Town of Florence Parks and Recreation Department Director Bryan Hughes says his first year on the job has flown by, and he’s happy with the progress made during that time. Hughes assumed the reins of the department on March 24 of last year, coming to Florence from the Town of Fountain Hills. “I really felt the move was a good one for me to make and that there was a lot of potential to make a positive difference here in Florence. After 12 months, I can truly say I wasn’t wrong about the potential in the department, the Town organization and the community as a whole,” Hughes explained.
The new Town department director was required to quickly come up to speed on the parks and recreation operations and programs, especially in light of his significant responsibilities with the new facilities under construction north of Heritage Park on Main Street, which include a new library, aquatic center and sport fields. Hughes explained, “this has been a great experience so far, getting the project underway and watching it progress. I believe our citizens are going to be very pleased with the quality of the facilities and with the programming and events we’ll be able to make available at the new facilities. These are the kinds of amenities that really contribute in a positive way to the overall quality of life in a community. I can’t wait to get the project completed and open, especially the new aquatic center.”
After his graduation from Eastern Illinois University in 1994, Hughes went to work for the Town of Fountain Hills and spent 18 years in the town’s recreation department. His work was recognized by the Arizona Parks & Recreation Association in 2010 when he received the association’s President’s Award, and again in 2012 while serving as the president of the Arizona association, when he was honored with the Outstanding Professional Award.
Hughes said he was especially pleased to find a dedicated staff of employees when he arrived in Florence. “On both the parks maintenance and recreation sides of the operation, we’re very fortunate to have staff members who really care about the town and what we’re trying to do for our citizens,” Hughes explained. “Our senior center is a great example of the importance of such a facility in a community. It’s vitally important to a large segment of our population and while the meals program and transportation services are the most visible components, just giving our seniors an opportunity to gather and socialize with others is just as important.”
“Bryan has been a great addition to our Town of Florence management team,” commented Town Manager Charles Montoya. “The timing of his arrival was fortunate and he was able to really hit the ground running. Bryan is a real professional and we’re lucky to have him here in Florence.”