Our Mission

Partners of Parks is a non-profit organization that supports Long Beach Parks, Recreation, and Marine facilities and programs through strategic funding partnerships that benefit youth, seniors, and families in need.

Since 2014, the Partners of Parks Youth Scholarship Program has awarded more than $100,000 to enable 900 qualified LBUSD students to attend fee-based recreation classes and camps at no charge. Since May 2020, Partners of Parks has raised and distributed more than $75,000 of $50 grocery gift cards through the Donna Helsley Senior Food Fund to more than 1,500 seniors who would otherwise have gone hungry at the end of the month when their limited income was depleted.

POP serves as a fiscal agent for city parks departments including Animal Care Services and the Friends of El Dorado Nature Center, as well as a variety of community organizations including "Friends of" Park groups, neighborhood groups, and annual events like the Long Beach Juneteenth Celebration. POP also fundraises for the Long Beach Municipal Band and manages memorials such as the Tribute Bench Program, the Lone Sailor Memorial, and Rosie the Riveter Park Memorial.

POP does not receive any direct government funding and is governed by a board of ten community members who volunteer their time. Funding is solicited from foundations, corporations, associations, and individuals to support a variety of programs for all Long Beach residents and their four-legged companions. Recreation classes, educational programs, and community-wide programs are participant-funded with scholarships provided by POP to low-income youth and senior residents.

Partners of Parks hosts three fundraising events annually, including: Sowing the Seeds in spring at the El Dorado Nature Center, the Long Beach Charity ProAm golf tournament at El Dorado Golf Course on the first Wednesday in August, and Long Beach Gives (an online, 24-hour, city-wide giving campaign), on the third Thursday in September. POP also staffs informational tables at a variety of community events to raise awareness of its mission. 

Strategic Plan

In January 2018, Partners of Parks adopted a new Strategic Plan, "Bringing People to Parks Programs."

Read the Plan


Founded in 1985, Partners of Parks (PoP) was established by a group of Long Beach residents who were concerned that clean, open park space be kept available to all residents at a time when large cuts were being made to civic budgets and park services. The original mission was to raise funds to preserve, protect and maintain parks and open spaces.

PoP is a public/private partnership with the City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine through an agreement formed in 1989 with the City and approved by the City Council.

PoP is an IRS designated 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization operating under tax ID #33-0104238 and receives donations specifically designated for park programs within the City.

Board Members

Board Members are Volunteers representing all areas of the Community.

Mark Hardison


Mark is the retired Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Hawthorne and is active in Kiwanis and the Poly HS Cross Country and Track Booster Clubs. Mark oversees the board of a non-profit that raises money for Hawthorne’s Recreation Department. He is an avid pickleball player and resides in Bixby Knolls.

Dr. Rick Turrentine

Vice President

Dr. Turrentine is a retired Chief Financial Officer of a local Southern California School District. He has taught post graduate classes in Leadership, Management and Communications at USC, Whittier College, and Concordia University for a combined 26 years. He is a past president of the Peninsula Neighborhood Association and former member of the Long Beach Marine Advisory Commission. He currently serves as chairperson of Long Beach Unified School District’s Asset Management Committee.

Kathy Fishkin


Kathy holds a Masters of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting and Marketing and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California. Her accounting experience reveals more than 30 years of experience with job titles ranging from CPA at Ernst & Young to Lecturer at CSULB and USC. She joined Rich Development Company in 1999. Kathy is currently the Treasurer of Partners of Parks and the Arts Council of Long Beach and a member of the 1997 class of Leadership Long Beach.

Alexandra Carnino


Alexandra is Community Relations Manager at Signal Hill Petroleum (SHP) and holds a BA in Communications, with an emphasis in Public Relations from California State University, Fullerton. She serves on the board of directors for several nonprofits including the Signal Hill Chamber of Commerce, Signal Hill Police Foundation and Signal Hill Community Foundation.

Ron Antonette

Board Member

Ron is a 25-year veteran of the public relations industry and currently serves as Chief Program Officer of the USC Center for Public Relations at the Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism. Ron has previously worked with global brands Mattel, Nestle, Amazon, Disney, and LEGO.

Alma Castro

Board Member

Ms. Castro is a longtime resident of Long Beach. She has worked for the City of Long Beach, in various departments, including the City Manager's Office and the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department. Her portfolio included projects in economic development. public safety, and the management of various agreements and leases. She recently formed the community gardens and urban agricultural sites network and developed key partnerships to enhance the enjoyment of public art at our parks. Lastly, Ms. Castro is deeply committed to elevating the discussion of diversity and the expansion of green space for all. She received her Master's Degree in Public Administration from Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University (NYU). She is passionate about building vibrant and equitable spaces.

Dr. Autrilla "Sheba" Gillis

Board Member

Dr. Autrilla "Sheba" Gillis is the Director of Expanded Learning for ISANA Academies, a Network of Charter Schools. She holds degrees and credentials from CSULB, University of Phoenix, CSUDH, UCLA, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Liberty University. Locally, she serves on the board of directors for several nonprofits including The SIX LB, Forgotten Images, Infinity Enrichment, and Tech Coach LA, while also serving as a member of the California Department of Education Policy Committee for Expanded Learning.

Connor Lock

Board Member

Connor Lock is the Chief of Staff for Councilwoman Cindy Allen, 2nd District, City of Long Beach. In addition to his BSFS in International Political Economics from Georgetown University, Connor holds a Master of Arts in Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach. Connor currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Walk Long Beach and the Georgetown University Alumni Association of Greater Los Angeles, recently completed a three-year term on the Board of Leadership Long Beach, and previously worked as Chief of Staff to the Mayor and City Council of Costa Mesa.

David Zanatta

Board Member

David is a member of JCA Resources Team, a real estate development, international trade and marketing company serving Japan, China, and the Americas. In addition to his corporate experience, David serves on the Parks, Recreation and Marine Commission and has served on a number of boards providing community support.

Randy Zarn

Board Member

Randy holds a Bachelors in Communications and a Masters in Counseling and Student Personnel from Western Illinois University. He has 38 years of experience working in student services at California State University, Long Beach, and then California State University, Dominguez Hills. Randy began volunteering for Partners of Parks in 2012 and in 2016 was appointed Executive Director, where he served for two years, followed by five years as the Associate Director. He recently retired and currently serves on the Long Beach Airport Advisory Commission and volunteers for Food Finders.

Trina Schoonmaker

Board Member (Emeritus)

Trina Schoonmaker is a Cruise & Vacation Specialist with Expedia CruiseShipCenters, the travel agent division of the powerful worldwide Expedia brand.Trina has 40 years experience in the travel industry,  primarily in travel publishing for market-leading publishers.

Lillian Parker

Vice President (Emeritus)

Lillian Parker is a 22-year civilian employee of LAPD. She is an active community volunteer having served on the Citizen Police Complaint Commission, Central Project Area Committee, Central Neighborhood Advisory Committee; as well as serving on the Youth Gang Violence Task Force.