Mar 21, 2023 - News

Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman gets big pay raise

Headshot of Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman.

Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman. Photo: Cleveland Metroparks

Brian Zimmerman, CEO of Cleveland Metroparks, has secured a massive pay raise and contract extension that will keep him at the helm of the regional parks organization until August 2034.

Driving the news: The three-member board of park commissioners authorized Zimmerman's new contract last week.

  • Zimmerman's base annual pay will skyrocket to $340,000 — he currently makes $288,000 — with a 3.95% increase each year, plus a 10% bonus linked to capital projects, fundraising and national recognition.

What they're saying: "Since Brian joined Cleveland Metroparks in 2010, he has been transformational in strategically connecting our region, growing the park district and enhancing its impact for all we serve," said board president Bruce Rinker in a press release.

The big picture: Cleveland Metroparks encompasses more than 24,000 acres and 300 miles of trails across the 18 reservations of the "Emerald Necklace." Metroparks also operates eight golf courses and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

  • Since Zimmerman was hired as executive director in 2010, the park district has expanded by 15%, added 60 miles of trails, and assumed control of the Cleveland lakefront parks formerly operated by the state.

Flashback: As the park district has grown, so has Zimmerman's compensation package.

  • In 2010, he was making only $145,000 per year.

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