Hood River Parks and Recreation District is hiring!

Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District

Job Announcement

District Director of Parks and Recreation

Closing date August 11, 2016, 5pm



The Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District is seeking a dynamic, seasoned professional to lead the Parks and Recreation District. This is an exciting executive leadership opportunity.


Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District is located in Hood River County, 60 miles east of Portland, Oregon.  The District is in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic area and includes Mount Hood and its National Forest.  The area is world-renowned for its beauty and outdoor recreation.  It is among the top-ranked areas in the world for windsurfing, kiteboarding and sailing.  Mount Hood is one of the few mountains to offer year round opportunities for the snow enthusiast. Other outdoor recreationalists enjoy kayaking, cycling, mountain biking, hiking and much more.   The area is routinely recognized for its outstanding recreation, quality of life, fine restaurants, breweries and wineries as well as family friendly amenities. The Park District is within easy driving distance of major national parks, the Pacific Ocean, the Cascade and Olympic Mountain Ranges, and the urban centers of Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.


The Park District operates under a 5 member board of Directors elected for staggered 4 year terms.  The Parks and Recreation Director reports directly to the Board of Directors and is responsible for the direction, administration, and management of the District’s aquatic center, parks, recreation, and business operations.


Desirable Qualifications

The District is looking for an individual with strong leadership skills who has significant experience working in parks and recreation; preferably a special district. Successful candidates will have a bachelor’s degree (preferably in parks, recreation, or administration), and at least 5 years progressively responsible management experience. A master’s degree and Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certification is an advantage as well as knowledge and experience with Oregon’s unique land use laws and Aquatic facility operations.


Priorities of the new Director

  • Update the Parks and Recreation Master plan and Capital Improvement Plan that includes an update of the System Development Charges methodology.
  • Develop Golden Eagle Park with School District and County MOU’s
  • Explore the feasibility of expanding the Aquatic Center
  • Maintain essential partnership with the Public Schools district, Port of Hood River, City of Hood River and the County.
  • Develop master plan for Barrett Park
  • Pursue stable source of funding for ongoing maintenance and cost tracking accounting





Constrained resources require new approaches and alternative funding models.  The time may be right to explore a Parks District operations and maintenance levy.



The business of parks and recreation has become increasingly more complex with fluctuations in the economy, rising operating and maintenance costs, increases in the state minimum wage, aging infrastructure and shifts in societal demands.

As backyards shrink and people (and their pets) look for more places to gather, find solitude and recreate, our parks become even more essential to communities.

Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District faces the challenge of balancing the public’s enjoyment of natural resources with the conservation of these assets, and finding the optimum mix of land acquisition, development, preventative and proactive maintenance.


The Ideal Candidate

For this important role the District seeks an experienced, unifying leader who is deeply committed to the success of the District and is a strategic big-picture thinker. The ideal candidate will have a passion for public service and will lead by example to gain the confidence of the public and staff. Integrity that aligns with the District’s organizational values is essential and the desire and capability to lead a team in implementing innovative operations and programs.


The preferred candidate will have experience and demonstrated success in the following areas:


  • Visionary and strategic leadership.
  • Customer service and the ability to mentor, coach and direct the work of staff.
  • Thorough knowledge of the objectives and ideals of public recreation, including a comprehensive understanding of the diverse activities of a successful community recreation program.
  • Knowledge of available outdoor recreation and related grants and other funding approaches to stretch District resources.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of park management associated with a special district in Oregon.
  • Ability to develop a creative strategy for maintaining high quality programs and services.
  • Cultural competency that enables effective working relationships in cross-cultural situations.
  • Successful planning, implementation and oversight of new park
  • Forming and maintaining public-private partnerships and knowledge of innovative funding approaches.
  • Integrity, honesty, compassion, courage, optimism, and good judgment – particularly in situations characterized by disagreement, conflict, tension, and uncertainty.
  • Creative problem solver, bringing fresh ideas and a progressive approach.


Total Compensation

Full-time position with an annual salary range as $75,000-$95,000; depending on qualifications and experience. The District offers a competitive benefit package including a stipend for family health and vision insurance, as well as vacation and sick leave. The district participates in an independent retirement system.



Application Process

Persons Interested in this position should submit the following information:

  • Cover letter
  • Salary history
  • Current resume
  • 3-5 references

If you have questions regarding this announcement, please call or e-mail Lori Stirn at 541-386-5720 or parksandrec@gorge.net.


This position will remain open until filled. In order to be considered for the first round of interviews please submit your application by the August 11th deadline.  E-mails are acceptable.  Send to parksandrec@gorge.net.


Selection timeline

  • July 21st, 2016: Job announcement posted
  • August 11th: closing date for applications
  • August 5-8: review of applications
  • August 18th -19th: interviews * tentative meet and greet.
  • August 29th -30: interviews if needed + final selection
    • Reference checks
  • September 26th: desired start date
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