Kodiak has a new parks and recreation director. Corey Gronn took the helm of the department on Monday, after helping fill the role since former director Charlie Powers left the island in May.
During the City Council’s regular meeting on Thursday, City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski said Gronn has been the go-to-guy for the department for the past five months and she’s pleased to see his official hire.
“He’s had a lot on his plate. He manages the pool and the pool staff and helps facilitate everything else during this interim – he’s done that. Corey’s worked for the city since 2011 and he’s definitely proven to me that he’s motivated and he’s hardworking and he’s very smart. So I look forward to having him on board as one of our management team members and I hope you will help me welcome him to his brand new role.”
Gronn is a Kodiak High School graduate and served four years in the U.S. Navy before returning to the island with his family. He was hired as the manager of the new city pool in 2011. Gronn said taking on that role jump started his passion for parks and recreation.
“It was almost by accident in how I discovered that this is what I want to do as a career. Because it was a job when I applied, and now having that position I’ve learned that parks and rec has a lot of very good things that they do and I truly enjoy them. So when the director position came open it was natural to apply – it’s what I want to do and it’s a career position for me, or at least I hope it will be.”
Gronn said he’s excited to take the reigns of the department and looks forward to working with its incredible staff in the years to come.
One of his main goals will be finishing the Baranof Park improvements, including work on the skate park and ice rink side walls. He said he will probably take the first year to evaluate the department and figure out if and where changes might be needed – or simply where things could be improved.