Director of Lawrence Parks and Recreation to retire

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Derek Rogers, director of the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department, has announced plans to retire at the end of 2023, according to a city news release Friday afternoon.

“City Manager Craig Owens will conduct a national recruitment to identify the next Lawrence Parks and Recreation Director. Rogers will be engaged in that process and transition,” according to the release. “The recruitment effort will begin immediately and we hope to complete the hiring process by December 2023.”

Rogers has been held the position since 2017.

“Serving my community through the Parks and Recreation Department has been a privilege, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such a talented group of individuals throughout the department and the City,” Rogers said in the release. “Together, we have accomplished great things over the years. While my time as Director will end, my love for this community, parks and recreation facilities, and the connection with community partners will never fade. During my tenure, there were many times I chose to put community and work ahead of family and I look forward to making up for that lost time with them.” 

Assistant City Manager Brandon McGuire said in the release that the city is grateful for Rogers giving time to conduct a search for a successor.

“Over the past six years, Derek has set the standard as a dedicated public servant and an advocate for our Parks and Recreation employees,” McGuire said. “Derek has cultivated valuable relationships inside and outside the organization, has willingly stepped up to meet new and unique needs, and has led the department through some of the more challenging years of its long history. I want to thank Derek for his service and friendship.” 

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