MEET YOUR NEW DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR!
In early June, the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department officially welcomed the department’s former deputy director as its new director. B. Christopher (Chris) Stice was appointed director, after serving as interim director since March. Mr. Stice has been with the department for more than fifteen years, having joined the park staff as an intern in 1995. Soon thereafter, he became Quality Control Director, a title he held until he accepted the position of deputy director in 1997. In that role, he has overseen the development, and management of park assets ranging from construction of major park facilities to coordinating more than 800 park programs and events annually, while supervising operational logistics across park properties exceeding 1600 acres.
An experienced park professional, and one whose background includes leadership roles with local, regional and national parks and civic organizations and boards, Chris has played a critical role in the park department’s successful response and navigation of the current COVID-19 health crisis.
What is the park director’s vision for the future? He offered this response, “I want to continue to advance the field of parks and recreation in a servant leadership manner and provide a quality environment and memorable programming for every member of our community – including those that do not have a voice.”
Chris, his wife, Heather Sun and their children Sierra Sol, 15, Canyon Tyme, 13, and their youngest, Clover Vega, 9, enjoy living in Westfield and attending Northview Church.
Because the role of deputy director for the parks department was vacated by Mr. Stice’s appointment, it was important to fill that position in an equally calculated manner. Enter Robert Bruce (Bruce) Oldham.
Mr. Oldham’s love for nature, nurtured in the woods and creeks of Hamilton County, and his experience as a Scout and Eagle Scout, led him to a career in parks and recreation. After earning a degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Management from Ball State, Bruce interned at Hamilton County Parks. While interning, he accepted a full-time position with Johnson County Parks. Thankfully, he returned to Hamilton County Parks in 2005, and ultimately became Regional Parks Operations Manager, serving in that capacity until recently accepting the offer to become deputy director.
As deputy director, Bruce intends to encourage greater community engagement, expand park acreage and increase environmental-based programming offered by the department.
Bruce resides in Strawtown with his wife Kendra and children, Max, 18, Lucy, 4, and Beaux, 3.
The combined experience, leadership skills and talents of both newly appointed park professionals ensures that Hamilton County Parks and Recreation’s future is in good hands, and the department’s commitment to providing quality recreation and nature education has never been stronger.