Director of Youth and Recreation Center Programs

Posted on 22 February 23 by Joelle Allen

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Job Description

Position profile: Director of Youth and Recreation Center Programs

kpCompanies is leading the search for an experienced Director of Youth and Recreation Center Programs (YRCP) for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB). This position leads, directs and coordinates daily operations and service delivery for MPRB’s 49 recreation facilities, services, programs,  neighborhood park events, youth sports,  youth development activities, school-age childcare, Full Service School program, and Spark’d Studios Technology Centers for MPRB. This position has nine direct reports, a department of 107 full-time employees and approximately 300 part-time employees, and reports to the Assistant Superintendent for Recreation.

The OrganizationMinneapolis Park & Recreation Board

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is one of the premier park systems in the United States. Its picturesque lakes, neighborhood parks, recreation centers and diversified programming have made the park system an important component of what makes Minneapolis a great place to live, play and work!

The park system includes more than 7,000 acres of parkland and water featuring 185 park properties, 55 miles parkways, 102 miles of Grand Rounds biking and walking paths, 22 lakes, 12 formal gardens, seven golf courses and 49 recreation centers. The MPRB serves nearly 30 million visits annually.

The MPRB is one of five park agencies in Minnesota and fewer than 200  agencies in the United States that is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). Since 2013 the MPRB has been recognized among the top five park systems by the Trust for Public Land. The Mission: The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board permanently preserves, protects, maintains, improves, and enhances its natural resources, parkland, and recreational opportunities for current and future generations of our region including people, plants and wildlife.  The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board dismantles historic inequities in the provision of park and recreation opportunities for all people to gather, celebrate, contemplate, and engage in activities that promote health, well-being, community, and the environment.

The Department: Youth and Recreation Center Programs

The Youth and Recreation Center Programs Department provides services for all ages and abilities and ensures youth are a primary focus and seamlessly integrated into recreation center programs and services. The department operates 47 year‐round, neighborhood‐based Recreation Centers and coordinates and oversees the leases of two recreation centers to non‐profit entities. Each center employs full‐and part‐time staff committed to providing quality recreation opportunities and programs.

Recreation Centers are the focal point of our extensive activities, programs, and special events. Many are full‐service facilities with meeting rooms, kitchens, and gymnasiums for individual and group use. This department also provides Recreation Plus: affordable quality, state‐certified school‐age care for children grades kindergarten through sixth grade; Youth Program Specialists focus on programs for underserved youth ages 12‐17; and therapeutic recreation and inclusion services.  Administration of recreation division volunteers is organized system wide with collaboration with the recreation center program staff and the Environmental Stewardship division.  Youth athletic programs are also offered out of this Department, with 11 youth sports offerings available for participation.

Position: Director of Youth and Recreation Centers Programs

The Director of YRCP  is in charge of daily operations, service delivery and overall management of the Youth and Recreation Center Programs  Department within the Recreation Division.  The role is responsible for planning, coordination and direction of a diversified year-round, citywide recreation center program that ensures that the mission, goals, policies and priorities of the MPRB are incorporated into the recreation center services.
This Director will utilize best practices to strategically lead and manage operations for  the delivery of highly respected services and program offerings within budgeted resources. Work involves planning and executing all administrative work, providing daily oversight, identifying contemporary and cutting edge programs and services with particular focus on serving a diversified urban youth population, identifying and implementing safety practices, and addressing upkeep and maintenance issues of recreation facilities.

The ideal leader for the Director of Youth and Recreation Center Programs  is strategic, collaborative, inclusive and people centric.  They hold themselves and others accountable and offer a high caliber of work that meets the needs of MPRB and the diverse communities it serves.

Job Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Provides overall management of the Youth and Recreation Center Programs Department.
  • Prepares and administers the Department’s budget and corresponding revenue; perform cost control activities; monitor revenue and expenditures to assure sound fiscal control; and assure effective and efficient use of budgeted funds, personnel, materials, and facilities.
  • Manages revenue producing activities, including seeking, securing, and administering outside funding. Work involves establishing fees, monitoring collections, analyzing demographics to determine expansion or contraction opportunities, administering evaluations, and complying with local, state and national standards and regulations as appropriate.
  • Reviews, develops and recommends policies to enhance and improve recreation facilities and services.
  • Develops and implements innovative partnerships and services.
  • Works collaboratively and is actively engaged in the development and implementation of the MPRB’s comprehensive plan, Board priorities, budget actions and racial equity plan. 
  • Provides strategic leadership of the department and its resources so the development and implementation of recreation best practices fully supports the current and future needs of the MPRB and the communities it serves.
  • Thoughtfully plans, organizes, directs, coordinates and evaluates the activities of the department, including actively managing and monitoring the performance matrix system for department activities and recommending work activity adjustments based on data and performance goal results.
  • Creates a work environment that encourages staff to perform to the best of their abilities and holds every employee accountable for results.
  • Recruits, hires, trains, supervises, evaluates, develops, and disciplines subordinate employees for development of a professional staff with a high degree of competence and sound judgment.
  • Develops and implements new systems to improve and streamline work processes that are integrated and coordinated across the department and recreation facilities.
  • Negotiates and meets deadlines and prioritizes issues, identifying which issues require immediate attention and taking effective and appropriate action based on that determination.
  • Keeps the Assistant Superintendent for Recreation promptly informed of matters as they relate to the department, division and MPRB.

Related Work:

Develops recreation operational standards that establish clear expectations based on principles and best practices allowing the organization to measure, monitor and maintain expectations, compliance, and performance.

  • Advances sound environmental, health, and safety practices within recreation facilities, programs, and services; provide effective risk management practices; ensure all safety rules, regulations and procedures are followed; ensure that employees are appropriately trained.
  • Fosters and demonstrates effective leadership building in a collaborative environmental including working across department lines and forming partnerships that foster better community services; eliminates barriers to results. Builds alliances with key decision makers; takes full advantage of available resources and provides direction in the development of short and long range plans.
  • Prepares various reports, RFP’s and Board actions that pertain to departmental activities including policies and procedures, bid announcements, contract awards, agreements and leases.
  • Develops and maintains effective communications and relationships with peers, subordinates and vendors.
  • Effectively and in a timely manner responds and resolves difficult and sensitive citizen inquiries and complaints, provides support as necessary, and promptly informs appropriate individuals and groups.
  • Ensures that the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations are met or exceeded.
  • Ensures that standards and regulations for childcare and other activities are met or exceeded.
  • Represents the MPRB on community associations, city, county, and other governmental committees, school, library, agency, and business initiatives, and professional associations and institutions.
  • Provides leadership for MPRB committees to ensure that safety, maintenance, planning and recreation services complement and support each other in addressing citizen interests, issues and needs.
  • Oversees online registration process, data collection and reports.
  • Responds effectively and in a timely manner to administrative and Board requests.
  • Demonstrates continuous effort to improve operations, decrease turnaround times, streamline work processes, and works cooperatively and jointly with internal and external customers to provide quality seamless customer service.
  • Remains current in industry best practices and apply knowledge to best serve the MPRB.
  • Works proactively to resolve problems and conflicts that surface.
  • Conducts probationary and annual performance reviews for each employee, initiates training and retraining when appropriate.
  • Demonstrates respect and sensitivity for cultural differences.
  • Performs other related duties as apparent or assigned.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Park and Recreation Administration, Recreation Administration, Physical Education, Business Administration, Public Administration, or a closely related field.  (Master’s degree preferred).
  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a major in an unrelated field and closely related work experience may be considered.
  • 8 years - Increasingly responsible experience in recreation programming and service delivery, including youth, teen, adult, seniors and families.
  • 8+ years - Increasingly responsible experience in  facility management.
  • 6+ years - Experience in leadership, management, and administration
  • 6+ years - Experience with direct supervision of staff
  • 5+ years - Experience supervising unionized employees: at least five years (preferred).
  • CPRP Certification preferred.


Interested candidates should submit cover letter, resume, and salary expectations. Position will remain open until filled.  Preference given to applications received prior to Monday, March 27, 2023.

  • Apply via email to Joelle Allen at joelle@kpcompanies.com.
  • Apply by mail at: Director of Recreation c/o kpcompanies,
    ATTN: Joelle Allen 5775 Wayzata Blvd, Suite 700, St. Louis Park, MN 55416.



All submissions received in strictest confidence. Both kpCompanies and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board are equal opportunity employers.

Equity & Salary Disclosure

We believe in practices that create real equity and pay parity regardless of background or identity and we freely discuss compensation with all qualified candidates the first time we interview them. Saving the salary discussion for the first conversation allows us to fully understand the needs of each candidate and to ensure that qualified candidates, even those who’ve historically been overlooked and/or underpaid, don’t self-select out of the processes based on salary alone, as our experience and research suggests. In addition to those who opt out because they fear the salary may be out of reach for them, we equally don’t want to miss out on conversations with candidates who are slightly over the range when in some cases the total compensation including factors such as bonuses, flexibility, and better health benefits, etc may exceed expectations. Finally, as a search firm – we are always looking for top-notch talent to introduce to our clients. Should the salary or any other requirement not be a fit, there is often a chance that someone on our team is working on another position you may be a better fit for. If you would like to discuss your qualifications for this role as well as discuss salary and compensation - just give us a call, we’d be happy to discuss!



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