New city parks director hired; starts Sept. 3

Posted: August 3, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — Jennifer Jones has been selected from nearly 200 applicants to be the city’s new parks and recreation director.

Now the superintendent of recreation in Staunton, she will begin her new job on Sept. 3, according to a city government news release.

She will succeed Brad Veach, who resigned on May 15.

Jones, 48, said on Friday that she has worked for Staunton’s Parks and Recreation Department for 23 years. “This was the job I got the day I finished my course work in grad school.”

She started as a community recreation programmer.

Jones has a bachelor’s degree in recreation management from West Virginia University and a master’s degree in recreation resources administration from North Carolina State University, according to the release.

Her starting salary will be $83,000 per year.

While she said it is difficult to leave Staunton, Jones is looking forward to the move to Winchester.

“I really like Winchester,” she said. “The area’s beautiful. I really love the downtown. I’ve been to Jim Barnett Park many times. It’s so similar to Staunton.”

Winchester is also closer to Marshall County, W.Va., where Jones grew up.

She hopes to improve the city’s parks and recreation programs, with the needs of older adults and those in their 20s and 30s at the top of the list.

“One of my goals will be to include, or bring, the community together, to use Parks and Recreation programs and facilities we have to create community unity,” Jones said.

In Winchester, she will be in charge of 83 employees and a $2.7 million budget, according to the release.

“Ms. Jones impressed me with the depth of her experience, creativity and passion for parks and recreation,” City Manager Dale Iman said in the news release. “Her vast knowledge of the Shenandoah Valley and innovation were clearly recognized by the Advisory Board and staff members who participated in the interview process.”

— Contact Sally Voth