Best in America Parks Get New Director
August 14, 2014
Tallahassee City Manager Anita Favors Thompson today announced the appointment of Ashley Edwards as director of the City of Tallahassee's Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs (PRNA) Department. Edwards began working for PRNA part-time in 1985 and became a full-time staff member in 1993. She has served as the department's Assistant Director since 2005 and interim director since May 3. Her new duties are effective immediately.
"Ms. Edwards is a recognized professional in her field both in Tallahassee and across the country," Favors Thompson said. "She played a key role in developing and modernizing girls' athletics. Her efforts have brought numerous tournaments to our community, which provide both economic and recreational benefits. She has enhanced Winter Festival and other special events with more activities for families, and she developed a strong working relationship with our city neighborhood groups. Ashley has more than two decades of management experience and is a passionate and dedicated champion of the department, the City and the community."
Edwards holds a master's degree in Athletic Administration and a bachelor's in Leisure Services and Studies with an emphasis in Municipal Recreation Administration, both from Florida State University. She is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional through the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).
Beyond the office, Edwards is active in her field and community. Since the late 1980s, she has organized, supervised and coached in a number of youth athletics leagues throughout the community, including softball, volleyball, flag football, baseball and soccer. She has served in several capacities for the Florida Recreation and Park Association, including being District 1 Director from 2000-2003. She was one of the founders of the annual Junior Olympic Capital City Invitational Girls Softball Tournament in 1992 and has served as Tournament Director every year since.
"The City's Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs Department has a rich history in the community and is recognized as being among the best in America," Edwards said. "I'm proud to be a part of it and honored to serve in this new leadership position working with an incredible group of employees who are committed to providing outstanding opportunities and services for our citizens."
In her new position, Edwards will manage a staff of 172 full-time employees as well as hundreds of seasonal employees and maintain responsibility for an annual operating budget of $20.8 million. She will report directly to Assistant City Manager Dee Crumpler.
The City of Tallahassee Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs Department was named "Best in America" by NRPA in 2004. It provides recreational opportunities for the citizens of Tallahassee and Leon County through its 3,540 acres of well-managed parkland. It offers athletic opportunities, passive parks, classes, activities and events for people of all ages in every pocket of our community. Additionally, the department offers liaison assistance for neighborhood associations and operates the Tallahassee-Leon Community Animal Service Center. For more information, please visit Talgov.com/Parks, follow @COTParks on Twitter or like the department on Facebook.
Michelle Bono, Communications Department, 891-8200