MOUNT VERNON — The Foundation Park Conservancy has announced two new staff members at Ariel-Foundation Park. Mark Fritz will serve as operations director, and Jody Holland has been brought on board as the park’s nature programs coordinator.
“This is a pivotal time in the park’s development,” said Conservancy President Kim Rose. “We were incredibly pleased with the quality of applicants for the operations director position, and, thanks to a capacity building grant from The Ariel Foundation, we were able to hire both an operations director and develop a new nature programs position at the same time. We are confident this team, along with staff already in place, will advance the park to the next level.”
Fritz, a resident of Howard, most recently served as director of business and as a licensed business manager for the Stow-Munroe Falls Central School District, overseeing a multitude of operational departments and their personnel. He was recently honored for his exemplary work with the state-wide 2017/2018 Pinnacle Award from the Ohio Association of School Business officials.
Before devoting his work to education, Fritz was adjunct faculty at Cleveland State and Ashland University, as well as a guest lecturer on Organizational Communication to various entities interested in developing a stronger internal communication model. Fritz is a Vietnam veteran having been an air traffic controller. Upon discharge he attended Cuyahoga Community College and Cleveland State, earning a BA in organizational communications and an MA in communication theory and methodology.
He is married to Janice Dawson, who owns and operates her own accounting firm, and together they have eight children and 12 grandchildren.
Holland will serve as the nature programs coordinator for the park. A retired Ohio Department of Natural Resources employee with 28 years of experience, he has extensive expertise as a lock tender/dredge operator, leading interpretive park tours and trail hikes and operating canoeing/kayaking tours. He is also a co-founder of River Rangers, a group that pursues safety, education and adventure on waterways.
He has supervised and managed numerous reclamation projects for mineral resources and has managed work crews in multiple state parks.
Holland has a bachelor’s degree in Bible, communications and history from Kentucky Christian University. Some of his many certifications include OPOTA, CPR and first aid, logistics, ice water rescue, critical incident stress management and disaster assistance response.
Holland has three children and four grandchildren. He is also currently serving as a part-time park ranger for The Wilds in Cumberland. He said he is excited to bring “adventure” to Ariel-Foundation Park.
Fritz and Holland started at the park in mid-July.
For more information about Ariel-Foundation Park, visit www.arielfoundationpark.org or follow the park on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.