Associate of the Month: August 2019


Jackson County Parks + Rec Ranger Aaron Gunzel’s interest in sharing his knowledge and natural talent for teaching others made him an obvious choice to be one of the division’s first Field Training Officers.

Aaron is certified as a trainer in the use of the Automated External Defibrillator (AED), first aid and CPR through the American Red Cross. He is also a certified trainer in the use of ATV's and Utility Vehicles and is the department trainer in the proper and safe operation of the Ranger Division boats. For years, Aaron has kept busy training not only Park Rangers, but all Parks + Rec associates.

Recently, Aaron has volunteered to train other Jackson County associates as well. When the downtown and Independence courthouses were looking for someone to train their staff on the use of the new AED's, he stepped up and volunteered for the detail. Aaron and another ranger trained many associates at both locations so they are now equipped to use the AED systems if the need arises.

Teaching rangers and other county associates was not enough for Aaron, so as an avid kayaker and canoeist, he also volunteers to teach kayaking fundamentals and boat safety to the campers at Jacomo Summer Camp, one of the true highlights for the kids each year.

In addition to Aaron's regular duties as a Ranger II and a Field Training Officer, Aaron has taken the lead on overseeing the volunteers at Christmas In The Park and is very involved in directing the Ranger Division during the annual Trip the Light Fantastic bike ride through Christmas In The Park.

By leading all of these important training programs, Aaron has not only impacted Jackson County Parks + Rec, but all of Jackson County as a safer place to work and play. Jackson County Parks + Rec Director Michele Newman said, "Ranger Gunzel is a consummate professional and has been a valued member of our Parks + Rec team for over 20 years. His talent, knowledge and ability to relate to the public are of great benefit to Jackson County and our park patrons."

For these reasons, Jackson County is proud to name Ranger Aaron Gunzel as August 2019’s Associate of the Month.

fw_gunzel2County Executive Frank White, Jr. congratulates Ranger Aaron Gunzel.

AOM_groupL-R: Parks + Rec Director Michele Newman, Frank White, Jr., Aaron Gunzel, Chief Ranger Joseph Piccinini, and Deputy Parks + Rec Director Brian Nowotny.