I know Park Leaders is on a roll when I end up talking with someone like Richard Rojas. It is a sign to me the dots are starting to connect. I was introduced to Mr. Rojas through Jose Gonzalez of Latino Outdoors. I was introduced to Jose through John Griffith of the California Conservation Corps. Unexpectedly talking with Richard Rojas was like stumbling onto a treasure chest. He is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom about park management, and the issue parks are faced with.
Richard Rojas had a 32-year career with California State Parks. He rose through the ranks, beginning as a Park Ranger, promoted to Supervising Ranger, Park Superintendent, Chief Ranger, and finally served as District Superintendent for the Channel Coast District from 2000-2007.
We talk about diversity, of course since Richard came to be known as the “diversity guy” in California State Parks. But it would not be right to stick to a single topic when talking with someone who has as much experience and wisdom as Richard Rojas.
We talk about hiring and managing staff, the need for parks to be more flexible, and what other park systems can learn from the California State Park system.
Richard also shares what question he would ask a job candidate if he could only ask a single question. You don’t want to miss his answer. He also challenges us to consider what our legacy will be.