Innovation Lab Oklahoma City: How Communities Can Attract Businesses: Parks Making the Case for Quality of Life.

Recorded On: 06/14/2018

imageHow do parks and recreation make an impact on regional economic competitiveness and quality of life?   We know parks contribute significantly, but how does the private sector see us, and what tools and funding is out there to help ensure that our parks and recreational opportunities continue to drive economic development and attract, businesses, talent and visitors? 


Kevin Roth, PhD

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

Kevin leads NRPA's collection and dissemination of data and insights for the park and recreation field. This includes setting NRPA's research agenda with 2 primary areas of focus: collection of performance benchmarks and development of key insights that make the case for increased funding support of park and recreation agencies through the lens of NRPA's three pillars: Conservation, Health and Wellness, and Social Equity.

Kevin A. Roth joined NRPA in 2015 as Vice President of Research. Kevin leads the research team in its mission to create valuable data and insights for NRPA members and to support NRPA's strategic goals and tactics.

Kevin has served in research functions in the nonprofit association space for two decades, including leading research at the Association for Financial Professionals for 13 years and running survey research activities at the National Association of Realtors for four years. Kevin has a PhD in Economics from George Washington University and a BA in Economics from St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Terry Clower, PhD

Northern Virginia Chair, Professor of Public Policy, Center for Regional Analysis, George Mason University

Terry L. Clower is Northern Virginia Chair and Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University. He is also director of GMU’s Center for Regional Analysis. The Center provides economic and public policy research services to sponsors in the private, non-profit and public sectors. Prior to joining GMU, he was director for the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas. Dr. Clower also spent 10 years employed in private industry in logistics and transportation management positions.

Jessica Heer

Senior Vice President Talent Attraction, Say Yes to Dallas

Jessica leads the Dallas Regional Chamber's talent attraction initiative, Say Yes to Dallas, marketing the Dallas Region to attract and retain talented workers to start or continue a career in the Dallas Region.

Michael Clark

Director, Roanoke Parks and Recreation

Michael is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional and Aquatic Facility Operator

with 15 years of experience in municipal parks and recreation administration, park
maintenance operations, recreation programming, marketing, event management,
and operational reorganization and repurposing. Throughout his career, Michael has
placed an increased focus on policy and procedure development, multijurisdictional
cooperative agreements, program revenue creation, and community recreation
programming, specifically in the areas of athletics, environmental education,
and outdoor recreation. Michael also has experience working with local and state
volunteer boards and commissions, including the Virginia Recreation and Park Society.
In 2011, Michael was recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association
with a network Young Professional Award.

Pete Eshelmen

Director of Outdoor Branding, Roanoke Regional Partnership

Pete Eshelman is an outdoors guy. He developed roanokeoutside.com, founded the Blue Ridge Marathon – America’s Toughest Road MarathonHill Week, and the GO Outside Festival to help build brand recognition for outdoor recreation and increase recognition of the region as a place to live, work, and invest. His work has changed the region’s community narrative to one that places a high value on the outdoors.

Andy Shapiro

Corporate Location Advisory Expert, Managing Director, Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Co

Andy Shapiro heads the firm's location advisory practice from its San Francisco Bay Area office, helping clients translate their business objectives and strategic vision into rational, balanced location decisions. His primary responsibilities include site selection, feasibility economic impact analysis and market analysis. 

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