Academy ENews
August 2019 Revised
Ballots will be Mailed August 16th

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Greetings Fellow AAPRA Members,

President’s Message
I hope your summer has been enjoyable and productive. We really ramp up our programs and services during the summer season but as school season looms, it’s time again for transitions. I hope you will continue to keep our fellow professionals and emeritus members who have been impacted by recent earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes and more in your thoughts. Extreme climate shifts are happening whether we want to acknowledge it or not. 
I want to say a HUGE thank you to all of the members who slowed down long enough to complete the recent member strategic direction survey. I want to give a special thanks to Karla Henderson, Terry Schwartz, John Rossman, Chris Nunes, Mark McHenry, and Dianne Hoover for their assistance in developing the survey instrument to ensure we move with clarity and structure. As many of you know, it has been more than five years since we reviewed our strategic work plan and your feedback was extremely valuable to help with this update. We heard loud and clear your thoughts and ideas. Over the next few months, the Board of Directors and staff will work to unpack what you told us and begin to plan comprehensive action steps to keep the Academy moving forward. Please stay tuned, because we will share the survey results after the Board has a chance to discuss it over the next few meetings. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and opinions on the Academy!
We have been busy in several areas from working to ensure greater transparency with our financial affairs, connecting with Externs and mentees, meticulously managing the Gold Medal program, nominating new board leadership and refining the membership process for professionals and urban directors. I could go on and on about the work, but believe me when I tell you, we have some of the hardest working and most dedicated professionals leading our task forces and committees. I am very grateful for your handwork and dedication. Please know you are making a difference.  Last and not least, I especially want to thank Jane Adams and Susan Wipf for the countless hours they have worked to keep all Academy matters addressed and moving forward. 
I sincerely hope you will attend the Academy functions to be held at the NRPA Conference in Baltimore, September 23-25. We have included in this newsletter information regarding our meetings and other activities. I want to highlight one activity, the Member Networking which will be held prior to the General Membership Meeting on Tuesday, September 24th, 2:30 – 3:15 pm. As a national organization, we only meet face-to-face at our General Membership Meeting (Tuesday, September 24th, 3:30-4:30 pm) so we have added this informal networking time as an opportunity for you to meet our newest members as well as to re-connect with others.

Carolyn F. McKnight, AAPRA President 

Academy Events at the NRPA Conference

September 23-25  NRPA Conference 

Sept 23                 Extern Reception                                                           5:00 - 6:30 pm
                              The Zenith
                              511 W. Pratt Street  Baltimore MD 21201
                              (833) 246-3110

Sept 24                 AAPRA Board of Directors Meeting                              1:00 – 2:30 pm
                             Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor, President’s Room
                             AAPRA Member Networking                                          2:30 – 3:15 pm
                             Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor, Chesapeake AB
                            AAPRA General Membership Meeting                           3:30 – 4:30 pm
                            Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor, Chesapeake AB

Sept 25               AAPRA Annual Awards Reception & Banquet                6:30 – 9:30 pm
                            Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor
                            Reception: 6:30 – 7:30 pm – Atrium/Harborview Room
                            Dinner: 7:30 – 9:30 pm – Constellation EF Room  
                            Register Online Here for the Banquet & Reception

Academy Sponsors

Academy Board Approves Candidate Slate for 2019

The following are candidates for the Academy Board of Directors:
President-elect:           Michael McCarty and Joe Turner
Secretary:                    Janet Bartnik and Dirk Richwine
Treasurer:                   Bill Foelsch and Ronnie Gathers
Directors:                    (4 candidates for 2 positions; highest two vote receivers are elected)
                                    RJ Cardin, Roslyn Johnson, Susan Trautman, Stephen Wolter

Ballots will be mailed August 16th with a return deadline of September 6th. Be sure to exercise your membership right of voting!

Welcome to the Academy’s Newest Members!
The Membership Committee received a record number of nominations from 16 different states, 13 from states identified as needing more members and three from new states. The Board of Directors recently approved as members the following 15 professionals and 2 educators as members:

  • Rick Atkins – Director, Parks and Recreation; Round Rock, Texas
  • Chris Beth – Director, Parks, Recreation and Community Services; City of Redwood City, California
  • Darrell Crittendon – Director, Parks, Recreation and Open Space; Norfolk, Virginia
  • Jill Geller – Executive Director, Johnson County Parks and Recreation Dept.; Shawnee, Kansas
  • Karen Hesser – Chief of Operations, Five Rivers Metroparks; Dayton, Ohio
  • Troy Housman – Director of Parks, Arts and Recreation; Wichita, Kansas
  • Michael Kirshman – Director of Parks and Recreation; Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • Donna Kuethe – Director of Parks and Recreation; Moultonborough, New Hampshire
  • Terry Rynard – Director of Parks and Recreation; Kansas City, Missouri
  • Joe Snook – Administrator of Parks and Recreation; Lee’s Summit, Missouri
  • Daniel Stencil – Executive Officer, Oakland County Parks and Recreation; Waterford, Michigan
  • Anson (Cory) Styron – Director, Outdoor Recreation Industry Initiatives; Farmington, New Mexico
  • Greg Weitzel – Director of Parks and Recreation; Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Dan West – Director, Broward County Parks and Recreation Division; Oakland Park, Florida
  • James Worsley – Director, Parks and Recreation, Chesterfield County; Chesterfield Virginia
  • Myron Floyd – Professor and Dept. Head College of Natural Resources, North Carolina State University; Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Robert Barcelona – Chair and Associate Professor Dept. of Recreation Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire; Durham, New Hampshire

We thank the Academy members who took the time to consider and nominate outstanding professionals and educators.

AIPE/Academy Foundation Announces the
2019 Pottsie Scholarship Recipients

This year the AIPE/Academy Foundation’s John C. Potts Leadership Development Scholarship Committee received 25 applications from parks and recreation professionals nationwide seeking an opportunity to attend the 2019 NRPA Directors School in Chicago.  Congratulations to the two recipients:

  • Monique BreauxRecreation Coordinator, Marble Falls Parks & Recreation DepartmentMarble Falls, Texas
  • Adrienne Lacy, Assistant Recreation DirectorMarinette Recreation Department, Marinette, Wisconsin

Congratulations to our 2019 Externs!

The 2019 Young Professional Externs were selected from a highly competitive field of sixteen candidates. Congratulations to: 

  • Brandon Ashe, Operations Manager, River City Sportsplex, Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation, Chesterfield County, Virginia;
  • Kelsey Heiden, CPRP, Recreation Center Manager, City of New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department, New Braunfels, Texas;
  • Anthony Iracki, CPRP, Recreation Supervisor, Whitefish Bay Recreation Department, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin;
  • Rashad Jackson, Recreation Supervisor, City of Lancaster, Lancaster, Texas



Academy members serving as their Mentors are Dirk Richwine, Lisa Paradis, Jamie Sabbach and Cindi Wight. Former externs rounding out the Mentor team as Extern Buddies are Jay Tyron, Michael Biedenstein, Tom Venniro and Tara Eggleston-Stewart.

All Academy members are encouraged to welcome the 2019 externs and reconnect with former externs and Academy members at the 6th Annual Extern Networking Social at the NRPA Conference, Monday, September 23, 5-6:30 pm. The Extern Reception will be held at The Zenith, 511 W. Pratt Street, Baltimore.

AAPRA Externs Keep on Giving
The Academy’s Externship program is an important way that the Academy membership invests in the future of the park and recreation profession. What began as an idea for a “future leaders” program in 1994 was launched as the AAPRA Young Professional Externship Program at the 1995 NRPA Congress. Since that time, sixty-seven young professionals have had the opportunity to benefit from Academy members serving as their mentors, and more recently, former externs serving as their buddies, during the NRPA Annual Conference [formerly NRPA Congress.] Two former externs, Carrie Fullerton and one of our new members, James Worsley, are now AAPRA members.
Many externs have expressed their interest in giving back to the Academy. One Externship report noted “… What we are asked to give back to AAPRA in return for our participation in the Extern Program is far too minimal in comparison to the opportunity provided.  Furthermore, there is much service we could provide to the Academy and to future Externs by remaining in contact…”
There is an active cadre of former externs who are engaged with and contributing to the Academy. These professionals have served as Extern Buddies, helped design and pilot test the 2018 Impact of the Externship survey, have assisted/are assisting with the Extern Networking Social, are helping to administer the Former Externs listserve, updated the former externs contact list, presented/are presenting a session at the NRPA Conference with Academy members, and helped seek sponsors for the Legends topical videos. Post-externship reports and input from former externs via surveys have resulted in numerous enhancements to the externship experience.
Externship Committee project teams, led by former externs, are researching additional opportunities for engagement with AAPRA including expand opportunities for service on Academy committees, assist with activities and ongoing functions, both at and outside of NRPA Conference; facilitate projects between Academy members and externs; and establish online/social media sharing groups. Potential intersections with the work of the Leadership for the Profession [aka Academy Outreach and Advancement] Task Force efforts and the Career Development Task Force’s work are being monitored for collaboration opportunities by jointly serving members.
Former externs who have contributed/are contributing to Academy projects and/or programs, include Shane Mize, Tom Venniro, Tiffany Johnson, Carrie Fullerton, Jason Genck, John Stutzman, Sarah Sandquist, Tiffany White, Mariana Espinoza, Andy Fernandez, Adriane Clutter, Tara Eggleston Stewart, Matt Martinez, Nathaniel Jamarillo, Kathy Capps, Kara Kish, and Jay Tryon, among others.
The continued engagement of former externs with the Academy is beneficial to the Academy, former externs, and the profession in several ways:

  • Continue to be a source of relevant and experienced feedback to evaluate the Externship program and how it can be improved
  • Provide additional networking opportunities with other former externs
  • Continued mentoring/networking opportunities with Academy members
  • Assist with Academy projects, particularly Externship related
  • More thorough understanding of AAPRA
  • Ability to identify opportunities for AAPRA to partner with other organizations to achieve common goals
  • Help share contributions of AAPRA to benefit the profession
  • Help promote opportunities and programs, e.g. Externship, Pottsie Scholarship, Mentorship program
  • Generate interest in AAPRA membership when eligible

Many former externs are state, regional and national leaders of our profession who may also be the future leaders of AAPRA. The Academy’s investment in young professionals through the Externship program has definitely positively impacted parks and recreation throughout the country.
In Honor of Ernest W. Burkeen, Jr.
To honor the contributions and legacy of Academy member Ernest W. Burkeen, the Parks Foundation has established the Ernest W. Burkeen, Jr. Next Generation Scholarship Fund. To contribute to this fund click here.
News You Can Use
New Park Foundation School Set for November 2019
A new school at the Oglebay National Training Center in Wheeling, WV is scheduled for November 10 - 14. The Park Foundation School, sponsored by the Oglebay National Training Center, North Carolina State University, and the National Association of Park Foundations, is offered in response to the growing number of parks and recreation agencies that are turning to nonprofit organizations - park foundations, friends groups and conservancies - for much needed support to meet public demand for parks, recreation programs and services. The Park Foundation School features an outstanding faculty from both the nonprofit and parks and recreation community. The curriculum is designed to provide attendees with tools and resources needed to start, build and grow a successful park foundation. Learn more and register for the Park Foundation School at
Academy sponsor, Landscape Structures, offers a series of whitepapers on the importance of outdoor play, physical activity, and playgrounds. These helpful resources are a great resource for staff training/orientation; policy reports; and grant applications. Check them out here.
Academy sponsor, Davey Tree Expert Company, has incorporated “Corporate Responsibility” pillars into their organizational strategy which is demonstrated in their Vision 20/20 strategic plan. Their corporate values of Integrity, Improvement, Safety, Leadership, Expertise, and Resolve are integrated into their Corporate Responsibilities of Safe Business Practices, Innovative Thinking, Engaged Employees, and Sustainable Environment. Check out their strategic planning report here.

Important Notification - AAPRA  has a new address:
5716 Folsom Blvd., #237
Sacramento, CA 95819

To reach Susan Wipf, AAPRA Executive Secretary,  you may email her at

American Academy for Park
and Recreation Administration

President - Carolyn McKnight
President Elect - Dianne Hoover
Past President - Mark McHenry
Secretary - Elizabeth Kessler
Treasurer - Bill Foelsch

Michael McCarty (2019)
Tracey Crawford (2020)
Terry Schwartz (2020)
Mary Beth O'Dell (2021)
Joe Turner (2021)
*year term expires

Executive Director - Jane H. Adams
Executive Secretary - Susan Wipf
Copyright © 2019 American Academy for Park & Recreation Administration, All rights reserved.
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5716 Folsom Blvd., #237
Sacramento, CA 95819
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