OCEAN CITY – A familiar face in Ocean City made his retirement speech this week as he makes his move from working behind the scenes to getting out and enjoying what Ocean City is all about.
On Tuesday afternoon, Council Secretary Mary Knight presented Special Events Coordinator John “Sully” Sullivan with a proclamation and key to the city for dedicating 14 years of service the Town of Ocean City.
He has played an integral role in the Recreation and Parks Special Events Department where his skill and experience have been instrumental in the overall success, Knight read from the proclamation.
“We got Sully in an interesting way,” Knight recalled. “He is a retired Colonel from the army where he served for 30 years and when he interviewed with then City Manager Dennis Dare, he was very impressed because Sully was in charge of the 50th anniversary of V Day, and after three years of planning, the event went off spectacularly. He brought that skill set to this city.”
Knight personally felt Sullivan’s most significant accomplishment was the OC Air Show that has brought millions of people to Ocean City in the past six years.
“On a personal note, there is nothing grander than going to a black tie event, in a lovely gown, and being approached by an ex-colonel of the army and him dancing with you to the most beautiful foxtrot and dipping you without dropping you,” Knight said.
Councilman Dennis Dare, who hired Sullivan in 1999, remembered when he interviewed him he thought to himself how this man arranged for the president to be on the beach in Normandy and now he wanted to work for Ocean City in special events.
“Now 14 years later … Sully, I want to wish you the best and thank you for your service,” Dare said.
Sullivan took the time to thank many people from the Mayor and City Council to each department and its staff individually.
“I have really enjoyed working for the city for the past 14 years. It has gone by too quickly but it has been such a wonderful time,” he said.
Sullivan thanked Dare personally for giving him a chance.
“I also want to thank you for creating such a wonderful working environment for all city employees,” he said to Dare. “You maintained that since the first time I met you and it just makes it a pleasure to come to work every day, and it has been a delight to work for the ‘Double D’.”
Sully thanked the Mayor and City Council for their support of special events over the years.
“Even more so, I want to thank you for the truly outstanding employee benefits that we enjoy,” he said. “It is my humble opinion that these benefits keep our families together. Please keep those benefits the way they are.”
Sully went on to thank the recreation department and his special events team, parks division, public works, the police department, fire marshal’s office and fire department.
“Finally I want to thank the residents of Ocean City and our many guests who have supported Springfest, Sunfest, Art’s Alive, July 4th, Concerts on the Beach, Sundaes in the Park, the Sunset Park Party Nights, Winterfest of Lights and all of the private events,” Sully said. “It has been our goal to create … a positive Ocean City memory for you so that you will return again and again, and you have. Thank you. In closing, I wish all of you every joy and blessing and I hope to see you soon on the Boardwalk or on the beach.”