Member Biography

Chuck Wilt

Chuck Wilt has enjoyed over 30 years in the parks and recreation field. He is a B.S. and M.S. graduate of the Indiana University Department of Recreation and Park Administration. Chuck has been Director of the Columbus, Indiana Parks and Recreation Department since 1977. Columbus is known for its famous architecture and quality of life. Chuck has helped to lead it into state and national prominence in parks and recreation. 

Chuck has served on a state level as President of the Indiana Park and Recreation Association, served as host chair of three state conferences, served as state association representative on the NRPA Great Lakes Regional Council, and was named Professional of the Year. He was instrumental in helping develop the 22,000 athlete Hoosier State Games and served as Co-Chair for eight years. He was inducted into the Hoosier State Games Hall of Fame in 1995. 

Under Chuck's leadership, the Columbus Parks and Recreation Board has twice received the NRPA Citizen-Board Member Branch Outstanding Board and Commission Award. In 1994 Chuck received the NRPA Citizen-Board Member Branch Professional Excellence Award. He was inducted into the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in 1995, serving as president in 2007-2008. He has chaired the Newsletter Committee, Academy Journal Membership Task Force and has served on the Academy Board of Directors. During 1995 the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department received the NRPA National Gold Medal Award. He was honored in 1996 by Indiana University with the Garrett G. Eppley Distinguished Alumni Award. He received the Indiana University W.W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award for the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 2001. 

Chuck helped establish successful collaborative partnerships with the Columbus Area Arts Council, the Columbus Regional Hospital Wellness Program, the city landscape program, and the Foundation for Youth Boys and Girls Club. Since 1992, Chuck has led community efforts to complete over $18 million dollars worth of park and recreation facility development. This included the development of a world class 83-acre riverfront park in downtown Columbus that has been recognized nationally for excellence by the American Society of Landscape Architects. He also has been involved in working directly with the youth of the community as a member of the Priority One: Put Kids First Board of Trustees. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Columbus Area Visitors Center since 2000 and was elected President in 2005. He has played a major role in helping to attract over 3 million dollars annually in economic impact through the United States Specialty Sports Girls Fast Pitch Softball World Series in 2004 and 2005. USSSA Regional and National Tournaments in golf and basketball have also been added in 2005.

Prior to Chuck’s employment as Director in Columbus, he was Recreation Director for Cummins Engine Company. He helped lead this program to receive the national Industrial Recreation Association Award as the most outstanding program for companies with less than 10,000 employment. He was also a Supervisor of Recreation in Toledo, Ohio and the first full-time Director of Recreation in Kent, Ohio.

Chuck believes in quality management, continuous improvement and strong citizen involvement to provide parks and recreation programs and facilities for all age levels.