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Mike Miles’ Farewell
By Pickleball Ken Marquardt
A fond farewell to a man named Mike
Who most people meet and really like
Has worked for the community for 18 years
Now comes a day that may see some tears.
I met Mike back in Two Thousand Eleven
Talked to him about my pickleball heaven
He finally came out to play a game
Ever since then our thoughts were the same.
I went to his office three to five days a week
At first he would listen, then turn his cheek
I presented my case to expand the sport
And a pipe dream idea for outdoor courts.
We watched as the numbers grew every day
Sucked “into the vortex” as Mike would say
The idea came to play under the lights
So all could play both day and night.
We made presentations together, you see,
Where Mike had to keep an eye on me
He made suggestions of what not to say
Reminding me tennis players really are “OK.”
Then we met with Jeffco Open Space
And together we pleaded our pickleball case
Through some fundraising we had a good start
With my good looks and Mike’s real smarts.
Community Heroes Park as it’s now known
Started as eight courts and has already grown
The courts now number sixteen in all
For all kinds of players both big and small.
One last venture we then did set
To raise funds for Colorado TBI Vets
250 players who never did pause
And 100 percent of monies went to the cause.
So we say goodbye to Mike today
And wish him luck as he goes his way
After all, for me, it’s always a win
When you can call Mike Miles your twin.
RETIREMENT OF MIKE MILES
By Jane Noah
All kinds of people who are usually in the gym, at the field house, on the court, or in an exercise class showed up at the Indian Tree Golf Club in mid December at two retirement parties for Mike Miles, out-going executive director of the Apex Park & Recreation District. One gathering was primarily for the public and one was for Apex employees and the board.
Jeff Glenn, president of the Apex Board of Directors summed up Miles’s career this way:
“Mike has served this community for more than 18 years with integrity, vision and great leadership. He is very well respected by his peers in the recreation business and by those of us who were lucky enough to have worked with him. His contributions to the district are many including the deeding of the property on 82nd & Simms from Jefferson County to Apex. This had never been done before and has set a new precedent for all special districts in the state.”
“As president of the board of directors I cannot express how much Mike has meant to the district, its board members over the years and the community as a whole during his time as executive director. He is a kind and caring man who will be dearly missed by many. We wish him all the best as he moves onto the next phase of his life.”
Mike Miles calls his years with Apex “the best job of my career.” He worked at total of 45 years in the recreation field and held his first job at age 12 -- 53 years ago. “I have worked all my life,” he said. “I don’t know what it will be like to be retired.”
Within a week after his retirement celebration, he and his wife Kathy are moving to the Wildcat Hills scenic area near Scottsbluff, Nebraska, where they have built a home on an 18 acre site. “It’s very quiet. The road to our property ends at our driveway.”
Miles plans to volunteer at a museum, return to a favorite hobby of playing classical guitar, and spend more time with Pickleball.
“I’ve got Pickleball started in town at an indoor facility,” he said. With a nod toward Pickleball Ken, Miles said, “I hope to become the Pickleball Mike of Scottsbluff.”
At his retirement parties, Miles received compliments for his leadership from the Apex Foundation, the Apex Board of Directors, officials of the City of Arvada, co-workers and patrons of the parks and recreation district.
“But it’s not just me,” he protested. Everybody has worked hard.” His longtime administrative assistant Luann Levine was also honored for her service. She’s doing a “semi-soft retirement,” moving to part-time status.
“They couldn’t let her get away,” Miles joked, “but I’m dispensable.”
Miles’s replacement is Lauri Dannemiller, who came to Apex after serving as executive director for Parks and Recreation in Denver.
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