Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla today announced Jessica Lezcano as the City’s new Head of the Division of Recreation. Lezcano joins the City of Hoboken after nearly a decade of recreation experience for the City of Passaic and Borough of Rutherford. Lezcano began her first day of employment on Monday, May 16.
“Jessica’s depth of experience and innovative approach to recreation make her an ideal addition to the City of Hoboken,” said Mayor Bhalla. “Together with Director Pellegrini, Jessica will be tasked with running the City’s sports programming, girls' softball, basketball, flag football, and other new offerings, including volleyball, with the objective of thoughtful, equitable and advanced planning and notice of programming to benefit both children and parents supporting our recreation program. Jessica will also be integral in taking our recreation programming to the next level with innovative technology upgrades, new creative offerings, and unparalleled service. I look forward to working with her as we revitalize the Division of Recreation."
“I would like to sincerely thank the Mayor for the opportunity to serve the City of Hoboken,” said Lezcano. “I have been dedicated to creating organized and efficient sports programming, accessible parks, establishing innovative programs that foster stimulation, and orchestrating fun moments that turn into great memories. I am excited to build upon the foundation of Hoboken Recreation to improve access and programming for the entire community.”
“Jessica is a welcomed addition to the Recreation Division who will be instrumental as we work to transform our recreation programming,” said Director of Health and Human Services Leo Pellegrini. “Demand is incredibly high for our offerings, and we must expand to meet the current and future needs of our diverse community. I look forward to working with Jessica to provide exciting programs for residents of all ages.”
While the Director of Recreation for the Borough of Rutherford, Lezcano redesigned and managed creative ways for the residents to engage in safe activities during a global pandemic, including launching borough-wide scavenger hunts, virtual races, and a new youth rock band program, among others. She also introduced a variety of technology upgrades, including online registrations, and communicated with participants through streamlined virtual platforms.
As Superintendent of Recreation for the City of Passaic, Lezcano performed administrative work, including planning, developing, scheduling, directing, implementing, and marketing year-round city-wide recreation, senior, and cultural affairs programming. She oversaw strategic planning, personnel, and the department budget, additionally securing millions of external grant funds for projects that included the construction of a riverwalk along the Passaic River, the construction of a state-of-the-art multi-sport field, and new playgrounds.
Under the direction of Director Pellegrini, Lezcano will plan and administer a comprehensive community recreation program, coordinate recreation programs with other City departments, expand and improve the City’s recreation offerings, apply for and administer grant funds for programming, supervise full-time and part-time staff, and implement technology upgrades to make registration and scheduling more accessible and user friendly, among other duties.
The City’s Recreation Division provides the joy of sports and physical activity through various youth athletic programs to over 2,000 children annually between the ages of 5 and 18. It offers baseball, flag football, soccer, tennis, basketball, softball, and other sports annually.