Leadership Bios

Leon T. Andrews, Jr.

Leon AndrewsLeon T. Andrews, Jr. serves as senior fellow at the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, where he has led all of the Institute’s youth development work with mayors and other municipal leaders around the country including in areas related to childhood obesity, disconnected youth, youth engagement and leadership, and youth master planning since 2006. Before joining the National League of Cities, Leon completed a research fellowship at The Forum for Youth Investment. Leon has an extensive background working in government, the community, the private sector, and academia for the last 20 years including the United States Department of Justice, United States Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, the United States Public Interest Research Group, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, YouthBuild Pittsburgh, the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and as an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science at Eastern Michigan University. He is a published author, a presenter at a number of conferences and other forums throughout the country, and serves on a number of national and local boards. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Howard University, a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and is a PhD candidate in the Urban and Regional Planning program at The University of Michigan. Leon is married to an amazing woman, Dr. Kristine M. Andrews, for the last eleven years and they have three beautiful daughters – Jessica Austin, Julia Iris, and Joanna Jonas.

Robert Ashcraft, Ph.D.

Robert AshcraftDr. Ashcraft is the Executive Director of the Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation at Arizona State University (ASU) as well as a professor of nonprofit studies at ASU's School of Community Resources and Development (SCRD). He was selected as “2012 NPT Power & Influence List” as one of the 50 most influential leaders in the nonprofit sector by the Nonprofit Times.

Dr. Ashcraft is currently Chair of NRPA's Board of Directors and has been involved with the Association in many capacities including: Board of Trustees Member (2005 – present); Governance Task Group Chair; Co-Chair, Board Development Committee; Public policy; Nominating; Citizen Task Group; National Executive Director Search Committee. Dr. Ashcraft has served with other groups as wel including: Immediate past president, Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (Cleveland, OH); Vice Chair, U.S.-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership (San Diego, CA); Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (Kansas City, MO); Arizona Humanities Council (Phoenix, AZ). Member: Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, International Society of Third Sector Research and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Past national service: Sajai Foundation Board (Eden Prairie, MN); Senior Policy Advisor, American Red Cross’ National Office of Volunteers (Washington, D.C.); National board member, YMCA of the USA (Chicago, IL).

In recognition of his contributions, Dr. Ashcraft has received several awards from ASU’s SCRD (formerly the Dept. of Recreation Management & Tourism) including: Outstanding Research Award (2003); Outstanding Service Award (1998, 2000, 2005); Outstanding Teaching Award (1997). Dr. Ashcraft has a B.A from the University of Arizona and an M.A.Ed. from Northern Arizona University as well as a Ph.D. from Arizona State University.

Barbara Baca

Barbara BacaBarbara Baca is currently the Director of the Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department. She is also a former employee of the National Park Service Rivers, Trail and Conservation Assistance Program. Ms. Baca currently serves on both the National Recreation and Park Association Board as well as the New Mexico Recreation and Parks Association Board.

Ms. Baca has received several recognitions during her career, including; Fast Track Award, National Park Service; Outstanding Young Professional, N.M. Recreation and Park Association; Certificate of Outdoor Leadership, Wilderness Education Association, Colorado State University; State Historic Preservation Office recognition for Northwest Mesa Escarpment Plan. Ms. Baca received her bachelors in Recreation from the University of New Mexico and her masters in Recreation Administration from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Rebecca A. Benná, CPRP

Rebecca BennaBecky Benná is the Executive Director of Five Rivers MetroParks, which is a Park District serving Montgomery County in southwestern Ohio. Prior to her current position, she was the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Glendale, Arizona and Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Miamisburg, Ohio. She lead both departments in achieving 100% compliance in obtaining National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Agency Accreditation. Rebecca is active in various professional organizations. She currently serves on the NRPA Board of Directors, and she served on the NRPA Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies, as well as held other leadership positions in local and state organizations in Ohio and Arizona. Becky is also a member of the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration.


Neelay Bhatt

Neelay BhattNeelay’s career has spanned three continents with experiences including the Super Bowl, Disney, the Summer Olympics, and Paralympics Games, besides several years of consulting and training. His educational background includes a Masters in Sports Administration and Facility Management, an MBA, and a Masters in Advertising and Public Relations.

As a speaker and trainer, nationally and internationally, he has been fortunate to learn from and teach students, professionals, and executives from China, India, and all over the United States.

In addition, as the Vice President at PROS Consulting, he has served as project manager / lead consultant on over 100 master planning, strategic planning, sports facility development, marketing, and branding projects over several years. These projects have recommended facility infrastructure improvement and development totaling over $3 billion USD, and are helping to shape a better vision for parks, recreation, and athletics in cities all over the world.

From Anchorage, Alaska to Allentown, Pennsylvania and from Charlotte to China, his approach focuses on innovating and partnering to maximize revenue generation and create a guest experience of the highest quality.

He is an avid martial arts and tennis fan and shares a passion for the Olympic Games and ideals. More importantly, if you know anything about cricket, you are his new best friend!

Neelay is married and has a 7 month old son who he hopes will grow up to know that true friends are not made on a computer but in a park, playground or a sports field.

Peter Camin

Peter CaminPeter Camin currently serves as the Treasurer of National Recreation and Park Association and as Chair of the Finance Committee. He also serves on the Nominating Board Development and Public Policy Committees for the Association and has been involved with various Board of Director’s Task Forces and served as Chair of the Citizen Network. Mr. Camin has been a Board member since 2010.

Mr. Camin is employed by a large financial institution where I have responsibility for the marketing and administration of 401(k) and other retirement plans.


Kevin Coyle

Kevin CoyleKevin Coyle has committed thirty-five years to improving America’s education and environmental education fields. He has been with the National Wildlife Federation as vice president for education since 2005.

Prior to NWF, he was president of the National Environmental Education & Training Foundation (NEETF), an award-winning organization chartered by Congress to strengthen U.S. environmental learning for personal stewardship, science education, improved health care, business management, watershed management and natural resource management. He has also led and founded several other educational and environmental organizations, including River Network, Inc. (Washington, DC and Portland), American Rivers, and the American Land Resource Association.

Coyle is trustee and immediate past chair of The Potomac Conservancy, trustee of The Alice Ferguson Foundation, and has served two terms as chairman of The Natural Resources Council of America.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from LaSalle University, a JD in environmental law from Temple University, and the Conservation Leadership Institute Certificate from the Wharton School of Business.

Stephen Eckelberry

Stephen EckelberryMr. Eckelberry has been a Board member since 2012. Besides being involved with his national association, he is also a Commissioner of the Bartlett Park District, Bartlett, IL, since 1996. In his professional life, he is a Technology Manger for the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association. Mr. Eckelberry also has served on the NRPA Nominating Board Development Committee 2009-2011; IAPD/IPRA Distinguished Accreditation Committee current member, past co-chair; IPRA/IAPD Conference Committee member; Past IPRA Communications and Marketing Section Director.



Jennifer Harnish

Jennifer HarnishJennifer Harnish is currently the Director of Technology at the Southwest Christian School. She received her bachelors from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

Jennifer has been heavily involved in parks and recreation including: Chair, NRPA Citizen Network; Member, NRPA Public Policy Committee; Treasurer, Streams and Valleys nonprofit; Member, Trinity River Vision Citizen Advisory Board; Director, Playgrounds UNLIMITED nonprofit; Past Chair, Texas Recreation and Park Society-Citizen Branch; Past Chair, Fort Worth Parks and Community Services Advisory Board; Past Member, Fort Worth Urban Forestry Board; Mayor’s Task Force, Parks and Library merger proposal. For all her dedication Jennifer has received the Texas Urban Forestry Award and Horizon Award for Service and Leadership. 

Roslyn Johnson

Roslyn JohnsonRoslyn Johnson is the Deputy Director of Facility Operations for The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s Department of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County, MD. In this role, she leads innovative recreation programs that serve the community. She has oversight of natural and historic resources, sports and arts programs and facilities, maintenance and development, and public affairs and marketing.

She has an extensive career in the field of parks and recreation. In the past 10 years, she has held Deputy Director and Associate Director positions in parks and recreation agencies in Richmond, the District of Columbia, and Baltimore. Her background and experience include overseeing multi-million dollar budgets, leading a diverse workforce, managing programs and facilities, and representing the agency in community outreach with elected officials, residents, and communities.

Johnson has been very involved in NRPA. She presented at the first Urban Park Conference in Chicago, at Congress 2010, 2011 and 2013, and the Legislative Forum 2011 and 2012, she taught during the inaugural year of the Graduate Institute at Oglebay, she has been a member of the Urban Park Directors group since inception and NRPA’s Public Policy Committee, served a short stint on the Program Committee, been a member of the Board Nominating Committee, was a diversity mentor, young student/professional lunch pair, and assisted with the Urban Parks Summit.

Roslyn graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a major in Elementary Education.

Brian Knapp

Brian KnappMr. Knapp is currently a Vice President at The Cohen Group, an international consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. He manages several client relationships and collaborates with a distinguished group of professionals to provide global business consulting services and advice on tactical and strategic opportunities in aerospace and defense.

Mr. Knapp joined The Cohen Group in September 2003 after an eighteen-year career at the U.S. Department of Defense. He held multiple assignments at DoD, including Senior Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy overseeing DoD's interactions with foreign defense establishments around the globe. He also served as a congressional liaison, and in the mid-1990s, he was the Secretary of Defense's representative to the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament and other multilateral negotiating bodies (including the United Nations and NATO).

Mr. Knapp is a graduate of UCLA, Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Georgetown’s International Executive MBA program. He is a three-time recipient of the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Civilian Service Award. In addition to serving on the NRPA Board, he is Chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, and is a long time member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board in the city of Fairfax, Virginia. Mr. Knapp is married and has a son.

Lewis Ledford

Lewis LedfordThe first director to rise from entry-level ranger to head the North Carolina state parks system, Lewis has served as director since 2003. He has spearheaded unprecedented park creation and acquisition initiatives. State park lands have increased by over 50,000 under his leadership, and system is at record levels for visitation. He has been the driving force in establishment of iconic tourists destinations Grandfather Mountain and Chimney Rock becoming state parks; other additions include Haw River, Carvers Creek and Mayo River and Mountains-to-Sea State Trail expansion. Lewis has innovated and enabled fresh approaches and unique partnerships with volunteers, private enterprise and non-governmental organizations resulting in the expansion of parks, increased effectiveness of programs, improved community relationships and public advocacy for parks, and customer service to park patrons; and administers a sizeable trust fund grants program for local and state parks.

Affiliations: NRPA Board of Directors, 2008-present, Public Policy Chair, 2010-present; Vice President, NASPD, 2007-present; NASORLO Board of Directors, 2004-2010; Federal Advisory Committee, Recreation Resources, USFS; 2012-present; Board Member, NCRPA, 2003-present.

Recognitions: William Penn Mott Jr. Award, 2007; Governor’s Award for Excellence, 2011; N.C. Wildlife Federation Conservationist of the Year, 2011; Lifetime Achievement Award N.C.S.U., College of Natural Resources; President's Award, NASPD, 2006, 2007, 2009; Citizen's Award, American Society of Landscape Architects, 2011.

Janice M. Prochaska, Ph.D.

Janice ProchaskaOne of the most published authors in the field of social work, Dr. Prochaska leads a team of Pro-Change experts in health behavior and organizational change. Her research on change using the Transtheoretical Model led to a contract with Electronic Data Systems and the formation of Pro-Change in 1997. Her collaborations include applying the Model to cutting edge issues like simultaneously reducing multiple risk behaviors and enhancing multiple domains of well-being, healthy weight management in children and adults, preventing bullying, keeping individuals out of trouble with the law, helping people be proactive about their health and health care, enhancing financial well-being, and advancing careers with populations like women scientists.

As President and CEO of Pro-Change, Dr. Prochaska is dedicated to the success not only of Pro-Change, but also each of its clients. She fosters relationships that allow for growth and change on both sides. She also places a strong emphasis on employee well-being, resulting in employees who are present, productive, and most importantly, believe in what they do.

Dr. Prochaska, who holds an adjunct faculty position at URI, earned her Master’s in Social Work from Wayne State University and her Ph.D. in Social Work Administration and Policy from Boston College. She serves on the Board of Directors for the National Parks & Recreation Association and for College Visions. She is a Parks & Recreation commissioner in South Kingstown, RI.

Pamela Sloan, CPRP

Pam SloanMs. Sloan is current a consultant with Municipal Resource Group and held positions with the City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department, where she served in a variety of management roles (1975-2004), and the City of Stockton, California, where she was the Director of Community Services (2004-2011). She has been instrumental in the reorganization of both agencies during tough economic times to operate more efficiently and become self-sustaining.

Ms. Sloan is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional for both the California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), and serves as an official reviewer for other park and recreation agencies operations through the NRPA Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). She has assisted numerous agencies in accomplishing their accreditation by providing the necessary tools and guidance, not limited to strategic plans, communication plans, marketing plans, comprehensive recreation plans, and organizational management. Under Pamela’s leadership the City of Stockton became the first city in California to achieve NRPA accreditation.

In addition, Pamela has served as the Chair of the NRPA Pacific Southwest Regional Council, member of the California Park & Recreation Society Legislative Committee, and has presented at the NRPA Congress, Missouri Park and Recreation Association Conference, Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute and the former NRPA School of Sports Management. She served on the United States Tennis Association Board of Directors and currently is on the Facility Assistance Program team, a grant program to assist park and recreation agencies in tennis court design, renovation and program development.

Pamela earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health, Physical Education and Psychology from the Southwest University in Bolivar, Missouri, and a Masters of Education (Administration and Supervision of Athletics and Physical Education) and Education Specialist Degree (Educational Administration-Higher Education) from the University of Missouri.

Detrick Stanford, CPRP

Detrick StanfordDetrick Stanford, Director of Clayton County Parks and Recreation Department in South Metro Atlanta since 2007, has been in the parks and recreation profession over 17 years. He also currently serves as Policy and Planning Liaison for the Clayton County Board of Commissioners and has held positions as Chief Strategic Management and Development for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Financial Administrator in DeKalb County, Georgia Parks Bond/Greenspace Office. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Georgia Southern University and Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Troy State University.

As a committed advocate for our profession, Detrick serves in a myriad of ways, including the following positions: member of the NRPA Board of Directors since 2009; in 2013 became NRPA Chair Elect; 2012-2013 President of the Georgia Recreation and Park Association (GRPA); the Board of Regents of the Supervisors’ Management School since 2010; 2014 Chair-elect of the NRPA Congress Program Committee; and currently serves on the following NRPA Board Committees – Finance, Strategic Planning, Public Policy, and Nominating Board Development. Detrick has been active with the National Recreation and Park Ethnic Minority Society (NRPEMS) for over 11 years.

Detrick is married to Kallette Stanford and they have two children, Kiya and Dylan.

Steven J. Thompson, CPRP

Steven ThompsonSteven Thompson is the Past Chair of National Recreation and Park Association and has been on the Board since 2004. He is also the CEO of the Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association. Steven received his bachelors in Recreation Leadership from University of Wisconsin–La Crosse and a Master of Business Administration and Adjunct Professor at the UW Milwaukee. Steven also is an Advisory Council Member for the Aurora University School of Experimental Leadership Recreation Administration and serves on the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Stewardship.

Mr. Thompson has been involved with numerous park and recreation groups and committees. He is currently a Board Member of APRS and Past President of the WPRA. Mr. Thompson was also a member of the 2003 NRPA Executive Director Transition Team and the NRPA Congress Planning Committee. He is a past Chair of the NRPA National Forum on Community Based Recreation for Special Populations; member, GLRC Benefits and Awards Committee; member, Governor’s Commission on the Year of the Trails; member, Governor’s Commission on Wisconsin State Parks Centennial Commission; member of the Wisconsin Division of Tourism Grants Committee to name only a few.

In addition, Mr. Thompson has received multiple awards including: Excellence Award, University of WI-La Crosse, College of Health, Physical Education and Recreation; Professional Award of Merit, WPRA; Vietnam Veterans Advisory Council Service Award; Wisconsin Special Olympics Outstanding Professional; American Association for Leisure and Recreation, Tommy Wilson Memorial Award.

Susan Trautman

Susan TrautmanSusan Trautman is the Executive Director of the Great Rivers Greenway District in Saint Louis, Missouri. She was formally the Director of the City of Des Peres as well as the past Executive Director of the Center of Clayton. Ms. Trautman has been a member of the National Recreation and Park Association Board since 2011. She is also a member of the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration as well as the Chair of the Great Lakes Regional Council. She was previously the President of the Missouri Parks and Recreation Association.


Barbara Tulipane

Barbara TulipaneBarbara Tulipane is currently the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

Responsible for leadership, development, advocacy, corporate relations and financial stewardship, Barbara has complete oversight for NRPA’s operation and its 60-person staff. She oversees the government affairs program, the annual convention, professional development, and Park and Recreation (NRPA’s monthly publication).

Previously Barbara served as President and Chief Executive Officer for the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA), the $7 million international trade association that represents the $300 billion industry that uses television, radio and the internet to sell their products and services. ERA’s 500 member companies, 33% of which are international, include live shopping networks, online marketers and industry suppliers such as QVC, The Home Shopping Network (HSN), eBay and Google.

Prior to working at the ERA, Barbara was the Vice President of Operations for NATSO Inc., a national trade association representing travel center owners and operators. Headquartered in Arlington, VA, NATSO advocates for over 1,011 travel plazas and truck stops owned by more than 250 multi-chain and independent operators nationwide. In this role Barbara served as the industry spokesperson on issues related to fuel, rest area commercialization and environmental matters. She led recruitment and retention efforts for membership, oversaw educational programs and executed the annual convention where she successfully introduced a joint venture with the trucking industry that resulted in an increase in attendance of travel plaza operators each year.

Barbara Tulipane entered the association community in 1989 as the Director of Marketing for The Army and Air Force Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA), a professional membership association whose mission is to care for soldiers’ families in the event of their death. In her role she was responsible for increasing membership, raising the association’s visibility in the military community and creating relevant services for young military families. During this time she had oversight for a $1 million budget, special programs, publications and events. This position required heavy interaction with top Army and Air Force officers, a skill set that she has built upon in each role she has held since.

Barbara began her career immediately following graduation from the University of Arizona where she received her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Marketing. She is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from George Mason University. She also is a Fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Program.

William Turner

Joe TurnerWilliam Turner is the Director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. Mr. Turner has served on the National Recreation and Park Association Board of Directors since 2011. He is also currently a member of the E.B. Cape Center of the Heritage Society Board as well as the CAPRA Accreditiation of Houston Parks and Recreation. He is the former Past President of the Texas Franchisee Association, Humble Rotary Club and Kingwood FFA.

Mr. Turner has had several successes during his career including passing a Park & Open Space Ordinance and creating an Adaptive Recreation Program for his department. He has also been the recipient of the George R. Brown Leadership Award as well as the National Franchisee Association 30 Year Service Award.

NRPA Senior Staff

Anna Amselle, Vice President of Finance and CFO, NRPA

Anna joined NRPA as vice president and chief financial officer in July, 2013. Amselle is responsible for the oversight of the financial operations at NRPA as well as ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations. She has spent her 20 year career working in non-profit accounting, primarily with trade associations and membership organizations. Most recently, she served as Chief Financial Officer with Northern Virginia Family Service.

Anna received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Simpson College and a MBA from George Mason University. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Richard J. Dolesh, Vice President for Conservation and Parks, NRPA

Richard J. Dolesh joined NRPA in 2002 and serves as the vice president for conservation and parks. He is responsible for development and implementation of national policy and initiatives related to conservation, stewardship and parks.

Rich worked 30 years in parks, outdoor recreation, and natural resource management at the local and state level in Maryland before coming to NRPA. His recent work includes leading NRPA’s Parks Build Community initiative, coordinating the Parks for Mitigation demonstration projects, and working with the National Wildlife Federation to connect 10 million kids to nature and the outdoors over the next three years. Rich represents NRPA on a number of coalitions and advisory groups including the Sustainable Urban Forestry Coalition, the steering committee for Natural Play and Learning Area guidelines, and the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES).

Rich is a frequent contributor to NRPA’s Parks and Recreation Magazine, and has written numerous articles on parks and natural resources in publications including The Washington Post and National Geographic Magazine.

Gina Mullins-Cohen, Vice President of Marketing , Communications and Publications, NRPA

Gina joined NRPA in March of 2013. She brings with her over 17 years of communication and publication management experience. Gina has launched and managed numerous publications in several diverse industries, as well as owned and directed a media-communications firm.

As founder of Eclipse Media Partners, LLC, in 2010, a full-service media, communications and publishing company specializing in community publications, online content and events, she was able to work with and report on the achievements within park systems in Southern California. Prior to Eclipse Media Partners, Gina held the post of executive vice president of Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) where she oversaw the communications, publishing and education divisions.

Numerous publications and branding campaigns have been the recipient of awards under Gina’s direction. Her consumer publication, Edible Orange County, was the recipient of the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Publication - 2011. Her work in B2B publishing and communications has been the recipient of four Maggie Awards from the Western Publishing Association.

Kevin O'Hara, Vice President of Urban and Government Affairs, NRPA

Kevin oversees NRPA's Federal Advocacy efforts and leads NRPA's engagement with urban directors and agencies. Previously, O'Hara was Manager of Government Affairs for the American Society of Landscape Architects where he oversaw advocacy efforts on urban parks, green infrastructure, children's access to nature and more. O'Hara also worked for a non-profit in the higher education finance sector where he led advocacy and college access initiatives. O'Hara earned a B.A. Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs. O'Hara and his wife Meaghan are residents of the Adams Morgan neighborhood in the District of Columbia, where they overlook the lovely Kalorama Park. His free time pursuits include hiking, travel, and good food.

Rebecca Wickline, Vice President of Business Development, NRPA

Rebecca joined NRPA in 2009 and serves as the vice president of partnerships and business development. In her role, Rebecca establishes and guides the strategic philanthropic fund raising goals of the organization.

Prior to her NRPA role, Rebecca served as Managing Director at Hayes & Associates for five years, a fund raising consulting firm that raises $10 million annually for non-profit organizations. Rebecca has almost 15 years of fundraising experience and has raised more than $25 million for organizations such as the American Red Cross, March of Dimes, USO, Fisher House, National Immigration Forum, Mile High Youth Corps, and many more. Rebecca received her Bachelor’s degree and Masters of Business Administration from Ohio University.