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Orlando Rendon, a latino man in a gray business suit. He is standing with his arms crossed and is facing the viewer.
Photo courtesy of the City of Philadelphia.

Latino leads as Acting Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation

As Mayor Jim Kenney accepts Kathryn Ott Lovell’s resignation from the position, he has appointed Orlando Rendon as Acting Commissioner in the interim.

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Kathryn Ott Lovell, the Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR), announced her resignation from the position yesterday, ending a seven-year tenure. 

The same day, it was announced that she will become the new President & CEO of Philadelphia Visitor Center Corporation

Lovell will hold her current position until June 2, 2023, after which Orlando Rendon, whom Mayor Kenney has appointed, will serve as Acting Commissioner.

Rendon currently operates as Deputy Managing Director for Community Services, but prior to that he served as Deputy Commissioner of Programs within the PPR, having been appointed in February 2022.

“I am confident that Orlando will offer continuity and strong leadership for the Department and will work hard to ensure our parks and recreation centers remain safe, fun, dynamic public spaces,” said Mayor Kenney in a statement.

In his current position, Rendon works under the City's Managing Director, where he oversees community engagement work, including the Community Life Improvement Program, the Municipal ID program, and the Office of Immigrant Affairs.

His time as Deputy Commissioner of Programs for the PPR was from 2011 to 2017, where he oversaw all programming at the City's rec centers and pools, engaging with both public and private sectors to support communities and deliver services.

“I am so pleased to return to PPR to serve as the Acting Commissioner," Rendon said. 

"I am looking forward to working with the amazing and dedicated staff to provide an exciting and fun summer for Philadelphia’s children, youth and families,” he continued.

Prior to joining the City, Rendon worked at ASPIRA, Inc., Schools of Pennsylvania for 26 years, as Chief Operations Officer, in program management, and in financial leadership.

ASPIRA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving rates of Hispanic education within the United States. Founded in 1961, it has expanded to numerous locations nationwide, including Philadelphia, seeking to support the city's most impoverished areas.

Over his 26 years with the organization, Rendon watched as the organization grew from a small group of 12 with little over $1 million in funds and expanded dramatically into a 700 person force, with a $65 to $70 million budget.

Rendon is a graduate of Temple University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in Business Administration. He has received the 2011 Delaware Valley's Most Influential Latinos Award and the 2009 National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights Outstanding Community Support Award.

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