By David Markham
A 17-year veteran JCPRD official has been tapped to serve as the agency’s next deputy director.
Rhonda Pollard began in her new job on July 18, stepping into a position which has been vacant since mid-May.
“Rhonda is a highly respected professional with tremendous experience and leadership attributes that are an excellent fit to serve as JCPRD’s deputy director,” said Executive Director Jeff Stewart. “Her relationship with JCPRD employees, volunteers, and the Johnson County community will continue to be an asset to all as she serves in her new role.”
Pollard has been with the district since February 2005, when she started as the Overland Park 50 Plus director. In January 2008, she was promoted to 50 Plus Manager. Since July of 2014, she has served as superintendent of recreation. Prior to coming to JCPRD, Pollard was general manager at Sports and Fitness Management in Overland Park for 12 years. During those years, she had frequent contact with JCPRD staff members when she was in charge of racquetball competitions for the Kansas City Corporate Challenge during that annual event. Pollard holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of Kansas.
What she liked best about being superintendent of recreation, Pollard said, was “working with an amazing group of creative, energetic, and dedicated staff. They bring smiles to me each and every day, and I’m so proud of their work!”
The deputy director position, which was first introduced in April 2017, serves as superintendent of JCPRD’s Administrative Services Division, providing oversight and support for all departments within the division. Additionally, the deputy director facilitates cooperative projects with area municipalities, makes presentations to area groups, represents JCPRD on county committees and workgroups, and serves as an ambassador for JCPRD throughout the community. The position also coordinates and oversees implementation of the agency’s Legacy Plan and will serve in the role of executive director in Stewart’s absence.
“I bring experience of staff in the field and how their day-to-day operations interact with the various ASV departments,” Pollard said. “I also have years of public speaking and community relationship building that weave into this position. I’m looking forward to learning more about each of the ASV departments and supporting their needs, as well as working on broader JCPRD initiatives such as fulfilling the Legacy Plan, reaccreditation, and meeting our agency goals and objectives. I’ll need to listen and learn a lot! I’m looking forward to it.”
Her more immediate goals include hiring a new development director, and working to update JCPRD’s long-range strategic plan (see related story).