Germantown announced Friday that Natalie Ruffin will serve as its next Parks & Recreation director, succeeding Pam Beasley, who is retiring.
Ruffin has served as the suburban department’s assistant director under Beasley. Ruffin’s new position is effective July 1.
“We expect the department to continue to flourish under Natalie’s leadership,” City Administrator Jason Huisman said Friday afternoon.
Ruffin has been with the suburb for 17 years. She was promoted from recreation services manager to assistant director within the last year. She had a significant hand in the department’s programming.
“All of us bring our whole selves to the office every day,” Huisman said. “Each one of us is unique, and we bring our own approach. Pam (Beasley) is certainly passionate about Parks and Recreation and she’s had a big impact on this community within and outside of parks and recreation responsibilities.”
Beasley also invested in non-traditional Parks and Recreation opportunities like Oaklawn Garden and the Youth Education Pond.
“Natalie is passionate but has more of a passion within the realm of programming and events and activities — making sure those are special,” Huisman said.
Ruffin is a certified park and recreation professional. She studied Arts and Recreation at Ole Miss. She attended Germantown’s Municipal Management Academy and the National Recreation and Parks Association’s Directors School in Oakbrook, Illinois.
Ruffin has an “empowering style of leadership,” according to Huisman. The city has a number of initiatives she will oversee including the new sports complex and the reinvestment in the city’s existing parks.
The city prides itself on succession planning, looking for those in the department who have the institutional and professional expertise to continue leading Germantown.
“Succession planning is built into our business planning process we have internally,” Huisman said. “It helps us plan for knowledge transfer.”
Her fingerprints are on events like Germantown Fireworks Extravaganza and various holiday celebrations the city has each year.
“We will work with Natalie to find an assistant within the department that will step up and compliment her strengths,” Huisman said, adding he looks forward to the “well-rounded comprehensive parks leadership team that will carry us at least through the next decade.”