Online Courses

NRPA Online Courses Icon

We know that today's park and recreation professionals want to reach their professional goals through education that fits their lifestyles, whether through classroom training, conference education events or fully online. NRPA supports the membership by providing an array of online learning opportunities. Tailored educational courses are offered in the following areas:

If you wish to view and search a full listing of our online learning offerings, please check out the online learning catalog.

Current Courses

  • Marketing and Communications: Strategic Planning

    Contains 3 Component(s), 0.30 credits offered

    The goal of this course will to work through the development of a communications plan that aligns strategically through measurable outcomes aligned with assessed need and the mission, vision, and values of the agency and industry.

    image

    Part of NRPA's Marketing and Communications Certificate, This course will discuss the nature of strategic planning when marketing in parks and recreation. The goal of this course will to work through the development of a communications plan that aligns strategically through measurable outcomes aligned with assessed need and the mission, vision, and values of the agency and industry. Case studies will be discussed throughout to demonstrate how these concepts have been applied successfully. 

  • "What's Past is Prologue": The Déjà Vu Health Case for Urban Parks in the US and the UK

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.10 credits offered

    Parks are an integral part of city infrastructure. This session explains six strategies that are relevant to positioning parks for improving health and wellness while securing influential champions.

    imageOne of the forces which led to parks becoming an integral part of cities' infrastructure in the mid and late nineteenth century in the USA was a wide-spread perception that they attributed to alleviating disease contagion and epidemics. Six strategies will be explained that were effective in this successful movement that appear to have relevance to today's context. Four of them relate to positioning parks so parks are recognized as a component to be included in the multifaceted effort to address the obesity epidemic: conceptual alignment, cost effectiveness, associative positioning, and psychological positioning. The other two pertain to the tactical use of science to support advocacy and the need to secure influential champions.

    John Crompton

    Distinguished Professor & Mayor Pro Tem, City of College Station

    Biographical Profile

  • Shaping Space for Civic Life: The pivotal role of parks

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.10 credits offered

    This session will introduce the Assembly initiative and its evidence-based approach to shaping community design, with an emphasis on parks and open space. Panelists will reflect on historic and emerging research that points to the connection between the built environment and civic participation, and share a range of project examples that seek to enhance civic life through design interventions.

    imageCommunities across the United States face concerning trends related to civic life, including distrust, low voter turnout, and growing social and economic divides. Public space professionals, civic leaders, and community residents alike are interested in re-building trust, revitalizing neighborhoods, and supporting interaction among diverse groups. Promising initiatives are emerging across the country to transform lagging public spaces into dynamic, welcoming, and celebrated ones. In light of these trends, the Center for Active Design has launched “Assembly: Shaping Space for Civic Life,” a pioneering initiative to leverage place-based design as a tool to enhance civic engagement. The Assembly initiative has surfaced groundbreaking information, including quantifiable civic life metrics, as well as causal findings demonstrating that design elements do indeed impact civic perceptions. This session will introduce the Assembly initiative and its evidence-based approach to shaping community design, with an emphasis on parks and open space. Panelists will reflect on historic and emerging research that points to the connection between the built environment and civic participation, and share a range of project examples that seek to enhance civic life through design interventions. Conversations will leave participants with a better understanding of practical strategies for shaping parks through design, programming, and maintenance practices that can enhance civic life in their own communities.

    Jennifer Mahar

    Senior Director of Civic Initiatives at Fairmount Park Conservancy

    Jennifer joined the Fairmount Park Conservancy, non-profit champion of Philadelphia's 10,000 park system, in 2012.   As Senior Director of Civic Initiatives, Jennifer helps oversee 'Reimagining the Civic Commons' - an innovative, collaborative network of public space organizations in Philadelphia. Together, the collective demonstrates ways that civic assets can be connected as an integrated system and how they can be developed to foster talent, opportunity and engagement.   In addition, we partner with leading researchers to experiment with programmatic and design interventions that will help us inform how citizens access civic assets.  Jennifer oversees the Neighborhood Parks Stewardship Program, a unique partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and our network of 100 volunteer park friend groups.  Together we organize, resource and celebrate our wonderful city parks and the volunteers who advocate for them.

    Maria Nardi

    Deputy Director, Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces

    Maria is deputy director of the Miami-Dade County Dept of Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Dept, which is on the front lines of dealing with the effects of climate change, sea-level rise, and extreme weather events. Maria directs staff in managing parks and rec facilities and adapting to climate change and mitigating the effects of climate change. She has direct knowledge and experience that is invaluable in understanding how parks must face the future. Maria is an accomplished presenter and speaker with experience presenting at the national, regional, and state level.

    Maria I. Nardi has over 18 years experience in the private and public sector in the fields of urban design, landscape architecture, architecture, planning and preservation. In the private sector, she received the University of Miami Alumna of the Year Award for her holistic, comprehensive planning work as Chief of Planning and Research for Miami-Dade County, where she directed the vision for the Miami-Dade County Park and Open Space Master Plan; a vision for a more equitable, greener and healthier Miami-Dade County, and for her work as Chief of Urban Design for the City of Miami where she initiated Miami 21; a rewrite of the City's land development regulations from land use segregation to mixed use regulations to promote a walkable, pedestrian friendly community. Ms. Nardi's community based planning initiatives and collaborative work also received the International Progressive Architecture Award for Urban Design, for the “Redland: A Preservation and Tourism Plan”, a vision to preserve and rebuild the agricultural heritage of South Dade through Agri-tourism. Ms. Nardi received her undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Miami and her Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design where she received the Harvard American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award for excellence in the study of Landscape Architecture.

    Suzanne Nienaber

    Partnerships Director, Center for Active Design

    I'm an urban planner and facilitator striving to shape healthier, more engaged communities. As the partnerships director at the Center for Active Design (CfAD) I help people collaborate across sectors to elevate physical, mental, social, and civic well-being in their projects, and inspire transformative community change. Our work draws upon scholarly research and bridges a wide range of disciplines — embracing everything from urban planning and architecture to public health, political science, real estate development, facilities management, and more.

    I lead a range of initiatives at CfAD, including Assembly, our pioneering effort to understand how place-based design informs civic engagement objectives such as trust, participation in public life, and stewardship. Through this initiative we’re convening expert advisors, undertaking original research, and synthesizing findings on the relationship between place-based design and civic life.

  • Conducting a Successful Grant Search to Fund Your Project

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.10 credits offered

    This overview will help take the mystery out of grant searches, highlighting several online tools, searches, and techniques you can use to help locate grants, plus share a few tips from funders on key metrics that can either elevate or kill your chances!

    imageSometimes finding the right grant can be more challenging than writing the application. How do I align with a funder? How do I find funders that are interested in my type of recreation project? What are the tricks to getting my application to the top of the pile? How do I know whether to write a full application? This overview will help take the mystery out of grant searches, highlighting several online tools, searches, and techniques you can use to help locate grants, plus share a few tips from funders on key metrics that can either elevate or kill your chances!

    Anne-Marie Spencer

    Corporate Vice President of Marketing & Communications, PlayCore

    Anne-Marie leads the marketing and communications effort for PlayCore, including serving as a company spokesperson and overseeing advertising, media, and communications across play and recreation brands. She has notably published over 50 positioning articles in major national magazines and publications on research-based best practices in play and recreation. She has presented at seminars across the world on a variety of topics related to advocating for quality play and recreation spaces and programs.

  • Grantmaking Success: A Conversation with Funders

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.10 credits offered

    This panel of various funders will discuss application processes, evaluation criteria, the importance of measurable outcomes, and strategies to ensure project success throughout the project period. This session will help identify the keys to your fundraising success!

    imageWhether it is capital funding for a new senior center, a mini-grant for a garden, or a simple request for donations of craft supplies, the challenges around fundraising are often the same. How to find the right funder? How to write a winning funding request with few resources? How to successfully measure outcomes? But the funders perspective isn’t that easy either. During this session, hear directly from funders on their funding preferences and strategies to select winning projects. This panel of various funders will discuss application processes, evaluation criteria, the importance of measurable outcomes, and strategies to ensure project success throughout the project period. This session will help identify the keys to your fundraising success!

    Rebecca Wickline (Moderator)

    Vice President of Partnerships & Business Development, National Recreation and Park Association

    Rebecca joined NRPA in 2009 and serves as the vice president of partnerships and business development. In her role, Rebecca establishes and guides the strategic philanthropic fund raising goals of the organization.

    Prior to her NRPA role, Rebecca served as Managing Director at Hayes & Associates for five years, a fund raising consulting firm that raises $10 million annually for non-profit organizations. Rebecca has almost 15 years of fundraising experience and has raised more than $25 million for organizations such as the American Red Cross, March of Dimes, USO, Fisher House, National Immigration Forum, Mile High Youth Corps, and many more. Rebecca received her Bachelor's degree and Masters of Business Administration from Ohio University.

    Elizabeth Krause

    St. David's Foundation

    Elizabeth Krause leads the St. David’s Foundation’s community investments in five areas.  In opportunities to be active, she works to increase park equity and community engagement.  In women’s health, she works to ensure that healthy women are the cornerstone of healthy families, communities, and economies.  In dental health, she works to overcome cost barriers to dental care while promoting prevention.  In access to healthy food, she works to improve the goodness and kid appeal of school food, while increasing the availability of affordable, fresh food in communities.  In health insurance enrollment and use, she supports maximizing the enrollment of low income people in the public and private coverage programs for which they are eligible, while helping them to use their benefits.  Elizabeth represents St. David’s Foundation on several local, state, and national multi-stakeholder initiatives and affinity groups.  

    Elizabeth previously spent 11 years with the Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) where she started as a program officer and completed her tenure as Vice President of Policy and Communications.  Elizabeth built CT Health’s disparities and equity portfolio, laying the groundwork for the adoption of health equity as the CT Health’s central focus in 2013.  Elizabeth led community-based coverage and health reform efforts, contributing to a significant drop in Connecticut’s uninsured rate.  She seeded an independent health equity policy advocacy organization and paved the way for the inclusion of community health workers in the state’s movement toward value based care.  She additionally oversaw a body of children’s oral health policy work.  Elizabeth started her career with the Public Health Prevention Service of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  While with the CDC, she completed a rotation with the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, helping states fulfill traumatic brain injury registry functions.  She got her first taste of philanthropy on rotation with the CDC Foundation where she facilitated public-private partnerships in mobile mammography and emergency preparedness.  On field assignment at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, she was instrumental in starting up the state’s Office of Health Equity.  She also served temporary assignments with the CDC Global AIDS Program in Rwanda.

    Elizabeth holds a bachelors degree from Smith and a masters degree from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

    Lisa Herber

    Grants Coordinator, Indiana DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation

    Lisa has worked in the natural resources and environmental consulting fields for 20 years.  She has a Bachelor of Science in Forestry, Majoring in Wildlife Management, from Purdue University.  She has worked in state government for 9 years and for the past 3 years has been working for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Outdoor Recreation, as a Grants Coordinator.

    Lisa is currently responsible for administering multiple grant projects for parks and outdoor recreation from 4 state and federal programs; providing technical assistance to grant seekers, grant recipients and the general public; representing the division on committees; and coordinating with other government agencies, not-for-profit organizations and advisory boards.

    Lisa enjoys hiking, backpacking, kayaking, gardening and photography in her spare time. She is very active in her local community and is the KIB Adopt-A-Block Captain for her neighborhood block. She is a member of the Indiana Park and Recreation Association, on the Board of Directors for the Purdue Ag Alumni Association, and a Red Cross Volunteer. 

    Jennifer Mahar

    Senior Director of Civic Initiatives at Fairmount Park Conservancy

    Jennifer joined the Fairmount Park Conservancy, non-profit champion of Philadelphia's 10,000 park system, in 2012.   As Senior Director of Civic Initiatives, Jennifer helps oversee 'Reimagining the Civic Commons' - an innovative, collaborative network of public space organizations in Philadelphia. Together, the collective demonstrates ways that civic assets can be connected as an integrated system and how they can be developed to foster talent, opportunity and engagement.   In addition, we partner with leading researchers to experiment with programmatic and design interventions that will help us inform how citizens access civic assets.  Jennifer oversees the Neighborhood Parks Stewardship Program, a unique partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and our network of 100 volunteer park friend groups.  Together we organize, resource and celebrate our wonderful city parks and the volunteers who advocate for them.

  • Keepin' it REAL in Parks and Recreation

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.10 credits offered

    In this session we will explore how to leverage the power of parks and recreation to advance racial equity. We will use the racial equity framework and tools to demonstrate how parks and recreation agencies can leverage and expand opportunities to achieve racial equity in the communities they serve.

    imageIn this session we will explore how to leverage the power of parks and recreation to advance racial equity. We will use the racial equity framework and tools to demonstrate how parks and recreation agencies can leverage and expand opportunities to achieve racial equity in the communities they serve. How to Operationalize REAL in Parks and Recreation – use of racial equity tool and data to drive results. 

    • Review key terms: implicit bias, individual, institutional and structural racism;
    • How do these terms show up in the planning and programming functions of parks and recreation;
    • Practical ways to operationalize racial equity tools; and
    • Share lessons learned and successes of existing parks and recreation agencies involved in racial equity.

    Aliza Wasserman

    Senior Associate, Race, Equity, and Leadership, National League of Cities

    As Senior Associate for Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) at NLC since 2017, Aliza R. Wasserman leads a national learning community of elected leaders supporting their cities to advance racial equity and foster racial healing. Aliza has spent the past decade working at the intersections of public health, racial justice and federal, state and local policy, most recently, as the Policy & Advocacy Manager for Wholesome Wave. After receiving her MPH and MS in Food Policy from Tufts University in 2009, Aliza led policy efforts with the City of Boston’s health department, where she advocated for state legislation and budget priorities to address racial health inequities amongst residents of Boston, co-led racial justice and health equity trainings, implemented city-wide policy and systems changes to foster healthy environments and supported multi-year organizational change and community engagement processes to reduce inequities rooted in racism.

    Edith Michel

    Acting Chief, Special Projects, Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince Georges County

    Marie-Edith Michel is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional with 20+ years of practical local government experience culled from a broad scope of roles in the parks and recreation environment with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) a bi-county organization in the Washington Metropolitan Area.  M-NCPPC has a diverse client base of nearly 2 million people.  She has served the parks, planning and recreational arms of both Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. Her skill set includes experiences in research and evaluation, budget development and monitoring of tax supported and special funds ($96 million), park planning, organizational development and diversity management as well as strategic planning, and parks and recreation program planning. She is also a diversity and inclusion trainer and a certified community engagement facilitator.  She views her role as an internal consultant to her department helping staff to transform themselves by focusing on organizational effectiveness, improvement, and development.  She wears different hats serving as a trainer, facilitator, researcher, and advisor.  She is also a volunteer docent for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art and has traveled to several continents as a representative for several non-profit organizations that promote international understanding, tolerance, and peace .  

    Leon Andrews, Jr.

    Director, Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL), National League of Cities

    Leon T. Andrews, Jr. was appointed as the inaugural director for Race, Equity And Leadership (REAL) at the National League of Cities and prior served as the senior fellow and program director at the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, where he led all of the Institute’s youth development work with mayors and other municipal leaders around the country including in areas related to childhood obesity, disconnected youth, youth engagement and leadership, and youth master planning since 2006. Before joining the National League of Cities, Leon completed a research fellowship at The Forum for Youth Investment. Leon has an extensive background working in government, the community, the private sector, and academia for the last 25 years including the United States Department of Justice, United States Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, the United States Public Interest Research Group, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, YouthBuild Pittsburgh, the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and as an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science at Eastern Michigan University. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Howard University, a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and is a PhD candidate in the Urban and Regional Planning program at The University of Michigan. Leon is married to an amazing woman, Dr. Kristine M. Andrews, for the last 14 years and they have three beautiful daughters – Jessica Austin, Julia Iris, and Joanna Jonas.

  • Lessons from the Legends:Shattering Stereotypes and Glass Ceilings Alike

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.10 credits offered

    This “Lessons from the Legends” session illustrates the contributions of many women in parks and recreation fields, through a discussion with Legends and a video montage of many contributions.

    imageIn parks and recreation, our interactive session displays a history of expanding professional responsibility carried out by women in the care and nurture of a profession. From a Nobel Prize-winning social worker, to Legends advanced parks and recreation through extensive periods of growth and development, women have played a significant role in advancing the cause of parks and recreation. Of all the AAPRA Legends, approximately 1 in 5 are women. Considered together, their stories shatter stereotypes of women’s work and glass ceilings alike. This “Lessons from the Legends” session illustrates the contributions of many women in parks and recreation fields, through a discussion with Legends and a video montage of many contributions.

    Kelly Bricker, PhD

    Professor and Director, Parks Recreation and Tourism, University of Utah

    Dr. Bricker is a Professor and Director of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at the University of Utah, located in the College of Health. She completed her Ph.D. research with the Pennsylvania State University, where she specialized in sustainable tourism and protected area management. She has research and teaching interests in ecotourism, sense of place, community development, natural resource management, value of nature-based experiences, and the impacts of tourism.  She has authored and edited books on sustainability, which highlight case studies in tourism meeting environmental and societal issues in Sustainable Tourism & the Millennium Development Goals: Effecting Positive Change; educational texts focused on adventure education in Adventure Programing and Travel for the 21st Century and graduate education in De-Mystifying Theories in Tourism Research; and most recently, relevant to current projects, co-edited This Land Is Your Land: Toward a Better Understanding of Nature’s Resiliency-Building and Restorative Power for Armed Forces Personnel, Veterans, and Their Families (Sagamore Publishing, LLC). Dr. Bricker serves the boards of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, the Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Committee of the United Nations World Tourism Organization 10YFP for sustainable development, and the Tourism and Protected Area Specialist Group of the IUCN. With partners in OARS and her husband, she developed an ecotourism operation called Rivers Fiji.

    Keri Schwab, PhD

    Assistant Professor, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

    Dr. Schwab has considerable experience presenting at local, regional, state, and national conferences, including several NRPA congress presentations. She has been an inextricable part of the Lessons from the Legnds work.

    Karla Henderson, PhD

    Professor Emeritus, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, North Carolina State University

    Karla A. Henderson, PhD, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. Karla has given numerous presentations throughout North America, South American, Europe, Asia, African, and Australia and published regularly in a variety of journals in the field. She has written or co-edited several books and is a Fellow of the Academy of Leisure Sciences, American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrators, and the World Leisure Academy. Karla enjoys volunteering at Rocky Mountain National Park, hiking, being amused by her two cats, playing in a community band, and travelling.

    Jane Adams

    Retired Executive Director, California Park & Recreation Society

    Jane H. Adams is a highly motivated and organized professional with thirty years of association management experience with state and national park and recreation non-profit organizations. Jane possesses strong communication and leadership skills along with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. 

     

    Jane retired as the Executive Director of the California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS) in Sacramento, California in May 2014. As one of the largest park and recreation professional organizations in the country, CPRS provides the leadership to advance the positive impact and value of the profession on society. 

    Fran Mainella

    President, Fran P. Mainella Consulting, Inc.

    Fran P. Mainella was the first woman Director of the United States National Park Service and served from 2001-2006. She was a Presidential Appointment by George W. Bush, which required confirmation of the Senate. She is a Visiting Scholar at Clemson University in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management and Co-Chair of the US Play Coalition. Prior to her time as Director and at Clemson, she served as Florida State Park Director from 1989-2001, serving three governors. She also currently serves as Treasurer for the Children and Nature Network Board of Directors. She is also a board member for the National Park Trust and an international speaker on the Value of Play and Reconnecting with the Outdoors.

  • Welcome to Recreation & Parks / NRPA's Three Pillars

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.10 credits offered

    We’ll explore NRPA’s “The Three Pillars” and dig into the importance that each of those initiatives has on us and our neighbors, plus how you can promote and honor those aspects of Recreation & Parks through your actions as a new professional.

    imageThe field of Recreation and Parks is like no other – Welcome! This session is designed for professionals who are joining this field from other sectors and working in Recreation & Parks for the first time. We’ll look at the big picture of this field and how it impacts the lives of everyone in our community. We’ll explore NRPA’s “The Three Pillars” and dig into the importance that each of those initiatives has on us and our neighbors, plus how you can promote and honor those aspects of Recreation & Parks through your actions as a new professional. Also discuss working with a municipal or tax based system and how this is different from the business sector. You will also learn about amazing resources that can support you in this new career.

    Molly Hetrick

    Trainer & Coach, Training with Molly

    Molly A. Hetrick is a Fundraiser, Instructor, Supervisor and Trainer and is blessed to have several careers that she loves!

    Molly has combined her natural enjoyment for working with people and her educational background to provide quality development and training sessions to help clients advance their professional goals. Molly is known for her sunny personality, enthusiasm during presentations and ability to relate to diverse groups of people during high energy training sessions.

    Molly is currently the Manager of Philanthropy at the Schlow Centre Region Library in Central Pennsylvania. Her roles include public relations, donor communication, fundraising, stewardship and outreach to support the financial and fundraising goals of the Library and its Foundation. She loves to talk about development and fundraising!
    Molly recently started “Training with Molly” to offer training programs on development and fundraising and encourage non-profit and recreation organizations on how fundraising and development fit into staff and board roles.

    For 15 years, Molly was the Supervisor of a regional nature center in Pennsylvania. Since 2006, Molly also has worked as a Freelance Trainer for The Meeting Institute in Myrtle Beach and travels to offer training and development sessions at conferences and directly with businesses. She has presented at the National Parks & Recreation Conference since 2008, worked with many professionals in all sectors (with a focus on hospitality and recreation), and helped teams reach their full potential through choosing the right attitude, proper networking, and customer service skills. (Although "Training with Molly" is a new venture, Molly still partners and trains with The Meeting Institute.)

    She was also Adjunct Faculty at the Pennsylvania State University for several years and taught Recreation, Parks & Tourism Management class called Commercial Management that prepares juniors and seniors with management skills needed to enter the professional workplace when they graduate.

    Molly's favorite training topics include: Networking to teach people how to network professionally with poise and confidence, Civility Training to teach groups how to respect each other and work as a team, and Choose Your Attitude to help individuals develop a strong sense of accountability to themselves and their attitude each day.

    Molly lives in Central Pennsylvania. She spends her free time kayaking, reading, practicing yoga, singing and nature journaling. She has lived in Tennessee and Pennsylvania and loves to travel to new places. Molly strives to lead a natural lifestyle and live lightly on the earth through her eco-conscious choices.

    Personal Words of Wisdom:
    “Don't tell me the sky is the limit, there are footprints on the moon!” ~Unknown

    Testimonials:
    “Molly Hetrick is one of the best presenters in the Park and Recreation field today. She is able to bring cutting edge thinking from the business world and apply it to our field. Her great content, and engaging presence leaves the audience enriched, challenged and energized.”

    ~Paul Gilbert – Executive Director, Author, and Professor

  • Revealing the Secrets of Successful Career Development

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.10 credits offered

    One of the most common questions we get on a regular basis as we mentor your professionals is how they can develop their career and what are the best ways to do that. This panel will discuss what are secrets to developing your career, expanding your education, how to develop your professional network and how to actively engaged in professional activities

    imageOne of the most common questions we get on a regular basis as we mentor your professionals is how they can develop their career and what are the best ways to do that. This panel will discuss what are secrets to developing your career, expanding your education, how to develop your professional network and how to actively engaged in professional activities.

    Chris Nunes

    Director of Parks and Recreation The Woodlands Township

    Chris Nunes is the Director of Parks and Recreation for The Woodlands Township, in The Woodlands, Texas. In that position, he oversees 90 full-time and 350 part-time staff members, a $18 million operational budget and is accountable for the management of 135 parks, 15 swimming pools and aquatic facilities, 200 miles of pathways and 200 miles of streetscape. While in The Woodlands, he has implemented cost recovery strategies, developed business/operational plans for major and minor facilities, and has increase programming 200% with no additional staff. He speaks around the country (over 200 sessions) on topics including: business plans, contracting, creative programming, marketing, external funding, communication, leadership and succession planning. In addition, he serves or has served on the, Oglebay Revenue Management School, NRPA Council on Accreditation, CPRP/E Committee, CPRP Exam Committee, was the 2010 Chair of the Board of Regents of the Rocky Mountain Revenue Management School, founded the Gulf Coast Leadership Development Institute, 2013-2014 Chair of the NRPA Admin Network and is a Certified Parks and Recreation Executive. In 2012, Chris was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrators and in 2015 he received the National Distinguished Professional Award from NRPA. Prior to The Woodlands, he was the Director of Community Services for the City of Fort Morgan, Colorado, an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the Recreation Management Program at Ashland University and Director of Parks and Recreation in Fort Kent, Maine. Chris holds a Bachelors Degree in Recreation Management and a Masters Degree in Sports Management from Springfield College in Massachusetts and a Doctorate in Parks and Recreation Administration from the University of New Mexico.

    Dirk Richwine

    CAPRA Commissioner

    Kara Kish, MPA, CPRE, CPSI

    Superintendent of Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department, Terre Haute, Indiana

    Kara Kish, MPA, CPRE, CPSI is the Superintendent of Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department in Terre Haute, Indiana. Previously, Kara served as the Assistant Superintendent for VCPRD, the Recreation Manager for Brownsburg Parks and Recreation Department (IN) and also a Recreation Program Coordinator for Fishers Parks and Recreation Department (IN). She is the Past-President for Indiana Park and Recreation Association, the Past-Chair of the NPRA Great Lakes Region Network for NPRA, and is an active member of the NPRA Young Professional Network and Leadership Development Network. Kara earned her BS in Recreation and Sport Management from Indiana State University and her MPA with a concentration in Public Management from IUPUI. She is currently a doctoral student at Indiana State University in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Kara also serves as a Lecturer for Indiana State University’s Department of Recreation and Sport Management and the Department of Political Science. Kara received the National Recreation and Park Association’s Robert W. Crawford Young Professional award, the NRPA Young Professional Fellowship, and the AAPRA Young Professional Externship. Kara has also received the Outstanding Young Professional award and the Outstanding Educator award from the Indiana Park and Recreation Association. In Terre Haute, Indiana, Kara was recognized in the inaugural class of the Terre Haute 12 Under 40. 

    Jay Tryon

    Director of Parks & Recreation, Town of Indian Trail

    Jay Tryon is the Director of Parks & Recreation for the Town of Indian Trail.  This is a fairly new department that was started in 2014.  Since its creation Jay has lead his team to open over 100 acres of parks and currently is finishing the Towns first Strategic Masterplan.  While in Indian Trail he has built a department known for providing top notch programming and facilities and leading the way with innovative amenities in the region. Prior to this position he spent 7 ½ years with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. Throughout his time with Mecklenburg County he held a few different roles including operations director of special event facilities and athletics supervisor coordinator. Jay is a member of NCRPA and NRPA and is the past chair of Young Professional Network. He is also a member of the CAPRA Commission. In 2015 he was awarded one of NRPAs Young Professional fellowships.  He is a graduate of SUNY Brockport with a major in Recreation & Leisure Studies and a concentration in Recreation Management.

    Michael Kalvort

    Director, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation

    Michael J. Kalvort, CPRE, is an enthusiastic, collaborative, and enterprising leader in the parks and recreation profession. For the past 20 years he has improved the organizations he was worked for by delivering new parks and facilities, developing new revenue sources, reorganizing members into more efficient teams, and improving customer service delivery. Currently he is the Director for the Parks and Recreation Department for the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia, a CAPRA Accredited Agency and widely regarded as a top 15 agency in the nation. His responsibilities include strategic planning, policy development, programming and revenue generation, and developing sustainable initiatives for Virginia Beach, a City comprised of 447,000 residents, seven large recreation centers, and 265 parks. Michael leads a team of over 500 full time and 600 part time team members and oversees a budget of $59,000,000.

    Michael has been active in the National Recreation and Park Association since 1995. Currently he is the Chair Elect for the NRPA Administrator's Network. For six years he served on the NRPA's Revenue Development School Board of Regents. He also serves on the State Board for the Virginia Recreation and Park Society. He is proud to be one of the first 53 professionals who attained the CPRE Certification. In 2010, he was chosen as one of the top “40 Professionals under 40” in Southwest Florida by Gulf-Shore Business Magazine. Additionally, in 2005, he was a finalist for the NRPA's Young Professional Award.

    Michael has given numerous training, leadership, and personal development presentations and workshops including “I want to Make a Difference,” “The Leader in You,” and “10 Steps to Being More Marketable.” He has also presented to many non for profit agencies, community groups, and fellow professionals in Florida, Missouri, West Virginia, Virginia, and Kansas.

  • NRPA Live 2018 Speed Sessions Volume 1

    Contains 6 Component(s), 0.10 credits offered

    Three speed sessions streamed from the 2018 NRPA Annual Conference: Parks and Recreation: The New Status Symbol; WE GOT ENGAGED! Tips for Communicating Effectively with your Part-Time Workforce; and If You Don't Feed the Supervisors, They Eat the Staff.

    imageThree speed sessions streamed from the 2018 NRPA Annual Conference:

     Parks and Recreation: The New Status Symbol 

    There's no doubt that our society's definition of status has shifted from what you own to what you do. More than ever before consumers are driven to spend money on exclusive and elevated activities. Parks & recreation couldn't be better poised to take advantage of this experienced-based economy, but often falls short in showcasing our parks, programs, and facilities as the status-worthy opportunities that they are. Learn about the trends fueling this consumer behavior and get inspired with ideas you can adapt in your community.

    WE GOT ENGAGED! Tips for Communicating Effectively with Your Part-Time Workforce

    This speed session will focus on tackling the challenges of effectively communicating with large numbers of part-time employees in an efficient manner that encourages collaboration, mentorship, and employee development. Attendees will learn about the benefits of creating a part-time advisory council, embracing the unique talents found in a diverse department, and exposing the part-time workforce to the varied and wide-ranging careers that can be found under the Parks and Recreation umbrella. Discussion topics will include lessons learned from an array of communication and efficiency barriers and tips to prepare for the future of increased service demands while balancing staff challenges.

    If You Don't Feed the Supervisors, They Eat the Staff

    As an administrator you must create a culture of nurturing and identifying talents in order to FEED the supervisors and allow them to grow into successful and effective leaders. They must be encouraged to take risks and act as coaches and mentors to their staff. They must ask, guide, communicate, encourage, and delegate while being the best sideline cheerleaders they can be. Come learn the recipe needed to ensure the success of your team. Hear the story of how a change in leadership style changed the culture of an entire Division. Join me in my quest to save the staff FROM BEING EATEN and leave with ideas that can be implemented easily in your own organization.

    Bobbi Nance

    Recreation Results

    Bobbi is the President of Recreation Results. Recognized as a national leader in performance measurement and innovation, she partners with parks & recreation agencies across North America to help them find value in their data, streamline processes, and focus on the 'why' instead of the 'what.' Bobbi has 15 years of experience working in the field of parks and recreation and has been featured in national magazines, blogs, and podcasts, and presents workshops across North America where she is known for breaking down complex and buzzwordy concepts into approachable and practical advice that participants can put to use right away.

    Adam Blackmore

    Recreation Superintendent, City of Henderson Public Works, Parks and Recreation

    Adam is the Recreation Superintendent with the City of Henderson Department of Public Works, Parks & Recreation in Henderson, Nevada. In this role he oversees all Recreation Division operations including aquatic operations of 10 facilities, outdoor recreation, city special events, youth and adult programming, senior services and recreation center operations for 8 centers. The position manages 65 full-time employees and 500-1,000 part-time staff depending on the season.  He previously served as the President of the Nevada Recreation and Park Society and was on the Southern Nevada Children’s Drowning Prevention Coalition Board of Directors. Blackmore has been in the recreation industry for 12 years working in both the public and private sectors, respectively. Current certifications include National Recreation & Park Association Certified Parks & Recreation Executive (CPRE) and National Swimming Pool Foundation Certified Pool Operator. Previously he held the positions of Director of Water Resort Operations with CoCo Key Water Resorts and Assistant Aquatics Manager for Plainfield, IN Parks and Recreation. Blackmore received his Master of Arts degree in Sports Management from Indiana State University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Recreation Administration from Missouri Western State University. He has presented at the National Recreation & Park Association Congress on multiple occasions, the World Waterpark Association Symposium, Association of Aquatics Professionals Conference and the Nevada Recreation and Park Society annual conference.

    Shannon Keleher

    Director of Parks and Recreation, City of Frisco

    Shannon Keieher has been working in both recreation and education for approximately 20 years. Keieher earned a BA in Elementary Education, a MBA, and most recently a PhD in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Research and Evaluation Methods at the University of Florida; GO GATORS! Keieher holds multiple professional certifications including a CPRE.  Keieher's areas of research and interest currently include data driven decision making, the power of play in the workplace, the efficacy of equine psychotherapy with female trauma survivors and the science of storytelling. Keieher is also a published author and has experience speaking locally, nationally and internationally.  

  • Speed Sessions Bundle

    Contains 2 Product(s)

    This product contains the speed sessions that were streamed and recorded from the NRPA 2018 Annual Conference.

    imageThis product contains the speed sessions that were streamed and recorded from the NRPA 2018 Annual Conference. Included in this bundle are the following:

    NRPA Live 2018 Speed Sessions Volume 1

    • Parks and Recreation: The New Status Symbol
    • WE GOT ENGAGED! Tips for Communicating Effectively with your Part-Time Workforce
    • If You Don't Feed the Supervisors, They Eat the Staff.

    NRPA Live 2018 Speed Sessions Volume 2

    • Fantastic Female Recreation Leaders and Where to Find Them
    • The Public's Health Agency: Parks and Recreation's Critical Role in Communities
    • Unlock your Fundraising Future: 10 Rules for Attracting - and Sustaining - Donors to your Mission
  • New to the Profession Bundle

    Contains 4 Product(s)

    Topics in this bundle tackle the growing challenge of onboarding individuals who enter into parks and rec.

    imageThe parks and recreation industry has the growing challenge of onboarding individuals who come to parks and recreation from a variety of previous experiences and education. These sessions curated from the NRPA 2018 Annual Conference are focused on developing individuals who are new to the profession, providing an introduction to the industry, and providing insight into future career paths and development. Included in this bundle are the following sessions:

  • Telling the Park and Recreation Story

    Contains 4 Product(s)

    Advocating for parks and recreation should be integrated into everything that the park and recreation professional does.

    imageAdvocating for parks and recreation should be integrated into everything that the park and recreation professional does. This bundle includes sessions curated from the NRPA 2018 Annual Conference that express how parks and recreation professionals can extend the narrative and advocate for the industry. Included in this package are the following sessions:

  • Design and Maintenance Bundle

    Contains 4 Product(s)

    This bundle includes sessions curated from the NRPA 2018 Annual Conference on the topic of design and maintenance.

    imageThis bundle includes sessions curated from the NRPA 2018 Annual Conference on the topic of design and maintenance. Included in this bundle are the following sessions: 

  • Funding Bundle

    Contains 4 Product(s)

    With tightening purse strings, it is often necessary for the park and recreation professional to seek alternative sources of funding.

    image With tightening purse strings, it is often necessary for the park and recreation professional to seek alternative sources of funding. These sessions, curated from the NRPA 2018 Annual conference, cover the topic of funding. Included in this bundle are the following sessions: