City Manager Emilio Gonzalez Announces New Department Leadership

Published on January 24, 2019

city seal blue and gold

(Miami, FL January 24, 2019) - City Manager Emilio Gonzalez has appointed Ms. Lara De Souza-Hamwey as Director of Parks and Recreation effective January 23, 2019 and Mr. John Heffernan as Deputy Director of the Office of Communications who will be joining the City of Miami Monday, January 28, 2019.

“Lara has proven that she can successfully lead our Parks and Recreation Department and John is someone whose work ethic and skills will allow us to continue the job of informing our stakeholders.  These two professionals embody our continued efforts to attract and promote people who will help serve and transform our community," said City Manager Emilio Gonzalez. "We are committed to providing the best services to our residents and Ms. De Souza-Hamwey and Mr. Heffernan's talent and leadership will help us do just that through our Parks and Recreation and Communications Department."

Lara de Souza-Hamwey is the first woman to be appointed Director of Parks and Recreation in  the City of Miami in more than three decades. She has been a member of the City’s Parks and Recreation Department for the last fifteen years and has served as Deputy Director since 2013.   Under her direction, the Miami Parks and Recreation Department was accredited for the very first time in 2011 by the National Parks and Recreation Association (NPRA) and achieved its subsequent accreditation renewal in 2016. As Deputy Director, she managed the annual budget of $47M and has overseen significant technological improvements for Parks and Recreation, including the implementation of an enterprise tool for asset management and work orders named Cartegraph. 
 
Mr. Heffernan has worked at national public affairs firm Kivvit since 2015, providing communications counsel and support to a variety of clients, including nonprofits, government agencies and businesses. Prior to that, he served as Communications Manager at the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, promoting airport services and business developments, and supporting the Department’s federal advocacy efforts.