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Cincinnati Parks Director resigns, John Neyer named interim director

120821 Kara Kish.PNG
Courtesy of Cincinnati Parks
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Cincinnati Parks Director Kara Kish resigned Wednesday after two years in the role.

Cincinnati Parks Director Kara Kish resigned Wednesday after two years in the role. The Board of Park Commissioners has appointed an interim director and announced plans to initiate a national search.

The board accepted Kish's resignation during a special board meeting. In her letter to the board, she indicated Thursday will be her last day.

"I would like to recognize, thank and celebrate the passion and work of the Cincinnati Parks staff," Kish said in her resignation letter. "We have been on a journey of transition together through an organizational restructuring and redefined the organizational culture with a primary focus of improving the user experience. The staff's dedication to collaboration and co-creation have built the foundational steps upon which the Cincinnati Parks will continue to thrive, grow and provide exemplary service. It was my true honor to lead and be a part of the Cincinnati Parks team and serve the citizens of Cincinnati as the Director of Cincinnati Parks."

Prior to assuming her role, Kish served as interim and deputy director in 2019. She previously served as superintendent of the Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department in Indiana. She is a past president of the Indiana Park and Recreation Association and the past chair of the National Recreation and Park Association’s Great Lakes Regional Network.

John Neyer has been named the interim director and is expected to serve while a national search is conducted for a permanent replacement. He is the CEO of Neyer Management and spent 12 years with the Cincinnati Parks Foundation where he served a term as its board president.

The Park Board will begin the search "as soon as possible."

“The role of Director of Cincinnati Parks is a complex one and critically important to our organization and especially all those who use and love our parks," Board of Park Commissioners President Jim Goetz said in a release. "On behalf of the Board, we recognize the vital role our organization plays for the entire Cincinnati community. We are united in our commitment to finding the very best person to lead us going forward."