By Bernard J. Scally
@MrBScally on Twitter
George Matysik, of East Falls, has been named the new executive director of the Philadelphia Parks Alliance. Bernard J. Scally — Montgomery Media file photo
PHILADELPHIA >> The Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Parks Alliance announced this week that it has selected George Matysik, of East Falls, as its next executive director.
Matysik is a lifelong Philadelphian. Born in Olney and raised in the Lower Northeast, Matysik graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, working his way through as a janitor. He serves on multiple boards, including his high school alma mater, Mercy Vocational High School, and the commonwealth’s oldest environmental advocacy organization, the Pennsylvania Resources Council.
Many may be more familiar with Matysik through his involvement as the former co-chairman of the Friends of Mifflin School, a community-led organization, which he founded a few years ago, dedicated to providing resources to the neighborhood public school in East Falls.
Matysik was one of the early crop of 2015 candidates for city council, announcing in December 2014 before withdrawing in February of 2015.
No stranger to finding public policy solutions to issues facing the City of Philadelphia and the region, Matysik served as director of government affairs and public policy for Philabundance, where he has developed anti-poverty and economic development partnerships at the local, state and national level. During his tenure at Philabundance, he led the development of the nation’s first nonprofit grocery store, Fare & Square.
According to the Philadelphia Parks Alliance, Matysik has served also served as president of country’s pre-eminent senior hunger relief organization, the National CSFP Association, which oversees advocacy and programming for the $202 million national Commodity Supplemental Food Program, and was founding executive director of Feeding Pennsylvania, the collaborative nonprofit of the commonwealth’s food banks.
According to the Philadelphia Parks Alliance, Matysik’s love for Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation began while he was playing baseball at Jardel Recreation Center and Burholme Park, where he was the perennial leader in two statistical categories: hit-by-pitch and errors.
Mercifully retired from baseball, Matysik and his wife, Alix and their dog, Duke, reside in East Falls and are parks and recreation users.