Kara Kish Hired as Loveland City’s Parks and Recreation Director

Kara Kish

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The City of Loveland has hired parks and recreation leader Kara Kish as its new parks and recreation director. After a national search, she was selected from five highly qualified finalists and begins her new role on May 8.

“Kara is a true public servant. Her collaborative, community-centric vision and vast depth of experience leading larger parks and recreation departments will initiate positive improvements for our entire community,” said Loveland City Manager Steve Adams. “She brings demonstrated expertise in opening award-winning community facilities, a history of strategic community and governmental partnerships, and a commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts through data-driven decision-making.”

Kish has dedicated her career to parks and recreation management, leadership, and mentorship for almost two decades. She also brings ten years in executive leadership and a lifetime of love for parks and recreation services that began as a 15-year-old lifeguard. She holds a bachelor’s degree in recreation and sports management from Indiana State University and a Master of Public Affairs degree from Indiana University Purdue. She is currently an Indiana State Ph.D. candidate in park and recreation studies.

Most recently, Kish served as director of Cincinnati Parks overseeing a $22 million budget and leading a team that managed strategic planning, budgeting and finance, grants and capital campaigns, operations and maintenance, communication, volunteers, research as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.

“The Loveland community’s support, use, and love of their parks, trails, open lands, golf and recreational facilities, and public programs demonstrate the direct value of parks and recreation as a vital resource for an enriched quality of life,” said Kish. “When visiting Loveland and meeting with staff and residents, I felt a profound sense of belonging. I am proud to lend my experience and professional passions as a parks and recreation professional and servant leader to advancing the department’s and the City’s mission.”

As the City’s parks and recreation director, Kish will oversee strategic planning and operations for the department, including coordination with the City Manager’s Office and city council, and leading a team that plans for and maintains the City’s 35 park areas, 26 miles of paved trails, 17 natural areas, three golf courses, cemetery, and recreation including the Chilson Center, Senior Center, Winona Community Pool, community events, festivals and more.

Kish will transition into the director role as the City’s current director, Elizabeth Kayl, prepares for retirement after serving our community for seven years.

“As we welcome Kara, I want to extend my deep appreciation to Elizabeth for her years of dedication and leadership to the City of Loveland. She established a strong, vibrant presence for Loveland parks and recreation that is cherished by our community. We thank her for her dedication to our community and wish her the best in retirement,” said Adams.