Parks board adds Neyer, appoints new leadership

The Cincinnati Board of Park Commissioners added a familiar face to its ranks during its most recent meeting as the organization also approved elections for the upcoming term.

On March 21, the board welcomed back John E. Neyer. In early 2022, Neyer – the CEO of Neyer Management – served as Cincinnati Parks’ interim parks director until the hiring of Jason Barron. 

Neyer brings more than 20 years of involvement in the parks systems to the position, including 12 years with the Cincinnati Parks Foundation where he served a term as its board president.

John Neyer speaks during the March 21 meeting of the Cincinnati Park Board.

Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval – who appointed Neyer – described him as having a “proven track record of prioritizing climate equity and green spaces in our region.”

The Board of Park Commissioners receive appointment by the sitting Cincinnati’s mayor. The five-member body controls the budget, strategy and budget of the parks and parkways maintained by Cincinnati Parks, a city department.

“We have full confidence that he will maintain and expand Cincinnati’s commitment to park excellence, and we’re excited for the work to come,” Pureval said.

Neyer is filling the seat vacated by outgoing board president Jim Goetz, who completed his six-year term. Pureval praised Goetz for providing “exemplary leadership on the board” during a time of “challenge and transition,” including the COVID-19 pandemic and leadership changes at Cincinnati Parks.

“Mr. Goetz has championed several major, impactful projects and played a big role in keeping Cincinnati as a nationally renowned parks system,” Pureval said. “The city and I are incredibly grateful for his public service and hope to work with him again in the future.”

Leadership changes

The Board of Commissioners elected Molly North to serve as Goetz’s replacement as president. Kick Lee – now the second-newest commissioner – replaces North as vice president.

North joined the board in January 2021. She’s CEO of Al. Neyer, an employee-owned commercial real estate developer and design-builder headquartered in Cincinnati.

John Neyer previously worked at Al. Neyer, a company started by his family.

Involved in many local organizations, North is a director on the boards of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and ArtWorks. She’s also a member of the Cincinnati Futures Commission, an initiative chaired by P&G CEO Jon Moeller, and plays an active role in the Young Presidents’ Organization and Cincinnati Women’s Executive Forum.

Lee is relatively new to the Park Board, receiving his appointment roughly one year ago. Since assuming the role in April 2023, he’s been the board’s liaison to the Cincinnati Recreation Commission. 

Professionally, Lee is founder and executive director of Cincinnati Music Accelerator, an entrepreneurship organization dedicated and focused on the development of music creatives. In addition to his professional pursuits, Lee is on the boards of Lighthouse Youth & Family Services, The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati and Black Art Speaks.

Cincinnati Park Board

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