City Administrator Damien R. Arrula has announced the appointment of Karen Crocker to serve as Director of Community Services for the City of Placentia

Mrs. Crocker began working as Interim Director of Community Services for the City of Placentia in October 2019, to oversee the operations of the Community Services Department, and after successfully completing a competitive recruitment process, Karen was chosen as the most qualified applicant to serve as full-time Director of Community Services on January 16, 2020. 

Mrs. Crocker has over 30 years’ experience in community services and parks and recreation throughout Orange County, including the cities of Mission Viejo, Lake Forest and Laguna Hills. Karen also worked for Saddleback Valley Unified School District where she provided recreation programs through a contract with the County of Orange. She then worked for the City of San Juan Capistrano and City of Aliso Viejo as Community Services Director. Karen has extensive experience in all aspects of Recreation and facilities including design and construction of community centers, sports parks and park renovation projects. 

“This position is one of the most dynamic jobs in Placentia and we’re fortunate to welcome Karen to the City with her extensive knowledge and experience,” said Mayor Ward Smith. “I’m looking forward to working with her to manage the growth of programming in the City and to continue to improve our public facilities and recreation services for our residents.” 

“Karen brings a wealth of parks and recreation experience and dedication to the Placentia team and our collective community,” said City Administrator Damien R. Arrula. “She has already proven to be key member of our team and we are excited to see what her recreation creativity and leadership will bring to our great City.” 

“I am excited and humbled to serve the residents of Placentia. Being community-minded, I look forward to embracing the community and its rich culture and historical roots. It is an honor to be able to work with an incredible, innovative and dedicated staff and organization,” said Mrs. Crocker. 

A three-time recipient of the California Parks and Recreation Society Award of Excellence for Park Design and Innovative Programming, Karen is also a member of the National Recreation and Park Association, National Aquatic Management Association and California Parks and Recreation Society. Mrs. Crocker will oversee a department of 6 full-time and up to 80 part time employees providing vital community programs including managing the Neighborhood Services, Senior Center, Teen Center, youth sports, city facilities, field operations, and summer youth aquatics. The Community Services 

Department also provides special events Placentia residents enjoy throughout the year including Movies in the Park, Concerts in the Park, Holiday Tree Lighting, Heritage Festival and Tamale Festival. 

Karen Crocker will be formally introduced as the new Director of Community Services at the February 4, 2020 City Council meeting.