FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM: 021916
Marie Knight Named Director of Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine
Today City Manager Pat West named Marie Knight as the City’s Director of the Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM) Department. Ms. Knight brings 27 years of professional experience in the municipal and community sectors, and her appointment will be effective in mid-March, 2016.
"Ms. Knight has an extensive background in parks, recreation and community services," said Mr. West. "She also has valuable experience in project management, customer service, public engagement and organizational development, and will be a great addition to our City Management Team."
Ms. Knight has served the City of Orange for nine years as the Director of Community Services where she is currently in charge of four Divisions; Recreation Services; Park Planning and Development; Parks and Facilities Maintenance; and the public information operations for the City. She previously served as Director of Recreation and Senior Services for the City of Newport Beach; Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs in Orange County Alliance; and Leisure Services Manager for the City of Garden Grove.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to serve the entire Long Beach community as Director of Parks, Recreation and Marine,” said Ms. Knight. “Long Beach’s parks, beaches, marinas and golf courses are some of the best in the nation, and I will devote my energy to making sure they continue to thrive and are accessible to everybody.”
She is replacing George Chapjian, who resigned as PRM Director in June 2015 to take a similar position with the Community Services Department for Santa Barbara County. Stephen Scott has been serving as Interim PRM Director.
“Stephen has done an outstanding job as Interim Director, and I want to thank him for his excellent leadership and stewardship,” said Mr. West.
Ms. Knight holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Communications from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is also a professional speaker and a member of the California Park & Recreation Society, and she serves on several community boards.
About Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine
The Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine Department is one of the premier parks and recreation departments in the country and is consistently recognized for excellence in management practices and programs, having received the national Gold Medal Award four times. PRM operates over 160 parks with 26 community centers; two major tennis centers; an animal shelter; one of the busiest municipal golf systems in the country with five courses, where over 400,000 rounds of golf are played annually; and the largest municipally operated marina system in the nation with over 3,200 boat slips. More than 3,200 acres within the City's 50 square miles are developed for recreation. The Department also offers more than 2,400 contract classes (fitness, health, enrichment) to people of all ages (newborn to senior) every year. In addition, the Department offers after-school programs at 26 sites during the school year, as well as summer programs for youth 5-12 years old. Other unique sites include multiple community gardens, a municipal cemetery, over 38 miles of bike trails, nine dog parks, and eight skate parks.