As chair of World Urban Parks, I am very happy to announce that Neil McCarthy has been chosen as our new CEO, assuming the role on January 1st, 2018.


Most of you have met Neil at various conferences and in his role as vice chair in charge of the Advocacy Portfolio. For those who have not, I can assure you that we are lucky to have a person with his magnificent resume, wide experience and knowledge leading our organization. I strongly recommend all to read the great presentation done by Digby Whyte, out-going CEO.


I want to take advantage of this moment to thank Digby for his superb work as CEO. He led the merger of various organizations in order to create WUP, and has steadily transformed an exciting idea into a viable organization. All of us have much to be thankful for, but probably no one as much as me. It has been a privilege to work closely with Digby. I have learned from him and wish him the best possible future. I hope that in his many activities, Digby will find time to continue playing a role in the future of our organization.


It is important to thank the Executive Committee, specifically our vice chair of Governance, David Cochrane, for the transparent and efficient way he led the searches for Secretariat and CEO in 2017. We’ll start the new year with Alberta Recreation and Parks Association as Secretariat, and Neil McCarthy as CEO. These two strong additions will be supported by our enthusiastic and committed members, and will take World Urban Parks to higher levels. Together we will make urban parks more relevant and necessary to build successful cities and healthy communities where all citizens will experience happier lives, regardless of economic, social or ethnic backgrounds.


Good winds for 2018.


Gil (Guillermo) Penalosa