President & CEO
Central Park Administrator
Reporting to the Board of Trustees, Mr. Blonsky directs the overall strategic planning, park operations, capital programming, public programming, development and marketing and communication strategies for the organization. He works with the Board of Trustees on all governance issues, board development, and on financial planning and budgeting strategy to ensure a strong stable organization. He is responsible for fostering relationships with donors at all levels, park users, senior NYC Parks Department officials, and other public officials. Mr. Blonsky directly supervises area VPs and provides leadership to all levels of the organization. As Administrator of the Park, he is directly responsible for all day-to-day operations and strategic matters concerning all aspects of park maintenance, operations and management.
Strategy Development and Execution
Mr. Blonsky partners with the Board on all operational and strategic issues as they arise. He provides strategic recommendations to the Board based on the direction from the Strategic Planning Committee. He engages the Committee around issues, trends, and changes that would affect the Conservancy’s operational model and delivery of the strategic plan.
Conditions of the Park
Mr. Blonsky partners with the Board, the VP for Planning, Design and Construction, the VP for Operations, and the senior development team in creating an appropriate capital and operational program that meets the Park’s restoration, management and operations needs, while taking advantage of the Conservancy’s strong fundraising capabilities. He partners with all senior operations managers to increase the use of environmentally friendly and sustainable management, operational and horticultural practices that promote environmental stewardship and best practices, while carrying out the high level of maintenance standards that the Conservancy is renowned for. Mr. Blonsky supports the implementation of new technology to create greater efficiencies while increasing the Conservancy’s standards.
Building a Great Organization
Mr. Blonsky provides leadership, clear vision and mission priorities to the organization. He identifies, retains and develops talented staff, Board members and future leaders of the Conservancy. He creates and implements sound management practices and supports the senior management team so that they are able to create and implement organizational objectives. He encourages cross-departmental collaboration that supports the Conservancy’s mission and strategic plan. He provides leadership to all levels of the organization, encouraging individuals who exhibit qualities that position them for future organizational leadership positions. He is continually seeking out and cultivating potential external candidates that exemplify the culture and mission of the Conservancy.
Mr. Blonsky is a featured speaker at many international conferences focused on urban park management. His visionary leadership in establishing the Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks has provided a forum for learning world‐class urban park management and stewardship practices, both locally and globally.
Relationship with the City of New York
Mr. Blonsky develops and manages relationships with the NYC Parks Department and City government (e.g. regulatory agencies / commissions, City Council, etc.) to ensure the public / private partnership between the Conservancy and the City is effective and adaptive to changes in the political landscape. He meets and cultivates relationships with City officials to ensure that the partnership between the City and the Conservancy remains strong, and that the Conservancy is viewed as a leader in the world of public / private partnerships.
Mr. Blonsky has been with the Central Park Conservancy since 1985. Since 2004, he has been President & CEO of Central Park Conservancy. He is also Central Park Administrator, appointed by the City in 1998 when the Conservancy formalized its partnership with the City of New York by signing the historic management contract.
Mr. Blonsky oversees a staff of 360, and over 1,700 volunteers who contribute nearly 40,000 hours of service each year. As a result of the proven track record of the Conservancy in renovation and supervision, the Conservancy assumed responsibility as general contractor and project manager for all Central Park capital projects, including those that are City-funded. Mr. Blonsky has been directly responsible for the effective management of $800 million in park projects, including a number capital projects that have received prestigious design awards.
Under Mr. Blonsky’s leadership, the Conservancy has completed such noteworthy restoration projects as the Great Lawn, the Harlem Meer, the Merchants’ Gate, the Mall, the Conservatory Water, the Pond, the Pool, and the Reservoir fence. He developed several innovative Park management and preservation practices which set the standard for park management nationwide. The zone management system, for example, divides Central Park into 49 zones, each with a dedicated gardener who provides a uniformed presence and is held accountable for his or her zone. This system creates accountability for cleanliness and productivity improvements throughout the Park. In addition, Mr. Blonsky developed and implemented a program to train and mentor NYC Parks Department gardeners from underserved parks in all five boroughs (Neighborhood Parks Initiative). These individuals are taught the Conservancy’s best practices in horticulture, maintenance, and management.
During his tenure, Mr. Blonsky also managed the operational logistics of some of the largest events in the Park, including: The Gates; September 11th first anniversary remembrance; annual New York City Marathon; annual performances by the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera; concerts by Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Sting, and Dave Matthews; the premiere of Disney’s Pocahontas; and a Mass delivered by Pope John Paul II.
A graduate of the University of Delaware and Cook College at Rutgers University, Mr. Blonsky holds Bachelor of Science degrees in both Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, and is a registered landscape architect in New York State.