Recreation and Parks Staff 1111 E. Broad St.
Suite 200
Columbus, OH 43205

Profile Picture Coming Soon

Paul Rakosky, Interim Director Paul Rakosky joined the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department on February 1, 2016 and assumed the role of Deputy Director.  His responsibilities include working with the planning and design, fiscal and human resources sections along with overseeing current projects that include the development of the cost recovery policy, five year capital planning process and a training and safety program.  In addition, Paul will serve as acting director in the absence of current Director Tony Collins.

Since 2002, Paul has worked for the City of Columbus in the Department of Finance and Management.  He brings his knowledge and expertise in business operations, management, budgeting, finance and capital planning which will greatly aid the department in future growth and sustainability.

Brandon Headshot

Eric Brandon, Assistant Director Eric has been with the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department team for over 10 years. His more than 24 years of public service includes the State Auditor’s Office, Equal Business Opportunity Commission Office (EBOCO), Public Safety and Mayor’s Office.  Currently, Eric leads the Youth & Family Development Division which includes Applications for Purpose, Pride & Success (APPS), Food & Nutrition, Capital Kids Enrichment Program, and the Rapid Resource and Outreach Offices.

Eric has a wealth of experience in city government and community.  He is a Columbus native and graduate of Columbus West H.S. Eric played basketball for Denison University, then completed his undergraduate degree at Wilberforce University. Eric is an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a service organization.  Eric serves on the Early College Academy and IMPACT Community Action Agency Boards.  Eric is a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio since 2001. He is a donor and member of the National Bone Marrow Association.  His greatest rewards come from being a husband, father and mentor.  Eric firmly believes to whom much is given, much is required.  He is married to Nichole “Nikki” Brandon and they have one son, Eric Jr.

Troy Euton Bio Pic

Troy Euton, Assistant Director Since 2016, Troy has served as an engaged leader of the Parks, Facilities and Forestry sections at Columbus Recreation and Parks.  Most of Troy’s career has focused on park construction and operations where his focus has been on high quality standards to provide for long term sustainability.  Previously he served the City of Gahanna for 10 years as the Director, and Deputy Director of the Parks and Recreation Department.  Earlier in his career Troy served the Anderson Park District for 13 years as Operations Director and Planning Director.  Prior to his public service, Troy worked for Winegardner and Hammons, Inc., a national hotel management company, for six years as a Maintenance Engineer.

Troy’s passion for parks goes beyond his day job.  He is a member of the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association and the National Recreation and Parks Association, where he is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional. Troy Previously served on the Board of Regents for the Great Lakes Park Training Institute.  Troy has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Ohio University.  

Executing oversight of all the parks and facilities within the CRPD system, Troy interfaces with all sections of the department.  Troy is passionate about his role in serving the community and takes great pride in providing quality spaces for residents to improve their mental and physical wellbeing. The impact of Recreation and Parks on communities feeds Troy’s passion and motivation for his service.  

Bernita Reese Photo

Bernita A. Reese, Assistant Director Bernita Reese joined the City of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department in January 2018. Bernita joined us from the DeKalb County Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs Department where she served as the Divisional Manager for 12 years.  

Bernita has a background of specialized training and experience that surpasses 25 years in the parks and recreation profession. She is a practical, problem‑solving, professional administrator, educator and self‑motivated organizer who welcomes evaluation based on performance.  She is active in a diverse range of professional activities at national, state and local levels. She is currently a member of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA). She is the current president of the Bridge at Austin and, previously served on numerous boards to include Sports DeKalb.

Bernita has experience working with public, private and military recreation.  She has worked nationally and internationally in recreation, athletics and therapeutics. Her life has not only been steered to motivate people but to implement programs that have a lasting impact in the community.

Sophia Fifner Headshot

Sophia Fifner, Community Relations Chief Sophia is a nonprofit executive with experience working in both the private and public sectors as a development and communications professional. Some of her most noteworthy experiences include working as a Senate staffer on Capitol Hill and working as a corporate fundraiser for Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

As the Community Relations Chief for Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, she oversees media relations, external affairs, and corporate philanthropy. Sophia has a B.A. in Organizational Communication from Miami University, a M.S. in Marketing and Communications from Franklin University and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive.