Rick Herold is the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Grand Prairie, Texas. Starting his tenth year in Grand Prairie, Herold is responsible for the parks, recreation, golf, cemetery, Ruthe Jackson Center, Uptown Theater, Market Square and Lake Park divisions of the city of Grand Prairie. The department includes 5,000 park acres and over 62 parks facilities. Their latest development, The Summit, America’s first Baby Boomers Facility has drawn raves from across America and Canada. The department was the winner of the coveted National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) Gold Medal Award in 2008 after being a finalist in 2007. It has also won the Texas Recreation and Parks Society (TRAPS) Gold Medal Award.
Herold is a regular presenter at professional institutes on topics ranging from the Marketing of Parks and Leisure Services to Creating the WOW in Parks and Recreation. Recent presentations include: NRPA National Congress in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Herold is the Chair-Elect as a NRPA Gold Medal Judge.
Herold served as the Emcee for the annual Texas Recreation Parks and Recreation Society (TRAPS) 75th Anniversary State Conference and Awards Banquet, his ninth time to enjoy that honor. He has served as Region Director for TRAPS. The department has won over 21 awards in the last nine years.
Prior to his employment in Grand Prairie, Herold was the Director of Parks and Community Services in Euless for sixteen years, where he was responsible for parks, recreation, library, golf and conference center and historical preservation. Herold was the creator of Arbor Daze, the fourth largest annual event in Tarrant County and development manager and project leader of the Texas Star Golf Course and Conference Center, one of the premier golf facilities in the DFW Metroplex.
Herold holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of North Texas in Recreation Management. He is a former Adjunct Professor in the Recreation and Leisure Studies Department. He served on the Board of Directors for the North Texas EXES for five years and is member of the Presidents Council. He was chosen to provide the Summer Commencement Address in 2006. He has been named a Distinguished Alumnus by the Recreation and Leisure Studies Division. He was awarded the UNT Spirit Award by the President of the University of North Texas in 2002.
[current as of August 2012]