As Lomita thanks retiring Interim Parks and Recreation Director Mike Sansbury for his service to our community, we would like to introduce Lomita’s newest Parks and Recreation Director, Emma Kelley!

The City is proud to announce Ms. Kelley’s promotion to the director position. She has exemplified a gold standard of leadership and dedication to public service during her 16 year tenure in Lomita’s Recreation Department.

“There’s much to say about Emma––she strives for perfection, always looking for ways to improve our services to the Lomita community,” shared outgoing director Mike Sansbury. “Even so, Emma is loyal and compassionate with everyone. She is an amazing mother, wife and friend, and I know she will lead Lomita’s Parks and Recreation Department with grace. I am proud to say Emma was on my staff!” 

Graduating from Ashford University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports and Recreation Management, Ms. Kelley previously worked for the City of Manhattan Beach from 2004 to 2008, in progressively responsible positions leaving as a Senior Recreation Leader.  With the City of Lomita, Ms. Kelley began as a full-time Recreation Coordinator in 2008. In 2014, Ms. Kelley was promoted to Recreation Supervisor, and in 2021, became Recreation Manager. 

As the City welcomes Emma into the new role, Lomita would also like to recognize the contributions of outgoing Parks and Recreation Director Mike Sansbury, who served as a mentor, teamplayer and friend to Emma in the Recreation Department. Mr. Sansbury dedicated over four decades of service to Lomita’s Parks and Recreation Department, where he was first  hired in 1983 as a temporary, part-time maintenance worker. Mr. Sansbury rose through the department’s ranks over the years, winning Employee of the Year in 2004, and taking on the role of Field Operations Manager in 2005, which evolved into the Parks and Recreation Director role.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to grow my career with the City of Lomita, and to learn from Mike’s leadership, who will be sorely missed in the Recreation Department” said Emma Kelley. “My tenure here is a testament to the magic of our city, and the enjoyment of working alongside city staff. I look forward to taking on this role as Lomita celebrates its 60th anniversary this year!”

The Parks and Recreation Director, receiving oversight from the City Manager, is responsible for planning, organizing and providing administrative direction and oversight for all functions of the department, including: day-to-day operations of City facilities, recreation programs, community center activities, adult and youth sports programs, City-wide events, and the Lomita Railroad Museum.

The City of Lomita invites residents to celebrate Emma Kelley’s new position as Parks and Recreation Director by participating in the 60th anniversary festivities! For more information on the Parks and Recreation Department, please visit: