ABERDEEN – Keith Heckman has been named the director of the Aberdeen Township Parks and Recreation Department. He comes to the township after 11 years with the Monmouth County Park System.
Heckman will succeed James Colabelli, who retired following 23 years of service to the township, according to municipal officials.
“As a Certified Park and Recreation Professional, Keith joins us with extensive experience in recreational programming, budgeting, staff management and customer service during his years at Monmouth County’s acclaimed park system,” Township Manager Bryan Russell said.
“He brings the skillset, leadership qualities and energy to direct a department responsible for maintaining our 16 neighborhood parks and athletic complexes, a senior center and other facilities, as well as coordinating special events and year-round programming for residents of all ages,” Russell said.
Heckman began his career in 2010 as a park ranger with the Monmouth County Park System before moving into golf administration. He was eventually elevated to the position of manager in the golf unit, according to municipal officials.
He was subsequently promoted to recreation supervisor in the Visitor Service Division, where his responsibilities included supervising department programming, including general recreation, special events and summer camps.
Heckman holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in corporate and public communication from Monmouth University, West Long Branch. He is a certified pool operator and earned a certificate from the National Recreation and Park Association’s Revenue Development and Management School.
“I welcome this opportunity to lead Aberdeen’s Parks and Recreation Department and look forward to working with the administration, Township Council, residents and business community in making our facilities and programming even more robust,” Heckman was quoted as saying in a press release from the township.
Mayor Fred Tagliarini said, “We are thrilled to have Keith onboard and are confident he will build upon the strong foundation Jim Colabelli built. We will miss (Colabelli) and will think about him every Aberdeen Day, every Fourth of July, and whenever there is an event that he helped create or build. He was Aberdeen through and through.”