Anne-Mary McGrath knows how to put on an event – sometimes with upwards of 8,000 attendees.
That’s the case each November with the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot organized by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, where McGrath leads the special events division.
“What started with 117 people has now grown to more than 8,000 participants and literally takes a small army of staff and volunteers to pull it all together,” McGrath says of the 18-year-old event she helps to coordinate between staff with the Parks, Police and Public Works departments, and volunteers from Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners and Developmental Center of the Ozarks, the benefiting nonprofit.
Other Parks Department activities and events she coordinates include an Easter Egg Hunt, Dogfest/Bark in the Park and the Springfield Lasers World TeamTennis Program.
From her perspective, McGrath’s strongest impact to date in her four years with the Parks was developing the first volunteer management program for recruiting, screening, placing and tracking more than 1,000 volunteers each year.
“While most of us can identify the various problems and challenges at hand, Anne-Mary is all about finding genuine solutions,” says Parks Director Bob Belote. “Around Park Board circles, Anne-Mary is well known for getting things done – and in the right way.”
McGrath says she takes on the responsibility to inform and engage each staff member involved in an event. “When staff see the results of their hard work – a happy and satisfied public – then we’ve been successful,” she adds.
Before taking the Parks’ community recreation services administrator position in 2008, McGrath was director of athletic development for Drury University 2004–07.
She owned and operated Branson-based MAM Public Relations Inc., and held a partner position, as well as a marketing and PR role, in Springfield Rifles Football Inc.
Before settling in the Ozarks, McGrath worked in advertising in New York and served as director of game operations for the World League of American Football.
She’s invested in the Springfield community as a board member of Springfield Ballet, including two terms as president and treasurer of the Southwest Missouri Association of Volunteer Administrators.Click here for full coverage of the 2012 Most Influential Women.