APWA’s Professional Manager of the Year in Facilities & Grounds award winner for the year 2019
Ms. Shannon Sorrell is the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Whitehall. Ms. Sorrell is responsible for the parks, grounds, and recreational services associated with the city’s 165+ acres of parkland across 5 parks, an acreage number that is slated to keep increasing over the next 3 years. Shannon is instrumental in developing and implementing the City’s first trail plan, first dog park, first YMCA, first urban ranger program, and many more firsts.
Shannon’s background is diverse and she has experience across non-profits, business management, and government sectors. After spending 9+ years managing recreational programing, events, facilities, business operations, and influencing strategic plans, master planning, and marketing and public communications with the City of Gahanna, Ms. Sorrell joined the team at the City of Whitehall.
The facility and ground experience gained over 9+ years in Gahanna developed a broad base for Shannon’s role as Director. Shannon leads the redevelopment of Whitehall’s parks, facilities, and recreation services. Community impact, education, and accessibility are central to the strategic plans developed and implemented with her oversight.
In her two years as Parks and Recreation Director, Ms. Sorrell oversaw the completion of over $3.5M in capital improvement projects and will wrap up another $6M in projects by the end of 2019. She has engaged the community in this progress with outreach and accessible programming, enrichment and events. She has accomplished this through her own expertise and continual self-education, by building professional partnerships, and by cultivating staff development. And it is the latter that makes her such a unique and capable leader. Her insistence on pushing and growing the talent that exists on her staff will surely be one of her many lasting legacies in public service.