Kendrick Mayes, the marketing and events coordinator for Garner, North Carolina, was born at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia, and raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After majoring in therapeutic recreation at Catawba College, Mayes started as a part-time athletic specialist for Durham, North Carolina, and moved on to an internship for the Town of Garner’s Parks and Recreation department, where he would later be hired full-time to his current position. Today, Mayes is completing his master’s degree in recreation administration at North Carolina Central University in Durham. Over the course of his career as Garner’s marketing and events coordinator, Mayes has gained a reputation for coming up with unique and innovative ideas to connect parks and recreation with the community, perhaps as a result of his emphasis on interpersonal, face-to-face interaction. In addition, Mayes was responsible for last year’s Garner All-America City Shuffle, which was performed and filmed at NRPA headquarters (click here to watch us do the shuffle). We asked Mayes about his job and how he’s using innovative ideas to promote Garner and other agencies.
Parks & Recreation magazine: Tell us about your role as the marketing and events coordinator for Garner Parks and Recreation. What’s a typical day like for you?
Kendrick Mayes: As the marketing and events coordinator, I oversee the planning and managing of town-wide special events. A typical day for me is I wake up, check Twitter and Facebook, have lunch, check Twitter and Facebook, and then go home. No, seriously, I usually check social media to see what has happened in the world that pertains to parks and recreation or what another agency is doing that can be shared on our page. From there, I respond to emails and make follow-up phone calls. As the marketing and events coordinator, I am networking and establishing relationships nonstop. It is also my responsibility to make sure that people know about our upcoming events or the great parks that the town of Garner has to offer. If I see a husband and wife walking their dog, I tell them about our new dog park. Basically, it’s one thing if people do not attend our events or visit our parks, but I never want to hear that they did not know about an event or park.
P&R: What advice might you give to other agencies looking to improve community/customer relations in order to spread information about programs and parks?
Mayes: The advice I would give is to attend Chamber of Commerce after-hour events, support grand openings and ribbon cuttings, attend department special events and also attend other non-parks and recreation sponsored events. I encourage agencies to do that because you are getting your face out there by showing that you support community events, and you’re also able to promote your upcoming parks and recreation event. It’s also important for agencies to look for feedback on the types of events that are offered and see what is beneficial. Often times, when I meet new people and they ask what do I do, and I tell them I work for the Garner Parks and Recreation Department, they usually want to know what we have coming up so they can attend.
P&R: After the All-America City Shuffle of 2014, which borrowed from Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger,” what song is on repeat for you this summer?
Mayes: There are so many songs to choose from this summer. Since NRPA is doing an 80s theme this year for Parks and Recreation Month, I have been channeling my inner “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars. Who knows, you might see another dancing video from us.
Marissa Bracamonte is an Editorial Intern for Parks & Recreation magazine.