MOULTRIE, Ga. — The Moultrie-Colquitt County Parks and Recreation Authority announced its new director midday Tuesday.
Greg Icard, currently the vice president of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Development Authority, said he’s excited about the opportunity but knows he’ll have some big shoes to fill.
“The last several jobs I’ve had I’ve been able to do things that have a direct impact on the community and I enjoy that aspect of it,” he said. “And we’ll be able to do that for children as they grow.”
Icard’s first day as director won’t be until Feb. 3, but in the weeks to come he’ll be familiarizing himself with the inner workings of the MCCPRA. This includes its history, current projects, future projects and getting to know the staff, which he said he’ll start this week.
One project will attract a main focus: the pool and diving well renovation projects. Icard said he took glances at the projects and attended some of the meetings regarding them, but as for its explicit details, he’s unsure.
By Feb. 3, he plans to rectify that.
“From that day forward, I’ll be working with the day to day operations in that aspect of it, making sure the construction starts and all the pieces are [together],” he said. “When I was an economic development director I was doing construction projects and monitored them, handled the grants and different things. [So] I’m familiar with that — how that works.”
Icard was an economic development director working for Scotland County government in North Carolina from 2008 to 2014. He also worked as a liaison for Congressman Robin Hayes from 2005-2008.
He carries 10 years of experience in the government sector and 15 years of management experience in the private sector. That key word — experience — was why the MCCPRA’s executive board decided upon him as the new director.
Of course this didn’t mean the other candidates weren’t also viable, Brad Gregory, board secretary and treasurer, said.
After receiving a total of 49 resumes and applications, and interviewing six candidates, the MCCPRA executive board came down to three finalists on Dec. 14: Icard, Chris Bass, and Maggie Davidson.
Bass holds 11 years of professional recreation management experience and was named a certified Parks and Recreation Professional by the National Parks and Recreation Association (NPRA).
Davidson is the current associate director of the MCCPRA, carries 10 years of landscape management experience under her belt, and is a certified pool and playground inspector under the NPRA.
It was tough choice, Gregory said.
“Ultimately, all three people we had, had a variety of different types of experience and we felt that Greg had the type of experience we need right now to get us to where we need to be as a rec authority,” Gregory said.
Bob Swadel, the executive board’s chair, said Icard’s experience gives him better understanding of recreation ranging from creatively acquiring funding to understanding recreational leisure service needs.
“He has a lot of experience in those areas working with governmental entities,” Swadel said. “With a fairly new recreational authority, we value the experiences that he had in his background.”
While Icard has big shoes to fill following the retirement of Rec Authority Director Terry Peek, he won’t be alone in the endeavor.
Swadel said between Davidson remaining as associate director and Sheree Hamilton as office manager, the MCCPRA has a great leadership team. Davidson especially is vital.
“Maggie has been working with Terry and has really picked up and learned a tremendous amount under his guidance over the last couple of years,” Swadel said. “She’s going to make that transition for Greg much easier. We feel like Maggie being there too, we get two wonderful folks on our leadership team.”