The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) named the top three finalists in its national search for its next superintendent of the Minneapolis Park System.

“We believe our parks are for everyone. This means our next superintendent needs to be an advocate for the youth and families in our city who have so often been left on the margins. After a nationwide search, we are pleased to forward these candidates for consideration. In a field of competitive applicants from every corner of the nation, these three stood out to us as being able to advance this Board's mandate of increasing our investment in youth, advancing the mission of the Park Board and building an even better park system for our guests and everyone who calls Minneapolis their home,” said Park Board President Brad Bourn.

The finalists are, Alfred Bangoura, Seve Ghose and Nick Williams.

Bangoura is recreation superintendent for Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, Charlotte, N.C. Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation serves more than 1.1 million people. Bangoura currently oversees community and recreation services for the county’s 17 recreation facilities and three senior and active adult facilities. He previously worked for more than 13 years with the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board.

Ghose is the director of Louisville Parks and Recreation – a system of more than 120 parks covering more than 400 square miles. Some of Ghose’s responsibilities include 13 recreation centers, nine golf courses, two historic homes and an adaptive and inclusive recreation center. Ghose has been nationally recognized for his work in parks.

Williams, the director of Parks, Recreation and Youth Development in Oakland, overees the city’s 140 parks, 38 recreation facilities and serves roughly 95,000 enrolled participants annually. Oakland is one of the most ethnically diverse major U.S. cities, ranking 4th in diversity with a diversity score of 91.4. Prior to taking the top job in Oakland Williams was the assistant superintendent here in Minneapolis.

The MPRB superintendent provides day-to-day leadership for the 6,811 acre nationally recognized park system. The superintendent manages an annual operating and capital budget of $120 million and oversees the work of approximately 570 full-time and 1,170 temporary Minneapolis Parks employees.

This superintendent search marks the first time in the MPRB’s 135-year history that community engagement played a role in determining the next superintendent.  From July through August, more than 22 listening sessions were held with community members, employees and other MPRB stakeholders to learn what qualities they sought in a superintendent. This month, a community selection committee used information gathered during listening sessions to establish relevant criteria and prioritize candidates. Then an internal team comprised of Bourn, Vice President AK Hassan and Commissioner Latrisha Vetaw narrowed the list to the top three finalists.

Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board commissioners will interview finalists during a public meeting, Tuesday (Nov. 13) from 4 p.m. – 6:35 p.m. at MPRB headquarters boardroom, 2117 W. River Rd. The meeting and interviews will be streamed live on the MPRB Facebook page.

The selection of a new Superintendent is expected to be announced sometime between late November to mid-December.

Former MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller resigned from the Park Board in February 2018 to take a position leading a public-private parks conservancy in Pittsburgh. Superintendent Emeritus Mary Merrill was selected by the board to fulfill Miller’s contract and to assist in the search process for the next superintendent.

(1) comment

Al McFarlane

Healthy parks equal healthy people! Minneapolis has a
great parks system and program whose major challenge right now is executing a transformative vision that is authentically inclusive, genuinely diverse and in its commitment to equity, engaged all stakeholders with intentionality. Thoughts?

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