Grady Spann, Director of Arkansas State Parks, discusses the importance of trust in all aspects of park management and leadership.
After growing up in Brazil, receiving his degree, and serving in the army, Grady started his state park tenure as a Superintendent of an archeological park in Arkansas. Serving as the superintendent of multiple parks, the lessons he’s learned have served him well in his current role as Director of Arkansas State Parks. The importance of trust has proven a recurring theme, whether facilitating stadium events or hosting the State Parks Directors conference.
Regardless of the position, stewarding the trust of your customer, be it a camper, sports fan or visiting State Park Director, is paramount with serving in a parks program. Park leadership is not just about making changes – it’s about being a public servant. Embracing the Ranger First initiative recognizes that rangers deal with many things: hospitality, customer experience, and critical incidents. In each case, they have a different mental approach. Above all, trust in the context of park management and leadership is about honoring the trust you have.