Meeting of the Minds Speaker
Chief Executive Officer
As Chief Executive Officer of Cleveland Metroparks, Brian Zimmerman is responsible for the management of over 23,000 acres including 18 park reservations, eight golf courses, a nationally acclaimed Zoo, hundreds of miles of parkways and trails, and more than 1,500 employees that serve approximately 18 million recreational visits annually.
Zimmerman, 44, was selected in January 2010 as the sixth head of Cleveland Metroparks in its 100-year history. He previously served as Chief of Operations for the Milwaukee County Parks, Recreation and Culture department.
A Wisconsin native, Zimmerman grew up near Madison and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Science-Soils. His agricultural knowledge and love of the outdoors led to work in turf management for several prestigious golf courses in Michigan.
Under Zimmerman’s leadership, the Park District was the recipient of the 2016 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Parks and Recreation Management and recognized as one of the best places to work in Northeast Ohio as a NorthCoast 99 10-year Legacy Award winner, a total of 6-times under Brian’s leadership.
In addition to his role with Cleveland Metroparks, Zimmerman serves as a board member on five economic empowerment, education, and arts and culture boards in the Greater Cleveland Area. In 2016 Zimmerman was named “Professional of the Year” by the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association, Crain’s Cleveland Business named him a “2014 Newsmaker,” Inside Business magazine named him to its “Power 100” list, and in 2011 he was named a recipient of Crain’s Cleveland Business “40 Under 40” Award.
Zimmerman enjoys golf, traveling, especially to see Big 10 college football games, and spending time with his family, including wife Jill, son Carter and their Weimaraner, Eli, at their home in Strongsville. He is also an avid sports fan and enjoys hiking and boating.
Cleveland Metroparks is a separate political subdivision of the state of Ohio. It is governed by a three-member board of volunteer Park Commissioners who are appointed by the presiding judge of the Cuyahoga County Probate Court. Cleveland Metroparks was established in 1917 and is dedicated to conservation, education and recreation in the Greater Cleveland Area.