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Rock Hill Parks, Recreation and Tourism’s New Leadership Unveiled

Park staff team meeting

Rock Hill Parks, Recreation and Tourism’s New Leadership Unveiled

Rock Hill City has made it official that Mark Sexton will fill the shoes of the retiring Director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (PRT), John Taylor, effective July 1, 2024.

Sexton’s Impressive Track Record

Sexton, who most recently served as the Operations Supervisor of the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department for the City of Rock Hill since 2015, is set to head the department following Taylor’s retirement at the end of June. He boasts an extensive background in recreational services, having worked in roles ranging from a seasonal employee from 1994, to Recreation Coordinator, Athletic Supervisor and Recreation Superintendent before becoming the department’s Operations Supervisor.

His academic credentials include a Bachelor of Science in Recreation from Winthrop University, which he earned in 1994. Notably, Sexton played four years of varsity baseball while at Winthrop and held the position of team captain in his final year. His contributions to athletics earned him the Rock Hill Orthopedic Leadership Award. In 2009, Winthrop honored him as a member of the “Distinguished Alumni in Physical Education” for his significant contribution to leisure services in the Rock Hill community.

Active Service in Local Organizations

Sexton’s contributions to Rock Hill extend beyond his employment with the PRT department. He served as a past festival chairman and board chairman of the Rock Hill Come-See-Me Festival and Board of Governors, and has been a board member and chairman of the Rock Hill/York County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Sexton’s dedication to Parks, Recreation and Tourism is also evident in his past role as President of the South Carolina Recreation and Park Association. He was recognized with the 2002 Young Professional of the Year and 2015 Professional of the Year awards from the same association. In addition, he currently serves on the South Carolina Tourism Expenditure Review Committee.

Anticipated Role as Director of PRT

As the new Director, Sexton is poised to play a crucial role in maintaining and improving the city’s leisure, recreational, tourism, and cultural opportunities and facilities. This aligns with the PRT’s mission to enhance the quality of life for Rock Hill’s residents and visitors. His expansive background in PRT, proven leadership abilities, and commitment to service make him an ideal successor for this critical role.

Reflecting on the appointment, City Manager David Vehaun said, “Mark’s background and expertise in the various areas of the PRT industry give him a unique perspective on supporting our citizens, visitors, and staff.” He then extended an invitation to the community to join him in congratulating Sexton.

Transition into Leadership Role

The transition into the new leadership role comes during a time of maintaining and advancing quality recreational, tourism, and cultural services in Rock Hill. Sexton’s comprehensive understanding of the PRT department and his earnest commitment to serving the community gives the City high hopes for the future under his leadership.


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