Lee County Parks & Recreation director Barbara Manzo is retiring, and deputy director Dave Harner has assumed his new role as director of the department to ensure a seamless transition.
A 22-year veteran of the department, Manzo led the department since 2009 and before that served as deputy director for 19 years. Her last day is May 2. A New York native, Manzo has 40 years of professional parks and recreation experience.
Harner, a U.S. Navy veteran, has served Lee County Parks & Recreation for 21 years. Past positions include special events and education coordinator, athletics supervisor and administrative manager. He became the department's deputy director in 2009 and assumed his new role as director March 8.
A national search is being conducted for a new deputy director, who is expected to be onboard this summer.
Harner will lead a department with 250 positions, a $25 million budget and more than 29,400 acres of parks, preserves, facilities and other sites. The department manages recreation centers, community parks, conservation lands, greenways and the Calusa Blueway, Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins spring training facilities, Conservation 20/20 and pristine Gulf of Mexico beach parks.