We are excited to announce that Dewayne Williams has joined the Shelby Farms Park team as Director of Park Operations! In this role, Dewayne will oversee the daily maintenance and operation of the Park’s vast acres, buildings and amenities as well as the 10.65 miles of Shelby Farms Greenline.
Dewayne joins the Park from Hernando, Mississippi, where he served as Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Hernando for more than 15 years. During his time there, he created a thriving parks and recreation department which includes ten parks and programs which draw more than 4,000 participants annually.
"Dewayne brings a wealth of both leadership and public parks experience to our team," said Jen Andrews, CEO of Shelby Farms Park Conservancy. "His passion for people and for parks makes him a great fit, and we're excited to see the impact of Shelby Farms Park and Greenline grow with his leadership."
Dewayne received an undergraduate degree from the University of Mississippi, a graduate of the National Parks and Recreation Association’s (NRPA) Directors School and holds an NRPA Leadership Certificate. He is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional and a former member of the Mississippi Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA) where he served as president and was named Professional of the Year.
Check out these honors!
We talked with Dewayne about what brought him to Shelby Farms Park and what he plans to accomplish at one of America’s largest urban parks!
How did you get started working in the wonderful world of parks?
My start in parks began at a Boys and Girls Club board meeting. I was the Director of a Boys and Girls Club in Southaven, Mississippi, and the mayor at the time was a board member of the club. He told me the City of Hernando wanted to start a parks and recreation department and he believed I could do the job. In January 2006, I started in the role of Director of Parks and Recreation.
How long have you worked in this field?
Why were you interested in joining the team at Shelby Farms Park?
I had heard of and been to the Park and was always impressed with the Park. I love challenges, engaging with people and creating. I was able to use my skills of creativity, gathering people and vision casting to create a vibrant park system in Hernando when there was no park system or programs for citizens to enjoy. Because Shelby Farms Park is a place that faces challenges with collaboration, creativity, strategy, and execution, I knew I wanted to join the team.
What are you most excited about?
I am most excited about working with an organization that provides world class service to the public and provides world class culture for the people inside the organization.
What do you hope to accomplish at the Park?
I have two objectives. I want to add value to this amazing team and to execute the mission of the Park. Lastly, I will position the Park to be able to start the next phase of growth! I like how forward thinking the team is at Shelby Farms Park Conservancy.
When you aren’t working at the Park, what can we find you doing?
I believe in doing what you enjoy. My hobbies are hooping, blues music, dancing and hanging out with family and friends.
Three words to describe yourself:
Community, Funny and Active
Three words to describe Shelby Farms Park:
Innovative, Inspiring and Intentional
Where is your favorite place in the Park?
Just south of Heart of the Park where the area is very natural with trees and water.
Tell us about your Involvement with the National Recreation and Park Association and Mississippi Recreation and Park Association:
I have been a member of the NRPA for many years. I am a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional, A graduate of The NRPA Directors School, and I have the NRPA Leadership Certification. I was also a member of Mississippi Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA) for many years. I was Professional of the Year and I served as the president of the organization.
If you see Dewayne out and about in the Park, please be sure to give him a warm welcome!