We Have the Answer: NRPA Research & Evaluation Resources

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NRPA’s Research and Evaluation team develops data and tools that help park and recreation leaders optimize operations and make the case for greater and more sustainable funding. This session will review the insights from the latest NRPA research reports and evaluation activities. Further, we will introduce you to NRPA's librarian who is developing information resources that will help park and recreation professionals address the challenges that they face.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn about NRPA research findings and insights that can help optimize agency operations and can help make the case for funding.
  2. Discover resources and tools that help agencies evaluate their delivery of service and promote greater community engagement.
  3. Learn about the resources that NRPA is developing to further assist park and recreation professionals.

Dianne Palladino, PhD (she/her)

Senior Evaluation Manager

National Recreation and Park Association

Dianne Palladino joined NRPA in October 2020 as NRPA’s Senior Evaluation Manager. Dianne oversees the expanding evaluation activities at NRPA, including supporting grants, evaluation of internal programs and initiatives and progress toward organizational strategic goals, and providing training and resources to park and recreation professionals to assist with effective, low-cost evaluation efforts in the field. Dianne comes to NRPA with 16 years of research and/or evaluation execution and management in several fields. She holds undergraduate degrees from Clarkson University and Georgia Institute of Technology, and she earned her Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University in Social, Personality, and Health Psychology.

Karen Carter (she/her)

Librarian/Senior Manager of Information Services

National Recreation and Park Association

Karen Carter joined NRPA in April 2021, bringing with her extensive association and library experience and a passion for connecting people with the information they need to do their jobs effectively. Prior to joining the NRPA team, Karen held information services positions with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies, the International Monetary Fund, the American Psychological Association, and the National Agricultural Library.  Karen received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Houston and a Masters of Library and Information Science from Rutgers University. She is excited for the opportunity to learn from and serve the parks and recreation community. 

Melissa May (she/her)

Senior Research Manager

National Recreation and Park Association

Melissa came to the NRPA Research team in 2015 with a background in environmental planning, GIS, and government contracting. At NRPA, Melissa helps with producing member surveys and reports, as well as, creating Tableau interactive graphics and ArcGIS StoryMaps. Additionally, Melissa leads work related to NRPA Park Metrics, Facility Market Reports and Park Pulse.

Kevin Roth, PhD (he/him)

Vice President of Research and Technology

National Recreation and Park Association

Kevin A. Roth is NRPA's Vice President of 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 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.

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