Mill Valley City Manager Todd Cusimano announced today the appointment of Ashley Howe to the position of Director of Arts and Recreation. She most recently served as the Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Corte Madera.
Ashley will join the Mill Valley team at the end of April, allowing some time to work with current Arts and Recreation Director Sean McGrew, who has announced his retirement after over 40 years of service in the municipal arts and recreation sector.
“Our Recreation Department is a key player in achieving our goals of a vibrant, healthy community and high quality of life in Mill Valley,” Mayor Jim Wickham said. “We are very pleased that Ashley will join us - bringing her experience and enthusiasm to lead our team.”
Parks and Recreation Commission Chair Vanessa Justice added: “We are thrilled to welcome Ashley as the new leader for Arts and Recreation in Mill Valley. The commission feels it’s critical to bring on board an experienced community-minded and energetic leader. Ashley’s excellent communication and collaboration skills make her a great fit to seamlessly continue work on the many projects underway and to oversee exciting initiatives planned for the future.”
Ashley has over 20 years of arts and recreation experience, which began in San Rafael at the Marinwood Community Services District and includes other Bay Area organizations in Tiburon, Benicia, San Rafael, and Corte Madera. Over her career, she has had experience in managing, directing, supervising, and coordinating various recreation programs and special events for the community including programs for youth and teens, aquatics, art exhibitions, outdoor music events, and movie in the park events.
She has overseen the maintenance of parks and related facilities, including the historic Clock Tower in Benicia and both the Falkirk Cultural Center and the Albert Park Stadium and Ballfield in San Rafael. She has experience supervising the work of full- and part-time staff, volunteers, and providing staff support to agency Committees, Commissions and Councils.
Ashley has managed Department budgets, coordinated Capital Improvement Projects, and overseen contracted development and management. In San Rafael she worked on the redevelopment of the Albert Park Playground that included collaboration with community stakeholders and supporting fundraising campaigns. In Corte Madera, she initiated a Parks and Recreation Master Planning Process that included a community needs assessment survey, community engagement, and a conditions assessment of facilities to develop prioritization and recommendations for future review and consideration by the Town’s Parks & Recreation Commission and Council.
Ashley attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo for her undergraduate degree in Recreation Administration and completed her Masters degree from San Francisco State University in Recreation and Leisure Studies.