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Posted on: October 16, 2020

Harrisonville-native Grant Purkey hired as Parks & Recreation Director

Grant Purkey

The City of Harrisonville is excited to announce the hiring of Grant Purkey as the new Parks & Recreation Director!

The decision to hire Purkey was made following a series of lengthy interviews with City Department Heads and members of the Park Board. He entered his new position on October 12, 2020.

Purkey, who was raised in Harrisonville, brings with him nearly 20 years of parks and local-government experience, including multiple stints with the Harrisonville Parks Department.

With a career that has seen him play an instrumental role in multiple metro parks departments, including Grandview and Peculiar, Purkey holds strong ties both within Harrisonville and in the surrounding area.

At the wide-eyed age of 15, Grant took his first job as a part-time little league baseball umpire right here in Harrisonville; transitioning that into a role as a lifeguard at the Harrisonville Aquatics Center and then, following his graduation from college, being hired as the full-time Recreation Coordinator.

A graduate of Harrisonville High School in 200, Grant went on to attend Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management.

Throughout his career, Purkey has been a champion of hard work and ingenuity, highlighted by his impressive work to rebuild the youth sports programs for the City of Joplin, following the devastating tornado in the spring of 2011.

Grant hopes to bring that same success back to where his career began and is excited about the opportunity for growth, right here at home.

"Harrisonville is home. I know a lot of people here. I have worked with a lot of people here. It brings back memories of my mom taking my brother and I out to City Park, sliding down the yellow tornado slide, playing on the spillway or playing homerun derby on the tennis courts. It brings back good memories. And the thought of being able to put my own stamp on that, that's pretty exciting," Purkey said.

Purkey's top goals for the department include:

  • Complete improvements and upgrades at the Harrisonville Aquatic Center
  • Develop and complete upgrades to athletic fields/complexes
  • Update fitness equipment at the Community Center
  • Upgrade/modernize playground systems at multiple parks, with stronger emphasis on child safety

Throughout his career, Grant has earned several prestigious certifications, including: Certified Playground Safety Inspector, Parks and Recreation Professional, Graduate of the Missouri Parks and Recreation Leadership Development Institute and a Leadership Certificate from the National Parks and Recreation Association.

City Administrator Brad Ratliff spoke very highly of Grant following his hiring, highlighting his vast experience and hometown connection.

"We are happy to have Grant as a part of our team. Grant has a great amount of experience that we feel will bring great results to the Park system. It’s also nice to bring home someone who grew up here as well as, started their career here, in Harrisonville," Ratliff said. 

For more information about the Harrisonville Parks and Recreation Department, click here.

We are excited about the experience and leadership that Grant will bring to our community and look forward to the many ways that he will contribute to the continued growth and success of Harrisonville.

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