Moorman named new park director


JASPER — Tom Moorman believes that you get out of a community what you put into it.

In 23 years of living in Jasper, he and his wife, Becki, have taken their three children to nearly every park in town. They’ve taken photos at Schaeffer Barn, walked along the Riverwalk and visited the mill. Tom even coached their kids’ soccer and softball teams.

“I love Jasper to pieces,” he said. “I may not have been born in Jasper, but I feel like I was born to live in Jasper.”

Now, he has two grandchildren and wants to give them even more opportunities to explore the town.

Tom was named the new director of the Jasper Park and Recreation Department at Tuesday’s park board meeting.

“Tom has a history of creating solid and productive partnerships and has a great understanding of the value of our park assets in providing ‘quality of place’ to retain and attract residents to our community,” Mayor Dean Vonherheide said in a Tuesday press release.

Originally from Martinsville, Tom moved to Jasper to start up the Elliott Equipment Corporation local branch in 1997. He ran a successful business as manager for many years, he said.

He is also involved with the recently formed Heart of Jasper, the Jasper Football Boosters Club and his church. He has also previously been the Jasper Chamber of Commerce’s president.

His time at the chamber significantly grew his enthusiasm for the city, he said, especially working with Executive Director Nancy Eckerle.

“He has such enthusiasm and respect for Jasper. He’s a perfectionist in a lot of ways and he has a vision,” Eckerle said. “He’s the kind of guy that if he says he’s going to do something, he does it.”

In a year marked by lockdowns and staying home, the park department’s role has been crucial for residents of every age, Tom said.

“With the year we’ve had, people need to get outside,” he said.

But as director, Tom wants to prioritize Jasper’s younger generation. He wants children to be able to explore like his children did, and he wants those who leave town for college to return back to Jasper afterward and build lives for themselves, just as he has with his family.

Replacing current director Ken Buck, Tom will officially start on Jan. 1, 2021.

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