Nassau County Hires First Parks and Recreation Director

Amy Bell, Administrative Manager (904) 530-6010 [email protected]
March 17, 2021

[Note:  Although not noted in the Media Release, Jay Robertson may be remembered by many Fernandina Beach residents from his time as Fernandina Beach Parks and Recreation Manager.]

Jay Robertson

Nassau County, Florida, March 16, 2021 – During adoption of the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Budget, the Board of County Commissioners approved a new position for the County’s first Parks & Recreation Director, demonstrating the Board’s commitment of improving quality-of- life for Nassau County residents. With the recent adoption of the County’s first Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan and the Conservation Land Acquisition Management Program, and three new large parks currently underway, this position is needed more than ever.

We are pleased to announce that after two rounds of interviews, Nassau County resident, Jay Robertson, was selected for the position by both Public Works Director, Doug Podiak, and outside Parks & Recreation Consultant, Dr. David Barth of Barth & Associates. Mr. Robertson began his employment on Monday, March 15, 2021.

In a letter dated February 9, 2021, Dr. Barth stressed the importance of the Parks and Recreation Director position and their role in improving the quality of life for Nassau County residents. He stated, “Mr. Robertson meets all of our criteria and is exceptionally qualified for this position”.

Mr. Robertson brings with him more than 21 years of experience working in local government. His most recent position was serving as the Recreation Director for Ware County, Georgia where his responsibilities included oversight of approximately 50 employees and management of 7 facilities and 6 parks, including the Trembling Earth Athletic Complex, a $16 million tournament facility featuring 10 baseball fields, 2 football fields, a collegiate sized gymnasium, walking trails, playground, and more. Under his leadership, Ware County received the GRPA District Two Organization of the Year in 2019.

Mr. Robertson’s qualifications include a Bachelors Degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism from the University of Florida; accreditation as a Certified Parks and Recreation Executive from the National Parks and Recreation Association; Youth Sports Administrator Certification from the National Alliance for Youth Sports; and a Pool Operator’s Certification from the National Swimming Pool Foundation.

Mr. Robertson has resided in Nassau County since 1990 and has strong ties with the community. A graduate of Fernandina Beach High School, Mr. Robertson attended the University of Florida to obtain his degree, and then returned to Nassau County to live. He is a former JV Basketball Coach for Fernandina Beach High School and has served on numerous boards and committees including the Police Athletic League, Light Up Amelia, Parks & Recreation Committee for the City of Fernandina Beach, Micah’s Place Board of Directors, Eight Flags Playscapes, and more.

County Manager Taco Pope, stated, “It’s really exciting as both a citizen and professional to see the County Commission’s investment of quality-of-life and quality-of-place for our residents. For the first time since Nassau County was established in 1824, the community will have a full time employee whose job is to focus on improving our quality-of-life and quality-of-place through the proactive management of our park, recreation and open space systems”.

We welcome Mr. Robertson to our team and look forward to working with him to develop a world-class parks and recreation system for the residents of Nassau County.

If you have any questions, please contact Public Works Director, Doug Podiak, at (904) 530- 6120 or via email at [email protected].

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Dave Lott
Dave Lott(@dave-l)
3 years ago

Welcome Home Jay! I know that Waycross/Ware County was sorry to lose you but your experience and talents will allow you to grow the P&R activities in the county. Congratulations.

Rick Abernathy
Rick Abernathy(@rick-abernathy)
3 years ago
Reply to  Dave Lott

Glad to have you back Jay!! Let’s have some BBQ Rib cookoffs again please.