Springtime Fête! Honoree
Van Cortlandt Park Alliance is proud to announce that on May 19th
Iris Rodriguez-Rosa will be the 2022 recipient of the Betty Campbell-Adams Park Angel Award.
Iris Rodriguez-Rosa serves as First Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Newly appointed, Iris assumed responsibility in this role on March 14, 2022. She is the first woman and the first Latina to serve in the position at the agency.
At Parks, Iris previously served as Bronx Borough Commissioner, where she actively worked on the formation of the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance by merging previously existing support groups, the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park and Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy; she has been a champion, along with former Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., for the renovation of the Orchard Beach Pavilion, securing millions of dollars for its restoration; and she has helped execute countless playground renovations for the benefit of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers across the City.
Iris began her career at Parks in 1986 as Director of Community Boards; she continued as an operations manager in upper Manhattan for the better part of 20 years; later she served as Chief of Recreation in the Public Programs division in both the Bronx and Queens. It was in this capacity that she first truly understood that bringing health and fitness opportunities to New Yorkers was exceedingly important, and that parks and facilities offer the perfect environment for creative programming. It was due to her diligent efforts, with support from Parks, that she was able to obtain program funding from elected officials for events such as movie nights, family days, and concerts.
Prior to her work at NYC Parks, Iris started her career organizing tenants and the community in Williamsburg in the late 1970s under the Federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) program. She then began public service with the City, at the office of Brooklyn Borough President Howard Golden, as a community Board liaison. Later in 1979, she became the District Manager for Community Board 4 in Bushwick; at that time, she was the youngest person ever appointed to that position.
Iris is the adoptive parent to her two nieces, Sylvia and Jasmine, and helps care for her nephew Jason and grandnephew Amir. Her best friend and anchor is her husband Manny Rosa. Together they have five beautiful grandchildren: Noel, Sophia, Annabel, Rafael, and Aaron Jeremiah. Dog enthusiasts, they also have a pug named Chloe.