Enhancing and Expanding Partnerships

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California State Parks is embracing efforts to enhance and expand partnerships with an array of outside organizations to help transform the park system for the future.

A significant first step has been made in improving California State Park’s ability to drive strong partnerships – the department has established a new Partnerships Office. The new office has been placed under the Park Operations Division and will work on concessions, cooperating associations and operating agreements, and provide oversight to the department’s many non-profit operators.

Starting April 1, Christina Jaromay will be leading the Partnerships Office as the program manager. Jim Luscutoff, who has been leading the concessions unit, will be moving over to the new office and working closely with Christina for a smooth transition of programs and staff.

Christina has worked in the Acquisition and Development Division for nearly six years. Before coming to State Parks, she worked as a consultant to Hewlett Packard managing their Parts Capture Program; working with HP Japan, HP Asia-Pacific and HP Americas. Christina also has a background in marketing. She worked for US Concepts and MKTG working closely with clients in the general, Hispanic and LGBT markets. We are excited to have her lead the Partnerships Office.

The Transformation process revealed the many different partnerships the department relies on for success in enhancing visitor experiences. From recommendations developed by the Partnership Committee, the Partnership Office will be a resource and support center for field staff. This means:

  • Helping cut through bureaucratic barriers to streamline partnership processes and approvals and acting as a consultant to districts in developing and implementing partnerships plans. The office will serve as the department’s information hub about partnerships.
  • Collaborating with existing statewide partners (government, non-profit and corporate organizations and concessions) to identify and develop new partnerships opportunities of mutual benefit at the statewide level. The Partnerships Office would vet and recognize donors and work on statewide fundraising campaigns.
  • Aid in problem solving and conflict resolution for issues and disagreements in the field. The office would also identify and develop recommendations to resolve recurring conflicts in the field.
  • Assist field staff with tools that celebrate successes and ensure that successful partnerships are consistently supported.

Additionally, the Partnership Office will improve California State Park’s overall partnerships abilities by:

  • Being an advocate for partnerships across the department.
  • Setting department-wide partnerships policies and processes.
  • Capturing best practices and lessons learned from all partnerships to be shared department-wide.
  • Supporting the creation and delivery of training to field personnel on partnerships best practices.
  • Host an agency partnerships roundtable with other resource management agencies from the regional, state, and/or federal level to share and develop partnership best practices.

Members of the Partnership Committee are to be commended for their efforts including co-chairs Danita Rodriguez and Steve McCormick along with members Sean Woods, Ray Murray, Traci Verardo-Torres, Harry Helling, Dana Jones, Todd Lewis and Ellen Clark.

Thank you to Jim, Christina, the partnership committee, and all of our staff and partners for your efforts in improving the way we provide resources and services to the visitors of California’s state parks. Together we are strengthening the state park system.

Should you have any questions about this project, please e-mail us transforming.parks@parks.ca.gov.


  • Stay abreast of the Transformation Team’s progress on their website.
  • The Transformation Team is interested to know your ideas, thoughts and comments. Let us know what you think.
  • Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook and stay updated on #TransformationTuesdays!

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