Leadership Transition at Park People – Erika Nikolai to Become Sole Executive Director

mars 25, 2024
Park People

Park People is thrilled to announce that Erika Nikolai will transition from Co-Executive Director to sole Executive Director, effective July 1. Erika’s current Co-Executive Director, Dave Harvey, will be retiring from Park People then. 

Erika brings decades of not-for-profit experience in community development and city building to her new role. Dave and Erika have been sharing leadership of the organization since 2022.

She joined Park People in 2014 when their work was based exclusively in Toronto and went on to play a critical role as Park People’s Managing Director, helping to lead the organization’s expansion to cities and parks across Canada. Prior to joining Park People, Erika played leading roles at Evergreen, working with equity-deserving communities around urban agriculture, active transportation and green employment opportunities for youth.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to lead this amazing team as we continue to grow our impact in cities across the country,” said Erika.

“Dave has built an incredible legacy.  What started as a call for more community involvement in parks in 2011 has grown into a small but mighty organization shifting the way we think about parks.”

Erika will lead Park People’s team of more than 30 staff with offices in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Over its 13th-year history, Park People has helped create a massive paradigm shift for city parks: once considered “nice to have” amenities, city parks are now understood to be essential urban infrastructure.

Zahra Ebrahim, Chair of Park People’s Board of Directors, added:

“Asking Erika to be sole-ED recognizes Erika’s significant contributions to Park People’s success over the last 10 years. It’s such a positive, natural transition for the organization, and I look forward to where she takes Park People in their next chapter.”

Retiring Co-Executive Director Dave Harvey, who founded Park People in 2011, shared the enthusiasm:

“I’m so delighted with the transition in leadership to Erika. I’m leaving the organization with a fantastic leader supported by a great team.”

Dave intends to continue to support Park People and other greenspace-focused work as a consultant and advisor. 

2024 is shaping to be a very exciting year for Park People and Canada’s city parks. The organization has many exciting initiatives in the works for this year, including its Canadian City Parks Report, Montreal Forum, TD Park People Grants and InTO the Ravines program, and the incredible Cornerstone Parks program for Canada’s large urban spaces.