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For Immediate Release:
September 13, 2012

Media Contact:
Doris Howe
[email protected]

Eleanor Warmack
[email protected]

Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Director, Jack Kardys, Receives State Service Award

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 
The Florida Recreation and Park Association (FRPA) has presented its Distinguished Service Award to the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department Director Jack Kardys.  The Association's Award recognizes individuals who have provided special or unusual service to the Association; or have made significant contributions to advancing the parks and recreation profession over time.  This award recognizes those that have consistently and without hesitation engaged in the work of the Association, and maintained a professional image in their community, agency and among peers. 

FRPA Awards Chair Don Decker stated, "It is with great admiration that I was able to present Jack Kardys the Distinguished Service Award on behalf of our Association.  I know many others who join me in looking to Jack as a guiding figure not only in South Florida, but around the country.  His many accomplishments are overshadowed only by the praise his staff members heap on him.  It is a testament to what I'm certain will be a proud legacy."

FRPA's Distinguished Service Award was presented to Kardys on August 31, 2012 at the Association's annual awards ceremony.  The award is the latest accolade to be received by Kardys who was bestowed the prestigious National Recreation and Park Association's (NRPA) 2010 Recognition of Significant Effort (R.O.S.E.) Award, recognizing his significant initiatives to advance parks and recreation throughout the greater Miami-Dade community. 

"We are very proud of FRPA's recognition of Jack's impact and service to the Miami-Dade County parks system and the industry overall," said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.  "To be recognized by both the FRPA and NRPA within two years makes a powerful statement about the high caliber leadership and commitment Jack delivers."

The selection of Kardys took into consideration his career-long commitment to the parks and recreational services provided by Miami-Dade Parks and the industry overall, noting his start within the department as a college intern, more than 30 years ago.  He was appointed director of the department in 2007, following his successful tenure as the Assistant Director for Operations, wherein for seven years he managed both the Recreation and Operations divisions for the extensive parks system of more than 260 parks.  During that time, his oversight also comprised the divisions of Arts and Culture; Golf Enterprise; Disability Services; Marinas Enterprise; Natural Areas Management (NAM); Naturalist Services; Park Security; Regions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; and Special Tax Districts. 

Under Kardys' direction, the accredited Miami-Dade Parks Department received the 2009 FRPA Outstanding Agency Award, and it won the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award, recognizing organizations and businesses in Florida that have successfully achieved performance excellence within their management and operations.  Miami-Dade Parks is the only park and recreation agency in the state of Florida to receive the Governor's Sterling Award, the state's equivalent of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige Award.  Miami-Dade Parks has thrice won the National Gold Medal Award from the NRPA, and was a finalist in 2010 and 2011.  It also received the coveted Florida Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects (FLASLA) Design Award in the category of Planning and Analysis for the County's trail design and analysis study in 2011.    

Committed to public service and the enhancement of the community's quality of life through recreational services, Kardys holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sports Administration and a Master's of Science in Management from St. Thomas University.  He has served as an adjunct professor at Florida International University teaching Organizational Behavior, Marketing and Recreation Programming.

About the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department:
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award and winner of the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade County Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,848 acres of land.  It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world.  Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Open tennis tournament; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more.  For information visit Miami-Dade County Parks or call 3-1-1.

Miami-Dade County Parks is supported by The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supporting the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department's efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County's world-class parks system for residents and visitors.  Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.  For more information visit the Parks Foundation.

To request material in accessible format, information on access for persons with disabilities, or sign language interpreter services (7 days in advance), call 305-755-7848.


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