Director of Park Maintenance

Industry: Facilities Management
Location: New York - New York City
Sector: Cultural/Non-Profit
Search ID: 20-0703-17
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Robert H. Dible
Robert H. Dible

The Central Park Conservancy has retained Helbling to conduct an executive search to secure a Director of Park Maintenance.

Position Summary 

Reporting to the Vice President for Operations, the Director of Park Maintenance is a member of the senior management team at the Central Park Conservancy with responsibility for the senior-level leadership, staff management, planning, program development and management for custodial care, and maintenance of the Park, playgrounds, facilities, and infrastructure.

Essential Duties

  • Plan, organize, lead, and direct a staff of managers, assistant managers, and frontline staff in all aspects of the custodial, facilities, infrastructure, maintenance, and technical service operations of Central Park
  • Create a culture of personal ownership, responsibility, and accountability
  • Mentor and develop staff; identify training opportunities for professional growth
  • Delegate projects / tasks, instill ownership in team members’ duties, and ensure accountability
  • Communicate and collaborate with direct reports to achieve goals 
  • Lead by example, demonstrating managerial skills with a focus on teamwork and staff development
  • Provide effective and consistent performance feedback
  • Manage personnel and resource allocation
  • Employ conflict resolution and other interpersonal coaching for team members
  • Establish and maintain close working relationship with appropriate City agencies, Park user groups, and organizational partners
  • Represent the Conservancy at external meetings as necessary
  • Collaborate with other senior operations managers in developing short-range and long-range plans consistent with and in fulfillment of the Conservancy’s seven-year plan for the stewardship of Central Park
  • Foster team collaboration that extends beyond own line of sight and supports the overall strategic plan of the organization
Program Management
  • Set multi-year goals; devise plans and budget for all custodial and technical maintenance in Central Park
  • Establish goals and objectives for staff; create a routine maintenance plan for the cleaning and maintenance of Central Park, as well as its facilities and infrastructure
  • Develop inspection program and performance measures and standards to evaluate the effectiveness of all areas of supervision
  • Work with human resources in the development and implementation of training programs for safety and work techniques suited for the division
  • Ensure work methods comply with established health and safety regulations
  • Collaborate with other Conservancy departments on operational needs and staffing for projects, special events, and other Park-related activities
  • Oversee the development and administration of the department’s budget, which includes monitoring and approving of expenditures
  • Use computer-based management and GIS systems for budget control, scheduling, timekeeping, inventory, workflow in the field, and inspections
  • Seek innovative solutions to resolve obstacles in program management; anticipate challenges and recommend prompt corrective action
  • React quickly and troubleshoot issues and potential problems to minimize escalation
Related Work
  • Respond to and manage emergency situations as required
  • Perform other duties as assigned that support the overall objective of the position and needs of the Park / organization

About the Organization

Built between the years 1858 and 1873, Central Park is almost entirely man-made and considered to be a single work of art. Composed of natural elements – turf, woodlands, and water bodies, along with architectural elements, this 843-acre National Historic Landmark requires a unique set of skills to maintain these features to the highest standards. Founded in 1980, the mission of the Central Park Conservancy is to restore, manage, and enhance Central Park in partnership with the public.

The Central Park Conservancy is the principal steward of Central Park, one of the world’s most treasured cultural landmarks. Over the last 40 years the Conservancy has overseen the restoration of this 843-acre historic landscape, and now, under a contract with the City of New York, has complete responsibility for managing and caring for the Park and for raising the resources necessary to support that commitment. With the restoration of Central Park now largely complete, the Conservancy is committed to creating and executing a long-term plan for the stewardship of this vital urban resource into its next era.


Located in New York, NY

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree from accredited college in engineering, facility management, business administration, parks management, or related field; equivalent experience in the aforementioned fields
  • 10 years of increasing responsibility in facility, building, and custodial operations management
  • Demonstrated expertise in the management, operation, and/or maintenance of building life safety systems, HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems, and other related components, as well as the management of trained personnel
  • Significant experience in the management and supervision of personnel with different skill levels and job duties
  • Valid New York State driver’s license

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Experience in landscape or grounds maintenance of a similar nature is a plus
  • Experience in public playground maintenance is preferred; Certified Playground Safety Inspection Certificate is a plus
  • Ability to speak other languages is preferred (bilingual)

Required Abilities

  • Knowledge of effective facilities management principles and practices
  • Strong analytical, organizational, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to identify, analyze, and solve problems using a high degree of independent judgement and personal initiative
  • Strong computer literacy including an understanding of technology and its application; knowledge of spreadsheet and other software applications that may be utilized in facilities, security, space scheduling, work order control, inventory, GIS, and data management
  • Ability to communicate effectively orally and in writing
  • Ability and willingness to work overtime, weekends, and holidays as needed
  • An inspirational leader who can successfully balance the needs of employees with the execution of tasks, as well as align behavior and accomplishments with the strategic plan

ADA Specification

As it relates to physical demands, employees with disabilities must meet qualification standards that are job-related and consistent with business necessity and must be able to perform the essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation.


Safety Requirements

Establishment and maintenance of a safe work environment is the shared responsibility of the organization and employees at every level. The Conservancy will make every effort to assure a safe environment and be in compliance with federal, state, and local safety regulations. Employees are expected to obey safety rules and to exercise caution in all their work activities. Accordingly, employees should be aware of any hazards, which could cause an injury or accident (e.g., spills, obstacles in walkways, etc.). If an employee discovers a potentially dangerous condition, he/she should alert other employees and notify his/her supervisor immediately.



The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.


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