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  • CAPRA Webinar Series: Prepare for NRPA Accreditation

    Contains 1 Product(s)

    Join this CAPRA webinar series to prepare for the CAPRA accreditation process or to serve on a visit team.

    What is CAPRA? What does it mean to become CAPRA Accredited? Participate in this webinar series — whether you are a professional, represent an agency or are a visitor (new and renewing) — to learn the answers to these questions and more. Information covered will help park and recreation professionals prepare to participate in the CAPRA process and visitors to serve on visit teams. The webinar series will cover a general overview of CAPRA and the accreditation process; the 10 sections of the CAPRA National Standards; guidelines for creating your self-assessment report and collecting your evidence of compliance; responsibilities of reviewers and visit team members; things to expect with your agency’s site or virtual visit; ways to get involved in CAPRA; and a list of resources to help you along the way.

  • CAPRA Webinar Series, Part I: What is CAPRA?

    Contains 2 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 07/30/2020 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

    Achieving CAPRA accreditation can help you become the best in the parks and recreation field. Learn how through this CAPRA introductory overview.

    During this overview of CAPRA, you will learn about the mission and purpose of the program as well as the many benefits accreditation can offer agencies and the communities they serve. Find out more about the role of the CAPRA Commission and the number of CAPRA accredited agencies nationwide. This webinar also highlights important resources that should be used throughout the CAPRA process. Make sure to participate in this webinar, since it is a prerequisite for Parts II, III, and IV of the CAPRA webinar series.

    ​Jennifer G. Schleining

    CAPRA Accreditation Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

    Jennifer G. Schleining, CAPRA Accreditation Manager for the National Recreation and Park Association, oversees the strategic direction and day to day operations for the CAPRA Accreditation Program including management of the accreditation process for agencies and related educational programming.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History with a minor in Classical Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a Master of Arts degree in Curatorial Studies and Art in Contemporary Culture from Bard College, Center for Curatorial Studies and a Certificate in Meeting and Event Planning from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Continuing Education Department. Prior to NRPA Jennifer served for 5 years as a Credentialing Services Specialist for the American Society of Appraisers.  Prior to that she held various fundraising and development positions for organizations including The Corcoran Gallery of Art, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Give a Note Foundation, Tudor Place Historic Home and Garden and The Madeira School. 

    Dirk Richwine

    CAPRA Commissioner, NRPA Directors School Director

    Laura T. Wetherald

    Bureau Chief, Recreation - Howard County, MD

  • Greener Parks for Health Webinar Series

    Contains 4 Product(s)

    Learn about green infrastructure as a strategy for improving equity and community well-being.

    Across the nation, low-income and communities of color are disproportionately experiencing the damaging impacts of climate-related weather events such as flooding and extreme storm surges. With a history of under-investment and discriminatory policies, these marginalized communities are frequently located in areas with failing public infrastructure, which includes a lack of access to quality parks and green spaces. These conditions put undue strain on the physical well-being, mental health and environmental living conditions of residents, while also leaving them ill-equipped to prepare, mitigate and recover from extreme events. 

    The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is working to equip park and recreation professionals with the tools and knowledge to advocate for and plan green infrastructure projects in parks to address climate impacts, improve community well-being and advance equitable access to quality green spaces and parks. This webinar series will highlight findings from the Greener Parks for Health project, including evidence connecting green infrastructure to improved health as well as green infrastructure focused targeted messaging, policy and funding mechanisms, and case studies. 

  • Best Practices for Achieving Greener Parks

    Contains 2 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 07/22/2020 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

    In the last installment of the four-part Greener Parks for Health webinar series, NRPA will examine key opportunities for park and recreation leaders to advance green infrastructure in parks as a tool to improve community well-being and address climate impacts.

    In the last installment of the four-part Greener Parks for Health webinar series, NRPA will examine key opportunities for park and recreation leaders to advance green infrastructure in parks as a tool to improve community well-being and address climate impacts. You will hear from communities across the country about how they are investing in greener parks through policy and best practice.

    At the conclusion of this session, learners will be able to:

    1.           Understand best practices and policy mechanisms that have been used to expand green infrastructure in parks.
    2.           Identify key opportunities to advance similar best practices and policy in your community.

    Jenny Cox

    Conservation Program Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

    Jenny Cox is a Conservation Program Manager at the NRPA overseeing the Parks and Green Infrastructure for Health initiative and the Great Urban Parks Campaign grant program. Jenny holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and is passionate about the connection between parks, the environment and community health.

  • Park Access Learning Series

    Contains 16 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 07/16/2020 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

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

    NRPA brings together a network of park and recreation professionals committed to driving long-term change to address park access and quality. Through a combination of bimonthly webinars and group calls, network members share and learn strategies, discuss different approaches and develop connections with peers across the United States. 

    The webinars, hosted on NRPA’s online learning system, feature park and recreation professionals and other land-use experts and other specialists that have implemented a variety of park access solutions. Participants are able to engage in a question and answer segment. A recording of the webinar, presentation slides and other resources are made available to everyone after the webinar.

    Subscribe to this free learning series dedicated to the Park Access initiative. This subscription will automatically enroll you in upcoming webinars, micro-learning, shared resources, and discussions focused on this important movement.

    Click the "Contents" tab above for a list of all webinar opportunities.

    The network calls are an opportunity to connect with and learn from your peers who are just as passionate as you about addressing park access and quality. Led by park and recreation professionals, these calls offer a more informal opportunity to discuss, share of knowledge and pose questions related to the topic of the call.


    Register for the Network Calls

    To participate in all opportunities offered by the Park Access Network, you must register separately for both the webinars and network calls.  You do not have to attend a webinar to join a network call and we encourage you to participate in either or both. Join the Park Access Network on NRPA Connect to stay up to date on upcoming Network events!

    Rachel Banner

    Director of Park Access at National Recreation and Park Association

    Rachel Banner leads the 10-Minute Walk Campaign at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), where she designs strategy and manages a team to deliver training, technical assistance, grants, research, evaluation and communications to ensure park professionals have the tools to improve communities through equitable access to quality parks. Rachel received her Master’s in Public Health from Tufts University and her BS in Exercise Science from Elon University, both focused on health equity, chronic disease prevention and the built environment.

    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.

    Sarah Bryant

    Director of Community Initiatives, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership

    Sarah Bryant is the Director of Community Initiatives at Cooper’s Ferry Partnership (CFP), a non-profit organization that serves as a catalyst for the preservation and growth of a vibrant Camden, NJ. At CFP, Sarah transfers her passion for public spaces into action, focusing on strengthening Camden’s park system for the benefit of the city’s residents. She currently manages a $15 million portfolio of park development projects. Sarah has also managed neighborhood planning, roadway reconstruction, preservation, and green infrastructure projects at CFP as well as placemaking and environmental initiatives. Sarah holds a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Science from Boston University. She is AICP certified and joined CFP as a project manager in 2010.

    Jaime Zaplatosch

    Director of Green Schoolyards, Healthy Communities for the Children & Nature Network

    Jaime Zaplatosch is the Director of Green Schoolyards for Healthy Communities for the Children & Nature Network. Jaime is leading the Children & Nature Network's goal to support city-wide, equity-based green schoolyard program development across the U.S. She supports cities to build school-district partnerships and creatively create green space to support thriving communities. Jaime has extensive knowledge in the field of urban greening with experience in strategy, partnership building, program development, fundraising, and conservation. She is the former Vice President of Community Engagement and Education at Openlands in Chicago, where launched its green schoolyard program, Space to Grow.

    Travis Younkin

    Executive Director of Upper Kirby District

    Frank Carson, MS

    Director of Recreation El Cajon, CA

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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. 

    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.

    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. 

    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.

    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.

    Bridget Stesney

    Senior Director, Content: Urban Land Institute

    Bridget Stesney recently joined ULI as Senior Director, Content and is leading ULI’s effort on the Ten-Minute Walk Campaign.   Bridget joins ULI after ten years working in the public sector for the District of Columbia for DC Public School and DC Parks + Recreation.  During her time in DC government, she led the development of the long-term planning and capital investment strategies for parks, recreation centers, and public schools.  Prior to that, Bridget worked for non-profits focused on smart growth and brownfields redevelopment.   

  • Park Access Learning Series: Engaging City Leadership in Equitable Park Access and Quality

    Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 07/16/2020 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

    Join us for a webinar and interactive panel discussion on engaging city leadership to support and advocate for equitable park access and quality.

    An ongoing challenge park and recreation professionals face is how to meaningfully engage city leadership in supporting and advocating for equitable park access and quality. This webinar will feature communities that are actively addressing this challenge and will provide examples of how they’re overcoming it. Bring your questions and ideas for a robust discussion around best practices you can use in your city.

    This webinar is a part of the Park Access Learning Series. By signing up for this webinar, you will be enrolled in this subscription. To be removed, please notify

  • Strategic Plans To Build Resilient and Healthy Communities

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes a Live Web Event on 07/09/2020 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

    Learn about NRPA’s strategic plan and the key opportunities it identifies for parks and recreation to build climate resiliency, advance community health and ensure access for all. Speakers will share case studies and examples of this work in action.


    NRPA envisions a future where everyone recognizes the full power of parks and recreation and its role in building strong, healthy, resilient communities. Participate in this webinar to learn about NRPA’s vision and strategic plan; opportunities to invest in and champion the field; and steps that park and recreation professionals can take to build climate resiliency, advance community health and well-being, and ensure access for all. Speakers Joshua Medeiros and Monique Odom will share case studies and examples of how parks and recreation in their communities serves as a catalyst of positive change for social equity, climate readiness and overall well-being.

    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

  • 2020 Premier Webinar Subscription

    Contains 7 Product(s)

    Subscribe to the 2020 Premier Webinar Series and be instantly registered for any premier discounted webinar that we offer for all of 2020 with continued access to the archived recordings and materials.


    Subscribe to the 2020 Premier Webinar Series and be instantly registered for any premier discounted webinar that we offer for all of 2020 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.

    2020 Schedule

    Medical Marijuana/CBD: An ADA Compliance Perspective *
    January 9, 2020 2:00pm ET
    Strategic Plans To Build Resilient and Healthy Communities*
    July 9, 2020 2:00pm ET
    How Are You Going to Kill Weeds in Parks Without Glyphosate?
    February 13, 2020 2:00pm ET
    Great Expectations: Can Revenue Goals and Social Equity Co-Exist?
    August 13, 2020 2:00pm ET
    Designing the Great Park that Everyone Deserves
    March 12, 2020 2:00pm ET
    Parks & Recreation Hot Topic - TBD
    September 10, 2020 2:00pm ET
    Hiring the Homeless: Boise Parks and Recreation’s Successful Work Program *
    April 9, 2020 2:00pm ET 
    Risk Management Around Playgrounds *
    October 8, 2020 2:00pm ET 
    The Economic Impact of Parks: What About Tomorrow?
    May 14, 2020 2:00pm ET
    NRPA Research Update
    November 12, 2020 2:00pm ET
    The Future of Recreation
    June 11, 2020 2:00pm ET
    Email, Ethics and Engagement *
    December 10, 2020 2:00pm ET

    These sessions contain 0.1 CEU

  • Creative and Equitable Policy and Funding for Greener Parks

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 07/01/2020

    The third webinar in the Greener Parks for Health series will navigate the current policy landscape around green infrastructure and highlight the opportunities for local governments to expand green infrastructure in parks as a way to benefit communities.

    We know green infrastructure can improve health, equitable development, and the environment. So what policies encourage or prevent communities from using green infrastructure to improve equity and quality of life? The third webinar of the Greener Parks for Health series will build off NRPA’s Greener Parks for Health Policy Action Framework, to showcase how policy and funding at the federal, state and local levels shape green infrastructure development in parks. This webinar will navigate the current policy landscape around green infrastructure and highlight city, state and federal policy innovations to expand green infrastructure in parks as a way to benefit communities. 

    At the conclusion of this session, learners will be able to:

    1.           Identify federal and state policy and funding opportunities to advance green infrastructure in parks.
    2.           Execute local partnerships and actions to institutionalize green infrastructure in parks.

    Jenny Cox

    Conservation Program Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

    Jenny Cox is a Conservation Program Manager at the NRPA overseeing the Parks and Green Infrastructure for Health initiative and the Great Urban Parks Campaign grant program. Jenny holds a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and is passionate about the connection between parks, the environment and community health.

    Bobby Cochran

    Partner for Community Resilience, Willamette Partnership

    Bobby Cochran is the Partner for Community Resilience at Willamette Partnership, a conservation non-profit dedicated to solving complex environmental problems in ways that work for people. He loves innovating at the intersections of finance, policy, health equity, and environment. Bobby is also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leader and received a Ph.D./M.A. in Urban Studies/Conflict Resolution from Portland State University.

    Caryn Ernst

    Director of Strategic Initiatives, City Park Alliance

    As Director of Strategic Initiatives, Caryn Ernst leads City Parks Alliance’s member capacity building programs, national research partnerships and all content development for the Greater & Greener conference.  Caryn led CPA’s national research partnership with the Urban Institute and Groundwork USA focused on equitable funding for parks and is leading the development of CPA’s Equitable Funding Hub.

    Caryn authored CPA’s report – “A Smart Investment for America’s Economy: The Land and Water Conservation Fund”, and led the development of CPA’s “Active Parks, Healthy Cities” report.

  • How to Leverage Effective Advocacy Communication

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 06/30/2020

    Join us for this engaging one-hour session, where you’ll learn how to demystify advocacy and amplify your story to elected officials. Our panelists will present effective advocacy communications and share highlights of how the best practices were successfully applied for two park and recreation agencies.

    Effective advocacy and communications strategies incorporate the ability to meaningfully connect with elected officials and engage the right stakeholders and partners to attain increased funding for your organization. This session will share such strategies and include successful advocacy examples that resulted in enhanced funding for Summit Metro Parks in Ohio and the Bozeman Parks and Rec Department in Montana. Join us to hear how to channel the power of your advocacy activities to boost your park and recreation resources.

    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

    Lisa King

    Executive Director, Summit Metro Parks

    Appointed in September 2015, King is the seventh director of Summit Metro Parks and the first woman to lead the park. As director she serves as the chief executive and chief financial officer, leading the organization to ensure achievement of its mission, financial viability, growth, and stability.

    An employee since 1998, King has also served as the park district’s landscape architect and its chief of planning and development. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University, a state-registered landscape architect, a champion of sustainable design, and a certified parks and recreation professional through the National Recreation and Park Association.

    Summit Metro Parks is known as a special park district organized under Chapter 1545 of the Ohio Revised Code as a metropolitan park district and was formed in 1921. Metro Parks is not part of any other local, county, state or Federal government. Funding for the park district is derived primarily from a small real estate property tax levy which makes up 90% of the park district’s budget. This levy is periodically voted on by taxpayers. The current levy is on a 9-year rotation and will next be voted on in 2030.

    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.

    Elvis Cordova

    Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy, National Recreation and Park Association

    Elvis Cordova is the Vice President of Policy and Advocacy for the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), which is the nation’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of public parks, recreation and conservation.  Mr. Cordova leads NRPA’s federal policymaking initiatives by providing strategic planning for enhancing community-based and capacity building programs, and stakeholder engagement to advance parks, recreation, and conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people. Mr. Cordova is a seasoned executive with over a decade of experience developing and implementing solutions for some of the most significant and high-profile challenges facing the U.S. public sector.  He has a unique combination of political, legal, economic, and international expertise.  He is a proven strategist and manager, adept at building coalitions and communicating effectively to diverse stakeholders.  He has built an intimate knowledge of the workings of the U.S. government and has developed strong relationships with a range of policymakers in key markets around the world. 

    In 2012, Mr. Cordova was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as a Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  From 2012 to 2017, Mr. Cordova served in various leadership roles at USDA, including Deputy Under Secretary and Acting Under Secretary.  He oversaw food labeling programs (including organic and biotechnology), international trade regulations, research & educational grant programs, nutrition programs, commodity procurement, plant & animal health regulations, process verification programs, conservation programs, and the expansion of local and regional food systems.  He served on the White Task Force for Puerto Rico, focusing on building public-private partnerships to aid in the economic recovery efforts for the island.  Mr. Cordova entered the federal government a Presidential Management Fellow at the Farm Credit Administration and at the U.S. Department of Energy where his work encompassed alternative energy, economic development, financial services, and congressional affairs. Outside of the federal government, he served as a consultant for the United Nations where he focused on trade development strategies for emerging markets in Southeast Asia.  He also served as Vice President of Public Relations at Tzolkin Media Inc., and Director for Latin American programs at the Self Reliance Foundation.  Mr. Cordova began his career as a financial analyst at the Harvard Management Company.

    He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University.  He is a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Graduate Fellowship and holds various professional certificates from Georgetown University, Harvard University, University of California at Berkeley, Universidad de Sevilla (Spain), Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina), École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État (France), and Pontificia Universidade Catolica (Brazil). 
    In his personal time, Mr. Cordova works with various national leadership organizations to create and expand opportunities for diverse communities in the Washington, D.C. area.  He has previously served on the Executive Board of the Washington D.C. Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (now known as Prospanica).  He has served as a senior advisor for the Aspen Institute’s International Career Advancement Program.  He is a graduate of Leadership Alexandria, which is an executive-level training program in the national capital area, as well as a graduate of the Political Leaders Program from the Sorensen Institute at the University of Virginia.  He is an alumnus of Project Interchange, which is an international leadership program of the American Jewish Committee and an alumnus of the Hispanic Leaders Program, a professional development program organized by the Foreign Ministry of Spain. Mr. Cordova presently lives with his family in Alexandria, VA and has previously lived in Latin America and Europe.  His language capabilities include Spanish, Portuguese, and French. 

    Mitchell J. Overton, MS, CPRP

    Director, Parks and Recreation Department, City of Bozeman, Montana

    Mitch Overton is the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Bozeman Montana.  He has served in this position for eight years.  During that time Mitch has helped to pass a Trails, Open Space and Parks Bond for 15 million dollars and leveraged those funds through partnerships and grants to build over 28 million dollars’ worth of new park and trail infrastructure for the Bozeman community.  Most recently he helped to pass a Parks and Trails District incorporating the city limits of Bozeman and removing that Division from the City’s General Fund Budget and creating a dedicated source of funding for Parks and Trails in Bozeman.

    Prior to Bozeman, Mitch served as the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Lancaster, Ohio.  Before entering municipal government, Mitch worked as a Parks Superintendent for West Virginia State Parks.  He started his career in the private outdoor recreation industry, managing a large whitewater outfitter in West Virginia.

    Mitch holds a B.S. and M.S in Recreation Administration from Ohio University.  He currently serves as the president elect for the Montana Trails, Recreation, and Parks Association (MTRPA) and enjoys spending time with his family in and on the mountains and rivers of Montana.