2021 Premier Webinar Subscription


Subscribe to the 2021 Premier Webinar Series and be instantly registered for any premier discounted webinar that we offer for all of 2021 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 2:00 p.m. EST/EDT.

2021 Schedule

Environmental Maintenance: Global Impact and Your Agency*
January 14, 2021
Urban & Rural Cities Hot Topic                                    
July 8, 2021
Building a Well-Defined Organizational Culture
February 11, 2021
Building the Movement
August 12, 2021 
March 11, 2021
Health & Wellness
September 9, 2021
April 8, 2021 
Equity & Inclusion*
October 14, 2021
May 13, 2021
November 18, 2021
Emergency Response
June 10, 2021
December 9, 2021

These sessions contain 0.1 CEU

  • Building a Well-Defined Organizational Culture

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes a Live Web Event on 02/11/2021 at 2:00 PM (EST)

    We all hear references to organizational culture, but what is it, really? How is it defined, how is it built, and how does it evolve and adapt to change? This session will dive into these questions and will assist in demystifying the establishment of culture in your organization and will provide you with tools you can use to build a well-defined culture in your organization.

    What is it like working in your organization? What are the beliefs, values, customs, employee behavior and interactions external to your agency? Having a well-defined culture can set the stage for organizational success, yet it seems like an elusive goal for many. Organizational culture affects the way people and groups interact with clients, stakeholders and each other. Also, organizational culture may influence how much employees identify with their organization. This session will focus on two primary elements: how to build culture and how one department — Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation — strives to build a cohesive organizational culture.  

    Learning Objectives 

    Following this session, learners will be able to:

    1. Understand the definitions of organizational culture.
    2. List steps to build a strong culture.
    3. Understand an actual case study of building culture.

    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.

    Barbara Heller

    Senior Consultant, BerryDunn

    Barbara Heller is a Senior Consultant/Practice Lead for Parks and Recreation with BerryDunn, starting in June 2019.  Previously she was President of Heller and Heller Consulting, LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in state and local government, primarily in the parks and recreation industry.  Her areas of specialty include: strategic planning, master planning, service quality assessments, operational/organizational reviews, leadership development, facilitation of public input processes, and staff training with clients all over the United States. 

    She has additional consulting experience with Sasaki Associates and PROS Consulting and has been performing client focused consulting engagements for 13 years. 

    Previous to consulting experience, Barbara spent over 30 years working at the local government level with a variety of park systems.   She was the Executive Director of the Naperville Park District and Elk Grove, Park District, both in Illinois. Heller has held other positions with municipal government organizations in Arlington, TX, Montgomery County, MD and Prince William County, VA.  

    Her education background includes a master’s degree in public administration from the American University in Washington, D.C. and a bachelor’s degree from the Pennsylvania State University.  

    She has presented at state and national conferences for the last 25 years.

    Michael Kirschman


    Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation

    For the past 25 years, Michael Kirschman has presented at countless state and national park and recreation conferences. He has provided instruction for seven years at Supervisors Management School, taught two years at Green School, and currently serves as an instructor for Directors School.

    Kelly Moffett

    Senior Education Manager

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Kelly Moffett is the Senior Education Manager at the National Recreation and Park Association. She currently manages the educational programming for NRPA Annual Conference as well as partner schools, including NRPA Directors School. Previously, Kelly worked at the Global Business Travel Association at which her role progressed over 5+ years from Education Coordinator to Manager of Professional Development, and finally Manager of Global Event Operations. Kelly graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from James Madison University with a major in communication studies and a minor in human resource development.

  • Environmental Maintenance: Global Impact and Your Agency

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    This webinar will provide information to help park and recreation professionals make decisions and choose products and improved practices that benefit the environment and support positive impacts on your agency, your community and the world.

    Parks and public lands serve an essential role in preserving natural resources and wildlife habitat, protecting clean water and clean air, and providing open space for current and future generations.  Parks and recreation agencies have been in the forefront of the effort to protect the environment for the common good.  This webinar will provide information to help park and recreation professionals make decisions and choose products and improved practices that benefit the environment and support positive impacts on your agency, your community and the world.

    Learning Objectives 

    Following this session, learners will be able to:

    1. Identify environmental issues and concerns for the future of park maintenance management. 
    2. Understand the role of park and recreation agencies in environmental protection and why this is essential for good maintenance practices. 
    3. Understand how maintenance can be accomplished in an environmentally responsible manner.

    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.

    Karen L. Hesser, CPRP

    Chief of Operations

    Five Rivers MetroParks, Dayton, Ohio

    A Certified Park and Recreation Professional with more than 30 years of parks and recreation experience in both county and municipal organizations. Focused on engaging individuals, teams, and organizations to envision, strategize, and realize their full potential toward the effectiveness, efficiency, and success of the organization through coaching, mentoring, delegation, and empowering to achieve consistently high-quality work and personal accountability. Proven experience in personnel supervision and management, budgeting, planning, policy development, partnerships, creating park operation plans, strategic reorganizations of personnel, and program development. I have developed successful partnerships with community groups, requests for proposals, leases, employee job descriptions, and special-use agreements. My commitment to the parks and recreation community through positions at the local, state, regional, and national levels allows me to engage with professionals and citizens to strengthen the resources available to staff and the department. Combining executive leadership experience gained in supervisory positions, I offer an insightful, practical, and results-oriented approach to addressing complex organizational challenges.

    Gérald R. Checco

    Born in Bangui, Central African Republic into a French / Tunisian family, Gérald spent his youth between France and the lesser Antilles on the island of Guadeloupe.  A gifted mathematician, he obtained a Bachelor of Mathematics degree just one year after graduating from high school. He then studied two majors in tandem: Education at the Sorbonne and Engineering and Public Administration at the School of Public Works (école Speciale des Travaux Publics) in Paris, France.

    He married American artist Jan Brown Checco in 1981 and they had two daughters Amanda and Emilie, and they now have 3 grandsons.  Having completed his military duties as a lieutenant in the French artillery, Gérald established himself professionally as a consulting engineer on projects commissioned by family members of the King of Saudi Arabia, for whom he designed palaces, mosques and gardens. 

    In 1984, the young Checco family moved to Cincinnati, where they have resided ever since. An American diploma would now be essential for engineering practice, so Gérald enrolled at the University of Cincinnati where he obtained a Masters Degree in Structural Engineering in just 9 months. Certified as a Professional Engineer (P.E.) in Ohio and neighboring states, he was employed as Project Manager for an architectural design firm.  In 1991, Gérald was hired by the City of Cincinnati’s Park Board, and became Superintendent in1999.  A recognized expert in parks management, he has taught parks administrators throughout the nation in a North Carolina State University course (PRMMS), and has also lectured internationally on parks-related topics in Japan, France, Germany, Ukraine and China. 

    In 2013 Gérald was asked by Cincinnati’s City Manager to become the Director of Public Works, a department that was in leadership crisis with lackluster performance. With improvements completed, in 2015 the Mayor asked him to become the Director of the Metropolitan Sewer District, a department facing multiple audits due to questionable managerial practices and looming Consent Decree deadlines.  These last two appointments earned him the nickname “Cincinnati’s Fixer” for his ability to quickly reorganize troubled departments, improving performance and establishing ethical behaviors. 

    After retiring from City service in 2018, Gérald went on the 500-mile hike of his dreams - the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain, and then wrote a reflective, philosophical book - “The Tao of My Camino.”  He then translated from the original French to English, a play by Ivorian author Maurice Bandaman.  Gérald is now a Director on the Boards of the Mill Creek Valley Conservancy District, the Urban Forestry Advisory Board, the Charter Committee of Greater Cincinnati, Green Umbrella, the Sawyer Point Board of Visitors, and serves as the Treasurer of the community council where he resides.  He also works as a consultant for government efficiency and effectiveness.  He and Jan reside in their solar and geothermal-powered home in Clifton.

    During the COVID19 crisis Gérald was part of a team of volunteers that organized a community response to the pandemic.  This effort included a fund raising effort aimed at providing free meals for Health Care workers, a beautification/ spring cleaning effort throughout his neighborhood, and the creation of new outdoor “food courts” to help restaurants.