On June 15, the City Council honored the career of longtime City employee Mike Shull, who retired as the General Manager of Rec and Parks. He had 32 years of City service.
He was responsible for more than 450 parks in LA, adding 74 parks during his tenure. He worked to increase park access, advance gender equity, decrease water use and grow recreational programs. The origin of the game-changing PlayLA, one of the biggest increases in youth sports, including adaptive, and funded by the LA28 Olympics, was under his management.
A licensed professional engineer, he began his career with Public Works/Engineering after his college graduation. At Public Works, he served as one of the City’s engineers, immersing himself in the planning, development, and implementation of many City projects. Various projects centered on Rec and Parks, where his knowledge and interest expanded with the challenges the City’s park system faced.
In 2005, he joined Rec and Parks team as the head of the Planning Division and worked on innovative design approaches to improve existing parks and increase access to open space. Since 2005, the Department has added 74 new parks on more than 800 acres of land while reducing potable water usage by approximately 50 percent. He was promoted to Assistant General Manager overseeing Advance Planning, Construction and Maintenance Divisions.
In 2013, he was appointed General Manager of Rec and Parks by Mayor Eric Garcetti. Mike implemented equity-based strategies and goals in both achieving gender parity while doubling youth participation in many recreation programs. Program data and technology play a significant role in support of those strategies for funding and resource request, which culminated into $160 million funding agreement with 2028 Los Angeles Olympic and Paralympic Games to create PlayLA, which subsidizes youth sports and fitness programs, removing cost barriers for participation in the City of Los Angeles lower-income areas.
Newly appointed General Manager Jimmy Kim has served the City and Rec and Parks for more than 26 years through various leadership positions. He began his career with the department as a junior lifeguard through the Summer Youth Employment program in 1995. He then went on to hold several other part-time positions before initiating full-time employment. He has held various roles within the department in the Aquatic Division, Lifeguard Academies, and served as the department’s Homeless Strategy Coordinator and Resilience Officer, among other roles. Over the last year, he served as the Assistant General Manager of Recreation Services, overseeing 184 recreation centers, 51 aquatic centers and 30 senior centers.
“For the last 26 years, I have grown as part of this hard-working community of Recreation and Parks employees,” Kim says. “I am both humbled and honored to be appointed by Mayor Garcetti to lead this department toward realizing our vision of a sustainable park system, equitable access, and quality programming for all Angelenos and visitors to enjoy.”
Congratulations to Mike Shull for a long and productive City career, and to Club Member Jimmy Kim for his appointment to General Manager.