Parks and Recreation Director

Greensboro, NC | Full-time


The Position

The City of Greensboro is seeking a visionary leader to serve as the next Parks and Recreation Director. The director must be a passionate, strategic, innovative, and high performing leader who can continue carrying out the “Enhance. Expand. Connect” framework and vision for the Department by building on the substantial strengths of staff and community support. The Parks and Recreation Director will report to the Assistant City Manager for Community Services, works with a Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, the Greensboro Parks Foundation, and numerous other non-profit and community partners, as well as other City Council appointed boards and commissions.

The responsibilities included for this position are full management responsibilities for all Parks and Recreation Department functions, activities, and services including park maintenance and beautification; park planning and project development; community recreation services and programming; athletic facilities and specialized programing; cemeteries; risk management; budgetary and human resources; and developing and administering policies and procedures. Additional responsibilities include assessing and monitoring workload of a five full-time senior leadership team; overseeing administrative and support systems; managing internal reporting relationships; identifying opportunities for improvement; and directing and implementing organizational changes. The position will also establish, within city policy, appropriate service and staffing levels; and monitor and evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures, along with allocating resources accordingly.

The Director must have the ability to plan, organize, direct, and coordinate the work of management, supervisory, and technical personnel, as well as, the ability to react quickly and calmly in emergency situations and determine a proper course of action. The Director must be able to deal effectively with resident and customer complaints and feedback regarding department activities and procedures. The Director will also attend and speak during public meetings, interviews, and speaking engagements to promote Parks and Recreation programs, facilities, and services, as well as, write policies, grants, and reports supporting the programs and activities of the Department.


  • Establish positive relationships, internally and externally, with the City Council, Parks and Recreation Commission, other local government officials, non-profit and partner organizations, and the community.
  • Continue implementation of the Department’s Plan2Play Master Plan and realign available resources to ensure consistency with the master plan.
  • Collaborate with other Departments and the City Management Executive Team to address unfunded and deferred capital needs and secure alternative funding sources to support these and other programmatic needs.
  • Establish clear processes, procedures, and protocols across the Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Develop succession planning and employee engagement strategies that continue building a strong team capable of moving the Department’s vision forward in light of external workforce changes and service delivery demands.

The Successful Candidate

The next Parks and Recreation Director is approachable, people oriented, collaborative and committed to excellence delivering high quality programs, facilities, and services to the community. As a visionary leader, the ideal candidate brings a fresh, yet experienced voice and perspective to the Department with a strong ability to see the interdependencies between all functions within the Department, as well as, with other Departments and outside community partners. Developing and cultivating public private partnerships will be vital to the success of the next Director.

The successful candidate has strong leadership, relationship building, and coaching skills, with the ability to motivate and support employees and foster a collaborative work environment and culture. As a team builder, the Director should be able to understand and maximize employees’ strengths and is a passionate, dedicated, and skilled advocate for the Department and its employees. The ideal candidate has excellent written and verbal communication skills and can effectively engage with diverse audiences throughout the organization and the community.

The Parks and Recreation Director is an experienced progressive leader – tactical and operational – and can be an outside of the box thinker and is politically savvy.


Minimum requirements include a bachelor's degree and at least ten years of progressive levels of responsibility across various parks and recreation–related fields, with a role equivalent to Director, Assistant Director, or Division Director. Additionally, within those ten years, experience working with boards/commissions, community and neighborhood associations, and partner agencies is required. Supervisory experience in a department of diverse facilities, functions, and programming, serving populations of 200,000 or more and previous experience managing large operating budgets ($10 million or more) is also required.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree in Parks and Recreation, Public Administration, or related field. Local government experience and a certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP), Certified Parks and Recreation Executive (CPRE), and/or American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) also preferred.

Residency Requirement: The Parks and Recreation Director must live within a 30-mile radius of the Greensboro city limits within 12 months of appointment.

Inside the Parks and Recreation Department

The City of Greensboro operates under a Council-Manager form of government. The City has approximately 3,000 employees working across 20 departments. Since 1933, Greensboro Parks and Recreation has provided outstanding programs and facilities for people of all ages, abilities, and from all walks of life. The Department is nationally accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and a four-time winner of the National Gold Medal Award for excellence in park and recreation administration. Guided by a 20-Year Comprehensive Master Plan, Plan2Play, which was adopted in 2019, the individual selected for this key role will lead a department of approximately 146 full and part-time employees and approximately 450 hourly/seasonal personnel with an adopted budget of $20.9 million for 2021-2022 projected year. The Parks and Recreation Department manages 12,000+ acres parks and open space and 185+ facilities, including 129 neighborhood parks and open spaces, four regional parks, four botanical gardens, five swimming pools, two spray grounds, 11 recreation centers, two municipal golf courses, 92 athletic fields, 66 tennis courts, four municipal cemeteries, three watershed parks, and over 95 miles of hiking and biking trails. Special facilities include the Greensboro Sportsplex, Simkins Indoor Sports Pavilion, Bryan Park @ BB&T Soccer Complex, Barber Park Event Center and Ruth Wicker Tribute to Women, Carolyn S. Allen Community Park & Athletic Complex, Smith and Trotter Active Adult Centers, Xperience @ Caldcleugh, and contract management of the Greensboro Science Center, Greensboro Farmer’s Curb Market, and Greensboro Downtown Parks, Inc. including Center City Park and LeBauer Park. The department provides over 5,000 unique program opportunities annually. The City of Greensboro, by way of its recreational facilities, is also host to multiple special events and tournaments with community, regional, and national status, with an economic impact of over $50+ million annually.

The Parks and Recreation Department is a dynamic team transforming the way needs are met and services are provided to Greensboro’s residents and visitors. The department leads locally and nationally in creating benefits for people through equitable practice and innovative strategies and continues to be leader in shaping the quality of life, character, and economy of Greensboro. Most importantly the department and its team remain committed to enhancing its existing assets, expanding offerings through strong partnerships and transformative programs, and connecting neighborhoods throughout Greensboro into a vibrant, healthy, and equitable park system.

The Community

The City of Greensboro is the third largest city in North Carolina and is located 76 miles from Raleigh and just over 90 miles from Charlotte. Incorporated in 1808, the City is home to 299,035 residents and spans 133 square miles in the Piedmont region of the state. Greensboro is the Guilford County seat and is the most populous city within the County. The total population of the City of Greensboro has grown rapidly in recent years; between 1990 and 2020, there has been a 64% increase in population growth. The annual household income in the City was $49,748 as of the 2019 American Community Survey. This is slightly lower than the median for the State of North Carolina, which is $54,602. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2019, the racial and ethnic composition of Greensboro was 47.3% White, 41.4% Black or African American, 5.0% Asian, 0.5% American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 3.0% Two or More Races, and 7.9% of Hispanic or Latin American Descent. The demographics of Greensboro differ from overall Guilford County, which has a population composed of 56.0% White and 35.4% Black or African American.

Greensboro is home to two research universities, four colleges, and a law school, attracting nearly 50,000 undergraduate and post graduate students, as well as employing roughly 6,000 faculty and staff. These institutions play an important part in growing the future workforce and situate Greensboro as a community where opportunities begin, grow, and thrive. Approximately one quarter (25%) of Greensboro residents aged 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher and 13.6% have a graduate or professional degree.

In the 1800’s, the City was known for textiles, tobacco, and furniture manufacturing. When Greensboro was designated as a stop on a new railroad line in the 1840’s, the City grew substantially as a transportation hub for the Piedmont. Today, the manufacturing industry continues to be an important part of the local economy and new and innovative industries have emerged including Aviation, Life Sciences, and Supply Chain Logistics.

Greensboro is a rapidly growing, diverse community that is continuously creating its own unique identity in North Carolina. As more visitors and residents come to Greensboro, they will experience a Downtown area that offers a variety of attractions and events to enjoy from green spaces, collaborative work hubs, and a diverse brewery and restaurant scene for all to experience.

Quick Facts

  • Population (2021): 299,035
  • Median Household Income (in 2020 dollars): $49,748
  • Median Home Value: $163,000
  • Median Age (2020): 34.4

All demographic information was sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Compensation and Benefits

The full salary range is: $112,365-$187,274. The expected hiring range is $112,365-$149,819 depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefits package.  You can learn more about the benefits that the City of Greensboro offers by visiting

How to Apply

All applications will be accepted electronically by Raftelis.  Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. This position is open until filled with the first review of applicants on August 8, 2022.


Please direct questions to Pamela Wideman at and Alexa Worrell at

Download Recruitment Brochure