New Park and Rec director announced 

The City of Great Falls has a new Park and Recreation director.

City Manager Greg Doyon announced today the appointment of Stephen Herrig of Leavenworth, Kansas.


Stephen Herrig. Photo by Blue Valley Recreation Commission

Herrig replaces Joe Petrella who left in January to take a position in Arizona after working as director here for two years.

Herrig is currently the recreation manager for Blue Valley Recreation Commission in Overland Park, Kansas where he manages 16 full-time staff, about 350 seasonal staff and a $3.2 million budget. His duties include operating a recreation center and a complex for a population base of 135,000.

He previously served as recreation supervisor for the City of Leavenworth for 15 years.

In 2014, Herrig was named the 2014 Kansas Recreation & Park Association Distinguished Professional. According to a Blue Valley Recreation Commission newsletter after the award was announced in 2014, “During his 26 years in the field, he has tirelessly been a champion of parks and recreation. As Rec Complex manager for Blue Valley Rec, he oversees sport leagues with upwards of 5,000 youth and 1,000 adult participants. He is engaged in making a difference and growing the profession by being actively involved in KRPA and coordinating the Tomorrow’s Leaders School and the Professional Development Committee.”

According to the city, he was hired at $93,000 and the city will reimburse up to $15,000 in moving expenses.

A recruiting firm lead a national search for the Park and Rec director position. According to updates from Doyon to the City Commission, the initial applicant pool wasn’t strong and Doyon intensified the search, eventually selecting Herrig. The interview process for department directors in intensive and includes other department directors and city staff.

Since Petrella left in January, Deputy Director Patty Rearden has been running the department, as was the case after Marty Basta retired in May 2104. Petrella was hired in November 2014.

“Steve brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and professionalism,” Doyon said. “Steve is excited about moving to Great Falls and is eager to become part of the community.”

Herrig will begin the week of Nov. 27 and said “I am very excited to become part of the Great Falls team and can’t wait to work with staff and the community as we move the department into the future.”