Isle of Wight recreation director retires

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 2, 2007

ISLE OF WIGHT—George Kindred has announced his retirement as recreation manager of

Isle of Wight County after 23 years, but the 55-year-old will not stop work.

Not a chance.

Kindred plans to focus on his business as a full-time building contractor, although on a smaller scale. This is a business he has been involved with since he was in college.

&uot;Of course, to begin with, I plan to spend more time with my wife, Dr. Gina Moore-Kindred, my son, Xavier, and other members of my family.

But I’ve also been in the contracting business for about 30 years, I like the work and have been planning this for a few months now.

Indeed, it seems Kindred has chosen a second career. He made an indelible mark in recreation during his years with Isle of Wight County, however.

Since he began working for the county, it has seen significant growth in the development of recreational programming and services, according to Don Robertson, director of Isle of Wight information resources.

A 1977 graduate of Hampton University with a degree in recreation education, Kindred knew in the beginning that he wanted to work in this field, he said.

&uot;I’ve always liked teaching kids’ sports and after college, I moved to New Orleans to work with the Boys Clubs of America as program director.&uot;

Promoted to unit director, Kindred said he lived there for about seven years.

The Franklin native said he wanted to get back to Southampton County, however, so he inquired about jobs in the area.

&uot;When I was offered this job with Isle of Wight County, it seemed just right for me.

&uot;Actually, I landed my job with IOW Parks and Recreation through the efforts of friends Anthony and Edna King,&uot; Kindred said.

The longtime IOW employee said he began as maintenance supervisor just to get back into the area.

It wasn’t long before he was promoted to recreation specialist and then to recreation supervisor.

Kindred’s current position is recreation manager for the county.

&uot;These last 23 years have been wonderful,&uot; he said.

&uot;I’ve had a chance to work not only with the youth, but the elderly as well.

Kindred’s accomplishments speak for themselves. He has been responsible for overseeing several highly successful athletic activities, including the popular county basketball and soccer programs. He also served the community through his involvement with senior trips and programs, after-school activities for youth and other programs which have touched and affected thousands of county residents.

In addition, he was instrumental in implementing standards of the National Youth Sports Coaches Association (NYSCA), including background checks to insure the safety of youth.

The recreational manager has, in fact, brought to his job a focus on teamwork and a desire to bridge socioeconomic gaps through leisure recreation.

Kindred just recently accepted the responsibility for reopening the IOW Skating Rink on Route 258 near Franklin and overseeing staff and programs at Camptown Park and the Otelia J. Rainey Center.

Here, he sought to find more effective ways to deliver Parks and Recreation related activities and programs to the southern part of IOW County.

&uot;The skating rink, for instance,&uot; he said, &uot;was in such bad shape, we couldn’t keep it open.

In fact, it had been closed for about a year when I came in.&uot;

Kindred said he had trained about a dozen part-time people and at this time the county has a facility it can be proud of.

Reopening in mid-March, it is a good family-oriented sports activity, he added.

Robertson said Kindred’s service in regard to these facilities represents a significant expansion of county programs in this area.

The father of two grown children and a pre-teen stepson, Kindred will now alternate between his two business offices, one in Carrollton and the other in Franklin.

He attributes his desire to work hard and achieve his goals to his mother.

&uot;She was a Christian, God-fearing woman, who believed in hard work and education.

&uot;I also had a lot of mentors and a lot of help along the way,&uot; Kindred went on. &uot;They are too many to mention, but I will always be indebted to them.&uot;

He says he will continue to work with the organizations even though he will no longer be employed by the county.

&uot;They are all still important to me,&uot; he said.