One week after the Dec. 9 announcement that John Powers, assistant general manager for community services in The Woodlands, will retire at the end of the year, two township employees were named to interim assistant manager positions Dec. 16.

The Woodlands Township board of directors held a special meeting Dec. 16 with an executive session on the agenda. The board reconvened with the announcement that Chris Nunes, the township’s director of parks and recreation since 2006, and Karen Dempsey, assistant to the president who has been with the township since it was The Woodlands Community Service Corp. in 1998, will assume the interim roles.

Nunes oversees nine divisions, including park operations, streetscapes, recreation, aquatics, environmental services, Town Center operations, the resident care center, special events, and planning and construction, according to information from the township.

Dempsey has served in several roles since 1998, including working on the merger of community associations in 2010 and as a member of the senior management team in The Woodlands.

Resident Steve Leakey spoke at the meeting, saying he was concerned about senior staff members leaving and hopes the board will identify people within the organization or the community to fill vacant positions.

“One of the reasons The Woodlands is what it is is the staff,” he said.

Jeff Jones, the township’s general manager and president, said in a statement the two interim assistant general managers’ appointment brings many years of experience to the position.

“With 38 years combined experience in serving The Woodlands residents and businesses, both Chris and Karen bring incredibly valuable insights, knowledge and commitment to The Woodlands Township which serves 119,000 residents and over 2,000 businesses,” Jones said.

The board also revised the 2022 pay grades in the township.