The City of Brookings has hired Kristin Zimmerman as the new director of its Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department. Zimmerman has nearly 25 years in the parks and recreation field.
Zimmerman will begin her employment with the City on Tuesday, May 30. She is coming to Brookings from Kingman, Ariz., where she has worked as the Mohave County Parks administrator for nearly three years. In that position, she focused primarily on operations, maintenance and fundraising. She also worked in Maryland and Missouri, gaining experience in all facets of parks and recreation.
In Independence, Mo., Zimmerman spent 12 years working for the city and managed its Sports, Aquatics and Inclusion Division. During that time, she raised $2.5 million to build a park designed especially for persons with special needs. She also managed the local municipal water park.
“I am honored and excited to be selected as the new Parks, Recreation and Forestry director for the City of Brookings,” said Zimmerman. “I grew up in Iowa and am looking forward to returning to the Midwest. The Brookings community has strong parks, recreation and forestry programs and facilities. I look forward to using my experience to collaborate with the staff and community to enhance the city’s offerings.”
Zimmerman was selected from approximately 25 applicants following a nationwide recruitment process. Deputy City Manager Jacob Meshke has been serving as interim director of the department since the position was vacated last October.
City Manager Paul Briseno said the wait was worth it. “Kristin’s innovative thinking, vision and alignment with our culture identified her as our next director. She has considerable experience in fundraising, grant writing, operations, maintenance, facility management, programming, and more. Her vast experience in parks and recreation, as well as her passion for it, will allow her to work with our dedicated staff and community partners to make a significant impact on our community well into the future.”
Briseno said the first few months of Zimmerman’s employment will be focused on establishing relationships and understanding the organization and community.