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  • NRPA Directors School 2019

    Contains 10 Component(s)

    The NRPA Directors School is an exclusive two-year professional development opportunity that prepares new and potential park and recreation directors to be effective leaders. The 2019 school will be held August 18-22. Register Today!

    Directors School LogoThe NRPA Directors School is an exclusive two-year professional development opportunity that prepares new and potential park and recreation directors to be effective leaders. Students who complete the program will leave with the knowledge and confidence to face emerging challenges, improve operations and maximize positive impact on their communities.

    August 18-22, 2019

    Hyatt Lodge Oak Brook, Illinois

    2019 Schedule

    Year One Students

    Year one students must first apply, then register for the school.

    Apply For Year One

    Year Two Students

    Only students who have completed year one can register for year two.

    Register For Year Two

    Scholarship Opportunities

    Toro Scholarships

    ToroFive $975 year-one student and five $975 year-two student scholarships are available through the generosity of The Toro Company and The Toro Foundation. Applications will be accepted until June 14, 2019. Notifications will be made by June 21. 2019.

    Apply Now

    John C. Potts Scholarships

    The AIPE/American Academy Foundation will be accepting applications for the John C. Potts Leadership Development Scholarship for the 2020 Directors School in the Spring of 2020.

     

    Key Subjects Covered

    Leadership Development           

    • Building a Responsive Team
    • Leadership for Diversity and Cultural Awareness
    • Developing a new generation of park and recreation directors
    • Creating a High-Performance Agency
    • Community Leadership

    Strategy              

    • Creating a Strategy Focused Organization
    • Creating a Data Driven Organization
    • Going from Information to Inspiration    

    Budget and Finance       

    • Business Management Strategies for Financial Stability
    • Philanthropic Funding for Capital Projects and Programming
    • Developing Capital Improvements Programs and Financing
    • Developing Financial Plans and Solutions
    • Leveraging Outside Plans and Solutions

    Directors Role in the Political Environment        

    • Navigating Successfully in a Political Environment
    • Building Resilient Communities
    • Director's Role in Advocacy
    • Directors Role in Community Development
    • Conservation

    Responding to Changing Communities 

    • Responding to Community Needs
    • Environmental Sustainability and Climate
    • Crisis Management
    • Three Pillars Defining the Future
    • Innovation and Creativity
    • Parks and Recreation as a Partner in Community Health

     

    Who Should Attend?

    This two-year program is perfect for

    • Current park or recreation directors;
    • Current park or recreation assistant/deputy directors; and
    • Mid-level managers being groomed for a park and recreation director position.

     

    What Do Graduates Say?

    “To reach my goal to become a P&R Director and compete in the ultra-competitive recruitment process, I needed every edge possible. Directors School helped me gain that edge. It provided me basic knowledge and tools to use, demonstrated to the hiring City Manager that I was dedicated to the industry and gave me the confidence to share my skills at the highest level. If it’s your desire to become a P&R Director, you should be at this school.” --former participant

    “This has been an awesome and wonderful experience. I only wish I had attended sooner. The classmates, instructors, accommodations and observers were great. The diversity of the school is an invaluable asset as practices, views, philosophies, differences, and commonalities are all brought together for the enrichment of all. My spark is now a healthy flame that is burning bright and hot and my aim is to re-light the flame in those I manage and lead in hopes of motivating in spite of our challenges. Thank you NRPA for a wonderful experience.” --former participant

    “The expertise offered during Directors School is exceptional and the networking opportunity is invaluable.” --former participant

    For more information about the program content, contact customer service at customerservice@nrpa.org

    CANCELLATION POLICY: A cancellation fee of $100 will be charged for cancellation at any time up to 30 days prior to the school. No refunds will be offered for cancellation requests received after July 26, 2019 except in cases of military deployment, or medical emergency, which must be documented. If documented, a registration credit will be applied towards the 2020 Directors School registration fees.  


  • Drownings in Lifeguarded Pools - Why Submerged Victims Go Unnoticed

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.1 credits offered Includes a Live Event on 06/27/2019 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

    Join us for the inaugural webinar event for our new Quarterly Aquatics Webinar Series to hear the scientifically-based drowning prevention strategies that can be easily adopted by any facility that employs lifeguards.

    NRPA Aquatics Logo

    Join us for the inaugural webinar event for our new Quarterly Aquatics Webinar Series.

    Lifeguards are expected to respond to patrons in distress before injury occurs.  However, per a 2011 report from the CDC, lifeguards failed to do so several hundred times from 2000 to 2008. When drownings occur with lifeguards on duty, lifeguards are often blamed for the tragedy. But, based on scientific studies, lifeguards may unknowingly be positioned where drowning victims cannot be identified.  Failing to properly position lifeguards provides a false sense of security to the public and sets lifeguards up to fail. This session will provide scientifically-based drowning prevention strategies that can be easily adopted by any facility that employs lifeguards.

    Learning Objectives

    1. Discuss limitations of current lifeguard positioning strategies and the impact on families and lifeguards when a fatal drowning occurs with lifeguards on duty.
    2. Apply scientific data to improve safety at aquatic facilities.
    3. Analyze options to optimize positioning and training of lifeguards.

    Maria Bella

    President - Professional Pool Solutions, LLC

    Maria Bella has been actively involved in the aquatics industry for more than 40 years. She has operated numerous aquatic facilities and served as a subject matter expert for ANSI standards; the CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code; IAPMO's Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa and Hot Tub Code; and the ICC's International Swimming Pool and Spa Code. Bella provides consulting services to directors of college/university, municipal, school district, hotel, and waterpark facilities in standard of care for plant operations as well as positioning and supervision of lifeguards. 

    Bill O’Melia

    Board Member & Founder, Drennen’s Dreams Foundation

    Bill O'Melia is a General Building Contractor in Colorado.  Bill is married to his wife Melissa and is the proud father of three boys. On June 6, 2010 Bill and Melissa lost their oldest son, Drennen, age 12, to a fatal drowning in their lifeguarded community pool. Drennen had just started his seventh summer of competitive swimming the day before and had qualified for All-Stars in all three of his individual events. Since May of 2014, Bill has shared Drennen's story with hundreds of thousands of lifeguards and aquatics professionals nationally and is featured in the American Red Cross video "Not on Your Watch".

    The Drennen's Dreams Foundation actively supports lifeguarding by raising money for training, equipment and educational materials for lifeguards, aquatic managers and facility owner/operators. 

    Scott Henderson

    Executive Director, Drennen’s Dreams Foundation

    Scott has 30 years of nonprofit and for-profit leadership experience. As a youth he was a pool and open water lifeguard and managed aquatic facilities. After college Scott founded and ran his own company for 10 years, selling it to a large corporation and transitioning to nonprofit leadership. As a nonprofit executive, he managed large organizations with multiple waterfronts. In that role he developed the policies and procedures, trained staff, oversaw risk management and certification. He joined Drennen’s Dreams Foundation to make a positive impact on reducing fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents, raise water safety awareness and increase the confidence and proficiency of lifeguards and aquatic facility operators.

  • The Benefits of Farmers Markets and Parks

    Contains 2 Component(s) Includes a Live Event on 06/19/2019 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

    Join us for the results and discussion of NRPA's recent survey of the field to gain a better understanding of the role local agencies play in regards to farmers markets and promoting access to healthy and local produce.

    Over the past decade, there has been steady growth across the farmers market industry nationwide with new market locations popping up in communities of all shapes and sizes. Local park and recreation agencies are one of the venues that have seen this growth firsthand. To gain a better understanding of the role local agencies play in regards to farmers markets and promoting access to healthy and local produce, NRPA recently conducted a survey of the field. Join NRPA’s Vice President of Professional Development, Research and Technology as he shares key findings from the survey, including where challenges continue to exist for local agencies. Allison Colman, Director of Health, and Maureen Acquino, Program Manager, will also share national trends within local agriculture, including consumer demands, and the benefits of farmers markets being hosted in parks. Examples of successful models that have been documented across the field will also be shared. 

    Kevin Roth, PhD

    Vice President of Professional Development, Research and Technology, National Recreation and Park Association

    Kevin A. Roth is NRPA's Vice President of Professional Development, Research and Technology. Kevin leads the research team in its mission to create valuable data and metrics that enhance park and recreation agency performance and make the case for increased and more stable agency funding. Kevin also guides the development of innovative in-person and online educational offerings for professionals that advance parks and recreation in their communities. He also oversees the team delivering IT and web services to the association.

    Kevin has served in research and leadership functions in the nonprofit association space for more than two decades, including overseeing both research and IT at the Association for Financial Professionals for 13 years and conducting survey research at the National Association of Realtors for four years. Kevin has a Ph.D. in Economics from George Washington University and a BA in Economics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

    Allison Colman

    Director of Health, National Recreation and Park Association

    Allison Colman is the Director of Health for the National Recreation and Park Association on the Health and Wellness team.  Allison joined NRPA in 2015 and oversees the out-of-school time portfolio, including NRPA’s Commit to Health campaign and efforts to reduce childhood hunger through the USDA Child Nutrition programs. Allison also manages NRPA Parks for Inclusion initiative. Prior to joining NRPA, Allison worked in the recreation field facilitating health and wellness programs across all populations.  Combined with her work in other non-profits and organizations, Allison has extensive experience in public health and wellness program management and preventative health initiatives.   

    Maureen Acquino

    Program Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

    Maureen Acquino is a Program Manager for the National Recreation and Park Association. As a part of the Health and Wellness team, she focuses on healthy out-of-school time programming and inclusive practices in parks and recreation. 

  • 2019 Premier Webinar Subscription

    Contains 8 Product(s) 2 new product(s) added recently

    Subscribe to the 2019 Premier Webinar Series and be instantly registered for any premier discounted webinar that we offer for all of 2019 with continued access to the archived recordings and materials.

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    Subscribe to the 2019 Premier Webinar Series and be instantly registered for any premier discounted webinar that we offer for all of 2019 with continued access to the archived recordings and materials. NRPA's free Premier webinar series addresses timely and relevant topics within the park and recreation field. The webinars are free to our premier members. The Premier Webinar series occurs on the second Thursday of each month at 2 p.m. ET.


    2019 Schedule

    The ADA is 27 Years Old in 2019... Are you Celebrating Yet?
    January 10, 2019 2:00pm ET 
    Why and How you Should Conduct Evaluation Surveys
    July 11, 2019 2:00pm ET
    Congressional Preview: What to Expect from this Congress for Parks and Recreation
    February 14, 2019 2:00pm ET
    Parks and Recreation Hot Topics
    August 8, 2019 2:00pm ET
    Innovation Lab: The Day After Tomorrow: Marking Parks Climate Resilient *
    March 14, 2019 2:00pm ET
    Aquatics - Preparing for 2020 Summer Staff * 
    September 12, 2019 2:00pm ET
    Park Champions: Bring Capitol Hill to a Park Near You
    April 11, 2019 2:00pm ET 
    Imagine Your Park Without Water - Protecting and Conserving Water Resources
    October 10, 2019 2:00pm ET 
    Marketing and Public Relations Trends
    May 9, 2019 2:00pm ET
    Annual Review of Research Findings
    November 14, 2019 2:00pm ET
    LGBTQ/Parks for Inclusion *
    June 13, 2019 2:00pm ET
    Playgrounds - From Planning to Opening Day and Beyond *
    December 12, 2019 2:00pm ET

    These sessions contain 0.1 CEU


  • Promoting LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Parks and Recreation

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.1 credits offered Includes a Live Event on 06/13/2019 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

    Join Becky Herz, Senior Recreation Manager at Sunrise Recreation & Park District, to explore common challenges and strategies that agencies can implement to promote inclusion across the gender spectrum. NRPA staff will also present on steps that NRPA is taking to be more inclusive to all. 0.1 CEU

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    True to the very philosophy of public parks and recreation is the idea that all people—no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation—have access to quality programs, facilities, places and spaces that make their lives and communities great. Those who identify as LGBTQ+ have historically lacked access to physical and social activity opportunities, contributing to health disparities including higher rates of chronic disease, mental health challenges and substance misuse. Park and recreation agencies are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ community members, addressing many of these disparities, by ensuring spaces, places and programs are inclusive and welcoming to all. 


    Allison Colman

    Director of Health, National Recreation and Park Association

    Allison Colman is the Director of Health for the National Recreation and Park Association on the Health and Wellness team.  Allison joined NRPA in 2015 and oversees the out-of-school time portfolio, including NRPA’s Commit to Health campaign and efforts to reduce childhood hunger through the USDA Child Nutrition programs. Allison also manages NRPA Parks for Inclusion initiative. Prior to joining NRPA, Allison worked in the recreation field facilitating health and wellness programs across all populations.  Combined with her work in other non-profits and organizations, Allison has extensive experience in public health and wellness program management and preventative health initiatives.   

    Becky Herz

    Senior Recreation Manager, Sunrise Recreation and Park District

  • 10-Minute Walk Learning Series

    Contains 10 Component(s) Includes a Live Event on 05/23/2019 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

    Subscribe for free today to this learning series dedicated to the 10-Minute Walk initiative. This subscription will automatically enroll you in upcoming webinars, micro-learning, shared resources, and discussions focused on this important NRPA project.

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    Parks are essential to the physical, social, environmental, and economic health of a community—and cities nationwide. That’s why the National Recreation and Park Association, The Trust for Public Land, and the Urban Land Institute are leading a nationwide movement to ensure there’s a great park within a 10-minute walk of every person, in every neighborhood, in every city across America. Through a collective national voice, Mayoral endorsement, and local action, the 10-Minute Walk Campaign aims to increase park access, quality, and funding within a 10-minute walk of home.

    Subscribe for free today to this learning series dedicated to the 10-Minute Walk initiative. This subscription will automatically enroll you in upcoming webinars, micro-learning, shared resources, and discussions focused on this important NRPA project.

    Equity-based Master Planning

    May 23, 2019 @ 2:00 PM 

    Join 10-Minute Walk park professionals and advocates to discuss all things park access and quality! Each network call will be based on the last webinar in the 10-Minute Walk Learning Series. For April, we will be focusing on using data to prioritize actions. Bring your questions, comments, and strategies, and engage in the conversation with other professionals committed to enhancing park access and quality in their cities. An agenda with discussion questions will be posted to the 10-Minute Walk group on NRPA Connect.

    Rachel Banner

    Director of Park Access at National Recreation and Park Association

    As a public health professional its my goal to combine my skills and experience to ensure that everyone has an environment around them that encourages inspiration, well being, health, physical activity and a connection to the community. I am dedicated to reducing health disparities in low-income communities by learning from and helping others make a change in their community environment.

    With successful experience building strong partnerships with community based organizations, organizing and managing large volunteer groups, developing communications materials, and conducting research, I have the foundations to help your community or organization advocate for and promote changes in built environments, policies, and systems that encourage healthy behaviors.

    I would love to learn about how your organization is contributing to or would like to create a better environment for health!

    Jared Mummert

    Program Specialist, National Recreation and Park Association

    Jared Mummert is a Program Specialist at NRPA, working on the 10-Minute Walk campaign. As a graduate in Environmental Law and Policy from Unity College, he is dedicated to environmental justice issues. Prior to his time at NRPA, Jared worked as a political and community outreach organizer on multiple campaigns, including organizing farmers in Maryland to close loopholes in the Clean Water Act, engaging Colorado voters in the 2014 midterm election, and connecting low-income families to national parks. He has also served in the Student Conservation Association, AmeriCorps, and the National Park Service as park ranger for multiple sites, including Grand Teton National Park. As an avid outdoorsman and public lands advocate, Jared is passionate about ensuring everyone has access to quality open spaces.

    Harris Solomon

    Campaign Lead, The Trust for Public Land

    Harris Solomon serves as The Trust for Public Land’s campaign lead, overseeing campaign communications strategy, city outreach, and the development of new program areas, ensuring effective implementation and day-to-day operations for the 10-Minute Walk Campaign. He previously served as the 10-Minute Walk Campaign Manager, and has held prior positions with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Mayor’s Office of the City of New York.

    Joseph Claunch, Ph.D

    Director of Zuni Youth Enrichment Project

    Joseph Claunch is a member of the Puyallup Tribe in Tacoma, Washington, and graduated with his Ph.D. in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the University of Kansas. Joseph’s research and programming interest have focused on what coaches, teachers and mentors can do to optimize the motivation of Native American youth. Joseph is currently the director of Zuni Youth Enrichment Project and the head varsity football coach at Zuni High School in western New Mexico. Joseph recently led the development of a 3-acre community center and park in the heart of Zuni's main Pueblo village.

    Koboi Simpson

    Atheletics Administrator, Clayton County (Georgia) Parks and Recreation

    Koboi Simpson is the Athletics Administrator for the Clayton County Parks & Recreation Department, in Clayton County, Georgia, where he manages youth sports operations and supervises the county's college internship program. He serves on the NRPA Conference Programming Committee, and he is a frequent speaker at several state and national conferences, delivering presentations on best practices in youth sports. Koboi is a tireless advocate for diversity and inclusion, serving on NRPA’s Equity Advisory Panel. Koboi is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional and a Certified Youth Sports Administrator.

    Rosie Santos

    Parks and Recreation Manager, City of Covington, Kentucky

    Rosie Santos has 10 years of experience in environmental education and community programming. In her more recent position as the Parks and Recreation Manager for the city of Covington, Kentucky, she oversees recreation services, as well as park and trail planning and development. In collaboration with a citizen advisory group and other partners, she developed an innovative process for redeveloping neighborhood parks throughout the city. 

    Benita Hussain

    Director of the 10-Minute Walk Campaign, Trust for Public Land

    Benita Hussain is the Director of the 10-Minute Walk Campaign, for which she is leading the strategic direction and broader marketing efforts.  A former corporate lawyer, she has 15 years of experience in sustainability, urban policy, and communications.  As an advisor to Mike Bloomberg in his role as UN Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, she developed his policy agenda and the Global Compact of Mayors, the world’s largest coalition of cities pledged to fight climate change.  Prior, she led late-Boston Mayor Tom Menino’s Greenovate Boston campaign -- a community-based initiative designed to promote climate action and to raise Boston’s profile as a green leader – and launched Boston’s first residential composting program.  She joins TPL from the Wildlife Conservation Society, where she led a $10 million division devoted to climate change, food systems, and sustainable finance.  Benita holds a J.D. from Fordham Law School, and a B.S. in Environmental Studies from Cornell University and has written for Outside Magazine, SIERRA, and the Boston Globe, among others.

    Joe Lovell

    GIS Data Administrator, Denver Parks and Recreation

    Joe Lovell is the GIS Data Administrator for Denver Parks & Recreation.  Joe has a B.S Degree in Geographic Sciences from James Madison University and over 15 years experience developing spatial databases, performing analysis, and producing cartographic maps.  Joe began working in parks planning in 2008, launching the department’s comprehensive GIS system and advancing the use of data for capital improvement planning.  Joe has recently led projects focusing on the condition of park assets and access to recreation facilities in underserved communities.  As a frequent park user, Joe knows the value parks and open spaces bring to every community.

    TJ McCourt

    Planning Supervisor, City of Raleigh Parks Department

    TJ McCourt (AICP) manages strategic and long-range planning for the City of Raleigh Parks Department. He holds a JD in Environmental & Land-Use Law from the University of Florida as well as a Masters in Urban Planning from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His professional work involves analyzing the City of Raleigh’s open space goals from a systems perspective, exploring how parks and recreation fit into a broader context of city planning, natural resources, social equity, and public health. 

    Carlos Perez, PLA

    President, Perez Planning + Design LLC

    Carlos F. Perez, PLA is the president of Perez Planning + Design, LLC (PP+D), a research-based planning and design firm in Atlanta, Georgia that specializes in Parks and Recreation System Planning + Design and Active-Transportation Planning + Design. Carlos has consulted with over 50 municipalities throughout the United States. He also speaks regularly at conferences sharing his experience. Carlos received a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Florida, a Master’s in City and Regional Planning, and a Master’s of Science in Architecture with a Concentration in Urban Design from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

    Frank Carson, MS

    Director of Recreation El Cajon, CA

    Dr. Clement Lau, AICP

    Departmental Facilities Planner, Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation

    Dr. Clement Lau, AICP, has 20 years of professional experience in urban and regional planning.  Currently, Dr. Lau is a Departmental Facilities Planner with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, where he works on a variety of park planning projects.  He was the project manager on the Los Angeles Countywide Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment, and the Community Parks and Recreation Plans.  He holds a doctorate and master’s in urban planning from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.

    Matt Moffa

    Project Manager, The Trust for Public Land

    Matt Dixit Moffa is a Project Manager on The Trust for Public Land’s Research and Innovation Team.  Matt works with communities to create plans for parks, trails, and open space.  His work frequently involves convening local stakeholders, community engagement, and survey design.  He is fascinated by the intersection of technical analysis and community input that he encounters in his work. 

    Prior to joining The Trust for Public Land, Matt worked for planning firms in California and New Mexico conducting community engagement, GIS analysis, landscape design, and writing planning documents.  Matt holds a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly Pomona and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Between degrees, Matt spent two years serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia, leading projects related to agroforestry, conservation farming, and HIV/AIDS education.

  • 10-Minute Walk: Equity-based Master Planning

    Contains 2 Component(s) Includes a Live Event on 05/23/2019 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

    Join us for a webinar and interactive panel discussion on integrating equitable park access and quality into your city’s master plan.

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    System-wide park master plans, are one of the most comprehensive methods for setting, outlining, and gaining buy-in for achieving equitable 10-minute walk access to quality parks. Join us for a webinar and interactive panel discussion on integrating equitable park access and quality into your city’s system-wide park master plan. We'll be joined by guest speakers from both the public and private sector with extensive experience in master planning who will bring the big picture, “how-to”, and practical experience of adopting and executing a master plan with a  “10-minute walk to a park” standard. Bring your questions, experience, and ideas for a robust discussion around best practices you can use in your city.

    This webinar is a part of the 10-Minute Walk Learning Series. By signing up for this webinar, you will be enrolled in this subscription. To be removed, please notify onlinelearning@nrpa.org

    Matt Moffa

    Project Manager, The Trust for Public Land

    Matt Dixit Moffa is a Project Manager on The Trust for Public Land’s Research and Innovation Team.  Matt works with communities to create plans for parks, trails, and open space.  His work frequently involves convening local stakeholders, community engagement, and survey design.  He is fascinated by the intersection of technical analysis and community input that he encounters in his work. 

    Prior to joining The Trust for Public Land, Matt worked for planning firms in California and New Mexico conducting community engagement, GIS analysis, landscape design, and writing planning documents.  Matt holds a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly Pomona and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Between degrees, Matt spent two years serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia, leading projects related to agroforestry, conservation farming, and HIV/AIDS education.

    Carlos Perez, PLA

    President, Perez Planning + Design LLC

    Carlos F. Perez, PLA is the president of Perez Planning + Design, LLC (PP+D), a research-based planning and design firm in Atlanta, Georgia that specializes in Parks and Recreation System Planning + Design and Active-Transportation Planning + Design. Carlos has consulted with over 50 municipalities throughout the United States. He also speaks regularly at conferences sharing his experience. Carlos received a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Florida, a Master’s in City and Regional Planning, and a Master’s of Science in Architecture with a Concentration in Urban Design from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

    Dr. Clement Lau, AICP

    Departmental Facilities Planner, Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation

    Dr. Clement Lau, AICP, has 20 years of professional experience in urban and regional planning.  Currently, Dr. Lau is a Departmental Facilities Planner with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, where he works on a variety of park planning projects.  He was the project manager on the Los Angeles Countywide Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment, and the Community Parks and Recreation Plans.  He holds a doctorate and master’s in urban planning from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.

    Frank Carson, MS

    Director of Recreation El Cajon, CA

    Jared Mummert

    Program Specialist, National Recreation and Park Association

    Jared Mummert is a Program Specialist at NRPA, working on the 10-Minute Walk campaign. As a graduate in Environmental Law and Policy from Unity College, he is dedicated to environmental justice issues. Prior to his time at NRPA, Jared worked as a political and community outreach organizer on multiple campaigns, including organizing farmers in Maryland to close loopholes in the Clean Water Act, engaging Colorado voters in the 2014 midterm election, and connecting low-income families to national parks. He has also served in the Student Conservation Association, AmeriCorps, and the National Park Service as park ranger for multiple sites, including Grand Teton National Park. As an avid outdoorsman and public lands advocate, Jared is passionate about ensuring everyone has access to quality open spaces.

  • Public Relations Trends and Tactics

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    Join us as we take a close look at current media trends and discover ways to make parks and recreation relevant in a cluttered media landscape.

    Public Relations Trends and Tactics 

    Join us as we take a close look at current media trends and discover ways to make parks and recreation relevant in a cluttered media landscape. We’ll also cover traditional media and social media tactics agencies can use to promote the benefits of parks and recreation in communities across the country.  

    Premier Webinar Series

    Roxanne Sutton

    Director of Communications, National Recreation and Park Association

    Roxanne Sutton is the Director of Communications at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). Her responsibilities include overseeing social media strategy and content development and promoting the award-winning work of our partnerships and business development team. She is also the host of NRPA’s podcast, Open Space Radio. In her role, Roxanne is fortunate to communicate and work directly with many NRPA members to promote new opportunities and showcase the great work local parks and recreation are doing in their communities. Prior to her role at NRPA, she worked at a PR firm in D.C. on a multitude of accounts ranging from energy clients to non-profits. She graduated with honors and recognition from George Mason University with her bachelors in Communication specializing in Public Relations. She was a member of Lambda Pi Eta and recipient of the Excellence in Communication Award.

    Heather Williams

    Senior Manager of Public Relations, National Recreation and Park Association

    Heather Williams, NRPA's Senior Manager of Public Relations. Heather is responsible for the development and implementation of NRPA's PR strategies. This includes the promotion of NRPA's grant programs, research initiatives and more. With over eight years' experience in the field, Heather handles all aspects of media relations, as well.

    Suzanne Nathan

    Media Specialist, National Recreation and Park Association

    Suzanne Nathan, NRPA’s Media Specialist, joined NRPA in February 2018. Nathan brings 14 years of marketing and communications experience working in the tech, environmental and engineering industries. She holds a B.A. in Communications from George Mason University and lives with her husband, three children and dog in Ashburn, Virginia.

  • The Role of Local Agencies in Responding to Substance Misuse

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    Join the Community of Practice: Substance Misuse in the development of professional training resources for risk reduction, strengthening protective factors and youth misuse prevention.

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    Together with the Afterschool Alliance and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, NRPA is developing a suite of professional development training resources to equip out-of-school time (OST) providers with the skills and knowledge to reduce risk factors, boost protective factors, and prevent substance misuse among youth. A content matter expert will give an overview of the current substance misuse and opioid epidemic. Two park and recreation professionals will also be sharing their challenges and approaches for addressing substance misuse on park grounds. Both prevention and operation strategies will be discussed; an opportunity to continue the discussion by joining a Community of Practice will be available.

    Michael Baker

    Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    Michael Baker is a policy advisor in the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. Currently, he works on a portfolio centered on the Secretary’s priorities for opioids, prescription drug pricing, and welfare reform. Michael also coordinates public health work and supports preparedness policy for IEA. Prior to joining IEA, Michael worked at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in the Office of Policy, where he focused on regulatory affairs and public health initiatives.

    Originally hailing from southeastern Michigan, Michael has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Toledo (OH). He holds a Master of Science in Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Diseases from Georgetown University and a Master of Arts in Economics from American University.

    Allison Colman

    Director of Health, National Recreation and Park Association

    Allison Colman is the Director of Health for the National Recreation and Park Association on the Health and Wellness team.  Allison joined NRPA in 2015 and oversees the out-of-school time portfolio, including NRPA’s Commit to Health campaign and efforts to reduce childhood hunger through the USDA Child Nutrition programs. Allison also manages NRPA Parks for Inclusion initiative. Prior to joining NRPA, Allison worked in the recreation field facilitating health and wellness programs across all populations.  Combined with her work in other non-profits and organizations, Allison has extensive experience in public health and wellness program management and preventative health initiatives.   

    Lauren Kiefert

    Program Specialist, National Recreation and Park Association

    Lauren Kiefert is a Program Specialist for the National Recreation and Park Association. Lauren joined NRPA in January 2019 and works on various substance abuse prevention and education-related grants and projects. Lauren brings a wealth of knowledge to NRPA, having both educational and professional experience in the public health field. Prior to joining the association, she completed her Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University, with a focus on health promotion and prevention efforts. Her thesis examined the current opioid epidemic and potential approaches to address the nation-wide issue. She also worked for a substance abuse prevention coalition that served a diverse youth population.  

    Julien Scott

    Bronx Operations Manager, NYC Parks

    Julien Scott currently serves as the Bronx Operations Manager at NYC Parks, where he started as an analyst in 2013. He oversees data collection and analysis at the borough level, and helps the agency to develop and implement solutions to operational challenges. It’s in this role that he witnessed firsthand the dramatic increase in the level of public drug use and discarded syringes in South Bronx parks over the last few years. He is now working closely with senior agency leadership, maintenance staff, and a broad coalition of outside partners to implement a comprehensive plan to address these issues.

    Prior to joining NYC Parks, with an undergraduate degree in graphic communications, Julien worked in magazine publishing in New York and Los Angeles, and as a journalist in Mexico City. Deciding to pursue a second career in public service, he completed graduate degrees in sustainable development and public policy. This focus afforded him the opportunity to join NYC government at an agency that is vital to creating a more resilient and livable city for all New Yorkers.

    Shelly Strasser

    Director, West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation and Community Services Department

    Shelly Strasser is the Director for the West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation and Community Services Department located in the Milwaukee area in Wisconsin.  Their community has been affected by the Heroin and Opioid Crisis and has taken an active role in the community and with department staff, to implement strategies of support.  

  • Park Champions Initiative

    Contains 15 Component(s) Recorded On: 04/11/2019

    Park Champions across the country are inviting their members of Congress and their staff to see their parks and programs first-hand at park dedications, program kick-offs, special events, and more! The Park Champion show-and-tell advocacy model allows our members to create meaningful experiences for members of Congress that demonstrate the importance of investing in parks and recreation.

    imageThe Park Champions show-and-tell advocacy model allows our members to create meaningful experiences for members of Congress that demonstrate the importance of investing in parks and recreation. This online learning product brings together any past and future Park Champions learning opportunities through a single subscription. Within this free subscription, you will gain access and be notified of past and future webinars, micro-learning products, videos, and other resources produced under this initiative. 

    Upcoming Webinars

    Please check back, new webinars coming soon!

    Advocacy is a critical skill for being an effective park and recreation professional, no matter where you’re at in your career. Whether you’re fighting for this year’s budget, arguing for your program’s existence or just working to get through the day, being proficient in advocacy techniques can be a vital lifeline in your career. Step up for the future of parks and recreation by becoming a Park Champion! This award-winning advocacy program will teach you the advocacy skills you need to know, beginning with developing relationships with key decision-makers. Park Champions across the country are building strong, lasting relationships with their elected officials by inviting them to park dedications, program kick-offs, special events, and more. The Park Champion show-and-tell advocacy model allows our members to create meaningful experiences for members of Congress that demonstrate the importance of investing in parks and recreation. Join the NRPA Public Policy team as we explore how you can make a difference for yourself, your agency and the field by stepping up as a Park Champion. 


    Jayni Rassmussen (Moderator)

    Advocacy & Outreach Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

    Jayni Rasmussen is the Advocacy and Outreach Manager for the National Recreation and Park Association. She manages the Public Policy's team's advocacy initiatives, including the Park Champion campaign. Prior to NRPA, Jayni worked at Ocean Conservancy, where she coordinated advocacy and outreach efforts both on Capitol Hill and on the ground to garner support for ocean health policy. Jayni is a graduate of Kent State University, where she received her B.A. in Political Science.

    Kate Clabaugh

    Senior Government Affairs Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

    Kate Clabaugh joined NRPA in May 2017 and manages our advocacy work related to health and wellness policy priorities, including nutrition, healthcare, and education. Kate previously worked for the national anti-hunger organization, the Food Research and Action Center, working with Congress to protect and expand access to the federal nutrition programs. 

    Kyle Simpson

    Senior Government Affairs Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

    Kyle Simpson joined NRPA in December 2017 and is heading up our public policy work on conservation, including infrastructure, Land and Water Conservation Fund, and resiliency. Kyle comes to NRPA after nearly 10 years on Capitol Hill, most recently having worked for Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

    Kevin O'Hara

    Former Vice President of Urban and Government Affairs, National Recreation and Park Association

    Kevin oversaw NRPA's Federal Advocacy efforts and leads NRPA's engagement with urban directors and agencies. Previously, O'Hara was Manager of Government Affairs for the American Society of Landscape Architects where he oversaw advocacy efforts on urban parks, green infrastructure, children's access to nature and more. O'Hara also worked for a non-profit in the higher education finance sector where he led advocacy and college access initiatives. O'Hara earned a B.A. Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs. 

    Roxanne Sutton

    Director of Communications, National Recreation and Park Association

    Roxanne Sutton is the Director of Communications at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). Her responsibilities include overseeing social media strategy and content development and promoting the award-winning work of our partnerships and business development team. She is also the host of NRPA’s podcast, Open Space Radio. In her role, Roxanne is fortunate to communicate and work directly with many NRPA members to promote new opportunities and showcase the great work local parks and recreation are doing in their communities. Prior to her role at NRPA, she worked at a PR firm in D.C. on a multitude of accounts ranging from energy clients to non-profits. She graduated with honors and recognition from George Mason University with her bachelors in Communication specializing in Public Relations. She was a member of Lambda Pi Eta and recipient of the Excellence in Communication Award.

    Catrina Belt

    Marketing Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

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    Julie Dixon

    Director of Research, National Journal

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    Le'alani Boykin

    Community Visioning & Planning Manager at Partnerships for Parks

    The contribution I am most compelled in making to the world is improving the processes that people work in; to streamline information exchange and harmonize relationships. I intend to understand both individual and group needs, and their portals to learning, to develop tools for their success.

    Luci Correa

    Senior Staff Analyst, Houston Parks and Recreation

    Luci Correa manages grants, legislation and development for the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. She has served the agency for 17 years in various functions including event and program sponsorships and grant writing. Luci holds a BBA in marketing from the University of Houston and an MBA from Texas Woman's University.

    Tyler Ray

    Director of Policy and Advocacy, American Hiking Society

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    Wesley Trimble

    Program Outreach and Communications Manager, American Hiking Society

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    Jamie Polley, CPRP

    Director of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, Wausau & Marathon County, Wisconsin

    Jamie Polley has recently become the Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the City of Wausau and Marathon County WI. She was the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Shakopee for 10 1/ 2 years. Prior to moving to MN She was the Director for the City of New London WI for four year. In 2011-2012 she attended the NRPA Director's School where she became familiar with the Did You Know Program. Having worked in a small WI City and coming to MN during the economic down turn it became apparent that she needed to do something to make Parks and Recreation important in her community. She brought the DYK program back to Shakopee and to the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association where it was very well received and supported. The more she described the program the more other directors became interested. MRPA chose to support the program in 2014 and now has 29 agencies registered. Jamie plans to continue the advocacy effort that is so important to our profession as she returns to WI.

    Jan Neitzert, CPRP, CAE

    Executive Director, Missouri Park and Recreation Association

    Jan Neitzert has been Executive Director for the Missouri Park and Recreation Association since 2008. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Jan was a practitioner for over 25 years, including therapeutic, aquatic, municipal and educational settings. For 12 years, she served as General Manager for Homeowners' Associations in a series of start-up communities for Pulte Homes/Del Webb in Las Vegas, Nevada. Other positions include leadership of the Council of State Executive Directors and the Missouri Society of Association Executives. She is both CPRP and a Certified Association Executive.

    Ivan Levin

    Director of Strategic Partnerships, National Park Trust

    Ivan is a lifetime outdoor and park enthusiast, strongly believing in the importance of connecting current and future generations to outdoor places and experiences. Growing up in southeast Virginia, Ivan spent his childhood playing in the Chesapeake Bay and exploring local parks and swamps. Now as a dad of two, Ivan and his family make a point to spend as much time outside as possible and to visit national parks throughout the year – the family’s favorite being Rocky Mountain National Park.

    As NPT’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, Ivan looks for new partnership opportunities, deepens relationships with current partners, and identifies ways to innovate programming and expand reach.

    Before joining NPT, Ivan was the Deputy Director of the Outdoor Foundation, overseeing all of the Foundation’s grant making, engagement and activation programs, research and many strategic partnerships. He is a frequent speaker on how to engage young adults in outdoor activities and connect them to green spaces and public lands. Ivan is also an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA with the School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism and is an alumnus of the Salzburg Global Seminar’s session on Parks for the Planet. Ivan holds a BS in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism with a concentration in outdoor recreation from the Radford University and a Masters in Recreation Resource Management from Frostburg State University.

    Samantha Jones

    Communications and Program Manager, National Park Trust

    Samantha has a deep passion for national parks and being outdoors. From a young age she worked at a local Girl Scout Camp every summer where her love for camping and hiking was born. She and her husband are working towards visiting all of the national parks, and although they have found beauty in each park, Grand Teton National Park will always remain a favorite, after getting married in front of its towering peaks.

    As NPT’s communications and program manager, Samantha oversees the many facets of NPT’s communications strategy. She also manages our national Kids to Parks Day initiative and our partnerships to support military families.

    Prior to joining NPT, Samantha was director of strategic initiatives at CulturalDC where she oversaw public programming and managed the community outreach for large-scale public events across Washington, D.C. She also served as the interim executive director and program director for Washington Project for the Arts, a non-profit art organization dedicated to exhibiting and promoting the work of Washington, D.C.-based artists. Samantha holds a master of fine arts degree in fine art history from American University and a bachelor of arts degree in international studies and art history from Wilson College.