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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 17, 2 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. Minutes
February 23, 2017, 1 p.m. Minutes
March 16, 2017, 1 p.m. Minutes
April 20, 2017, 1 p.m. Minutes
May 18, 2017, 1 p.m. Minutes
June 15, 2017, 1 p.m., Mill Race Banquet Center Minutes
July 20, 2017, 1 p.m. Minutes
August 17, 2017, 1 p.m. Minutes
September 21, 2017, 1 p.m. Minutes
October 17, 2017, 2 p.m. Minutes
2016 Board Meeting Minutes
January 20, 2016, 1 p.m. Minutes
February 18, 2016, 1 p.m. Minutes
March 17, 2016, 1 p.m. Minutes
April 21, 2016, 10 a.m.-noon, Board Staff Workshop, Winton Centre Minutes
April 21, 2016, 1 p.m. Minutes
May 19, 2016, 1 p.m. Minutes
June 16, 2016, 1 p.m. Minutes
July 26, 2016, 2 p.m. Minutes
August 18, 2016, 1 p.m. Minutes
September 15, 2016, 1 p.m. Minutes
October 20, 2016, 1 p.m. Minutes
November 17, 2016, 1 p.m. Minutes
December 15, 2016, 1 p.m. Minutes
Great Parks Leadership Team
Jack Sutton, Chief Executive Officer
The Chief Executive Officer 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, Chief Operating Officer
The Chief Operating Officer oversees the Conservation & Parks, Guest Experiences, Planning and Ranger divisions. email

Jill Frazer, Chief of Human Resources

The Chief of Human Resources oversees all employee services including payroll, hiring, benefits and training; as well as Volunteer Services. email

Bret Henninger, Chief of Conservation and Parks

The Chief of Conservation and Parks oversees all natural areas, wildlife habitat, environmental quality, biological diversity, sustainability initiatives and park operations for all developed areas. email

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

Bill Mowery, Chief of Guest Experiences
The Chief of Guest Experiences oversees Education and Events, Golf, Business Development and all offerings related to our guest’s experience including harbors, campgrounds, banquet centers, athletics, interpretive farm, equestrian center and gift stores. email

Todd Palmeter, Chief of Planning
The Chief of Planning oversees Design and Land Acquisition, Facilities and Infrastructure, IT and Data Management, Marketing and Public Engagement and works with the Great Parks Foundation Executive Director. email

Rick Spreckelmeier, Chief of Rangers (Interim)
The Chief Ranger oversees our state-certified police force responsible for enforcing federal and state laws, as well as Great Parks’ by-laws. email
Great Parks Foundation Board
The Great Parks Foundation is facilitated by an all-volunteer Board. For more information visit the Great Parks Foundation website.

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