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Posted on: April 22, 2022

Town announces new Parks and Recreation Director

April 22, 2022

    Town of Emerald Announces Parks & Recreation Director


The Town of Emerald Isle is pleased to announce Candace Dooley as the new Director of Parks & Recreation. She will begin her fulltime position on Monday, May 16.

Mrs. Dooley holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business. For the past eight years, she has served as the director of the Emerald Isle Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K, raising a total of $270,000 for the Town of Emerald Isle and other local charities.  

Professionally, she brings 12 years of direct managerial experience where she oversaw a budget exceeding $2.2 M and supervised 150 persons.  Mrs. Dooley also has small business experience, as the owner of Star Fish Events, a marketing and events company. 

“I am extremely honored to have been selected as the Director of Parks and Recreation,” said Mrs. Dooley. “I have a great passion for this community and look forward to serving Emerald Isle in my new role.”

Mrs. Dooley also has a unique local perspective, having served 6-years as an elected Town Commissioner.  Her overall understanding of municipal government, finance, and general town operations will be extremely beneficial.  

The Town received numerous qualified applicants for this vacancy, and selected Mrs. Dooley to lead the department after the retirement of long-term director Alesia Sanderson. Ms. Sanderson retired on April 15, after serving the Town for 32-years. 

“Alesia Sanderson served Emerald Isle with such enthusiasm and compassion, that recruiting the next Parks and Recreation Director was a daunting task,” said Town Manager Matt Zapp. “As a volunteer, Candace Dooley produced amazing results for the Town of Emerald Isle via her role on the Town Board and as the Chairperson of the Marathon Committee. We are confident she will hit the ground running and continue the exceptional work of the parks department.” 


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