On November 3, the College of Health and Human Services will host the 2017 Health and Human Services Hero Awards to recognize the unsung heroes in our community whose actions, thoughts and words have had a transformative impact in our region. For the rest of the month, we will be highlighting our ten honorees in our Community Heroes Series.


Manuel_Mollinedo_smName: Manuel Mollinedo

Occupation: Former director of Parks, After School, Recreation and Community Services for the City of Fresno

Nominated by: The Department of Recreation Administration

In 2015, Highway City Park in northwest Fresno reopened as the community’s new science center, and with it came a newfound sense of hope for the underserved population that surrounds it.

Manuel Mollinedo, former director of Parks, After School, Recreation and Community Services (PARCS) at the City of Fresno, counts that experience as one of his proudest moments during his 3-years as director.

During his term, which began in 2014, Mollinedo added four new parks, thereby increasing much-needed green space in the city. He also worked on an agreement with Fresno Unified and Central Unified School Districts to open 20 school playgrounds and sports fields for public use during the weekends, adding additional park space.

As PARCS director, Mollinedo placed great value on celebrating the diverse communities within Fresno. To that end, he is credited with breaking ground on downtown Fresno’s Cultural Arts District Park. The 33,000 square feet park, in the north end of downtown, combines entertainment with art.

Before coming to Fresno, Mollinedo served as the director of zoos in major metropolitan areas like Honolulu, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Prior to his zoological career he worked in public administration as director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Los Angeles and Austin, Texas.

As director of the City of Fresno PARCS, Mollinedo maintained a close relationship with the Department of Recreation Administration and its students, providing many scholarships and internship opportunities. He said his experience of being the first in his family to go to college, played a big role in his decision to provide support to students pursuing the recreation administration field.


The 2017 Health and Human Services Hero Awards, which celebrates heroes from each of the seven departments, as well as centers and institutes within our college, will be held on November 3, 2017 at Fresno State. For more information on the event, contact Beth Wilkinson at 559.278.3603 or bwilkinson@csufresno.edu.