Kevin Fougerousse has been named to fill the vacancy left after the resignation of prior North Ridgeville Parks and Recreation Director Jim Spaulding.
North Ridgeville Mayor Dave Gillock said Fougerousse would most likely start Sept. 1, contingent on passing a drug test and background check. City Council approved Fougerousse for the position during a special meeting held Aug. 2.
Councilman Dennis Boose thanked the administration for handling the resignation of Spaulding in a professional manner after the longtime director failed a drug test.
“I wanted to publicly congratulate and thank the administration during this time,” Boose said. “When the situation with our former park director and staff happened right before the beginning of baseball and softball season and all the other summer activities, this administration came forward and made sure that everything was taken care of in the parks and recreation department.”
Fougerousse, a Lakewood resident, graduated from Kent State University in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree. His resume states he majored in recreation and sports management, is a certified youth sport administrator and is certified as a National Alliance for Youth Sports Clinician. He is also certified in first aid and crisis management. He currently works for the city of Fairview Park as a program coordinator, where he manages a 40-person staff. His current responsibilities also include scheduling athletic and special events in Fairview’s 93,000-square-foot recreation center.
The new director’s background consists of a variety of parks and recreation experience. He started out as a recreation supervisor intern for Mayfield Village Parks and Recreation in 2003. He then moved on to work as recreation supervisor for the city of Vandalia from 2003 to 2007.
“I decided to throw my hat in the ring and see if I was qualified for the position,” Fougerousse said of the North Ridgeville job.
Gillock and Safety Service Director Jeff Armbruster decided he was the best candidate. According to Gillock, there were 75 applicants and they reduced the number to 23. They chose Fougerousse and council voted to appoint him.
“Kevin is the number one choice, and he stood out,” Gillock said. “In checking his references, there were two common themes. One was he’s a real go-getter, and the second was that he’s a people person. We’re real excited about bringing Mr. Fougerousse on board.”
He added they still need to sit down with Fougerousse to discuss his salary, so that information is not yet available.
Fougerousse conveyed his excitement about being selected for the position.
“I’m elated to become a part of the North Ridgeville community,” he said. “My ultimate goal has always been to become a director, and to be able to do it in North Ridgeville and in a great city and up-and-coming community is great. I’m happy right now.
“(Residents) can expect an honest person, and they can expect somebody that’s not going to micromanage them. I’m laid back, always smiling, always having a good time. And I always want to make sure my employees are the same way.”
He said being an effective leader lies in understanding employees have their own experiences and don’t always need to be told what to do.
“If you’re a good director, and you’re a good person, and they are able to work for you, and you are not controlling their every move, they’ll enjoy working for you,” Fougerousse said.
Danielle Echt, assistant director of Mayfield Village Parks and Recreation, said Fougerousse will bring good qualities to the parks and recreation department.”
After working with Kevin Fougerousse, I strongly believe he will continue to be successful with his career in the parks and recreation field,” Echt said in her letter of recommendation. “And I trust that he will be a great asset to your department.”