On May 5, 2015, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors appointed George Chapjian as Director of the Community Services Department (CSD). Chapjian currently serves as the Director of the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department for the City of Long Beach. As the CSD director, Mr. Chapjian will oversee parks, affordable housing, library funding, the Arts Commission, and energy incentive programs. The CSD has 100 positions, an operating budget of over $20 million, and greets over 7 million visitors annually at its County parks.
Chapjian holds a Master’s in Social Work, a Master’s in Gerontology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, all from the University of Southern California. He worked for the City of Pasadena in neighborhood revitalization, Human Services, and for the City Manager’s Office. From 2003-2011, Chapjian was the Director of the City of Glendale’s Community Services and Parks Department. In addition to managing the city’s park department, he also administered arts and culture programs, grant administration, federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs, and homeless programs. Under his leadership as the Director of Parks, Recreation and Marine Department in Long Beach, that department won the prestigious National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Parks and Recreation by the National Parks and Recreation Association in 2013. He currently oversees an annual budget of $52 million, 1300 full and part-time staff, and the nation’s largest city-owned marina.
“We are excited that someone with Mr. Chapjian’s experience in parks and community development will be joining us. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge and is well suited to continue to develop the department to meet the unique needs of our diverse communities,” said Chair of the Board of Supervisors, Janet Wolf.
“I am very excited to be joining the County of Santa Barbara’s Community Services department,” said Chapjian who has over 27 years in local government. “I look forward to collaborative relationships inside and outside the department,” he said.
“Mr. Chapjian has demonstrated extensive experience in parks management and government leadership, successfully taking on new challenges throughout his career and developing positive relationships with the community,” County Executive Officer Mona Miyasato further noted.
The Community Services Department was formed three years ago, consolidating the Parks Department and Housing and Community Development Department into one organization to promote collaboration among various functions and improve operational efficiency. The prior director left the organization in 2014 for a position with the City of San Diego.
“I would also like to thank Renée Bahl, Assistant County Executive Officer, for filling the interim assignment of Director of Community services since April 2014,” said Miyasato. “She and her leadership team have successfully guided the staff and integrated the various functions of the department into a dynamic and effective organization. ”
Chapjian will begin work with the County on June 29, 2015.