Published April 10, 2024

Meet MetroParks’ new chief of operations

If you’ve attended a Five Rivers MetroParks event or frequented your favorite park, you may recognize Chris Pion, MetroParks’ new chief of operations! For nearly 28 years, Chris has been on the MetroParks team in many capacities, most recently as director of parks. Pion started his MetroParks journey in 1996 as a seasonal park technician at Possum Creek MetroPark. Pion discusses his career favorites, must-experience MetroParks events and more below:

Career favorites: It is so hard to believe that I have been here so long. In the last 28 years, I have worked with amazing people and had wonderful experiences that have shaped me as a professional and as a person. Each of the positions that I have held have been rewarding and provided opportunities for growth and development.

I have great memories of my time as a park technician working large events at Island MetroPark, swishing water during flood events at Englewood MetroPark, and participating in prairie burns as a member of the burn team.

As an assistant park manager, I loved my time at Hills & Dales MetroPark learning about the history of the park and planning for what that park would become.

I was blessed to work with the team at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark during the time that the Children’s Discovery Garden was being built and I was able to be a part of delivering that amazing facility to the public.

As the park manager at Taylorsville MetroPark, I really enjoyed my work on the strategic trail initiative and the trail restoration projects that transformed the hiking experience in the east park.

As a director, I have enjoyed working collaboratively and strategically to overcome challenges and have truly enjoyed my work on the Great Miami Wetland Mitigation Bank project.

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Favorite MetroPark: Because I have been with Five Rivers MetroParks for so long and I have had the privilege of working at so many of the facilities, it is not possible to select one favorite park.  I have often said that when you work at a park and you leave it, you leave some of yourself behind and take some of that park with you. With that said, each of the parks that I have served has a special place in my heart.

Favorite MetroParks event: I look forward to the Wagner Subaru Outdoor Experience every year. Getting to see the public’s appreciation of the work that we all do to maintain facilities and deliver services/programs is the best feeling. Each year while working parking at this event, I get the chance to interact with many visitors as they arrive and as they leave the event. I have many positive interactions with guests over those few days each year and I always find it to be energizing.

Favorite outdoor recreation activity: I am an avid fisherman/outdoorsman. I do a lot of fishing in the Stillwater River and enjoy getting out to fish in the parks whenever possible.

What excites Pion about his first six months as chief of operations: I am excited to connect more with the Outdoor Connections team, strengthen my relationships and collaboration with the other chiefs, and find new ways that I can use my skills to help my team and the agency.

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