Revealing the Secrets of Successful Career Development
One of the most common questions we get on a regular basis as we mentor your professionals is how they can develop their career and what are the best ways to do that. This panel will discuss what are secrets to developing your career, expanding your education, how to develop your professional network and how to actively engaged in professional activities.
Director of Parks and Recreation The Woodlands Township
Chris Nunes is the Director of Parks and Recreation for The Woodlands Township, in The Woodlands, Texas. In that position, he oversees 90 full-time and 350 part-time staff members, a $18 million operational budget and is accountable for the management of 135 parks, 15 swimming pools and aquatic facilities, 200 miles of pathways and 200 miles of streetscape. While in The Woodlands, he has implemented cost recovery strategies, developed business/operational plans for major and minor facilities, and has increase programming 200% with no additional staff. He speaks around the country (over 200 sessions) on topics including: business plans, contracting, creative programming, marketing, external funding, communication, leadership and succession planning. In addition, he serves or has served on the, Oglebay Revenue Management School, NRPA Council on Accreditation, CPRP/E Committee, CPRP Exam Committee, was the 2010 Chair of the Board of Regents of the Rocky Mountain Revenue Management School, founded the Gulf Coast Leadership Development Institute, 2013-2014 Chair of the NRPA Admin Network and is a Certified Parks and Recreation Executive. In 2012, Chris was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrators and in 2015 he received the National Distinguished Professional Award from NRPA. Prior to The Woodlands, he was the Director of Community Services for the City of Fort Morgan, Colorado, an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the Recreation Management Program at Ashland University and Director of Parks and Recreation in Fort Kent, Maine. Chris holds a Bachelors Degree in Recreation Management and a Masters Degree in Sports Management from Springfield College in Massachusetts and a Doctorate in Parks and Recreation Administration from the University of New Mexico.
CAPRA Commissioner, NRPA Directors School Director
Kara Kish, MPA, CPRE, CPSI
Superintendent of Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department, Terre Haute, Indiana
Kara Kish, MPA, CPRE, CPSI is the Superintendent of Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department in Terre Haute, Indiana. Previously, Kara served as the Assistant Superintendent for VCPRD, the Recreation Manager for Brownsburg Parks and Recreation Department (IN) and also a Recreation Program Coordinator for Fishers Parks and Recreation Department (IN). She is the Past-President for Indiana Park and Recreation Association, the Past-Chair of the NPRA Great Lakes Region Network for NPRA, and is an active member of the NPRA Young Professional Network and Leadership Development Network. Kara earned her BS in Recreation and Sport Management from Indiana State University and her MPA with a concentration in Public Management from IUPUI. She is currently a doctoral student at Indiana State University in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Kara also serves as a Lecturer for Indiana State University’s Department of Recreation and Sport Management and the Department of Political Science. Kara received the National Recreation and Park Association’s Robert W. Crawford Young Professional award, the NRPA Young Professional Fellowship, and the AAPRA Young Professional Externship. Kara has also received the Outstanding Young Professional award and the Outstanding Educator award from the Indiana Park and Recreation Association. In Terre Haute, Indiana, Kara was recognized in the inaugural class of the Terre Haute 12 Under 40.
Director of Parks & Recreation, Town of Indian Trail
Jay Tryon is the Director of Parks & Recreation for the Town of Indian Trail. This is a fairly new department that was started in 2014. Since its creation Jay has lead his team to open over 100 acres of parks and currently is finishing the Towns first Strategic Masterplan. While in Indian Trail he has built a department known for providing top notch programming and facilities and leading the way with innovative amenities in the region. Prior to this position he spent 7 ½ years with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. Throughout his time with Mecklenburg County he held a few different roles including operations director of special event facilities and athletics supervisor coordinator. Jay is a member of NCRPA and NRPA and is the past chair of Young Professional Network. He is also a member of the CAPRA Commission. In 2015 he was awarded one of NRPAs Young Professional fellowships. He is a graduate of SUNY Brockport with a major in Recreation & Leisure Studies and a concentration in Recreation Management.
Director, Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation
Michael J. Kalvort, CPRE, is an enthusiastic, collaborative, and enterprising leader in the parks and recreation profession. For the past 20 years he has improved the organizations he was worked for by delivering new parks and facilities, developing new revenue sources, reorganizing members into more efficient teams, and improving customer service delivery. Currently he is the Director for the Parks and Recreation Department for the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia, a CAPRA Accredited Agency and widely regarded as a top 15 agency in the nation. His responsibilities include strategic planning, policy development, programming and revenue generation, and developing sustainable initiatives for Virginia Beach, a City comprised of 447,000 residents, seven large recreation centers, and 265 parks. Michael leads a team of over 500 full time and 600 part time team members and oversees a budget of $59,000,000.
Michael has been active in the National Recreation and Park Association since 1995. Currently he is the Chair Elect for the NRPA Administrator's Network. For six years he served on the NRPA's Revenue Development School Board of Regents. He also serves on the State Board for the Virginia Recreation and Park Society. He is proud to be one of the first 53 professionals who attained the CPRE Certification. In 2010, he was chosen as one of the top “40 Professionals under 40” in Southwest Florida by Gulf-Shore Business Magazine. Additionally, in 2005, he was a finalist for the NRPA's Young Professional Award.
Michael has given numerous training, leadership, and personal development presentations and workshops including “I want to Make a Difference,” “The Leader in You,” and “10 Steps to Being More Marketable.” He has also presented to many non for profit agencies, community groups, and fellow professionals in Florida, Missouri, West Virginia, Virginia, and Kansas.