Shonnda Smith has been serving in dual capacity as the Deputy Executive Director of Public Works and Senior Director of Parks and Recreation for the past year. As Deputy Executive Director, Shonnda is responsible for ensuring smooth operational delivery of department initiatives, spanning the Public Works Directorate, including Build Mobile, Engineering, Parks and Recreation, Programs and Project Management, Public Services, Real Estate and Asset Management, and the Resilience Office. She serves as liaison and facilitator between staff and the Executive Director. In her role as Senior Director of Parks and Recreation, Shonnda is responsible for Athletics, Azalea City Golf Course, Community Centers, Events, Operations, Parks Maintenance, Recreation Administration, SAIL, Seniors & Therapeutics, and the Mobile Tennis Center.
Shonnda joined the City of Mobile’s Parks and Recreation division as its leader in 2019 and has quickly developed a reputation for being a visionary and an agent of change. Through her transformational leadership, Shonnda has revamped programming, reporting structures, and policies, all with an eye on the future for a Mobile we can be proud to call home.
Prior to her arrival at the City of Mobile, Shonnda served as Chief Programming Officer for the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission. Previous professional roles include Executive Staff Officer for the Louisiana Department of Education, Center Manager for Embassy Summer Study Group in Northridge, California, Program Manager for Miami Dade College, and Director of Community Programs for Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) in Pasadena.
Shonnda’s diverse educational background includes Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership & Human Services, Nova Southeastern University, ABD; Master of Arts in Kinesiology/Sport Management, California State University; Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology/Secondary Physical Education, California State University; and Exchange Program, University of Wales in Cardiff, United Kingdom. She holds professional certifications in Human Resources (SHRM), National Recreation and Park Association Directors, Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP), and Certified Aquatics Facility Operator (AFO).
Shonnda is a current resident of Mobile where she serves as a board member on the Mobile Arts Council and maintains membership in the Alabama Recreation Parks Association (ARPA) and Learning Resource Network (LERN). She serves on the Program Committee and Magazine Editorial Board for National Recreation Parks Association (NRPA), is a past Regional Board Member for the Louisiana Recreation Parks Association (LRPA) and a former Southeast Region Board Member for the NRPA Ethnic Minority Society.