Fogle named City of Sarasota’s parks and recreation director

In the position, he will oversee operations, maintenance and programming at 49 City of Sarasota facilities

Jerry Fogle. Image courtesy City of Sarasota
Jerry Fogle. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

Jerry Fogle, the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex manager for the City of Sarasota, has been promoted to director of parks and recreation, the city has announced.

Fogle will oversee operations, maintenance and programming at the city’s 49 parks and recreational facilities, a news release says.

“Jerry Fogle has an impressive background in recreation, and we’re pleased he’s embracing this opportunity to take on more responsibility and shape the future of our community’s parks system and recreational activities,” said City Manager Tom Barwin in the release. “A significant part of the success of the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex is Jerry’s vision, compassion and leadership with both operations and programming,” Barwin added in the release. “With his extensive work experience and higher education degrees, Jerry has the knowledge and skills to create the outstanding parks and rec department our special city needs and deserves. There were several standout finalists for this position, and we’re happy to be able to promote from within the organization,” Barwin continued in the release.

Fogle, who is a certified parks and recreation professional and an aquatic facility operator, has been the Taylor Community Complex manager since the facility opened in 2011, the release points out. Prior to joining the City of Sarasota, he was a parks and recreation manager in Davenport, Iowa; Kissimmee; and Tampa, responsible for the maintenance of park grounds and facilities as well as recreational programming, including youth and adult sports leagues and tournaments, the release says.

“I’m very grateful and humbled by this amazing opportunity to work closely with our residents to improve our parks and recreational services throughout our vibrant city,” said Fogle in the release.

The native of a small town in Kentucky, the release continues, Fogle talks of how, at the age of 10, he was at a crossroads in his young life, and the kindness of a parks and recreation employee helped steer him away from trouble and, ultimately, toward a career where he could “have a positive influence on many others in the same field,” the release notes.

“A parks and rec attendant made all the difference in Jerry’s life,” said Barwin in the release. “So, he has a terrific perspective to make a positive difference in many lives in Sarasota. He believes in the mission with a passion.”

As Fogle transitions into his new role and responsibilities, his office will continue to be based at the Taylor Community Complex, the release adds.

In the 1980s, “during challenging economic times,” the release explains, the City of Sarasota’s Parks and Recreation Department was eliminated. Since then, the number of parks and recreational facilities and program requests “has blossomed,” the release points out, prompting the need for a centralized department to focus on operations, maintenance, programming and long-range reliable funding.