Cincinnati Park Board Selects New Director

The Cincinnati Board of Park Commissioners announced today that it has hired Wade A. Walcutt, current Director of the Greensboro, North Carolina Parks and Recreation Department, to lead Cincinnati’s award-winning Parks system. Walcutt’s selection was the culmination of an intensive nationwide search based on the input of more than 70 community leaders, civil servants, parks employees and devoted volunteers. After months of reviewing profiles and conducting interviews, Walcutt emerged as the candidate of choice due to his considerable experience and remarkable career success in parks management. Most notably, Walcutt was able to match public funds with more than $25MM in sponsorships and private partnerships during his time in Greensboro, and he also played an instrumental role in passing a $34.5 MM bond package supporting land acquisition, infrastructure improvements and economic impact for Greensboro Parks and Recreation.

Wade Walcutt

“I am thrilled that Wade is on his way to Cincinnati Parks to build on the incredible accomplishments that Cincinnati Parks have achieved under Willie Carden’s tenure,” said Dianne Rosenberg, Chair of the Board of Park Commissioners. “Cincinnati is blessed to have a community that values and supports its beautiful parks, and I am confident we have selected a director whose vision and leadership will guide our Park system to reaching even greater achievements on behalf of our citizens.” Walcutt has worked for the Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department since 2011. He was promoted from Division Manager to Director in 2013. Previously, he served as the Facilities Manager and Park Operations Director for the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department & The National Audubon Society, and as Program Supervisor for Westerville Parks and Recreation. He has a degree in Recreation Management from Ohio University. Walcutt was recently selected to serve a three-year term on the National Recreation and Parks Association Board of Regents as an instructor at the National Supervisors Management School.

“I am extremely honored to serve the Cincinnati community as their next Director of Parks, and I am excited to be a part of team of dedicated people providing worldclass parks, experiences and memories,” noted Mr. Walcutt. “I have been aware of Cincinnati’s nationally ranked parks for quite some time, and upon my recent visit to Cincinnati, I was literally taken aback not only by the top-notch professional staff, but by the enthusiastic support of the citizenry and the philanthropic community. This kind of engagement simply does not occur everywhere, and I am honored to have been selected to build upon this extraordinary legacy. My wife Kelli and I-along with our two children Whitney (age 4) and Drew (age 10 months) are very much looking forward to returning to our home state of Ohio.”

Susie Castellini, a member of both the search committee and the Board of Park Commissioners, said that the committee was comprised of community representatives from all walks of life and experience. “Our diverse committee worked with extreme dedication to find a strong and accomplished candidate to recommend to the Board of Park Commissioners-which voted unanimously to engage Mr. Walcutt. In Wade, we have found a highly respected leader with vast parks experience both locally as well as on the national stage. We are thrilled to welcome Wade and his family to Cincinnati—and home to Ohio.”

About Cincinnati Parks: Setting an international standard for stewardship, beauty and efficiency, Cincinnati Parks was recently awarded an ‘excellent’ rating by the Trust for Public Land for leveraging and finding funding sources that allow for conservation and maintenance of its beautiful green spaces. In pursuit of its mission, Cincinnati Parks strives to ensure that everyone enjoys close-to-home access to a park, playground, or natural area. In addition to managing Cincinnati’s Street Tree program on 1,000 miles of city streets, Cincinnati Parks maintains parkways and neighborhood gateways and operates five nature centers, an arboretum and one of the largest public plant conservatories in the country. Its public art collection is the Midwest’s largest.

Meet Wade Walcutt