Chief Operating Officer

Chief Operating Officer
Organization New Orleans City Park
Location New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Job Type Full Time
Application Deadline Jan 7, 2022

City Park is one of the nation’s largest urban parks, distinguished by its expansive urban wilderness, variety of active recreation offerings and location in the middle of New Orleans. The COO is an executive level position responsible for overseeing day-to-day park operations, advancing the park to best in class operations, and participating and or leading strategic initiatives for the City Park Improvement Association (CPIA). Additional responsibilities of this position include liaising with the public and stakeholders, as well as supporting the CEO in all aspects of park management. The role involves highly visible community projects and business lines that have a large variety of stakeholders.  Current departments reporting to this role include: Sales/Catering, Amusements, Risk Management, Stadium/Athletics, Tennis, Grounds/Horticulture, IT, Park Police, and the Botanical Garden. The position will play a critical role in preparing CPIA for a park-wide master plan and corresponding improvement of all aspects of park operations.

 Park Operations, Maintenance and Programming Management

  • Develop programs and management strategies that elevate the Park visitor experience and proactively care for the Park’s natural resources
  • Develop and execute O+M program that is efficient, economical and high impact; maintain high levels of park maintenance, recreation and athletic services, natural resource management and horticulture care with a focus on economy, efficiency, productivity and the park user experience
  • Develop, implement, and oversee a safe and secure environment for employees and park users, and ensure a proactive emergency response plan.
    • Oversee the execution of park programming, events, concessions and earned income development
    • Balance special events/park programming with the needs of the park and minimize impact to park daily operations, grounds and infrastructure
    • Evaluate the use of contract labor and develop relationships with contractors. Perform quality control checks on work completed.
    • Coordinate with City and State entities such as NOPD, Sewerage and Water Board, Parks and Parkways, the Levee District, as well as utility companies to benefit the park and minimize impact of non-park projects that affect the operations of the park.
    • Develop long and short-term strategies for management of ongoing park issues such as homeless, graffiti, vandalism, animal control, parking and traffic issues.
    • Understanding of GIS capabilities and ability to guide the creation of useful maps to evaluate park needs and create long- and short-term plans for park operations
    • Anticipate and mediate conflict between leaseholders, special events, park operations and other entities using the park (board members, donors)
    • Ensure a highly effective fleet management program
    • Ensure a culture of environmental leadership
  • Organization Strategic Direction and Oversight
    • Participate in all areas of CPIA programming and operations including development, capital, operations, finance and human resources
    • Work closely with CEO and other executive leadership in developing and executing strategic direction and organizational optimization
    • Lead the creation of policies and procedures, with an emphasis on culture building, workforce development, and safety
    • Continuously evaluate program activities, ensure continuing contractual obligations are being fulfilled, allocation of resources for greater program effectiveness
    • Work with CEO to grow and optimize CPIA organizational structure and performance in support of CPIA growth goals and strategic plan execution
    • Serve as liaison as needed with board members, government officials, the public, volunteers and partnering organizations
    • Execute special projects as needed

 Finance and Administration Responsibilities

    • Ability to create and execute well designed RFPs for disaster relief and other significant ongoing contracts.
    • Understand state procurement and use of state appropriated funds. Ability to use funds efficiently and effectively.
    • Ensure compliance from leaseholders, park partners and permit holders as well as ensure the park is compliant with any applicable laws related to park operations
    • Assist in developing business plans for future capital projects
    • Assist in conducting internal assessment of business operations
    • Prepare and manage park maintenance and operations budget in cooperation with CEO and CFO.
    • Partner with CEO to determine key financial metrics and supporting strategies
    • Work closely with finance department to ensure streamlined, accurate reporting and that the financial needs of the organization are met
    • Assist with the development of the annual operating budget and ensure operation within the budgeted allowances
    • Assist with developing long-term budgets tied back to strategic plans and master plan implementation needs


  • Human Resources
    • Empower and resource direct reports, ensuring constant advancement towards organizational goals
    • Ensure park policies are consistent across all departments
    • Create and implement systems to promote upward mobility; incentivize and reward quality employees uniformly throughout departments
    • Assist with advancing an organizational model that promotes communication between departments, finds efficiencies and addresses conflicts
    • Instill a spirit of joyful collaboration, an entrepreneurial spirit and the value of servant leadership


  • At least 10 years in a public park or similar environment at an advanced managerial level
  • Proven success in park or public space project management
  • Bachelors’ degree and relevant certifications and proof of pursuing continuing education in the field of urban parks and/or public space
  • Extensive knowledge of the principles, methods and practices of land management, human resources management, contract negotiation, park programming, public space values, and project management
  • Understanding of the principles of public engagement, stormwater management, green infrastructure, and environmental stewardship
  • Able to multitask, prioritize and meet multiple project deadlines
  • Be skillful and diplomatic, anticipate challenges; creative and skillful problem-solving ability, think outside of the box
  • Superior communication and collaboration skills

Applicants should submit a cover letter, two one-page overviews of significant park projects (capital or operational endeavors), a comprehensive resume, and three references via email to [email protected] 

Application Link