Dale “Doc” Dougherty has twenty-seven years of experience in public administration, formerly leading four different organizations during times of great change. He was born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania and holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Care Management from King’s College, a master’s degree in Sports Management from the United States Sports Academy, and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.
Doc obtained the highest certification in city management when in 2020 he became a Credentialed Manager (ICMA-CM) by the International City/County Management Association. He is also qualified as a Certified Parks and Recreation Executive (CPRE), which is the highest credential in the parks and recreation industry. He additionally obtained the Six Sigma White Belt & Yellow Belt; the NRPA Leadership Certificate; A Project Management Masters Certificate; and numerous FEMA Emergency Management Institute certificates such as: ICS 100, 200, 300, 400, NIMS 700.
Doc started his public administration career as the Director of Community Affairs with the Town of Lake Park, Florida, which included parks and recreation. He later led the Colleton County Recreation Commission in Walterboro, South Carolina as the Executive Director to the Board. In Georgia, he became the Director of Parks Recreation for the consolidated government in Macon-Bibb County, Georgia. Most recently Doc ran the Parks and Recreation Department for Hillsborough County, Florida, where he oversaw a department of 330 employees, 166 parks, 53 community centers, a $28 million budget, $83 million in capital development, serving a population of 1.3 million people. Doc led his department to become nationally accredited (CAPRA), win national awards, all while he personally composed an extensive 10-year comprehensive Master Plan for the County.
Doc additionally has hands-on experience in creating, producing, and managing hundreds of major events. From local and regional festivals to a major national sporting event, his wealth of knowledge in event planning is extensive. His founding of the High School Football All-American Bowl, broadcasted nationally, was the first event to ever match the best high school football players in the country.
In Garden City, Doc led the successful campaigns for the passage of two $15 million road bonds. He also created the 4x4 Neighborhood Improvement Program; the Purple Bag Challenge for litter pick-up; and composed the Golden Book, an all-inclusive book of City laws and services mailed to every property. He additionally composed the City’s first Strategic Plan, a Sustainability Plan, and created the city government educational program called Garden City University (GCU).
Beyond the many new programs and seasonal events he brought to the City, Doc personally composed the plans for and managed the reconstruction of the 60-year-old City Hall, the renovation and expansion of the fire station, and the rehabilitation of a 78,000 sq. ft. community center. He also directed and many times composed the instituting of over 100-pages of new and updated policies and City Ordinances, including the removal of many outdated and unenforceable laws. Upon his arrival to Garden City, he established the following Ethical Foundation for the staff: “Be Fair; Be Honest; Tell the Truth; Keep Your Word; Exercise Integrity”.
Doc has been married to a professional teacher for 27 years and is the proud father of five homeschooled children.