Two members of the Hendricks County Parks & Recreation (HCP&R) staff have recently been promoted. Joe Lembo is now a full-time Assistant Park Naturalist while Eric Ivie now holds the position of Assistant Superintendent.
Lembo began his employment with HCP&R in 2016 as a part-time seasonal naturalist at McCloud Nature Park and was later made a year-round part-time assistant naturalist before moving to his current position. His promotion took effect on Dec. 18 and makes him just the second full-time naturalist with the department, along with Park Naturalist Sarah Wolf.
Lembo holds a master’s degree in Outdoor Recreation from Middle Tennessee State University. While in school, he served as a seasonal interpretive ranger at Henry Horton State Park in Tennessee, where he worked on rehabilitating injured birds of prey. One of his favorite moments was the public release of a barn owl back into the wild after he had rehabilitated it.
After moving to Indiana with his wife, Lembo worked at Conner Prairie as a costumed interpreter, portraying a Civil War soldier and a blacksmith, before coming to HCP&R.
Lembo’s full-time position absorbed the part-time position he previously held, along with a seasonal naturalist position, to lessen the financial strain on the department’s budget.
Ivie also began his employment with HCP&R in 2016, just ahead of Lembo. He, too, began as a part-time employee, handling the department’s marketing and communications.
Like Lembo, Ivie’s promotion took effect on Dec. 18, and his full-time position absorbed the part-time position that he previously held. Ivie will continue handling marketing and communications for HCP&R, along with additional job duties designed to assist the superintendent.
Ivie holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Texas A&M University and spent nearly 20 years working in the criminal justice system in Texas and in Indiana before making a career change. Ivie was a probation officer in Marion County for three years and in Hendricks County for 12 years. During his last 10 years with the Hendricks County Probation Department, he was that department’s first-ever Assistant Director.
Coincidentally, Ivie also holds the distinction of being HCP&R’s first-ever Assistant Superintendent.