NRPA Directors School 2019
- Registration Closed
August 18-22, 2019
Hyatt Lodge Oak Brook, Illinois
Year One Students
Year one students must first apply, then register for the school.
Year Two Students
Only students who have completed year one can register for year two.
Five $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.
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
- 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
- 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
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 email@example.com
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.
Superintendent, Seattle Parks and Recreation
Jesús Aguirre has served as the Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation since June 2015. Aguirre began his career as a middle school science teacher in Los Angeles in the 1990s and most recently, served as the State Superintendent of Education for the District of Columbia. Prior to that role, Aguirre served as the director of the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation. Aguirre is a proud father of three children attending public schools. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the WP Carey School of Business at the Arizona State University.
President, Recreation Results
Bobbi Nance is the founder of Recreation Results where she helps teams find value in their data, capitalize on trends, implement strategy, and push innovative thinking to increase their impact in the communities where they work. Bobbi's presented hundreds of workshops across North America all focused on breaking down complex topics and sharing practical approaches to putting them to use.
Carolyn McKnight, CPRP
President and CEO, Eagle Methods, LLC
Most recently served as the CEO of the Baton Rouge Parks and Recreation Department. Served over 26 years in various governmental and non-profit entities. Served as Executive General Manager for the Business Development and Procurement Services, Director of Fleet and Facilities Services, Assistant Department Director of Park and Recreation and Interim Director of Aviation for the City of Dallas, Texas. She managed financial affairs for large and mid-size units ranging from $55 million to $170 million-dollars.
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.
City of Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation Department
Dr. Ana M. Alvarez
Deputy General Manager, East Bay Regional Park District
Ana M. Alvarez serves as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the East Bay Regional Park District, the largest local park agency in the United States with 25 million visitors per year in the San Francisco Bay Area. She leads cross-disciplinary efforts in planning for a new generation of parklands, strategic organizational adaptation and climate resiliency. Ana contributes to the local, state and national conversations on the role of parks today in addressing complex issues. Her professional accomplishments epitomize proactive and meaningful civic engagement, community building based on public’s trust and sustainability planning based on science, which she believes are paramount for the vibrancy of healthy communities.
Janet Bartnik, CPRP
Director of Parks and Recreation, Liberty Parks and Recreation
Early in her tenure in Liberty, Janet Bartnik displayed her talent for developing innovative partnerships by engaging four community partners in a project to study and strategically plan to address childhood obesity through a Healthy Communities Research Group project. She has worked with the Liberty Park Board to develop a new vision, mission, and capital project plan for the Department and has worked with the Liberty Parks and Recreation Charitable Fund to receive public charity status.
For a decade prior to joining Liberty's team, Bartnik was the Director in Raymore, MO, a fast-growing community of 15,000 south of Kansas City. Janet has been aggressive in seeking alternative strategies for funding, land acquisition, and had developed a recreation program for Raymore which had previously only had parks.
Janet's commitment to the field of Parks and Recreation is evident in her involvement with a wide range of professional associations. She has served the profession in the following capacities:
• MPRA – President 2011-12, Board Member, Study and Research Chair, Long Range Planning Committee, Leadership Development Institute Charter Regent
• NRPA – Administrators Network Chair 2015-16, Annual Conference Program Committee 2016-present
• American Academy for Parks and Recreation Administration member
• Board of Regents, Rocky Mountain Revenue and Management School for 5 years, Chair in 2012
• Lyle B Beaver Leadership Development Institute Board of Regents
• Member of the Council on Accreditation for Parks, Recreation, and Tourism and campus visitor
Bartnik holds a B.S. in Exercise Science and an M.S. in Sport Management from Virginia Tech University.
Seth Hendler-Voss, RLA
Director, Prince William County Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
Seth Hendler-Voss is the Parks and Recreation Director for Prince William County, Virginia. Hendler-Voss came to Prince William County from Canton, NC, where he served as the Town Manager. While there, he led several successful parks and recreation initiatives and community development programs, raised more than $3 million in private donations and grants, and obtained a $350,000 grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. Previously, Hendler-Voss worked as the Principal Landscape Architect and then the Planning and Development Manager for the City of Asheville's Parks and Recreation Department. Before that, he worked as the Principal Landscape Architect for the City of Atlanta's Office of Park Design.
Mark J. Maciha, Ed.D.
Director, Park Ranger Training Program
Lemuel P. Randolph
Director, Parks and Recreation Department, Arlington, TX
Lemuel Randolph came to Arlington in 2014 from the City of McKinney where he served as the Director of Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces. With a total of 20 years of experience directing municipal parks and recreation departments, Randolph has also worked for the cities of Missouri City, Sugar Land and San Bernardino.
Randolph was named parks director in McKinney in 2007. Under his leadership, the city opened the first phase of Bonnie Wenk Park, featuring the city's first dog park, hike-and-bike trails, a 30,000-square-foot skate park. He also supervised an agreement with Plano Sports Authority to create a 90,000-square-foot recreation building at Gabe Nesbitt Community Park.
Other accomplishments include the acquisition of more than 550 acres for future city parks and the development of 12 neighborhood parks, while at the City of McKinney.
CAPRA Commissioner, NRPA Directors School Director
Philip Silva, PhD
Manager of Continuing Education and Evaluation, Institute of Urban Parks Central Parks Conservancy
Dr. Philip Silva is an environmental researcher, advocate, and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. Philip is the co-founder of TreeKIT, an initiative helping city dwellers measure, map, and collaboratively manage urban forests. He also works with Farming Concrete on efforts to help community gardeners throughout the world measure all the good things happening in their gardens. He is an essayist and podcast producer at The Nature of Cities, a website publishing original content on cities as ecological spaces, and he consults as a program evaluator for various urban agriculture initiatives in Brooklyn.
Philip has worked with many of New York City’s most celebrated environmental stewardship organizations, including Sustainable South Bronx, the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Just Food, New York Restoration Project, Gowanus Canal Conservancy, and Trees New York. He is a Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program and a certified practitioner of Dialogue Education.
A native of the City of Newark who grew up on the Jersey Shore, Philip is passionate about the history, ecology, and industrial landscape of the New York Harbor Region. Philip holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from Cornell University and a masters degree in Urban Policy Analysis and Management from The New School, where he currently serves as a part-time lecturer.
Maura E. Lout
Executive Director, Institute for Urban Parks Central Park Conservancy
Ms. Lout oversees the Institute’s work to provide thought leadership and professional development programming to urban park professionals. Prior to joining the Conservancy, she developed and managed strategy and programming for a variety of organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, The Museum of the City of New York and New Yorkers for Parks.
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.
Josh Yavelberg, PhD
Director of Professional Development; National Recreation and Park Association
Josh Yavelberg, Ph.D., is the Director of Professional Development for NRPA. His background has been in design and higher education, where he completed his degree from George Mason University. Josh focuses his attention toward developing educational experiences utilizing contemporary adult learning theories. Josh is highly interested in ePortfolios, educational games, and increasing engagement in lifelong learning aligned with individual career pathways.