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JCPRD News Releases

Posted on: March 16, 2023

Erik P. Hage, Gary Ristow are new members of JCRD Board, George J. Schlagel reappointed

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Two new members recently took their seats on the Johnson County Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners, and a longtime board member began his latest term.

During the board’s March 15 regular meeting, Erik P. Hage of Roeland Park was sworn in as the 7th District representative, and Gary Ristow of Lenexa was sworn in as 2nd District representative. George J. Schlagel, longtime board member and 6th District representative, was recently reappointed to a new three-year term. 

Erik Hage - blogSince 2016, Hage has served as lead account executive for CBIZ Insurance Services, Inc., where he serves as day-to-day contact for CBIZ Kansas City’s Public Entity Program. From April 2011 to March 2016, he worked for Lockton Companies, where he served in capacities including account administrator, account manager, and senior account manager. Hage holds a bachelor of science degree in sports management from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus.  He served on the Roeland Park Sustainability Committee from 2016 to 2017, and has served on the Roeland Board of Zoning Appeals since 2018.

“In my career as a property and casualty insurance broker, my predominate client basis are tax-funded entities (cities, schools, special district),” he said. “In the course of this work, I’ve become invested and interested in all aspects of municipal and governmental work. Specific to JCPRD, they have been a client since my employment at CBIZ, and I have been a user of JCPRD during my 11 years of residence in the county.” 

Ristow served as Lenexa Parks and Recreation Department director from November 2008 until he retired in December 2020. In that position, he oversaw administrative and managerial planning, organization, and direction of all aspects for the parks and recreation department. Prior to this, he served as parks and recreation department recreGary Ristow blogation services manager in Columbia, Mo., from February 1986 to November 2008, and as parks and recreation director for the city of West Carrollton, Ohio, from July 1980 to January 1986. Ristow holds a bachelor of science degree in recreational resource management – natural resources management from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a masters of science in parks and recreation management from Michigan State University, East Lansing.

“I have spent my career in the field of parks and recreation,” Ristow said. “I was influenced by a large county park near my home where I grew up. I have witnessed the positive influences a robust parks and recreation system offers to its citizens. I am an avid user of the many trails and parks in the area and actively use many other trail systems throughout the country in my retirement travels. I believe I can draw on the experiences of my career and help contribute insight in a number of areas.”

George Schlagel blogSchlagel has served as the 6th district’s at-large representative to the JCPRD board since November 2006. He is a senior member of the Olathe law firm of George J. Schlagel P.A. and has been practicing law since he received his law degree from the University of Kansas in 1974. In addition, he holds a bachelor’s degree in business, also from KU. He is an accredited estate planner and a past president and 46-year member of the Olathe Area Chamber of Commerce.

He is a former chairman of the local United Way and long-time member of the Olathe Noon Rotary Club, where he is a past president, a two-time Paul Harris Fellow, and a member of the Bequest Society. He has served on several Johnson County Committees, including the committee which successfully promoted the 1986 passage of a mill levy increase to help fund the streamway parks system, and he has served as legal counsel for the Spring Hill and Olathe Township zoning boards.

2023 Officers

JCPRD board officers for 2023 elected during the board’s March 15 meeting are: Robert J. Carlson, chair; George J. Schlagel, vice chair; Daniel W. Forgy, secretary; Leslee Rivarola, treasurer; Heather Rubesch, assistant secretary; and Gary Ristow, assistant treasurer.

Per Kansas statutes, JCPRD is governed by a seven-member, policy-making Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners appointed by the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners. In addition, a member of the BOCC serves as an ex officio member of the JCPRD Board. Terms of office are for three-year periods and are staggered so that a majority of the members have experience on the Board. The board elects officers from its own members annually.

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