After 36 years of service, Jack Kardys is the retired Director of the nationally accredited and Gold Medal Award winning Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department (MDPROS), one of the largest and most diverse park systems in the country with 270 parks on 12,800 acres of land. Built on a foundation of organizational excellence and the pillars of Health, Placemaking and Conservation, MDPROS serves 2.5 million residents and 10 million visitors annually. Dedicating his career to public service, Jack has served the Department for more than 35 years and is currently the FRPA President; an NRPA Board Member; NRPA R.O.S.E., FRPA Distinguished Service, and ASPA Administrator of the Year Award winner. He has led MDPROS to earn the Florida Governor’s Sterling and FRPA Agency Excellence Awards and serves as an executive board member on the Miami-Dade Sports Commission, Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade and Zoo Miami Oversight Boards of Directors. With Jack’s leadership, the Miami-Dade County Parks and Open Space System Master Plan has established the blueprint for improving the quality of life in Miami and transforming it into a more livable, loveable and sustainable community through a system of great parks, public spaces, natural and cultural areas connected by great greenways, blueways, trails and streets that serve as linear parks. Through collaboration with community partners, this Master Plan is a national model for enhancing Miami-Dade’s health, environment, social well-being, and its economic prosperity. Jack has presented and made keynote speeches on Community Health and the Built Environment at the APHA, NRPA, City Park Alliance, Active Living Research and FRPA conferences, and has collaborated on research related to the Effectiveness of After School Programs on Participant Obesity-Related Health Outcomes that has been published in the American Journal of Health Promotion (2015) and the Disability and Health Journal (2014). Jack is currently the President of J Kardys Strategies, LLC, developing and implementing innovative park and public realm strategies for building healthy and sustainable communities.