Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Director

  • Town of Morrisville
  • Town of Morrisville
  • Feb 17, 2021
Full time Government

Job Description

Morrisville, North Carolina. Live Connected. Live Well.

Diverse, Wake County Community Seeks Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Director

Come to one of the fastest growing towns in North Carolina to lead, innovate, and deliver outstanding opportunities to residents and visitors through parks as well as recreation and cultural programming.  If you are passionate about the lifelong pursuit of wellness and engagement through Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources, Morrisville is seeking its next Director. 

 The Director must have a track record of inspiring innovation in recreation programming, establishing community partnerships and attracting and developing talented staff to serve a broad set of customers.  This CAPRA accredited department has a comprehensive master plan and several capital projects in the pipeline.  

The Community: 

Morrisville has been one of the fastest growing and most diverse towns in North Carolina and was recognized by Money Magazine as the tenth best place to live in the U.S. in 2020, and by Niche.com as the No. 1 best place to live in North Carolina during that same time span.  In 2019 the Chamber of Commerce (national website) ranked Morrisville the No. 2 Best City to Live in North Carolina and WalletHub.com ranked Morrisville the No. 3 Best Place to Raise a Family in North Carolina. These are just a few of the accolades the Town has garnered in the last few years.  Since 2000, Morrisville’s population has ballooned from 5,000 to nearly 30,000 residents. The Town’s demographics include approximately 41% Asian Indian, 40% white, 12% African American, 5% Hispanic, and 4% other.  66% of the population is between the ages of 18 and 64 and the community has an equal number of men (50%) and women (50%) (Source – U.S Census Bureau).

Morrisville is located adjacent to North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park – a national hotbed of technological development, hosting over 250 companies and 50,000 workers. The Town’s economy is based on highly skilled professional and technology industries, and a population that is diverse, affluent, and highly educated. As a result, the local median household income is now $103,000, almost twice the state average of $54,000.

“Live Connected. Live Well.” is the Town’s brand tagline and philosophy. When surveyed, citizens communicated they value the connection they feel when in the Town. The connection they have to global businesses, opportunities, the great outdoors, and most importantly, to each other. Morrisville is a place to gather together, to talk with neighbors and engage with Town leaders. It is a warm and welcoming community. The community embraces small town ideals with all the conveniences and amenities of a metropolitan city.

The idea of living connected and living well guides the Town’s decision-making processes in all areas and has been the catalyst for infrastructure improvements to roadways, greenways and recreational facilities. Greenway development alone has become a priority for the Town as an alternative mode for transportation, recreation and promoting a healthy lifestyle. The Town recently completed the most significant single greenway corridor in the regional system. The project includes 2.9 miles of greenway, crossing a major thoroughfare (NC Highway 54), via a tunnel that allows access under a railroad.

 About the Organization:  The Town of Morrisville is governed by a seven-member Town Council utilizing the Council/Manager form of government. Town Council sets the policy and direction; the Town Manager oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization which consists of a team of 196 employees, not including part-time and seasonal staff, across 11 departments.    With AAA bond ratings from bond rating agencies and excellent stewardship of tax dollars, the Town is regarded as a fiscally responsible and well-managed government. The FY2021 approved budget is $37.9M. The property tax rate is $.36 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.  The Town is currently managing a number of capital projects (CIP) related to transportation, infrastructure, revitalization and innovation, including several related to Parks and Recreation.  The strategic focus of Morrisville is guided by the community vision established in the Connect Morrisville Strategic Plan.   The six strategic goals for Morrisville are: Improved transportation mobility; Thriving livable neighborhoods; Engaged, inclusive community; Public safety readiness; Operational excellence; and Economic prosperity.  A 2017 citizen survey indicates that 97% of residents think Morrisville is a good or excellent place to live.

 About Morrisville’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department (Morrisville PRCR):   Morrisville PRCR has 24 full-time and 30-hour staff and a large number of part-time employees.  The Department has an operating budget of $2.5M, recently completed a $7M renovation and expansion of our Aquatics and Fitness Center and has over $6M in park expansion and improvements currently in design.  Morrisville PRCR offers a wide variety of athletics, cultural, educational, and recreational programs through its various centers and facilities and is expanding its virtual offerings in response to the impact of the COVID pandemic.

 Through the Connect Morrisville Strategic Plan, the Department has goals to increase community outreach and to plan, organize, and manage a diverse system of recreational, cultural, and athletic facilities and programs.  The Director reports to the Assistant Town Manager and directly supervises several positions and functions in the Department.  The Director also serves as the staff liaison to the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Advisory Committee.

 Morrisville PRCR is made up of teams focused on Administration, Athletics, two Community Centers (Cedar Fork Community Center and the Senior Center), and the Morrisville Aquatics and Fitness Center.  The Town also utilizes the Historic Christian Church and the Luther Green Center as additional meeting and event space.  Currently the Town owns or leases 206 acres of parkland and recreational space, including 7 active park spaces totaling 127 acres.  Those seven parks offer baseball/softball fields, basketball courts, cricket fields, open space, playgrounds, shelters, soccer fields, and tennis courts.  Church Street Park is home to a world-class cricket field that hosts a minor league cricket team and a regional cricket league.  More information about the department can be found here.

 Key priorities of the new Director will include: 

  • Working with staff to enhance internal and external communication, capitalize on their strengths, and enhance employee engagement with a high performing culture of inclusiveness, consistency, and accountability.
  • Evaluating Department operations and programming compared to community and staff needs in order to assess what changes are needed in staffing levels, systems, and particularly programming scope and diversity;
  • Navigating the ongoing impact of the COVID pandemic on services and outreach, including any long-term impact and changes;
  • Working with community partners such as other municipalities, regional park systems, nonprofits, and the Wake County Public School System as well as Town departments such as Planning, Police and Public Works, in order to deliver more diverse programs to a larger audience;
  • Continuing implementation of the Master Plan, including planning and implementing capital projects for parks and greenways; and,
  • Serving as a member of the Town Manager’s Management Team.

 Qualifications:   The candidate’s work history must include well rounded experience in parks and recreation with five (5) or more years of successful and progressive levels of responsibility, culminating with supervisory responsibility.  A bachelor’s degree in a related field is required and local government experience in athletics, parks, and recreation facilities and programming is strongly preferred.  A relevant master’s degree and CPRP or CPRE certification (or ability to obtain) are preferred.

 The Successful Candidate:

  • Effectively cultivates an outstanding workforce through leadership, innovation, collaboration, communication, and proactive management of staff talent and succession planning; and,
  • Experienced in collaborating with others to create and support innovative athletics, cultural, educational, and parks and recreation events and programs through marketing analysis and promotion skills;
  • Committed to the highest level of customer service and community collaboration by understanding community needs, modeling effective skills, providing effective training, ensuring accountability against quality standards, and routinely seeking stakeholder input to effectively achieve Town goals
  • Possesses outstanding skills in interpersonal communications, strategic planning, critical thinking and innovation, administration, and intradepartmental and interdepartmental relations;
  • An experienced strategic thinker who can facilitate the development of the Department’s role within the Town’s Strategic Plan and the continued implementation of the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Master Plan;
  • A builder of partnerships with community stakeholder groups, including residents, business owners, Homeowner & Neighborhood Associations, the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Advisory Committee, the Senior Advisory Committee, and private entities;
  • Willing and able to raise the profile of Town events within the community and region;
  • Thrives in a high accountability culture to ensure that the Town continues to meet the expectations of citizens and employees alike; and,
  • Proactively monitors and evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery methods and procedures against performance metrics.

The salary range for the position is professionally competitive; starting salary depends upon relevant experience and qualifications.  The Town of Morrisville is recognized as a high-quality employer who values and supports its employees.

Information about the Town’s generous benefits can be found at https://www.townofmorrisville.org/government/departments-services/human-resources/employee-benefits.

To apply, go to https://agency.governmentjobs.com/developmentalassociates/default.cfm and click on the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Director – Morrisville link. To learn more about the selection process, visit Client Openings (or copy and paste into your browser: https://developmentalassociates.com/client-openings/).  All applications must be fully completed listing your time in each position and submitted online via the Developmental Associates application portal – NOT the Town portal, nor any other external website; it is not sufficient to send only a resume. Resumes and cover letters can be uploaded with the application.  Application review begins March 17, 2021.  Finalists will participate in virtual interviews and skill assessments on April 20-21, 2021 which will require 3-4 hours of time on those days, not including preparation.   Interviews with the leadership team will follow at a subsequent time.   All inquiries should be emailed to hiring@developmentalassociates.com. Morrisville is an Equal Opportunity Employer.