Member Biography

Darrell Crittendon

Mr. Crittendon is a certified Parks and Recreation Professional and Norfolk’s Director of Recreation, Parks and Open Space where he has served for 13 years. As such, he is responsible for 233 full-time employees and over 500 part-time and seasonal employees. Mr. Crittendon currently has oversight and manages the City’s 19 recreation centers, 3 specialty centers, 8 public cemeteries, 7.5 miles of public beaches, 2,500 acres of public green space 4 Housing Authority sites, 115 parks, 4 indoor natatoriums, 4 public outdoor swimming pools, 19 summer camp sites and 6 before and after school programs.

Prior to coming to Norfolk in December of 2006, he spent three years as the Director of Durham (North Carolina) Parks and Recreation Department. Mr. Crittendon went to Durham after spending 8 years as the Administrator of Recreation Operations in Newport News and 5 1/2 years as the Director of Parks and Recreation in Charles City, VA.\r\n \r\nIn each of the municipalities where Mr. Crittendon worked prior to coming to Norfolk, he was responsible for developing parks and creating and expanding recreation programs for all ages.

Mr. Crittendon provided oversight over Norfolk’s department’s pursuit of becoming a NRPA/ CAPRA accredited agency. The department earned and was awarded national accreditation in October of 2017 and this year the department of Recreation, Parks & Open Space was a finalist for the nation’s most prestigious Parks and Recreation Award, the NRPA’s Gold Medal award.

Mr. Crittendon received the Virginia Recreation and Parks Society Fellow Award in 2009 and was previously honored with the Society’s Distinguished Service Award and the Outstanding New Professional award. \r\n \r\nMr. Crittendon is a two-time (2003, 2011) President of the Virginia Recreation and Parks Society, only the second two-timer in the society’s almost 65-year existence. He has been a member of “VRPS” since 1990 and has served in various capacities throughout his time as a member. He also serves as a member of the National Recreation and Parks Association where he recently served as Head Gold Medal Award Judge in 2017.

Mr. Crittendon is a graduate of Norfolk State University and has over 29 years of experience in the field of recreation management and administration.