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Township holds Special Meeting to approve interim changes, announces Assistant General Managers

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The Woodlands Township Board of Directors held a public Special Board of Directors Meeting to announce interim changes and approve new roles in the 2022 Pay Structure plan on Thursday, December 16, 2021, in the Board Chambers.

“I am pleased to announce Dr. Chris Nunes and Ms. Karen Dempsey to interim Assistant General Manager positions at The Woodlands Township,” said Gordy Bunch, Chairman of the Board. “Both have served in key roles in the governance and development of programs and amenities that have made The Woodlands one of the best places in the world to live, if not the best.”

Township President / General Manager Jeff Jones said, “With 38 years combined experience in serving The Woodlands residents and businesses, both Chris and Karen bring incredibly valuable insights, knowledge and commitment to The Woodlands Township which serves 119,000 residents and over 2,000 businesses.”

Dr. Nunes has been the Director of Parks and Recreation for The Woodlands Township since 2006. In this position, Dr. Nunes oversees a $38.2 million operational and $6 million capital budget and is accountable for the management of 151 parks, 14 swimming pools and aquatic facilities, 220 miles of pathways, and 200 miles of streetscape. He has oversight of nine (9) divisions which include Park Operations, Planning/Construction, Streetscapes, Recreation, Aquatics, Environmental Services, Town Center Operations, Special Events, Resident Care Center. 


While in The Woodlands, Dr. Nunes has implemented cost recovery strategies, developed business/operational plans for facilities and programs, facilitated the planning and development efforts for additional parks and sports fields, and has increased programming (recreation, aquatics, environmental, special events) significantly to better meet the needs of the community.

Under his leadership, The Woodlands Township was recognized by the National Recreation and Parks Association in winning the Gold Medal Grand Plaque Award for excellence in parks and recreation management in 2019. He and his team followed up this prestigious award in 2020, receiving NRPA’s Conservation Innovation Award.

Dr. Nunes holds a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management and a master’s degree in Sports Management from Springfield College in Massachusetts and a Doctorate in Parks and Recreation Administration from the University of New Mexico. 

“Dr. Nunes has led our Parks and Recreation programs to be the best in the nation,” added President Jones.

Ms. Dempsey joined The Woodlands Community Service Corporation in 1998. Originally a member of the Community Relations staff, Ms. Dempsey was promoted to Management Analyst in 2007, where she has been involved in key community issues of transition and governance. In this process, she was instrumental in the merger of the Community Associations of The Woodlands, Texas and Town Center Improvement District in 2010 as The Woodlands Township, the single governmental agency serving all 119,000 residents and businesses of The Woodlands.

Ms. Dempsey has been a key member of the senior management team since the creation of The Woodlands Township, participating in the organization’s strategic planning efforts, addressing organization-wide policy and management goals.

“Ms. Dempsey has provided a very high level of strategic management and analytical support to The Woodlands Township which has led to the fulfillment of the Board of Directors’ vision, mission and goals over the years,” said President Jones.

Originally from the Great Lakes region, Ms. Dempsey holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


The Board of Directors also made changes with several roles within the organization including the following positions: Chief Financial Officer, Director of Economic Development/CVB President, Director of Finance, Director of Human Resources, Director of Communications, Director of Intergovernmental Relations, Director of Neighborhood Services, and Human Resources Manager.

Meetings may be watched live online or viewed later via recording at The agenda and attachments may be viewed at

Dr. Chris Nunes and Ms. Karen Dempsey were recently named Interim Assistant General Managers at The Woodlands Township.

PHOTO: Dr. Chris Nunes and Ms. Karen Dempsey were recently named Interim Assistant General Managers at The Woodlands Township.

Source: The Woodlands Township