Joey Chavez named Director of Parks and Recreation
Joey Chavez named to head Parks and Recreation
Interim Director Joey Chavez has been named Director of Parks and Recreation. The Merced native has been with the department since 2008.
Chavez, 48, has served as interim director since February, replacing Interim Director Mike Conway.
'This is a guy who is a real asset to the community,' said Merced City Manager Steve Carrigan. 'He bleeds Merced. He is somebody who is dedicated to Merced, Merced residents, Merced youth.'
Carrigan said, 'We are really excited to see him on the team.'
'I am very grateful for the opportunity that I have been given,' Chavez said. 'I love what I do. I love my job.'
Chavez said he has big plans for the Department in his vision. 'I'd like to see us get back to where we were when I started. I would like to bring back the Youth Division, our Special Events and bring back the partnerships we had back then.
'I'd like to get into afterschool programming, something we haven't had for 8 years, and the development of a soccer complex,' he said.
Chavez said he has 'an open door policy. People can talk about any concern, any idea they have. I'm a communicator. I'm here for the City.'
While serving as interim director Chavez helped develop partnerships with nonprofit organizations, school districts and UC Merced and youth groups.
When he was a recreation supervisor, he oversaw facility rentals, leisure classes, aquatics programs, youth and adult sports, Applegate Zoo and the front office staff.
Chavez started his career as a recreation coordinator in Patterson managing special events, senior programming and aquatics.
He is a certified Aquatics Facility Operator, holds a credential in Administrator Youth Sports from the National Alliance for Youth Sports and also CPR for Professional Rescue.
Chavez has a bachelor's degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from San Jose State and an Associates of Arts degree from Merced College. While in college Chavez played baseball, winning numerous awards including National Player of the Week and Outstanding Pitcher and was inducted into the San Jose State Baseball Hall of Fame.
Chavez and his wife of 26 years, Patricia, have three children: Joseph, 23, Emily, 20, Grace, 17.
'When I'm not working I enjoy spending time with my family, camping, fishing and I like to barbecue,' he said. 'I'm a big sports fan of the Giants, the 49ers and the Warriors.'
The position pays $129,208.