MARK THEMIG: CHAMPION OF COMMUNITY
Like many current Healdsburg residents, Community Services Director Mark Themig visited once in the early part of the last decade, and knew he would end up living here. He came for good in 2015, following a 21-year career in city planning and development in Minnesota. In the years that have followed, Themig has played a role in several key developments around town, including the growth of the Healdsburg Community Services program and the recent push to turn Plaza Street into an open-air sitting area. According to Themig, a love for recreation has inspired him to fight for these initiatives. “This region is so beautiful, there are incredible outdoor recreation opportunities”, he said during a recent telephone call.
“Connecting with people and enabling them to connect with each other has been really important to me.”
Of all his accomplishments, Themig cites the work he’s done with the community services program as his proudest. When he took over, the Healdsburg Community Center near the corner of Grove Street and Healdsburg Avenue was underutilized. Today it is a thriving center for camps, events, sporting events, and continuing education. The Community Center also is the home base for Corazon Healdsburg, which sponsors several social services programs. “Whether people are coming [to the Center] to learn English or for childcare, they see it as safe and welcoming,” he said.
“We’ve tried to ensure this is a vibrant place and it’s great to see people accepting it as such.”
Looking forward, Themig said he sees Mill District as a unique opportunity to welcome locals and visitors alike to the southern end of Healdsburg—a part of town that, for a long while, was neglected and overlooked. In particular, he is excited to spend time at the new park that will be part of Mill District. Farther down the road, perhaps Themig will even have a hand in developing a water park somewhere in Northern Sonoma County—during his time in Minnesota, he developed two. “I’m committed to doing great things here”, he said. We’re thankful for that.