PHILADELPHIA – Mayor Kenney has accepted the resignation of Kathryn Ott Lovell, Commissioner of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR). The Mayor has named Orlando Rendon as Acting Commissioner.
Lovell will remain on in her current capacity until June 2, when Rendon, currently Deputy Managing Director for Community Services and a former Deputy Commissioner of Programs for PPR, will fill the position.
The Mayor praised Lovell’s dedication and thanked her for her seven years of service to the City, particularly during some of its toughest challenges.
“When the pandemic forced us all outdoors, our City parks and playgrounds quickly became the center of our lives. During that time, Kathryn led a team at PPR to serve Philadelphians in new ways – turning recreation centers into virtual learning hubs and transforming residential blocks into mobile summer camp experiences,” Mayor Kenney said. “I thank her for her service and wish her the best.”
Lovell has accepted the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Philadelphia Visitors Center Corporation. The organization’s mission is to enhance the experience of visitors to Philadelphia by providing exceptional customer service and access to all that the city has to offer.
“As a lifelong Philadelphian, serving the city I love, being the Commissioner for the past seven and a half years has been a tremendous honor,” Lovell said. “I’m incredibly proud of the work the Parks & Rec team has achieved during the Kenney Administration. We make a difference in the lives of city residents every day. We empower youth through recreation, build strong neighborhoods through shared public spaces, and uplift residents through employment, volunteerism, and affordable, high quality programs. The team at Parks & Rec is quite simply the best. They are dedicated, caring, and committed professionals who I will miss very much.”
Regarding soon-to-be Acting Commissioner Rendon, Mayor Kenney stressed, “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.”
Rendon is currently serving as the Deputy Managing Director for Community Services where he oversees community engagement work for the City’s Managing Director, including the City’s Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP), the Office of Immigrant Affairs and the Municipal ID program. Rendon served as the Deputy Commissioner of Programs for PPR from 2017 – 2022, where he was responsible for overseeing all programming at the City’s recreation centers and pools. During this time, he demonstrated an excellent ability to engage with both the public and private sectors to support communities and deliver services. Prior to joining the City of Philadelphia, Rendon worked at ASPIRA, Inc., Schools of Pennsylvania for 25 years in program management, financial leadership and as Chief Operations Officer.
“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.”
Rendon is a graduate of Central High School and received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Temple University. He has been honored with various civic and cultural awards, including the 2011 Delaware Valley’s Most Influential Latinos Award and the 2009 National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights Outstanding Community Support Award.
A headshot of Orlando Rendon is available online.