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The City of Mount Pleasant welcomes Ricky Harris as the Director of Parks & Recreation, who will plan, coordinate and manage all parks and recreation operations and activities, including the divisions of Parks Maintenance, the Civic Center, Main Street, Special Events and the Municipal Pool.
Harris, a U.S. Army veteran, brings extensive municipal experience that includes managing Capital Improvement Projects (CIP), building partnerships with community stakeholders, implementing Parks, Recreation and Trails Master Plans, all while running a tight ship when it comes to park and facility maintenance and staffing.
Harris served as Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Commerce from 2009 to 2016, where he helped establish the City as a destination for statewide baseball and softball tournaments, netted multiple Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Small Community Grants, and organized an extensive series of special events and other community services.
As Parks and Recreation Operations Manager for the City of Rowlett from 2016 to 2019, Harris was responsible for 40 full-time employees and 75 part-time employees across three divisions including the City’s water park. He was a member of the leadership team that planned and completed 10 CIP projects resulting in $4 million in park upgrades, and he met the City Council’s mandated annual goal of making the water park and community center financially self-sustainable.
Most recently, Harris has been assisting the City of Greenville with the planning and coordination of all recreational activities, special events, and youth and adult sports.
“We are very fortunate to have Ricky join our leadership team,” said City Manager Ed Thatcher. “His professional track record speaks for itself and is an ideal fit for the vision the Council has for Mount Pleasant’s parks, trails and recreation offerings.”
“Ricky is both a leader and a team player with the ability to connect with the wide range of people we serve, from Main Street to the ball fields,” added Thatcher.
A graduate of Texas A & M University-Commerce, Harris is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP), a Certified Pool/Spa Operator (CPO) and holds TCEQ Landscape Irrigation and Texas Department of Agriculture Pesticide Applicator licenses. He is a member of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and Texas Recreation and Parks Society (TRAPS), received the Martin Luther King, Jr., Spirit of Dedication Award in 2014.
“I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead the Mount Pleasant Parks and Recreation Department,” said Harris. “The Mount Pleasant Parks system is second to none, and I look forward to being a part of helping provide the highest quality of life possible to the citizens of Mount Pleasant.”
Harris will start his new position with the City on August 27.
“I can’t wait to get started and I am excited about becoming a member of the community of Mount Pleasant,” Harris said.