Povar set to replace local legend as director of Parks and Recreation

Povar set to replace local legend as director of Parks and Recreation

Corey Povar is taking over as the director of the Kinston-Lenoir County Parks and Recreation Department starting Monday. Photo by Junious Smith III

The Kinston-Lenoir County Parks and Recreation Department will be under new leadership Monday.

Corey Povar starts Monday as the department’s new director. Povar, who was born in Emporia, Va., and was most recently the recreation manager in Fountain Hills, Ariz., before moving to Kinston, has local ties. Povar graduated from Chowan University with a degree in physical education before getting his Master’s in Parks and Recreation Management at UNC-Greensboro.

Povar spent seven years working in Greensboro, managing the Lewis Recreation Center for a stint — the largest center in the city.

Kinston City Manager Tony Sears said Povar would be a good fit following the retirement of legendary director Bill Ellis and interim director Galen Treble.

"Bill was a legend in the industry, and now we have the opportunity to refocus the department,” Sears said. “We’re pretty good when it comes to the major four sports, but where we haven’t been as good is programming. We’re also in the process of hiring a new director at Holloway and we want to reach kids in not just the four major sports.

“Parks and rec is more than just athletics. We need to reach the at-risk youth whether it’s with after-school tutors, poetry or other options. Corey has a lot of experience in programming, and he met the need we’re trying to fill. He’s an East Coast guy coming home, and he understands the people in the area.”

Povar said he isn’t blindly walking into Lenoir County.

“I had a bit of a tie to Kinston when I was working in Greensboro,” Povar said. “I worked with a local professional wrestling group and there was a guy who went by ‘Donny Steamboat’ I was friends with. We brought shows to the center and I learned more about Kinston.

“I have family back East and so does my wife. I grew up in Emporia, Va., where my dad was the city manager, and I did my research about Kinston. It made me feel comfortable because of the small-town feel. The atmosphere was great and visiting the area reminded me of my childhood — I had a lot of fond memories and it makes me excited to not only work and live here, but raise a family. This is a thriving community and I’m excited to learn more as I get better acquainted.”

Overall, Povar said he’s ready for the opportunity.

“The goal is to see what we can do to help the city become a better place,” Povar said. “Talking to some of the people in the organization, they have a lot of ideas and hopefully we can put it all into place to improve Parks and Rec.”

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