VP Candidate Koko Panossian

Koko Panossian
Koko Panossian
Deputy Director
City of Glendale
Connect with Koko

Why have you chosen to run for the CPRS State Board of Directors?
As a former D&O Board member that has served as Region rep, VP, Pres-Elect and President (2007-12 and then again in 2015-19), I understand the challenges faced by members of our great organization. My goal is to educate, train, and lead the future of our profession. In order to achieve this goal, I believe we need to understand the needs of our membership and get more members involved by providing the types of services and training most suitable to them. The more we educate, the faster we will grow… I truly believe that my involvement and training received though CPRS, D&O, and PSMMS, led my career path to Deputy Director. With over 17 years of municipal experience in varying capacity and leadership within CPRS over 13 years, I am convinced that my qualifications, education, experience, leadership, and training would help me serve / lead CPRS members on the State Board. I will strive to share my experiences with our members. 

What personal attributes, skills, or knowledge would you bring to the State Board of Directors if elected?
I am the Deputy Director of City of Glendale's Community Services and Parks Department. I am a CPRP, Certified Arborist, Certified Playgrounds Safety Inspector, and a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt recipient. I have extensive experience in public administration, park operations, resource management, outreach, park planning and development, human resources, budgeting, strategic planning, contract negotiations, and organizational development. I currently lead a team of 49 full time professionals and 24-part time employees while directing the management and operations of 46 park and recreation facilities, including historic homes and museums, a sports complex, a civic auditorium, a community pool, 19 sport fields, 33 tennis courts, a golf course (contracted operation) and over 5,000 acres of open space. I take pride in working for the public sector, specifically in Community Services Departments, which has given me the opportunity to work on a number of complex and sophisticated issues and programs. From developing budgets, staff development, creating succession planning, project management, special events, programming, to creating key performance indicators, I have dealt with and been a part of some very challenging and exciting projects and programs. I have promoted professional development in my staff and am a recognized and respected leader in my current organization, as well as the industry.

What is the greatest challenge our profession faces and how will you lead to address that challenge?
Covid-19 presented the greatest challenge that the profession has faced in decades, yet the resilience, courage and extraordinary leadership of CPRS members kept spirits alive, kept parks open / sanitized, developed new ways to deliver programs, and kept the profession germane. With all the challenges Covid presented, there was no greater positive impact on the relevance of parks to the community as with most entertainment centers / activities being closed, parks remained open and made our patrons' lives better by keeping them sane. The larger impact of Covid will follow in fiscal challenges faced by agencies, leading to budget cuts to memberships and training. I will build on my past experiences in leading the profession and look for ways to build on the new / innovated approaches to delivering our services, keeping costs reasonable, building partnerships, and encouraging membership participation across the state.