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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Contact:  Jesse Broder Van Dyke, 768-6928


Mayor Caldwell nominates Michele Nekota to be Parks Director




Honolulu – Mayor Caldwell announced today his nomination of Michele Nekota to serve as the new Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation. 


“Michele Nekota has a wealth of experience running parks in Salt Lake City, Utah and the surrounding county, and she is a keiki o ka aina who grew up on Oahu and graduated from Kalani,” said Mayor Caldwell.  “Her experience, background and skills will help her chart a beautiful future for the crown jewels of Oahu, our city parks. 


“I also want to thank and applaud Toni Robinson for allowing me to bring her out of retirement after my election and for skillfully running our parks for the past 15 months.  Her contributions are greatly appreciated, and I am glad to know she will be able to spend more time with her family and enjoy the parks she dedicated her career to.  Thankfully this is not goodbye, because I know she’ll continue to help us support our parks in many ways.”


“Through the Parks and Recreation Department in Honolulu, I learned to play volleyball and other sports when I was 10 years old,” said Michele Nekota.  “I also started my career in parks and recreation during college by working in the Summer Fun program for the City & County of Honolulu.  I am honored and excited to improve the lives of residents through parks and recreation opportunities."


Michele Nekota is coming home to Honolulu and leaving her position as Parks and Recreation Division Director for Salt Lake County, Utah, where she has over 28 years of experience.  Nekota is responsible for overseeing the administration and management of Salt Lake County’s 21 recreation centers, 102 parks, three ice centers, 18 swimming pools, six golf courses, 6,925 acres of open space, and more than 100 miles of trail.  She is a past president of the Utah Recreation and Parks Association and was recognized as their 2004 Outstanding Professional of the Year.


Nekota is a Kalani High School graduate and received her Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University (BYU) and Master’s degree of business administration from the University of Phoenix.  Nekota played collegiate volleyball for BYU and professional volleyball in the National Volleyball Association.  


Nekota will assume the role of director designate on April 1, pending confirmation by the Honolulu City Council.


Current Parks and Recreation Director Toni Robinson will be retiring after 37 years of service with the department. 


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