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About

Leadership

Leadership

Board of Park Commissioners
Great Parks of Hamilton County (formerly Hamilton County Park District) was created in 1930 with the mission to protect local natural resources and to provide outdoor recreation and education for area residents. Great Parks of Hamilton County is a separate political subdivision of the State of Ohio, governed by a Board of Park Commissioners. Board members are appointed by the Judge of Hamilton County Probate Court, the Honorable Ralph Winkler.

The Board is comprised of five individuals who serve without compensation. The Board sets governance policies, approves land acquisitions and annual budgets. The Board appoints an Executive Director who is responsible for the implementation of park policies and leads the overall operation of Great Parks of Hamilton County.

DeVere E. Burt was appointed to the Board effective January 1, 2013. Mr. Burt also serves as a trustee of the Cincinnati Nature Center where he is Vice President for Development, and Chairman of their Capital Campaign. He also is a founding trustee of the Susan Kathleen Black Foundation. Mr. Burt served as President and CEO of the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History until 1996, before becoming founder of Masterworks for Nature in 2000. Mr. Burt has also served as regional Vice President for the Nature Conservancy and was a field biologist for the United States Antarctic Research Program.

William J. Burwinkel was appointed to the Board on January 11, 2016. Mr. Burwinkel is the founder and chief executive officer of National Marketshare Group, Inc. He is also the founder of Adopt A Class Foundation and is active throughout the Greater Cincinnati community serving on the Cincinnati Public Services Quality of Life Board, Cincinnati Police Chief Advisory Board, the Queensgate Business Alliance and the Westside Summit.

HC Buck Niehoff was appointed to the Board effective January 1, 2014. Mr. Niehoff is retired from the law firm of Peck, Shaffer & Williams LLC. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the University of Cincinnati as well as on the boards of many local organizations, including the Cincinnati Museum Center, Mercantile Library and Ohio Cancer Research Associates.

Joseph C. Seta was appointed to the Board effective January 1, 2011. He served as the President and CEO of Seta, Appleman & Showell, an advertising and graphic design firm, for 22 years and as Managing Director of Cincinnati Landor Associates Design Group. He has served on the advisory board for the College of Mount Saint Joseph and was a board member for the Central Academy of Commercial Art. He attended Xavier University and the Central Academy of Commercial Art.

Geraldine “Ginger” Warner was appointed to the Board on May 2, 2012.  She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Cincinnati, serves as Vice Chair of the Ohio Arts Council, is Secretary for the National First Ladies Library, is a board member of Greenacres Foundation, and board member of both The Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.  Ms. Warner is a retired attorney and a graduate of New York University Law School.​

Jack Sutton, Executive Director, Great Parks of Hamilton County
Jack Sutton has served as the Executive Director of Great Parks of Hamilton County since September 2002. Since joining the Park District in 1989, Jack has served in several positions including Park Planner, Planning Director and Deputy Director. He currently serves as Chairman of the Hamilton County Natural Resource Assistance Council and is a member of the Leadership Cincinnati Alumni Association.
2017 Tentative Board Meeting Schedule
  • January 19, 1 p.m.
  • February 23, 1 p.m.
  • March 16, 1 p.m.
  • April 20, 1 p.m.
  • May 18, 1 p.m.
  • June 15, 1 p.m. - Mill Race Banquet Center, 1515 W Sharon Road, Cincinnati, OH 45240​
  • July 20, 1 p.m.
  • August 17, 1 p.m.
  • September 21, 1 p.m.
  • October 19, 1 p.m.
  • November 16, 1 p.m.
  • December 14, 1 p.m.

All meetings are held at the Winton Centre, 10245 Winton Road, Cincinnati, OH 45231 unless otherwise stated. ​
Board Meeting Minutes
2017 Board Meeting Minutes
January 19, 2017, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
February 23, 2017, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
March 16, 2017, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
April 20, 2017, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
May 18, 2017, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
June 15, 2017, 1 p.m., Mill Race Banquet Center Minutes
2016 Board Meeting Minutes
January 20, 2016, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
February 18, 2016, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
March 17, 2016, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
April 21, 2016, 10 a.m.-noon, Board Staff Workshop, Winton Centre Minutes
April 21, 2016, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
May 19, 2016, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
June 16, 2016, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
July 26, 2016, 2 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
August 18, 2016, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
September 15, 2016, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
October 20, 2016, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
November 17, 2016, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
December 15, 2016, 1 p.m., Winton Centre Minutes
Great Parks Leadership Team
Jack Sutton, Executive Director
The Executive Director serves as the chief administrator and executive officer overseeing all operations of Great Parks of Hamilton County, reporting directly to the Board of Park Commissioners. email

Rebecca McDonough, Deputy Director
The Deputy Director oversees the Natural Resources, Outdoor Education, Planning and Recreation Services divisions and the Guest Services, Landscape, Marketing/Communications, Operations and Risk Management departments. email

Thomas Lowe, Chief Financial Officer
The Chief Financial Officer oversees budgets, cash flow, investments, internal controls, audits and long-range financial planning. email

Jill Frazer, Human Resources Director
The Human Resources Director oversees all employee services including payroll, hiring, benefits and training; as well as all volunteer services. email

Todd Palmeter, Planning Director
The Planning Director oversees engineering, facilities, geographic information, information technology, land acquisition, park construction projects and works with the Great Parks Foundation Executive Director. email

Bill Mowery, Recreation Services Director
The Recreation Services Director oversees the boathouses, campgrounds, snack bars, banquet centers, wet playgrounds, special events, golf courses, soccer, softball and gift stores. email

Amy Roell, Outdoor Education Director
The Outdoor Education Director oversees the outdoor education department, visitor center operations, Winton Woods Riding Center, Parky’s Farm and Adventure Outpost. email

Jennifer Sivak, Public Affairs Manager
The Public Affairs Manager oversees and directs marketing, branding, communications and guest services. email

Bret Henninger, Natural Resources Director
The Natural Resources Director oversees the natural areas, wildlife habitat, environmental quality, biological diversity and sustainability initiatives. email

Jackie O’Connell, Operations Superintendent
The Operations Superintendent oversees park operations for all developed areas including building and grounds maintenance, golf courses and landscape. email
Great Parks Foundation Board
The Great Parks Foundation is facilitated by an all-volunteer, ten-member Board:

Jim Wilz, President
Mr. Jim Wilz is president of Sur-Seal Gasket & Packing Inc., a manufacturing company located in Green Township. Jim is a western Hamilton County native who has enjoyed the benefits of Great Parks of Hamilton County for years. Jim’s family, through his father Ed Wilz’s leadership, was instrumental in funding the development of the wetland viewing shelter and creating the Great Parks “Windows Into Wetlands” educational program at the Shaker Trace wetlands in Miami Whitewater Forest.

Charlie Howard, Vice President
Mr. Charlie Howard is a marketing, advertising and public relations professional with nearly 40 years of experience with some of Greater Cincinnati's most visible brands. He also has strong experience in the non-profit sector from his six-year tenure at Cincinnati Museum Center as Senior Director of Marketing & Communication where, in addition to marketing, adverting and public relations, he was responsible for membership acquisition and retention and corporate fund-raising and sponsorship development. He also lead the branding and communications initiative for the Museum Center's successful tax levy in 2004.

Barbara Ann Strangfeld, Secretary
Ms. Barbara Ann Strangfeld is retired from The Ohio State University Extension in Hamilton County as its Master Gardener Program Coordinator. In addition to serving on the Great Parks Foundation Board, she also serves on the board of the Greater Cincinnati Master Garden Association and is a member of the Chadwick Arboretum and the Greater Cincinnati Rain Garden Alliance.

Scott Keller, Treasurer
Mr. Scott Keller is a principal with Truepoint Wealth Counsel in Blue Ash. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in finance, with a minor in economics, from Montana State University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA). In addition to his current board position with the Great Parks Foundation, he also serves on the board of the CFA Society of Cincinnati.

Kay Bornemann, Board Member
Ms. Kay Bornemann holds a bachelor’s degree in botany/bacteriology from Ohio Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in physiology from Indiana University. Kay is a long-time resident of Hamilton County, growing up on the Simmonds farm adjacent to Miami Whitewater Forest. She has been involved in civic activities including the Miami Historical Society, Friends of the White Water Shaker Village and the Cincinnati Museum Center.

Ann Frederick, Board Member
Ms. Ann Frederick is a Hamilton County Farm Bureau Trustee and Public Policy Chairperson, Hamilton County Ohio Horseman Council Program Coordinator, Diamond Oaks Equine Science and Management Program Adviser and an active volunteer for SPCA Cincinnati. Ann is a member of the American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians, American Quarter Horse Association, Hamilton County Farm Bureau and Hamilton County Ohio Horseman Council. She holds professional licenses as a Register Nurse and Registered Animal Technician in the State of Ohio.

Rahul Gupta, Board Member
Mr. Rahul Gupta is a business  development manager for IT consulting firm SLK America. He is a native of upstate New York and has always been a supporter of nature and  the environment from his first trip to the Adirondacks. Rahul is very  active with Cincinnati's nonprofits, sitting on multiple boards helping  provide advice and thought leadership based on years of volunteer service.

Jon Hoffheimer, Board Member
Mr. Jon Hoffheimer is a private attorney who also serves as a trustee of the Philada Home Fund. He is a member of the Cincinnati Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He is also a Fellow of American Bar Foundation, the Ohio State Bar Foundation and the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Jim Williams, Board Member
Mr. Jim Williams began his career with Great Parks in the early 1960s as a part-time naturalist, advancing to full-time naturalist in 1972. Shortly thereafter, he took on the role as chief naturalist, a position he held until his retirement from Great Parks in 1995. In 1996, Jim became a Great Parks Volunteer, serving on the Board from 1999 until the present. Jim is a long-time resident of Colerain Township.

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