The son of a Methodist preacher, Jonathan Korfhage was born into a park and recreation oriented family in southwestern Minnesota. Always active in sports, he started working in recreation during high school in camps, church programs and swimming pools. He left Minnesota to attend San Jose State College in California where he graduated with a BA in Recreation with honors. During his college years he worked for the City of San Jose, White Bear Lake, Minnesota, and various camps and swimming pools.
Jonathan most recently held the part-time position of Western Services Coordinator for the National Recreation & Park Association. He retired as Superintendent of Parks, Recreation, & Vehicles for the City of Foster City, California. During his career, Jonathan served 25 years with the City of Oakland, California as a Recreation Supervisor managing centers & playgrounds, camps, sports & aquatics, department training, the arts program, lake operations, and information technology. Before coming to Foster City, he was employed as an Administrative Assistant with the East Bay Regional Park District in Oakland, California and worked on a variety of special programs. During those years with the EBRPD he wrote a book about the history of parks and recreation in Santa Clara County. 2006 marked the 50th year of his service in the field of parks and recreation.
Jonathan Korfhage has been a member of the NRPA and the California Park and Recreation Society since the early 1960s and is a charter member of NRPA. He has been a District, Regional, and State officer in CPRS and served as President of the Society in 1988-89. During his career in CPRS he chaired or served on dozens of committees. He was instrumental in moving the Society's office to the capital in Sacramento and establishing a formal legislative program. He continues to serve as the Society's historian. He has been the chair of the Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo Recreation Advisory Council and continues to participate.
Service to NRPA has included serving as President in 2002-03 and then as the Past President and Chair of the National Forum. He was also on the Regional Council for over ten years including a year as Chair. Jonathan served on the Board of Trustees for over ten years and has served as Chair of the Awards, Information Resources, and Membership Committees each for two years and has served on many other committees and task forces. He has attended the Maintenance Management, Revenue Sources Management and several other NRPA schools.
Organizational memberships and service have been a big part of his life. Some of the organizations that he has been recognized by and served include the Ford Foundation, Junior Chamber of Commerce, Girl Scouts, the Rotary Club, YMCA, Oakland Chamber of Commerce, the East Bay Regional Park District, the City of Oakland, San Mateo County Sustainability Advisory Council, and the Advisory Councils at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and Cal State University, Hayward. Jonathan received many awards from the California Park and Recreation Society including the highest recognition, the Fellowship Award in 1989.
Jonathan is a past board member of a nonprofit SHELTER, Inc. that provides services to homeless families and veterans in his county and is a leader in another nonprofit organization of 300 retired men, Sons in Retirement. He is currently compiling and writing the history of parks and recreation in California.
Mr. Korfhage has been a Certified Park and Recreation Professional. Jonathan was the mascot for the Oakland Athletics for two years and is a professional puppeteer. He and his wife Barbara enjoy traveling, writing, music, puppetry, theatre and spending time with family and friends. Jonathan continues to write and send the humorous "Friday Goodies From Korf" to 300 friends and family each week. [updated Sept 2018]