Board Selects Dave Zenk to Lead Metroparks as Executive Director

Posted Dec 19th, 2016 by Scott Carpenter  Category: Community Interest,


Dave Zenk has been appointed executive director of Metroparks of the Toledo Area. The Board of Park Commissioners took official action this morning to appoint Zenk to the position he has held on an interim basis since October 1.

Zenk has been a member of the Metroparks staff since 2005, serving for the past five years as deputy director. He has overseen development of three new parks opened in the last year, and three more still in development.

“After conducting a thorough nationwide search, the board is in unanimous agreement that Dave Zenk is uniquely qualified to build on the park district’s rich tradition and be a transformative leader into the future,” said Scott J. Savage, president of the Board.

Zenk, 37, holds a Master’s of Public Administration degree specializing in organizational development from Bowling Green State University and a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University. He completed a one-year study abroad program focusing on leadership at Myerscough College in Preston, England. He is also a graduate of the National Recreation and Park Association’s director school.

“Metroparks has a nearly 90 year history of protecting some of the region’s most important natural resources and providing experiences that connect people to them,” Zenk said. “I am honored and humbled to be chosen as the agencies’ 8th executive director.”

As deputy director, Zenk managed park planning, capital construction, major maintenance, law enforcement, natural resources management, land acquisition, park maintenance and programming. Previously, he was a park supervisor.

Under his supervision, Metroparks has added to its land holdings and opened four new parks in the past two years – the first new Metroparks in four decades. In that time, the park system has also and introduced new programs and outdoor activities, including outdoor skills instruction, kayak launches, a rock climbing area and a single track trail for mountain bikes.

“Over the past five years, we have truly accomplished some wonderful things, but I am even more excited and optimistic about our future,” Zenk said. “The team of professionals we have at the park system is inspiring, committed and supportive of pushing the limits and trying new things. With more parks, creative experiences and trail systems in our future, Lucas County will continue to be a great place to live, work and play.”

Zenk replaces Steve Madewell, who retired from Metroparks October 1 after 4.5 years in the position.

Metroparks of the Toledo Area is a regional park district with 12,000 acres of land, 14 parks, more than 150 miles of trails, campgrounds, rental facilities and dozens of educational public programs and special events each month.

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Scott Carpenter - Metroparks of the Toledo Area

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