Chris Ballard: Chief Operating Officer

Chris Ballard

Houston, TX – Chris Ballard has been selected as Chief Operating Officer of Memorial Park Conservancy, one of the largest public parks in the U.S.

Ballard, a lifelong Texan and accomplished senior leader, has executive-level experience in managing operations and facilities, finances, and staff. For the past ten years, he has worked in collegiate athletics and higher education leadership at Abilene Christian University (ACU). Since 2015, he has been a member of the ACU Athletics administrative staff while helping ACU successfully transition from NCAA Division II to Division I. Most recently, he served as ACU’s Associate Vice President & Chief Operating Office for Athletics, overseeing daily operations, budget, facilities, event operations and sports medicine for ACU’s 17 NCAA Division I programs, supporting 10 head coaches and 375 student-athletes.

Memorial Park Conservancy connects people with opportunities for recreation, conservation, and connection. Established in 1924, its 1,500 acres and central location – in the heart of Houston – make it distinctive nationally. Memorial Park boasts over 30 miles of natural and surfaced trails in its 600-acre urban wilderness and is home to one of the largest centrally located urban forests in the country. Each year, over 4 million Houstonians visit Memorial Park for community, social interaction, wildlife watching, and recreation. The Seymore Lieberman Exer-Trail is the single most used free public health amenity in the city of Houston, and the most popular running trail in the nation, seeing up to 10,000 runners daily. For more information, visit