Charlie Gili Honored With Stubbs Davis Award
The W. Allison & Elizabeth Stubbs Davis award was founded by Parks Commissioner Gordon Davis, in honor of his parents, and recognizes Parkies who show extraordinary dedication to the communities in which we serve. This year’s honored recipient is Charlie Gili, Chief of Operations in Brooklyn.
Charlie began his career with Parks in 1982 as an Urban Park Ranger and has risen steadily through our ranks. He has held numerous positions at Parks including: AUPR, PPS, Manager, and Deputy Chief of Operations. In 2002, he was promoted to his current title, Brooklyn Chief of Operations.
Charlie’s hard work and dedication to Parks is well known in Brooklyn and throughout the agency. As each summer season begins you will find Charlie out on Coney Island early in the morning ensuring that beach preparations are running smoothly and that staff have all the tools and support they need to get the job done. Whenever Mother Nature visits Brooklyn, whether causing blizzard-like squalls or tornado-force winds which take down trees in parks and playgrounds, you are guaranteed to find Charlie out and about at all hours of the day or night. In times of near crisis he also devotes his attention to the Brooklyn Forestry office, overseeing the operation and providing his expertise, years of knowledge, and guidance. The most recent example of his tireless dedication was his performance during Hurricane Sandy and his contributions to the clean-up efforts that followed. Charlie worked weeks in a row without taking a day off to guarantee that both staff and the public were safe before, during and after the storm at all of the borough’s affected sites.
Beyond his dedication to the Agency and the borough of Brooklyn, Charlie is also extremely active in his community. On Thanksgiving Day 2007, he and his family established “U.S. Hockey Players Support Our Troops.” This is a family sponsored charity, with a mission that started out raising funds in support of NY State Gold Star Families that lost love ones in the War in Iraq and Afghanistan. This also led to the creation of the “Field of Flags” event that honors post-911 fallen heroes from New York State. During this past Memorial Day weekend, exactly 300 flags were placed and visited by family, friends, comrades, and the general public. As expected, Charlie arrived early, placed each flag in its location, greeted and spoke with visitors throughout the day, and removed the flags in the evening to ensure their safe keeping over night. When asked about this incredibly personal and selfless work, Charlie expressed his feelings of responsibility to honor and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to support their families and serve their country. By performing this ceremony Charlie was bringing solace, consolation and understanding to the families while also honoring the memory of his father who was a World War II Navy Veteran.
What is most unique about Chief Gili, both on the job and in his community service initiatives, is his true lack of concern for personal recognition. In all of his endeavors, he finds great satisfaction in knowing he’s done well and that his hard work has benefited others. For his dedication to Parks and his selfless commitment to his community, he has earned the Stubbs Davis Award for 2013.
“Ask yourself this question: Will this matter a year from now?”
(1961 - 2006)