The Glen Rose City Council decided Monday night to go outside the area and hire Gary Ivy, a retired corporate manager with decades of business experience, as manager of Oakdale Park.
Ivy, who is 63, retired, married and currently living in Fort Worth, will begin his new position next Monday. He plans to move to Glen Rose and has an RV.
“For 25 years I worked with organizations to successfully manage finances, operations, personnel, facilities and customer satisfaction,” Ivy said in a cover letter to the council. Although he has no direct experience in park management, Ivy said he has spent the past four years consulting with companies to improve their marketing, expense, controls, personnel systems and operations to maximize their return on investments.
“These skills and abilities apply to all operation, including park management,” Ivy said. “It is my belief that all undertakings should be treated as a business whether it is a for-profit, non-profit or charity. We owe it to those that support our endeavors to give them the maximum for their invested dollars.”
Ivy was the unanimous choice of a four-person review committee appointed by the council to review applications and conduct interviews with top applicants for the job. The committee was comprised of Dr. Patrick Condy, executive director of Fossil Rim Wildlife Center; Darrell Best, chairman of the Glen Rose/Somervell County Chamber of Commerce and head of the Glen Rose Economic Development Commission; City Councilwoman and GREDC board member Sue Oldenburg; and City Superintendent Ronald Bruce.
More than three dozen people applied for the Oakdale job from all over the United States. They included several couples who work as post hosts at other campgrounds and parks.
Some committee members said that they seriously considered several qualified Glen Rose residents applied for the job. But Ivy's solid business background, track record of achievement and high energy level convinced them he was the right person.
Among the applicants was former mayor Pam Miller, who resigned her elected position to apply for the Oakdale job.
Ivy's two-page resume indicates he served in the U.S. Air Force from 1966 to 1970, then worked as an assistant engineer at McDonnell Aircraft Corp. in St. Louis and in aircraft and weapons control analysis for the Texas National Guard. In the 1980s he rose through the ranks of Xerox Corp., starting out as a senior technical representative in Oklahoma City and moving to district manager there and, in the early 1990s, district manager of customer service and district partner for all functions in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.
Most recently Ivy has been a business consultant for a paving company, a general contractor and for small- to medium-sized businesses.
Ivy said he is "very impressed" with Glen Rose, which he described as a "pearl in the Central Texas country side of which my wife and I would love to become a part." He said Oakdale Park "is also impressive with its history, location and potential. It is apparent that maintenance and repairs need to be performed in line with the Vision for the Park. I am sure that finances are limited, as they are everywhere, so it is imperative that we maximize the utilization, revenue and expenses of the park.
"Working together with the City Council, Community and the Customers of the Park Facility, I know we can preserve and improve this beautiful asset," Ivy added.
The council also set Saturday, Dec. 11, at 9 a.m. for a workshop on Oakdale Park, to be held in the council chambers at Town Hall.
The council also decided to wait to fulfill an agreement with Texas Advertising on a phased plan for Oakdale Park and will discuss the agreement at the workshop.