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Breakout: Leveraging Public Private Partnerships to Enhance Community Benefit

October 14, 2020 | 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM (Pacific) 

Kimberly Shelton, Tom Teigan, Russ Bosanko, Bob Leonard 

Session Description:

Hear from a panel of Parks & Recreation leaders who used public, private partnerships to expand service to their communities and diversify their revenue opportunities. Learn what prompted the initial ideas and why these partnerships were necessary and valuable to the departments. Finally, gain insight into some of the successful ventures that have been brokered in King and Snohomish Counties over the last several decades. This will be an interactive discussion with lots of stories and time for questions. It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit…

Learning Objectives:

  • The Parks & Recreation industry has been forced to adapt as Cities, Counties, and Districts are asked to perform more work and provide more services with fewer resources
  • Diversifying your revenue portfolio to make your Parks Department more valuable to your taxpayers
  • Building community benefit, equity, and access into the RFP so everyone wins   


Russ Bosanko, Snohomish County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Division Manager over Contracts, Capital Planning, Land Management, Park Operations, and Community Partnerships

Russ started his career with King County Parks in 1980 as a Recreation Leader and over the years relocated and was promoted to a variety of positions eventually as a Project/Program Manager III. In 2002 King County Parks laid off 65% of its administrative staff and 35 % of their park maintenance staff, closed/mothballed 14 of its 18 swimming pools and all of its budget from the general fund. It was during these desperate times that King County Parks aggressively pursued numerous public-private partnerships leading to bringing Cirque du Soleil to Marymoor Park, concerts at Marymoor, First Tech Credit Union Movie Series, Group Health Velodrome Naming Rights, Subway Restaurants at the King County Aquatic Center and Marymoor Park, Starbucks Trail Kiosks, etc.

While working with Snohomish County since 2007 the Department has partnered with High Trek Aerial Park and Zip Lines, Evergreen Speedway, Disc Golf Resort, YMCA, quarter midget racing, BMX, Farmer Frog, North Cascade Rowing Club, Rhody Ridge Arboretum Foundation, Sundquist Family Movies Series, and numerous Friends of parks groups. 

Bob Leonard started his career in Parks & Recreation in 2001 with Snohomish County Parks working in a variety of maintenance roles. In 2017 he began working for the City of Everett as an Assistant Director leading the maintenance and the projects and planning workgroups. Currently, he is the Parks and Facilities Director for the City of Everett. 

Kimberly Shelton has worked in Parks & Recreation since 2007, starting as the Fitness Coordinator for the City of Federal Way Community Center and eventually moving into full supervision of the facility.

Since 2017, she has worked for the City of Everett leading a variety of teams and contracts from Legion Memorial and Walter Hall Golf courses, the Everett Performing Arts Management Agreement, Cultural Arts, the Everett Animal Shelter, Senior Center, Recreation, Ranger and Park Maintenance teams.  With the recent cuts due to COVID-19 and existing structural budget issues, the City of Everett is having to find different ways to do business, which includes the implementation of its first Public Private Partnership RFP this August.

 Tom Teigen started his full-time employment in the field of Parks and Recreation in 1983. In his 37 year career. Tom has worked in three cities, two Park Districts, and two Counties (King & Snohomish). The past 23 years Tom has held Senior Leadership and Director positions in fields of Parks & Recreation and Economic Development in the Chicago and Seattle areas. 

Tom has extensive experience in the development of entrepreneurial efforts, P3s (private and non-profit), corporate sponsorships, naming rights, and creating strong cost recovery models for programs and services. Tom is the Director of the Snohomish County Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department. A position he has held since 2007


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