks, arts and recreation field and develop a creative strategy for maintaining high quality programs and services.
Cultural competency that enables effective working relationships in cross-cultural situations.
Successful planning and implementation of change management strategies.
Forming and maintaining public-private partnerships and knowledge of innovative funding approaches.
Experience managing in a unionized environment.
Champion of workforce equity and diversity.
Integrity, honesty, compassion, courage, optimism, and good judgment - particularly in situations characterized by disagreement, conflict, tension, and uncertainty.
Creative problem solver, bringing fresh ideas and a progressive approach.
Salary and Benefits
The annual salary range for this position is $122K - $189K. The salary offered will depend on experience and qualifications. Metro Parks offers a generous benefit package including medical/dental, retirement, life and disability insurance, paid holidays, vacation and sick leave and optional deferred compensation.
Persons interested in this position must submit a cover letter and a current resume.
If you have questions regarding this announcement, please call Marissa Karras at 360-956-1336. The position will remain open until filled; however the screening process will move quickly. Please submit your application materials as soon as possible but no later than May 31st, 2021 by visiting www.karrasconsulting.net and clicking on “view open positions.”
Metro Parks is an equal opportunity employer, values workplace diversity and seeks to create an environment and culture that embraces employee differences. All qualified applicants are considered in accordance with applicable laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, marital status or veteran status or any other legally protected status. We will provide assistance in the recruitment, application and selection process to applicants with disabilities who request such assistance.
About Metro Parks Tacoma
About Metro Parks Tacoma
Metro Parks Tacoma has its roots in the City of Tacoma Charter of 1880. The city set up a committee of city council members in 1883 to oversee the city's parks. That committee became the Board of Park Commissioners in 1890, with members appointed by the mayor.
Tacoma was ready for action when the Washington State Legislature passed a law in 1907 allowing cities to form separate park districts. Less than a month after the governor signed the bill, residents voted to establish the Metropolitan Park District of Tacoma as a separate municipal corporation with the ability to collect property taxes for support. Metro Parks Tacoma was incorporated April 6, 1907, with a five-member elected Board of Park Commissioners.
Since then, the District has grown in size, service, and sophistication. In 2019, Metro Parks Tacoma won the prestigious National Gold Medal Award in its population category for excellence in parks and recreation management (after being a finalist in 2017). The District also is among the relative few in the industry to earn accreditation by meeting strict standards set by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).... Fort Nisqually is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. And the District’s two zoos are accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Meeting industry performance standards is an ongoing expectation.
Metro Parks Tacoma Mission & Vision
Socially, Metro Parks Tacoma spaces and programs support communities, create safer neighborhoods, help children learn and grow, improve public and environmental health, and support smart growth. Culturally, quality open spaces and program services nurture a sense of place in the community and provide opportunities to engage a public of diverse backgrounds. Environmentally, the District provides green infrastructure and helps manage the impacts of climate change. Economically, regional parks and attractions support economic development and promote tourism.
OUR MISSION?Creating healthy opportunities to play, learn and grow.
OUR VISION?Metro Parks Tacoma envisions a vibrant, active and engaged community.
OUR CORE VALUES?These eight core values guide future decisions, business and operations, and the manner in which Metro Parks Tacoma treats staff, customers and the community: