Effective Sept. 21, Deputy Director Jeff Stewart of JCPRD assumed the chair of executive director of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District.
Stewart follows former Executive Director Jill Geller, who announced her resignation in July, and has accepted a position of Parks, Recreation, and Libraries director for the city of Roseville, California.
“JCPRD has received national recognition, accolades, gold medals and accreditations for our management of parks and recreation programs,” said Board Chair Steve Baru. “That happens because we have talented staff. Because of the demonstrated talent we already have in house, we knew we wouldn’t need to look far to find our next leader. Jeff has proven his leadership skills as deputy director and the board saw him as a natural fit to step in and fill the executive director position. We are lucky to have Jeff and his talents to lead the JCPRD into the future.”
Stewart began as JCPRD’s first-ever deputy director in April 2016. He brought 22 years of previous professional parks and recreation experience and served as the director of the Parks and Recreation Department for the city of Gardner since March of 2000.
Prior to his 16 years with the city of Gardner, Stewart worked for about two years as recreation specialist for the Independence, Kansas, Recreation Commission, and about four years as assistant director of parks and recreation for the city of Junction City.
“I couldn’t be more honored and excited for the opportunity and trust to serve the Johnson County community as executive director for JCPRD,” Stewart said. “The future is very bright as we have the best team of dedicated professionals, commissioners, volunteers and partners that are committed to building on our rich tradition of providing the best park and recreation services in the country.”