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City hires new Director of Parks and Recreation

August 24, 2020


Following an extensive recruitment effort and interviews with a short list of qualified candidates, the City has selected Sean Johnson as its new Director of Parks and Recreation.


Since 2010, Johnson has managed recreational and cultural activities for the City of Lancaster, Texas.  As the City’s Managing Director of Quality of Life and Cultural Services, Johnson has been responsible for the operational management of more than 1,000 acres of park and recreation space, a 60,000 square-foot recreation center with an indoor family aquatic facility, a 200 acre nature park and Country View Golf Course.  As suggested by his title, his duties also included oversight of the City’s Veterans Memorial Library, a full-service Senior Life Center, a Visitor Center and State Auxiliary Museum and the City’s tourism efforts.  Guiding a team of more than 75 full-time, contract and seasonal staff, due to such a wide variety of ongoing responsibilities, Johnson also has substantial experience in festival and event planning, recreational program coordination, strategic planning, and the management of public/private partnerships.
 

Prior to his employment with Lancaster, Johnson was a district manager for the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department.  In that role he was responsible for the management of 65 parks, eight community recreation centers and four aquatic facilities.  Those duties required his oversight of more than 100 full-time recreation, park maintenance and golf course staff.     
 

Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Leisure Services Administration from Texas Tech University.  A member of the National Recreation and Park Association, the Texas Recreation and Parks Society, and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, his civic involvement includes serving on the Dallas Park and Recreation Board and the Greater Dallas Planning Commission.
 

Johnson was recently nominated as a Fellow into the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA). The Academy is a group of distinguished practitioners and educators who are leaders in the field of parks and recreation. They must have demonstrated outstanding ability in administration, management or education in the profession; displayed broad interest with a direct service benefit to the advancement of parks and recreation. The Academy is limited to 125 active members. His nomination was approved by the AAPRA Board of Directors and he will be formally inducted into the Academy in October 2020. For more information on the Academy visit www.aapra.org."


Johnson and his wife reside in Dallas and have twin sons who attend school at the US Naval Academy.


With more than 60 acres of beautifully maintained park space including various ponds and fountains, the Holmes Aquatic Center, and a slate of recreational programming opportunities and year-round seasonal events, University Park’s Park and Recreation Department is highly regarded.  With that reputation in mind, City Manager Robbie Corder notes, “Sean has the right blend of experience, leadership and creative energy to move the department to even greater heights.”


Johnson replaces Gerry Bradley who retired earlier this summer after serving for more than 15 years as the City’s Director of Parks & Recreation.  Johnson’s first day on the job in University Park will be September 1.