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Products are filtered by different dates, depending on the combination of live and on-demand components that they contain, and on whether any live components are over or not.
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  • Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 10/01/2024 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

    New to conference? Then you don't want to miss this! Join us on October 1, 2024 at 2:00 PM EDT - Students, new professionals or distinguished professionals can all learn from a crash course of NRPA Annual Conference including the different events, networking opportunities and where your best resources are located. Make the most of your time over your time at this year's NRPA Annual Conference with these tips, tricks and secrets.

    New to conference? Then you don't want to miss this! Join us on October 1, 2024 at 2:00 PM EDT - Students, new professionals or distinguished professionals can all learn from a crash course of NRPA Annual Conference including the different events, networking opportunities and where your best resources are locatedMake the most of your time at this year's NRPA Annual Conference with these tips, tricks and secrets. A nearly identical version of this session will be offered in-person at the convention center in Atlanta at 5:00pm (local time) on Monday, October 7th. 

    Section #1 Off To A Good Start: Attendees will be asked to write down 3 goals to accomplish at Conference.

    Section#2 The Basics: Quick run-downs of specific events or programs and how to maximize the attendee experience at each.

    Section#3 Tips & Tricks: Best practices to get the most out of conference as a whole -- regardless of where the attendee is at.

    Section#4 Connect: The biggest long-term benefit of NRPA and Conference is Networking!  Attendees will get advice on getting an introduction, having a fulfilling conversation and building the strongest connections.  Attendees will then put into practice this advice to meet 3 other professionals in the session.

    Section#5 Back to "Work": Best practices about what to do post-conference.

    Objectives:

    1. Identify the ways to maximize your time and impact at Conference through making schedules, picking the right sessions, and networking opportunities.
    2. Learn what to expect from Conference week -- both in education sessions and at the various networking events.
    3. Provide strategies for starting conversations and tips for amplifying your network while attending conference as well as solidifying connections long-term.

    Michael Biedenstein, CPRE, AFO (he/him)

    Membership Engagement Manager

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Michael is responsible for NRPA's national awards program including this Hall of Fame, the Parks and Recreation 30 Under 30, Spotlight Awards, Innovation Awards, and Scholarship & Fellowships. Michael previously worked 18 years in the field of parks and recreation in St. Louis, MO. Michael has presented 17 times over 11 years including a highly rated session at the 2021 NRPA Conference.

    Hayley Herzing (she/her)

    Director of Membership

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Hayley Herzing is currently the Director of Membership for the National Recreation and Park Association. She has worked for NRPA for ten years and previously worked at the National Community Pharmacists Association. Hayley received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications/Journalism from Shippensburg University.

    Maria Cepeda (she/her/hers)

    Downtown Events and Facility Coordinator

    Huntersville Park and Recreation

    Young professional working as a Special Events Coordinator for Town of Huntersville Park and Rec Recreation in North Carolina. Previously worked for Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation as Senior Recreation Specialist, creating programs and events for the community of Charlotte. After undergrad, she did her internship with the Woodlands Township in Texas. Board member of Hispanic Professionals in Park and Recreation advocating for Hispanic/Latino professionals in the field.

  • Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes a Live Web Event on 07/25/2024 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

    Knowing how to use data to advocate for parks can be daunting. Join NRPA’s Research team for an interactive learning opportunity focused on gathering and employing data to help your organization flourish! Attendees will learn how to use data to make optimal decisions on operations, programming and spending, as well as make the case for greater and more sustainable funding.

    How does your organization communicate the value of parks and recreation? There are so many resources available how can they best be used in a relevant way? Join NRPA’s Research team on July 25, 2024 at 2:00pm EST for this hands-on clinic that will focus on using NRPA data to make optimal decisions on operations, programming and spending, as well as make the case for greater and more sustainable funding. Agency professionals will come away with an appreciation for why these tools matter and have realistic expectations of what these tools can (and can’t) do in supporting advocacy efforts. 

    By the end of this clinic, learners will have: 

    Generated ways NRPA data can help improve park performance and funding 

    Scavenged the NRPA data sources to find data that corresponds to common questions 

    Practiced selecting data that answers specific questions with a case study 

    Named a current opportunity/problem the student is having and identify the NRPA data that helps tell their story 

    Dianne Palladino, PhD (she/her)

    Director of Evaluation

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Dianne Palladino (she/her) is NRPA’s Director of Evaluation. Dianne oversees evaluation activities and strategy at NRPA, and she is dedicated to developing training and resources for park and recreation professionals that will assist with effective, low-cost evaluation efforts in the field. Dianne has over 17 years of research and/or evaluation experience and leadership and additional experience in several diverse fields. She holds undergraduate degrees from Clarkson University and Georgia Institute of Technology, and she earned her Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University.

    Melissa May (she/her)

    Senior Research Manager

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Melissa came to the NRPA Research team in 2015 with a background in environmental planning, GIS, and government contracting. At NRPA, Melissa helps with producing member surveys and reports, as well as, creating Tableau interactive graphics and ArcGIS StoryMaps. Additionally, Melissa leads work related to NRPA Park Metrics, Facility Market Reports and Park Pulse.


  • Contains 0 Component(s)

    Coming August 2024! This learning product will cover effective communication techniques, principles of empathy and inclusivity, conflict resolution strategies and cultural competence — all tailored to the unique context of parks and recreation. These areas are essential for professionals and volunteers to create inclusive environments, address conflicts constructively and engage diverse communities effectively, ensuring that park and recreation spaces are welcoming and accessible to all.

    Coming August 2024! Be curious, not judgmental. Approach difficult conversations head-on and empathetically, not to assign blame but to better understand and create a welcoming work culture internally and inclusive experiences externally. The learning product "Uncomfortable Conversations in Parks and Recreation" delves into navigating the challenging discussions that surface in park and recreation settings and beyond. 

    Leveraging insights from lived experiences on six continents with global organizations such as Disney, Olympics and TED / TEDx and utilizing communication lessons and social psychology, this course is designed for individuals working or volunteering in these areas. The curriculum emphasizes how to handle topics like inclusivity, environmental stewardship and cultural awareness with sensitivity and effectiveness.  

    The goal is to empower learners with strategies for constructive dialogue and empathy, ultimately fostering an environment in park and recreation spaces where everyone feels welcome and a sense of belonging. This is vital for promoting community cohesion and ensuring equitable access to public amenities. 

    This talk is available for 1 year after release date.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. The learners will be able to implement effective communication strategies to facilitate open and respectful dialogues about sensitive issues in park and recreation settings, ensuring conversations are inclusive and productive. 

    2. The learners will be able to apply principles of empathy and cultural competence in their interactions with colleagues, stakeholders and the community, fostering an environment of understanding and respect within park and recreation management. 

    3. The learners will be able to apply equity-focused assessment techniques to identify and mitigate systemic barriers within park and recreation environments, ensuring facilities and services are accessible and welcoming to all community members. 

    Neelay Bhatt (he/him)

    Founder & CEO

    Next Practice Partners

    Neelay’s career on six continents includes Disney, The Super Bowl, The Olympics, and years of consulting, public speaking and training. 

    He champions “Ideas Worth Spreading” as the curator for TEDxIndianapolis, TEDxIndianapolisWomen and TEDxCollegePark and his role on the NRPA Board served to ensure “no child was left indoors”. He continues to give back by serving in a leadership role for the 2024 NBA All-Star and 2024 US Olympic Swimming and Diving Trials. 

    As the Founder & CEO of Next Practice Partners, he combines inclusion and innovation to help agencies prepare for “what’s next” through planning, training, and technology solutions. 

    Over his 25-year journey, he has keynoted worldwide, trained and coached Olympic Gold Medalists, Indy Car Race Drivers, Oxford Physicists and start up CEOs to tell their story and discover their WHY, developed the business plan for the first internationally certified cricket stadium in the US, and co-created the world’s largest municipal customer service & leadership training initiative for Chicago Park District’s 3000 employees. 

    He is an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School and #1 ranked Sports Management Program at Ohio University and his Master and Strategic planning work with Atlanta, Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Norfolk, San Diego etc. have recommended parks, arts, and sports facility development and improvements totaling over $2.5 billion, shaping a more innovative and inclusive future for all.

    As a first-generation immigrant raised by three women and a father who always showed up, he hopes to model the same for his two kids. These life experiences are woven into his keynotes on Innovation and Next Practices, the Power of One, and creating Magical Customer Service Cultures, and have inspired executives, professionals, startups, and students from Charlotte to China and from Switzerland to New Zealand.

  • Contains 1 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Coming August 2024! In this learning session, Ms. Mellen will inform attendees about her cross-agency position and guide them through the yearlong planning process that the Wilmette Park District embarked upon over the past year. This planning process involved an assessment of current District practices, an external assessment of nearby communities, patron outreach via surveys, table talks, feedback forms, and the formation of an internal staff steering committee – all of which culminated in the creation of the district's inaugural sustainability plan.

    Coming August 2024! In February 2023, the Wilmette Park District welcomed its first sustainability coordinator, Lucy Mellen. Explore the unique breadth of a sustainability coordinator role, extending beyond the Park District to encompass the Village of Wilmette, the public library, the local township, and the school district. Discover how Wilmette Park District was able to utilize this role to partner with diverse stakeholders over the past year to develop the district's inaugural sustainability plan, fostering a holistic approach to environmental stewardship and community engagement. 

    This talk is available for 1 year from release date!

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Analyze the components involved in developing a comprehensive sustainability plan for a park district, considering the interconnectivity with other community entities. 

    2. Understand the key components and methodologies involved in developing a comprehensive sustainability plan, including assessing current practices, conducting external evaluations, engaging stakeholders through various outreach methods, and forming internal committees to facilitate the planning process.  

    3. Analyze the collaborative strategies used by the Wilmette Park District to leverage the sustainability coordinator role in partnering with various stakeholders to develop a comprehensive sustainability plan.  

    Lucy Mellen

    Sustainability Coordinator

    Wilmette Park District

    Lucy Mellen graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor's degree in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Following graduation, Ms. Mellen was the heat relief coordinator for the City of Richmond, IN, where she managed the city's grant funded Beat the Heat Program. In this role, Ms. Mellen created the city's first Heat Management Plan.

    Ms. Mellen started her role in Wilmette in February 2023. Her responsibilities are divided among five entities in Wilmette: the local township, the library, the school district, the Park District, and the Village government, with the majority of her time dedicated to the latter two entities. Since starting, her primary focus with the Park District has been developing their first Sustainability Plan.

  • Contains 0 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Coming September 2024! By using data from our community, we can see where our programming behaviors are excelling and where we need to focus to provide a truly equitable experience. Special events have the opportunity to bring people together, but we need to know who is left out of these experiences and why. Using data to help us make these decisions, we can connect more people to our resources and, ultimately, the fun of special events!

    This presentation addresses how to build special events equitably throughout the entire process; it is suitable for professionals at the start of their careers or for those looking to increase their knowledge base. Drawing from expertise in both programming and special event planning, the presenter will deliver a clear roadmap and planning checklist for special events and equitable decision making. Learners will gain a deeper understanding of the topic, empowering them to apply their newfound knowledge confidently in real-world scenarios. 

    This talk is available for 1 year from release date!

    Learning Objectives: 

    1. The learners will be able to define what special event equity means in parks and recreation and use that definition throughout the planning process.

    2. Learners will recognize the various elements that contribute to special event equity, such as accessibility, representation, diversity, inclusion and cultural sensitivity. 

    3. Learners will be able to apply principles of special event equity to the design, implementation and evaluation of future events, considering factors such as venue selection, programming, communication and resource allocation. 

    Amanda D'Agostino (she/her)

    Special Events Coordinator

    City of Evanston Parks and Recreation

    Amanda D'Agostino is a dedicated Special Event Coordinator with a passion for creating unforgettable experiences and a talent for meticulous planning. With four years of hands-on experience in the realm of special events, she has honed her skills in orchestrating a diverse range of occasions, from fundraising events to community gatherings in parks and recreation settings. Amanda's approach to event coordination is distinguished by her commitment to equity and inclusivity, ensuring that each event is tailored to meet the specific needs and interests of the community it serves.

    Currently serving as a Special Event Coordinator for the City of Evanston Parks and Recreation Department, Amanda oversees a dynamic portfolio of over 80 events of various scales. Her responsibilities include liaising with stakeholders, securing permits and venues, coordinating vendors and entertainment, and managing budgets to ensure the successful realization of each event.

  • Contains 0 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Coming November 2024! This on-demand education talk will be released on the first Monday of the month unless otherwise noted. Each month's virtual subscription Talk will be available for registration in advance, but the contents themselves will go live during the month of release. NRPA's virtual education Talks feature knowledgeable subject matter experts presenting on timely insights from research and practice. Each Talk is approximately 45 minutes to one hour long and is worth 0.1 CEU.

    This on-demand education talk will be released on the first Monday of the month unless otherwise noted. Each month's virtual subscription Talk will be available for registration in advance, but the contents themselves will go live during the month of release. NRPA's virtual education Talks feature knowledgeable subject matter experts presenting on timely insights from research and practice. Each Talk is approximately 45 minutes to one hour long and is worth 0.1 CEU. 

    This talk is available for 1 year from release date!

  • Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Coming July 2024! As park and recreation professionals, it can be difficult to understand analytics and how you can improve your content based on past performance. Learning what does and does not matter will help you advance your overall skills in social media management.

    In the realm of social media, it all starts with content creation. But how do you quantify the results of your posts? It's important to collect data and format it properly for future use and potentially expanding your skills. With more than three years of social media management experience, the leader of this session will provide useful information for beginner-level content creators on formatting your data and understanding what information is most important to glean from with analytics. 

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Learners will better understand basic analytic terminology and the metrics to track at the beginner level. 

    2. Learners will be able to craft summaries of past post-performance data to share with their team. 

    3. Learners will gain insight on which overlooked analytics to track and watch to improve content. 

    This talk is available for 1 year from release date!

    Adam Kelly (he/him/his)

    Marketing, Branding, and Design Assistant

    City of Goose Creek

    Adam Kelly is a two-time award-winning Marketing Assistant for the City of Goose Creek – South Carolina’s eighth-largest municipality. Adam plays a key role in the promotion of City Recreation events, and creates content for a wide range of programs. Specializing in digital photography, social media management and branding, Adam is passionate about creating timely, fun content as he uses his creativity to reach every City resident. 

    The 2020 North Greenville University graduate was an intern for the City of Charleston Recreation Department’s marketing team before joining Goose Creek. He enjoys sharing his experiences in parks and recreation, and especially enjoys helping every City reach its potential in leisure, entertainment and recreational messaging.

  • Contains 9 Component(s)

    Find previously live Park Access Network content here! Park and recreation professionals have the tools and resources to lead localized, anti-racist solutions that advance the multitude of benefits derived from equitable park access and climate-resilient park systems. The Park Access Network is an open community bringing together diverse professionals to facilitate conversations and best practices among peers to drive systemic changes that advance equitable and resilient park access.

    Find previously live Park Access Network content here! Parks and recreation create stronger, more resilient communities that can adapt to and better recover from environmental, social and economic challenges. However, significant racial and socioeconomic disparities affect access to parks, including the number of quality parks, proximity of parks and connection to safe, inclusive, culturally-relevant parks and programs. Moreover, Black, Indigenous and people of color and low-income communities receive fewer resources and support to prepare for, respond to and recover from the impacts of climate change.

    Park and recreation professionals have the tools and resources to lead localized, anti-racist solutions that advance the multitude of benefits derived from equitable park access and climate-resilient park systems. The Park Access Network is an open community bringing together diverse professionals to facilitate conversations and best practices among peers to drive systemic changes that advance equitable and resilient park access.

  • Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Released June 2024! Embark on a journey with a diverse panel of three seasoned professionals to explore how to establish a more inclusive park and recreation system, rooted in the ideals of the diverse communities served. This initiative begins with strategic investments in each community with the goal of fostering positive change, engagement, mutual respect, and addressing the unique needs of all constituents.

    Join us in the pursuit of creating a welcoming and diverse park and recreation system that reflects the ideals of the communities it serves. Our approach involves a targeted investment in each community and laying the foundation for transformative change, heightened engagement and the cultivation of mutual respect. This endeavor is dedicated to identifying and meeting the specific needs of all constituents, ensuring that our services are inclusive and comprehensive. Attendees will have the invaluable opportunity to be guided by a panel of three professionals, which presents a wealth of diversity in education, cultural backgrounds and professional experiences. Together, we will explore innovative strategies for professionals and their organizations to invest in services that truly cater to the diverse tapestry of people within their communities, fostering a more connected and inclusive society. 

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Learn how to effectively use your provided services to reinvest in your diverse constituents, employees, community partners and policymakers.

    2. Gain new ideas and strategies to avoid categorizing services, instead developing and investing in a range of diverse community services to meet the needs of all residents.

    3. Identify tools that will help you develop an organizational philosophy to guide your services, basing it on the idea that all people need opportunities that inspire and improve their quality of life.

    This talk is available for 1 year from release date!

    John Stutzman (he/him)

    Recreation and Leisure Service Director

    City of St. Peter

    John Stutzman is a Parks & Recreation practitioner with over 16 years experiences, at various levels of leadership, for both large and small Minnesota communities. He takes great pride in sharing his passion and enthusiasm for recreation, leadership development, and the outdoors and with others, especially the future work force. He is a professional who sees the importance of creating innovative and inclusive ways to meet the needs of a community. John holds a BS in Recreational Sports Programming, a Masters in Recreation Management–Professional Development, and is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional.

    Maria Cepeda (she/her/hers)

    Downtown Events and Facility Coordinator

    Huntersville Park and Recreation

    Young professional working as a Special Events Coordinator for Town of Huntersville Park and Rec Recreation in North Carolina. Previously worked for Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation as Senior Recreation Specialist, creating programs and events for the community of Charlotte. After undergrad, she did her internship with the Woodlands Township in Texas. Board member of Hispanic Professionals in Park and Recreation advocating for Hispanic/Latino professionals in the field.

    Hillary Roemersberger (she/her/hers)

    Director, Recreation Services

    Apex Park and Recreation

    Hillary Roemersberger has worked in Parks and Recreation for 16 years. She currently works as the Director of Recreation Services with Apex Park and Recreation District located in Arvada, CO. In her role she is responsible for the oversight of Fitness and Wellness, Licensed programs, and Aquatics as well as multiple recreation centers. Hillary holds a BS in Health and Exercise Science, a Masters in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, and is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional.

  • Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Released May 2024! Family Health & Fitness Day is all about promoting health and wellness through parks and recreation. This online learning event will inform agencies of the importance of NRPA's Family Health & Fitness Day campaign and provide examples of how they can celebrate and promote this day in their local communities.

    Celebrated the second Saturday in June, NRPA's Family Health & Fitness Day campaign is a celebration of the essential role local parks and recreation plays in keeping individuals, families and communities healthy and active. This online learning event will describe the importance of Family Health & Fitness Day, including how this day promotes the lifelong health and well-being benefits parks provide. This webinar will also share best practices and tips around elevating the recognition of this celebration in local communities, as shared through the lens of NRPA's Marketing Specialist, Christina High. Lastly, this online learning event will share "from the field experience" from Sacramento County Regional Parks, which will share fun and creative ways park and recreation agencies can celebrate Family Health & Fitness Day in their communities. 

    Visit NRPA's Family Health & Fitness Day webpage to engage with our resources around Family Health & Fitness Day. https://www.nrpa.org/events/fa...  

    Learning Objectives:

    1. The learners will be able to describe the essential role park and recreation professionals play in keeping communities healthy and active. 

    2. Attendees will be able to plan, promote and implement programs and events in celebration of Family Health & Fitness Day in their own communities on June 8. 

    3. Participants will be able to reference the Family Health & Fitness Day Outreach Toolkit for further information on planning, promoting and measuring the impact of Family Health & Fitness Day events. 

    This talk is available for 1 year from release date!

    Cina Makres (she/her/hers)

    Program Specialist

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Cina Makres (she/her) is a Program Specialist with the National Recreation and Park Association. Currently, Cina supports NRPA grantees and provides technical assistance within the organization's youth mentoring and nutrition security portfolios. Cina also manages NRPA's Family Health & Fitness Day campaign efforts to ensure that park and recreation professionals have the tools and resources needed to promote healthy living in their local communities.

    Prior to joining NRPA, Cina completed her Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the University of Maryland. Cina has previous experience working with maternal health, global health, and physical activity and nutrition.

    Christina High (she/her/hers)

    Marketing Specialist

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Christina High is NRPA’s marketing specialist, overseeing NRPA’s social media channels. Additionally, Christina is co-host of the Open Space Radio podcast. Through her role, she is responsible for creating content, storytelling, managing campaigns, and using tools to optimize marketing strategies across platforms. Christina is a passionate advocate for equitable outdoor access and nature connectedness. This drives her creativity and allows for quality, engaging storytelling.

    Liz Bellas (she/her/hers)

    Director

    Sacramento County Regional Parks

    Liz Bellas has been a parks professional for over 29 years.  She was appointed as Director of Sacramento County Regional Parks in January 2019, but has served many roles within the Department, including recreation operations, master planning, budget and fiscal officer, and park management.  

    She possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Administration and a minor in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento.

    She has been married to Cliff Bellas for 24 years, and they have three adult children. Her hobbies include gardening, hiking, and trail riding.  She is passionate about fulfilling the mission of Sacramento County Regional Parks: enhancing the health, enjoyment and quality of life in the region by acquiring, managing, and protecting park and open space lands; educating the public on the uses and values of leisure time activities, and the cultural and natural history of the County; growing and linking a system of regional parks, trails and open space in Sacramento and neighboring counties; providing a broad range of recreational activities for the community’s diverse populations; and providing stewardship and protection of Sacramento County’s regional park system through partnerships, planning and community involvement.