Gov. Doug Ducey on Tuesday named a former Wisconsin parks official and soccer team owner as the new executive director of the Arizona state park system.
Sue Black previously was the owner of the Milwaukee Wave, a professional indoor soccer team, and served as chief of operations for Arizona State Parks and director of Wisconsin State Parks.
In her new role, Black will oversee a system that includes several well-known parks and locations, including the Tombstone Courthouse, Yuma Territorial Prison, Kartchner Caverns and Slide Rock. The agency has also faced repeated budget cuts since the Great Recession.
She replaces outgoing director Bryan Martyn, whose three-year tenure included a two-week suspension last year for hiring his three sons as parks employees — a violation of the state’s employment-of-relatives law. He was also convicted of disorderly conduct in 2012 after an altercation at a park near Florence.
During Black’s time as the Wisconsin State Parks director, she won several awards, including the National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Parks and Recreation Management in 2009. Ducey’s office said she holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s from the University of Phoenix in education and recreation.
Ducey described Black as a passionate public servant who is well-regarded for her entrepreneurial spirit. “I’m pleased she’ll be bringing that energy and expertise to our administration,” he said.
However, Black was fired from her position as Milwaukee County parks director in 2012 after nearly a decade on the job amid a feud with the county executive.