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Mayor Battle appoints new directors for Parks & Recreation, Parking & Public Transit

Published on March 25, 2021

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle on Thursday announced the appointments of Bernita Reese as director of Huntsville Parks & Recreation and Quisha Riche as director of Parking & Public Transit. The Mayor’s recommendations were unanimously approved by the City Council.

Reese fills the spot left vacant following Steve Ivey’s recent retirement, while Riche replaces Tommy Brown, who retires in June.

A portrait of incoming Parks & Rec Director Bernita Reese
Bernita Reese

Bernita Reese

Reese comes to Huntsville from Columbus, Ohio, where she has served as assistant director of Parks & Recreation. A graduate of Western Illinois University and Savannah State University, Reese earned her master’s in sports management and bachelor’s in recreation and park administration. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education in organizational leadership through Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio.

Reese has more than 25 years of parks and recreation management experience between her service in Ohio and DeKalb County, Georgia. Reese is a member of the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association (GRPA), Ohio Parks and Recreation Association (OPRA) and the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

During her tenure with the City of Columbus, Reese managed two major capital projects worth more than $40 million combined.

A portrait of incoming Parking and Public Transit Director Quisha Riche
Quisha Riche

Quisha Riche

Riche has most recently served as deputy executive director at the Huntsville Housing Authority. She received her bachelor’s in criminal justice from Tennessee State University and Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School in Atlanta.

Prior to working for the Housing Authority, Riche was a practicing attorney in Huntsville and served as a consultant to Work Force Housing, LLC. Before that, she was as an associate attorney at Cheatham & Associated, PLLC.

She previously interned with the Metro Human Relations Commission in Nashville, which specializes in employment discrimination law. In 2008, she interned with the American Civil Liberties Union.

Her volunteer experience includes tutoring, mentoring and working with Huntsville/Madison County Leadership Connect.