2 New Assistant Directors Hired for Austin Parks & Recreation

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For immediate release

April 28, 2010

Contact:  Victor Ovalle, Program Manager, Public Information and Marketing,

(512) 974-6745


City names two Parks and Recreation Assistant Directors

The City of Austin announced today the appointment of two Assistant Parks and Recreation Directors whose diverse backgrounds will help bolster the programs and operations of Austin’s already nationally recognized department.

After a nationwide search, Parks and Recreation Department Director Sara Hensley has selected Kelly Snook, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Missouri City near Houston, and Kimberly McNeeley, Director of the Recreation Services Division for the Palm Beach County, Fla., Parks and Recreation Department.

Snook will start May 26 and McNeeley will begin June 21.  The two will fill vacancies from recent retirements.

“Their joint experiences in areas ranging from project management and facilities to wellness programs and community partnerships can only enhance what we are doing,” Hensley said. “Their can-do spirit will benefit our entire community.”

In Missouri City, Snook directed long-term planning including the development of a Park Master Plan, a Trail Master Plan and a Strategic Plan. The work included extensive collaboration with community groups.

Before Missouri City, Snook worked for the City of Houston as Senior Project Manager on parks and recreation projects ranging up to 100 acres and including recreation centers, community centers, public pools and golf courses.

She has also owned a landscaping firm and worked for the cities of Dallas and Plano. Snook has earned a Bachelor of Science in landscape architecture from Texas A&M and a master’s in city and regional planning from the University of Texas-Arlington.

In Palm Beach County, McNeeley was responsible for supervision of recreation centers, an historic park, nature centers, amphitheaters, athletic fields, water parks, neighborhood parks and playgrounds. She also oversaw the after-school, therapeutic recreation and employee/volunteer development programs.


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McNeeley co-chaired a countywide Employee Wellness Program for 5,000 employees.  She facilitated an agreement between the County and its school district for joint use of facilities for recreational activities, athletics and competitive sports. She also coordinated development of a comprehensive parks resources management plan ensuring environmental stewardship and historic preservation.

She previously worked for the cities of Greenacres, Fla., and Brook Park, Ohio. She has a Bachelor of Science in special education and a Master of Education in exercise science and sports management from Cleveland State University.

The two were picked from 270 applicants for the position.  Nine people were interviewed by various stakeholder groups.

They replace Stuart Strong and Farhad Madani.  Cora Wright is the third Assistant Director for the department.

Voorhees Associates of Illinois helped the City’s Human Resources Department in the recruitment.

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