John Lohuis, former director of Recreation and Parks for the City of Mississauga, has been appointed general manager of the Niagara Parks Commission, Chair Janice Thomson announced on Friday.
“John’s strong background in all areas of parks management and development is an excellent fit for the NPC and his proven, disciplined approach to meeting customer needs within a structured budget will help achieve the organization’s goals,” said Thomson.
As general manager of the Niagara Parks Commission, Lohuis will work with the commission to provide leadership and strategic business direction that maintains profitable growth, inspires and engages management and staff in pursuit of Commission goals, and builds effective relationships with employees, community and business.
Lohuis’ appointment comes after the NPC launched an international search in April to fill the position, attracting qualified candidates from across North America.
During his 35-year career, Lohuis has served as director of Parks and Recreation for the Township of Delhi, Town of Aurora, the cities of Windsor and London, and most recently, for the City of Mississauga. For the past year, he has been adjunct lecturer at the University of Waterloo’s Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies in the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences.
During his tenure at Mississauga, Lohuis was responsible for overseeing more than 500 full-time and 2,000 part-time employees, 4,000 acres of land, and 30 major facilities, as well as developing strategic plans for all of the city’s business areas and managing the city’s tourism and environmental portfolios.
He oversaw the launch of the Arts and Culture Plan for the city and the $40 million reconstruction of Mississauga Civic Square. He also established the Mississauga West Toronto Tourism office, which works with the cities of Brampton and Toronto to market the three cities as a tourism destination.
Lohuis is currently chair of the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association National Parks Advisory Committee and former president of the Ontario Parks Association.
“The integrity and experience in all Parks-related matters that John brings to this position will ensure the Niagara Parks Commission moves forward to achieve its strategic goals. We look forward to working with John as the organization continues to focus on its rich heritage, environmental significance, economic importance, contribution to tourism, culture and special events,” Thomson said.
Lohuis will assume his duties as general manager from August 1, after completing a full NPC orientation in July and fulfilling his teaching obligations at the University of Waterloo.