Canton’s Parks and Recreation Manager
What is your main responsibility?
My priority is the overall maintenance of Canton’s park facilities and grounds, which would not be possible without the amazing crews we have in the parks department. I am constantly looking for ways to upgrade our facilities, to create a better experience. I am responsible for planning, scheduling, permitting, overseeing, setting up and breaking down the city’s special events. Additionally, I run the Benchmark program, which allows people to purchase a personalized memorial plaque and/or bench that we place in city parks.
What is your background?
I have been with the city for almost six years now. Prior to my time with Canton, I spent nearly 10 years working for the city of Woodstock. I started working there in my early 20s as an entry-level streets technician, and, by the time I left, I had worked my way up to a crew supervisor in the water and sewer department. I learned so many valuable lessons and developed skill sets during that time, which prepared me for what I do today.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Cherokee County, and I lived in Woodstock for 25-plus years. I would find it extremely hard to live anywhere else.
What do you like most about your job?
It is not easy to say just one thing I like most about my job. Being able to work with the community daily is something I don’t take for granted, because they have a special love for our parks. Having the ability to work in the best parks in the county has to be close to the top of the list. On any given day, I get to spend my day at a park or on a trail. I basically get to live every kid’s dream! I also get to put on and work events that bring thousands of people to Canton. Being able to create events that allow people to create family memories or a night to get away is amazing.
Describe a memorable work experience.
I think starting the Canton River Rock Concert Series must be one of the most memorable things that comes to mind. Starting from scratch and just finishing our fourth season is hard to imagine for me. It’s amazing to see how far we have come with the series, and I am excited to see where it goes.
What projects are you excited about?
We have so many things to be excited about for the future of our parks and trails. We have more trail connectivity planned over the next several years. Harmon Park will get much-needed upgrades, including more parking, a turf mini pitch soccer field, basketball courts and more. We will begin planning for a new dog park in the coming months. One of, if not the most exciting, things for me would be the addition of a new park in south Canton. We have acquired the property and will begin planning this year for the new park.
Describe your goals.
I want to continue to grow in my position. I constantly am looking for ways to be and do better. I would like to see our parks continue to grow and adapt to the wants and needs of the community. Finding something that everyone wants to do and can do is something I think about often. Although this may seem like a tough goal, I will continue to work toward this daily, and, when the wants and needs change, my goals will adjust with them.
How do you like to spend your free time?
My family is my free time. I currently live in Ball Ground with my beautiful wife. We have two crazy kids, a 5-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son, and a dog. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams, and I am thankful for every one of them. I need to thank my wife for being so supportive of me and my career. It’s not easy, as I work a lot of crazy hours and weekends, but she finds a way to support me. I couldn’t do it without her.