In August 2022, the City of Richland launched a nationwide recruitment effort for a new Parks & Public Facilities Director. The position was vacated by Joe Schiessl when he was promoted to Deputy City Manager in July.
A total of six applicants were considered for the position, and the successful candidate, Laura Hester of Sahuarita, AZ, began her new role at the City of Richland on January 3, 2023. She has over twenty years of parks and recreation experience.
Prior to coming to Richland, Hester worked at the Town of Sahuarita, AZ for just over four years. While there she was Parks & Facilities Manager for two years and then promoted to Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Director where she has served for the past two and a half years. There she directed all facilities, operations, services, and staff assigned to the Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department. Before Sahuarita, she served six years as a Park Forman/Cemetery Sexton in Kaysville, Utah, and four years as a Recreation Therapist at Life Care Center of America in Bountiful, UT.
Hester earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Parks & Recreation and Therapeutic Recreation Therapy from the University of Utah. She is also a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP).
“We are excited to welcome Laura and her family to Richland. We look forward to working with her on new recreational programming and continued enhancement of city assets and facilities,” states Joe Schiessl. “Her passion and education in recreation and parks management will only benefit our popular park system”.
Hester will join the City’s Executive Leadership Team and oversee a department of just over 98 employees.
More information about the City of Richland can be found at www.ci.richland.wa.us.
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