The Dallas Park and Recreation Department has a new leader for the first time in a couple of decades.
Longtime assistant director Willis Winters was named to the top post by the Park Board this morning.
He was hired in the planning, design and construction department in 1993, and promoted to assistant director five years later. Winters is an architect, and has received awards from the American Institute of Architects, Preservation Dallas and Preservation Texas. He’s also the acknowledged local expert on Fair Park and its history. His popular walking tours of the landmark park are legendary among history buffs.
Winters was on an early list of local candidates. He was ultimately chosen from more than 100 applicants in a national search undertaken at the urging of Dallas City Councilman Dwaine Caraway. The other finalist was Sue Black, former parks, recreation and culture director in Milwaukee.
Winters takes over February 6th at a salary of $170,000. He replaces Paul Dyer who led the department for more than 20 years before retiring.