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City hires new recreation manager
Matthew Lohr comes from SoCal with lots of experience
Matthew Lohr.jpg
Matthew Lohr is the city of Ceres’ new recreation manager. - photo by Jeff Benziger

The city of Ceres has hired a new recreation manager in Matthew Lohr to replace Traci Farris who left her post earlier this year.

“We’re happy that he is here,” said City Manager Toby Wells who introduced Lohr to the Ceres City Council on Monday evening.

“I look forward to providing recreation services to this community,” said Lohr. “Thank you for this opportunity. I look forward to working with everyone here, the council, city manager, department heads and the community especially.”

The city’s Parks & Recreation Department oversees the operation of the Ceres Community Center and conducts a wide variety of recreation programs ranging from senior exercise to children’s cooking classes and from aquatics to Nerf gun wars. The department also hosts a variety of events, such as the Concerts in the Park series, Halloween Festival and the Ceres Christmas Festival.

Lohr has been the president of the West Coast Recreation Services in Irvine for the past five years where he advised government, non-profit organization, homeowners’ associations and schools/school districts on strategic initiatives to improve parks, recreation and afterschool programs for community residents and students. He also provided contract services including staff and volunteer training, marketing and branding plans, strategies to enhance revenues and managing projects focused on facilities, playgrounds and parks.

From 2003 to 2013 he was recreation manager for the city of Newport Beach Recreation & Senior Services Department. He directed park and recreation activities at six community centers and parks, two aquatic facilities and beach programming. He also supervised and coached team of 50 employees and 125 contractors. While in Newport Beach Lohr worked closely with school officials to provide after-school programs, summer camps, joint field use and managed two aquatic facilities. He also helped to build consensus to build new community centers and support other community programs and initiatives.

Lohr also was a lecturer in 2005 and 2006 at California State University, Long Beach. The class was designed to improve student awareness on marketing and special-event management. From 2000 to 2003 he was recreation supervisor for the city of Riverside.

Other experiences include serving as the recreation coordinator for the Desert Recreation District in Indio/Palm Desert; services as a recreation specialist with the city of Austin, Texas, and an aquatics supervisor for U.S. Marine Corps Marine Corps Morale, Welfare & Recreation in Okinawa, Japan. Lohr also had stints as an intramural coordinator with California State University, Chico; pool manager/day camp coordinator and life guard for the city of Brawley.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in Recreation Administration from Cal State Chico and a master’s degree in Public Administration at Cal State San Bernardino.