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Ann Marie Heiser


Recreation Management

About Ann Marie Heiser


Spending time in multiple cities gives a person an intimate knowledge and opportunity to see what works, what doesn’t, and how to find creative solutions. This is exactly what Ann Marie Heiser brings to the table. With a special talent for creating impactful community projects and improving the parks and recreation systems of cities all over the United States, Mrs. Heiser is unmatched in the industry. 

With a Bachelor’s degree in Parks and Recreation from Lock Haven University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Community Planning from Westfield State University, Ann Marie hit the ground running after both graduations and forged a path towards success. While she started from the bottom of the industry as a Program Assistant for Illinois’s Champaign Park District, Ann quickly rose through the ranks as her talents and experience grew. 

Mrs. Heiser’s work took her across the country to five states. Her first out-of-state job brought her to Maryland where she was appointed Program Director for Wicomico County Parks. In this position she really expanded her expertise and made an unforgettable impact. Ann Marie coordinated and implemented recreational programs for youths and adults, planned events and trips, and developed therapeutic classes as well as environmental programs. 

Ann’s next move brought her to Massachusetts as the Parks and Recreation Director and Community Services Director for the city of Westfield. Over the course of the next decade, Ann focused on program development, forming a cohesive team, and building essential relationships between the Parks and Recreation departments, public organizations, local politicians, and private organizations. 

In 2008, Mrs. Heiser moved to Virginia after accepting a position as Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation of Herndon. She oversaw every aspect of the recreational field from a small idea to the inception of impressive programs including a four-day festival that attracted over 80,000 visitors. 

Her current position as Recreation Manager of the city of Evanston brought Ann Marie Heiser back to her roots in Illinois. Ann Marie’s passion for customer service, results, and building strong working relationships have propelled her career to new heights. In each new position, she takes her work to the next level and continuously strives to grow professionally so her work can reflect that passion and drive. 

To date, the crowning achievement of her career is the Robert Crown Community Center and Library. Ann Marie oversaw every aspect of this project’s conception and implementation as it morphed from an idea into the community staple it has become. The center is home to two NHL-sized ice rinks, a library, art room, gymnasiums, kitchen, dance studio, locker rooms, and even an indoor running track. There’s no telling what Ann will bring to life next, but it will undoubtedly be just as or even more impressive. 

Outside of her professional duties, Ann Marie Heiser loves to travel. Each new destination she visits provides more insight and inspiration for her work. As a way to document her travels and stoke her creativity, Ann recently took up travel photography. She loves finding ways to tell unique stories with her photos to share with friends and family.

Ann Marie Heiser Headshot 2

Ann Marie Heiser Experience



Knowledge of the principles, practices, purposes, scopes, and techniques of various phases of parks and recreation management. Individual who is a  skilled self-starter, demonstrates a strong customer service orientation, a  passion for results, the ability to build strong working relationships,  commitment to creative problem solving, and ability to adapt to new management style and change. 

Core Competencies 

Project/Program Management Financial Management Contract Oversight Staff and Performance Management Quality Assurance Facility Management Public Relations Public/Private Partnerships Customer Service, Support and Communications 

Recreation Manager, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department


December 2016 – May 2021

Directs the operations and management of the Robert Crown Community  Center and Library, a 130,000 square feet multi-purpose recreation center which is comprised of two NHL size ice rinks, a library branch, 4 preschool rooms, art room, two full-size gymnasiums, kitchen, dance studio, indoor running track, and several locker rooms. 


  • Responsible for developing annual and multi-year work plans and strategies in conjunction with facility staff to ensure adequate resources are available to achieve and sustain work plans. 
  • Direct reports include Office Coordinator Operations Supervisor, Figure  Skating Director, Program Coordinator for Licensed Preschool  Programs/Day Camps, Program Coordinator for special interest, sports and art programming; and Assistant Program Coordinator for Hockey and Ice Scheduling. Total staff includes 17 FTEs. 
  • Develop, monitor, and maintain services, facilities, and programs to ensure quality standards, customer service expectations, and safety protocols are achieved. 
  • Serves as employee liaison to the Robert Crown Advisory Board and works with a variety of public and private special interest groups. 
  • Oversee a budget of $2.8 million with a cost recovery of 60-70%. Over the course of one year in cooperation with staff, improved the overall management and perception of facility operations which has increased employee morale and brought a higher standard of service through consistency with customers and internal city staff. The changes were implemented to ensure staff are prepared and successful when operations move to the new facility. 
  • Provided programming staff the training and resources needed to analyze and evaluate opportunities to ensure programs are innovative, providing quality services, maximizing potential income, ensuring optimal usage of the facility, and effectively meeting the needs and interests of the community.  


Recreation Services Manager, Parks and Recreation Department

City of Allen, TX  

July 2015-July 2016  

Provided oversight and direction to the Recreation Division operations by managing the activities of various recreation, athletic, aquatic, and senior programs. Oversaw activities of staff and volunteers, the budgetary process, managed revenue, contracts, served as a liaison between the Recreation  Division and other divisions, departments, and outside agencies, and interfacing with other City employees and citizens.  


  • Responsible for five full-time direct reports and a total of 70 FTEs within the recreation division. Five direct reports included four Center  Supervisors and an Adult Athletic Supervisor position. Recreation  Centers included a community recreation center, senior center,  natatorium, and a visitor/teen center.  
  • Successfully received Park Board approval to realign the department’s financial assistance program in order to increase participation in the program and to reach a broader demographic.  
  • Facilitated a division strategic planning workshop which included a SWOT  analysis and focused on recreation programming to develop and create a  recreation program plan. In addition to aligning division goals and objectives with the department’s strategic plan. 
  • Selected to co-lead the department on achieving accreditation (CAPRA)  through NRPA.  

Deputy Director, Parks and Recreation

Town of Herndon, VA  

May 2008-June 2015

Administer and analyze all elements of the goals and objectives, budget, revenue,  staff, logistics, publicity, and personnel of the Recreation Division, including sports, special events, performing arts, fitness, wellness, preschool, arts and crafts, nature, and special interest programs.


  • Contributed to the department successfully achieving accreditation in 2011  by the National Recreation and Parks Association. 
  • Supervise and direct staff to produce a four-day festival that attracts 80,000  visitors to Historic Downtown Herndon. 
  • Oversee the production of the department’s 32 page quarterly brochure. Demonstrated ability to influence and enable staff to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organization through coaching,  mentoring, delegation, and empowering to achieve consistently high quality of work. Provides team members with opportunities to expand their decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Responsible for a budget of 1.4 million and achieves a 70% cost recovery.


Certified Parks and Recreation Professional, 2000-Present,
Expires 9/2021, Certification #4570 

Professional Affiliations

Illinois Recreation and Parks Association, 2016 – Present  

Virginia Recreation and Parks Association, 2014 Conference,  Education Co-Chair  

National Recreation and Parks Association  

Program Committee for the NRPA Conference, 2011-2016 

Virginia Recreation and Parks Association, 2008 – 2015 

National Recreation and Parks Association, 1994 – Present



Westfield State University

Masters in Public Administration Community Planning


Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania

B.S.Parks and Recreation


Activities and Societies: Alpha Sigma Tau Sorority Parks and Recreation Society

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