For the first time in 15 years, the Recreation Centers of Sun City West will have a new leader.
With more than 30 years of community leadership experience to call upon, William Schwind will take the helm of the Association on Jan. 22 following the retirement of long-time General Manager Mike Whiting.
Schwind brings with him a plethora of parks and recreation experience that will serve him well as he leads the $25 million operation that boasts more than $150 million in amenities including seven golf courses, four recreation centers, a private library, bowling center and nearly 110 chartered clubs. Schwind will guide the 40-year-old Association into the next decade as it provides for the social and leisure activities of the age-restricted community’s 28,000 residents.
Schwind served as the Community Services Director in Casa Grande from 2012 to 2016 before retiring to Sun City. He decided to come out of retirement when he saw the opportunity in Sun City West and believed it was a great fit given his background.
“It is an absolute honor to be awarded this position,” Schwind said. “Sun City West and its recreational amenities have developed into a nationally recognized gem within our country’s active adult communities. The vision and professionalism that Mike Whiting has provided over his years of tenure are legendary. It is with those standards in mind that I intend to carry out my management responsibilities.”
Schwind added, “I am joining a team of extremely skilled staff along with an Executive Board that displays a sincere passion for the continued enhancements of the quality of life services that this organization provides. As manager, it is my job to listen and understand community needs, synergize my background with staff’s proficiencies; plan secure, sustainable operational funding; develop and then deliver on the promise of meeting or exceeding the standards that have been set. It is a challenge that I am up for. I look forward to joining the team, providing the high quality of community service that Sun City West has been accustomed to well into the future.”
In Casa Grande, Schwind directed community recreation, golf, library and park operations in a city of 55,000 residents. He managed and returned a municipal golf course to profitability and planned and conducted a feasibility study leading to the development of the city’s first large scale community recreation center.
Prior to working in Casa Grande, he was deputy parks and recreation director for the City of Glendale from 2006 to 2012, where he was responsible for community improvements and recreational management in a city of 250,000. He worked alongside professional sports organizations on development of award winning park and open space facilities, trails and recreational programs related to State Farm Stadium and Camelback Ranch spring training facilities.
From 1994 to 2006, Schwind was parks and recreation director for the Town of Payson, where he administered and developed all aspects of the community’s recreation, aquatics and parks programs. He worked on planning, funding and development for numerous new parks and facilities. Before that, he was community services director for the city of Caldwell, Idaho, from 1989 to 1994, where he administered two municipal 18-hole golf courses, parks, a stadium, cemetery and events center.
Along with his work experience, Schwind brings a depth of professional credentials and connections, including serving as President of the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association. He was appointed by then-Gov. Janet Napolitano and served as chair of the Arizona Outdoor Recreation Coordinating Commission.
Schwind was a 15-year Arizona Interscholastic Association sports official; an Arizona Parks and Recreation Association member; a Certified Professional with the National Recreation and Park Association and a United States Golf Association member.
He earned his Bachelor’s Degree and Certified Public Manager designation from Arizona State University.