The National Recreation and Park Association is governed by a board of directors, which is responsible for the formulation of policies that control and direct the affairs of the association. Board members are elected to three-year terms. Officers of the board are elected annually. Board members are representative of the NRPA membership, which includes professional and advocate leaders in the park, recreation, and conservation movement; park and recreation agencies and organizations representing the public, private, voluntary, commercial, and industrial sectors; firms supplying park and recreation products and services; and individuals and civic groups interested in the park, recreation, and conservation field.

Updated as of September 26, 2017

Officers and Executive Committee

  • Open or CloseChair: Leon T. Andrews, Jr.
    Leon Andrews
    Leon T. Andrews, Jr., serves as director of race, equity and leadership (REAL) at the National League of Cities and also as chair of the NRPA Board of Directors.

    Previously, as senior fellow at the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education and Families, Andrews led the institute’s youth development work with mayors and other municipal leaders around the country. He has worked in government, the community, the private sector and academia for the last 20 years. He is a published author, a presenter at several conferences and other forums throughout the country, and serves on several national and local boards. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Howard University, a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and he is a Ph.D. candidate in the Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of Michigan.

  • Open or CloseChair-Elect: Jack Kardys
    Jack Kardys
    Jack Kardys, the recently retired director of the nationally accredited and Gold Medal Award-winning Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department (MDPROS), serves at the chair-elect for the NRPA Board of Directors. He is also president of J Kardys Strategies, LLC, has served as president of the Florida Recreation and Park Association (FPRA) and currently serves on the FRPA board.

    Over the course of his career, Kardys has received several awards, including the NRPA R.O.S.E., FRPA Distinguished Service and American Society for Public Administration Administrator of the Year Awards, and led MDPROS to earn two Florida Governor’s Sterling Awards and the FRPA Agency Excellence Award.

    Kardys holds a bachelor’s degree in sports administration and a master’s of science degree in management, respectively, from St. Thomas University. He has served as an adjunct professor at Florida International University, teaching organizational behavior, marketing and recreation programming, and as an instructor and curriculum planner for the FRPA Abraham’s Leadership Academy.

  • Open or ClosePast Chair: Stephen Eckelberry
    Stephen Eckelberry
    Stephen Eckelberry has been a board member since 2012 and is the past chair of the NRPA Board of Directors. Besides being involved with his national association, he has also been a commissioner of the Bartlett Park District in Bartlett, Illinois, since 1996. In his professional life, he is a technology manager for the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association. He is a current member and past co-chair of the IAPD/IPRA Distinguished Accreditation. Eckelberry is also an IPRA/IAPD Conference Committee member and past IPRA Communications and Marketing Section director.
  • Open or CloseTreasurer: Michael Kelly
    Michael Kelly
    Michael P. Kelly serves as general superintendent and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Chicago Park District. He was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel on October 22, 2011. The Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners confirmed that appointment on Wednesday, November 9, 2011. He also currently serves as the Treasurer of the NRPA Board of Directors.

    Prior to his appointment, Kelly served as the Chicago Park District’s chief operating officer where, since 2007, he worked to provide executive management in areas such as park operations, capital construction, repairs and maintenance, landscape services, security and other contract services pertinent to the operations of the park district.

    Kelly earned a JD from DePaul College of Law in Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Open or CloseSecretary: Jesús Aguirre

    Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation (Seattle, WA)

    Jesus Aguirre
    Jesús Aguirre is superintendent of the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation. He also serves as the secretary of the NRPA Board of Directors. Previously, he was the agency director for the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation, as well as the state superintendent of education for the District of Columbia.

    He has a master’s degree from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree in biology/pre-med from the University of Texas at Austin.

  • Open or ClosePresident & Chief Executive Officer: Barbara Tulipane
    Barbara Tulipane
    Barbara Tulipane is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). Tulipane is responsible for the $17 million national organization that works towards ensuring that all people have access to parks for health, conservation, and recreation. NRPA is the national voice for the protection and creation of public parks, harnessing the passion and power of its 60,000 members and the millions of individuals they serve.

    NRPA partners with foundations, federal agencies and corporations who recognize the critical role of parks in creating healthy and sustainable communities. NRPA grants millions of dollars a year to its members to implement programs that have measurable objectives such as reducing obesity, increasing physical activity, saving wildlife, connecting children to nature and implementing green infrastructure. Special consideration is given to underserved communities as social equity is a founding principal of NRPA. NRPA recognizes that “place” is a critical component to an individual’s success and that all people deserve a safe and an easy to access park.

    Tulipane is a former president and CEO 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. Tulipane increased ERA’s visibility in the trade community as well as on Capitol Hill. She represented the industry before Members of Congress and the Federal Trade Communication (FTC), and was interviewed by Dateline, CNBC, CNN, BBC, and The New York Times.

    Tulipane entered the association community 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.

    Tulipane received her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Marketing from the University of Arizona. She is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), holds a Masters in Public Administration from George Mason University and is an Executive Fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.


Directors

  • Open or CloseMichael Abbaté

    Portland Parks & Recreation (Portland, OR)

    Mike Abbaté
    Mike Abbaté is a landscape architect with 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. In 1997, he co-founded GreenWorks, an award-winning landscape architecture and environmental design consulting firm, recognized for its sustainable design philosophy. Since 2011, he has served as the director of Portland Parks & Recreation and has led initiatives to fund new parks in deficient areas of Portland, Oregon, to increase equity and inclusion in the bureau, and to promote ecological sustainability in land management practices. In 2011, Portland received a Gold Medal from NRPA as the best parks system in the United States.

    Abbaté graduated magna cum laude from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in landscape architecture. He is a registered landscape architect in Oregon, certified nationally through the Council of Landscape Architects Registration Board, and a LEED™-accredited professional. He is the author of Gardening Eden, published by Random House.

  • Open or CloseJesús Aguirre

    Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation (Seattle, WA)

    Jesus Aguirre
    Jesús Aguirre is superintendent of the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation. He also serves as the secretary of the NRPA Board of Directors. Previously, he was the agency director for the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation, as well as the state superintendent of education for the District of Columbia.

    He has a master’s degree from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree in biology/pre-med from the University of Texas at Austin.

  • Open or CloseLeon T. Andrews

    National League of Cities (Washington, DC)

    Leon Andrews
    Leon T. Andrews, Jr., serves as director of race, equity and leadership (REAL) at the National League of Cities and also as chair of the NRPA Board of Directors.

    Previously, as senior fellow at the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education and Families, Andrews led the institute’s youth development work with mayors and other municipal leaders around the country. He has worked in government, the community, the private sector and academia for the last 20 years. He is a published author, a presenter at several conferences and other forums throughout the country, and serves on several national and local boards. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Howard University, a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and he is a Ph.D. candidate in the Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of Michigan.

  • Open or CloseNeelay Bhatt

    PROS Consulting (Indianapolis, IN)

    Neelay Bhatt
    Neelay Bhatt, vice president at PROS Consulting Inc., has led more than 120 strategic and master planning, sports facility development, customer service training, and marketing and branding projects. These projects have recommended facility development and infrastructure improvements totaling more than $2 billion and are helping to shape a better vision for parks, recreation and sports all over the world. His career includes Disney, the Super Bowl, the Summer Olympics and Paralympics Games, in addition to several years of consulting, public speaking and training.

    Besides leading a TED Global workshop, presenting multiple TEDx talks and coaching TEDx presenters, Bhatt is a sought-after keynote speaker for parks and recreation, sports and events conferences internationally. His approach promotes innovation, performance metrics and partnerships to serve a global audience, ensure financial sustainability and create a magical guest experience.

  • Open or CloseHayden Brooks

    American Realty Corporation (Austin, TX)

    Hayden Brooks
    Hayden Brooks is the managing general partner of American Realty Corporation’s Asset Management Group, established in 1973, and co-founder of the Children in Nature Collaborative of Austin and Nature Rocks Texas. Brooks has previously served as Austin Parks and Recreation Department board commissioner, Children & Nature Network advisory board member, Austin Parks Foundation president, the State of Texas’ Partnership for Children in Nature committee chair, Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center chair, Downtown Austin Alliance vice chair and is the recipient of Leadership Austin’s Outstanding Alumni Award. Brooks is an alumnus of the University of Virginia with a B.Arch. degree in urban planning and of the University of Texas with an MBA in real estate finance.
  • Open or CloseKong Chang

    City of Saint Paul (Saint Paul, MN)

    Kong Chang
    Kong Chang currently works for the city of Saint Paul as a community recreation specialist. He has more than 10 years of program and recreation management experience and a bachelor’s degree in sports management. Chang has also worked for multiple organizations across different platforms, such as for-profit, nonprofit, educational and government agencies.

    Chang is an advocate for racial equity and brings a wealth of knowledge around diversity and inclusion. His experience includes implementing the policies and procedures for the city of Saint Paul’s first Employee Resource Networks to engage and retain employees of color. In addition to this work, he actively seeks to address and be a voice for undeserved or underrepresented communities to address the opportunity gap.

  • Open or CloseKevin Coyle

    The National Wildlife Federation (Washington, DC)

    Kevin Coyle
    Kevin Coyle has committed 35 years to improving America’s education and environmental education fields. He has been with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) as vice president for education since 2005.

    Prior to working for NWF, Coyle 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 healthcare, 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, D.C. and Portland), American Rivers and the American Land Resource Association.

    Coyle is trustee and 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 a Conservation Leadership Institute Certificate from the Wharton School of Business.

  • Open or CloseStephen Eckelberry

    Bartlett Park District (Carol Stream, IL)

    Stephen Eckelberry
    Stephen Eckelberry has been a board member since 2012 and is the past chair of the NRPA Board of Directors. Besides being involved with his national association, he has also been a commissioner of the Bartlett Park District in Bartlett, Illinois, since 1996. In his professional life, he is a technology manager for the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association. He is a current member and past co-chair of the IAPD/IPRA Distinguished Accreditation. Eckelberry is also an IPRA/IAPD Conference Committee member and past IPRA Communications and Marketing Section director.
  • Open or CloseRichard Gulley

    Balboa Park Conservancy (San Diego, CA)

    Richard Gulley
    Richard Gulley is a board member of the Balboa Park Conservancy, the co-vice chairman of the New Americans Museum, a board trustee for Vista Hill, founding member of E.W. Scripps Associates (EWSA) and is currently the board treasurer for the San Diego Zoo.

    Gulley, a native of Louisiana, was previously the CEO, executive vice president and vice chairman of Alliant Insurance Services, Inc. He has also served as the chair (2012) of the San Diego Zoo Global, past president of the Anza-Borrego Foundation (ABF) and has been a board member of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of San Diego County.

    Gulley received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Louisiana State University and his master’s degree in business administration from Loyola University.

  • Open or CloseRoslyn Johnson

    Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MD)

    Roslyn Johnson
    Roslyn 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, Maryland, where she leads innovative recreation programs. In the past 10 years, she has held deputy director and associate director positions in park and recreation agencies in Richmond, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Baltimore, Maryland.

    Johnson has presented at several NRPA events, taught during the inaugural year of the Graduate Institute at Oglebay, been a member of the Urban Park Directors group since its 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 has assisted with the Urban Parks Summit.

    Johnson graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a major in elementary education.

  • Open or CloseJack Kardys

    Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department (Miami, FL)

    Jack Kardys
    Jack Kardys, the recently retired director of the nationally accredited and Gold Medal Award-winning Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department (MDPROS), serves at the chair-elect for the NRPA Board of Directors. He is also president of J Kardys Strategies, LLC, has served as president of the Florida Recreation and Park Association (FPRA) and currently serves on the FRPA board.

    Over the course of his career, Kardys has received several awards, including the NRPA R.O.S.E., FRPA Distinguished Service and American Society for Public Administration Administrator of the Year Awards, and led MDPROS to earn two Florida Governor’s Sterling Awards and the FRPA Agency Excellence Award.

    Kardys holds a bachelor’s degree in sports administration and a master’s of science degree in management, respectively, from St. Thomas University. He has served as an adjunct professor at Florida International University, teaching organizational behavior, marketing and recreation programming, and as an instructor and curriculum planner for the FRPA Abraham’s Leadership Academy.

  • Open or CloseMichael Kelly

    Chicago Park District (Chicago, IL)

    Michael Kelly
    Michael P. Kelly serves as general superintendent and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Chicago Park District. He was appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel on October 22, 2011. The Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners confirmed that appointment on Wednesday, November 9, 2011. He also currently serves as the Treasurer of the NRPA Board of Directors.

    Prior to his appointment, Kelly served as the Chicago Park District’s chief operating officer where, since 2007, he worked to provide executive management in areas such as park operations, capital construction, repairs and maintenance, landscape services, security and other contract services pertinent to the operations of the park district.

    Kelly earned a JD from DePaul College of Law in Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Open or CloseKaren Bates Kress

    Park Advocate (Emigrant, MT)

    Karen Kress
    Karen Bates Kress, former president of the Yellowstone Park Foundation, has 40 years of experience in nonprofit management and resource development. She has worked for The Nature Conservancy, the National Parks and Conservation Association, the American Farmland Trust, the National Wildlife Federation and had her own consulting business.

    Kress has served on many nonprofit boards, including the Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Potomac Conservancy, American Rivers, GLOBE and the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation. She has served on Allegheny College’s Alumni Council and chaired a regional campaign committee. She is also a member of the Council of Trustees for the Montana Land Reliance.

    Kress has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s degree in English history.

  • Open or CloseCarolyn McKnight, CPRP

    Recreation and Park Commission (East Baton Rouge, LA)

    Carolyn McKnight, CPRP
    Carolyn McKnight, CPRP is the Superintendent for Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC). Over the course of her 32-year career in parks and recreation, Carolyn McKnight has garnered several awards, including the Governor of Texas Lone Star Land Steward Award (2007), the Baton Rouge Influential Women in Business (2013) and the National Distinguished Professional Award (2016).

    McKnight serves with a group of city leaders on the Mayor of New Orleans’ Healthy Baton Rouge Task Force and is credited with protecting and preserving 800 acres of park land; organizing and implementing the Community Healthy Fair, which involved more than 50 agencies, businesses and professional agencies serving more than 32,000 participants; successfully linking BREC’s 10-year strategic plan with 28 different organizations to achieve critical outcomes over the next 10 years; and leveraging more than $200 million in public-private and public-public funding support.

    McKnight, who is currently the CAPRA Accreditation Commissioner and serves on the National Gold Medal Committee, has served in a number of other roles for NRPA, including as committee chair for the NRPA Baltimore Maryland Conference Education Program (2008), NRPA/North Carolina State University Board Supervisors’ Management School instructor (2006 to 2012) and chair of that board (2011-2012), Directors School instructor (2009-2013 and present), chair of the Ethnic Minority Society (2007) and Mentoring Program Leader (2013 - present). She received the Exemplary Service Citation from the NRPA Board of Trustees in 2008 and has also been an American Academy of Park and Recreation Administrators Fellow since then.

  • Open or CloseHerman Parker

    City of San Diego, CA Park and Recreation Department (San Diego, CA)

    Herman Parker
    Herman Parker is the director of the Parks and Recreation Department for the city of San Diego, California. He has worked in the field of parks and recreation for more than 30 years and has been dedicated to recreation since the beginning of his career when he was a professional football player with the Buffalo Bills.

    Parker has received numerous awards from the California Park and Recreation Society for his work, and he is a member of the California Park and Recreation Society, City Park Alliance and Africa Travel Association and is an NFL alumnus.

    He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Long Beach and has a management certificate from the San Diego Regional Management Academy.

  • Open or CloseIan Proud

    Playworld Systems (Williamsport, PA)

    Ian Proud
    Ian Proud has helped lead nonprofit organizations for 30 years, with a specific interest in change management and adding value as the community around them evolves. He is the research and inclusive play manager at Playworld Systems and began the company’s inclusive play initiative, culminating in the Inclusive Play Design Guide, a manufacturer-neutral inspirational and educational resource to get everyone, regardless of ability, playing on the playground. He championed the development of the nation’s first electronic outdoor play product and led the creation of a leading outdoor exercise product line for seniors.

    Proud received a Master in Business Administration from Loyola University in Maryland, and he has taught undergraduate and graduate product design, marketing and creativity courses.

  • Open or CloseMolly Stevens

    Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center (Austin, TX)

    Molly Stevens
    Molly Stevens is the CEO and executive director of Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center (WODC) in Central Texas and the co-founder of the Children in Nature Collaborative of Austin (CiNCA). She also serves as chair of Families in Nature.

    Prior to joining WODC, Stevens spent 12 years with the Environmental Defense Fund — Texas Regional Office and three years with the Nature Conservancy of Texas.

  • Open or CloseNonet Sykes

    Annie E. Casey Foundation (Baltimore, MD)

    Nonet Sykes
    Nonet Sykes is the  director of race and ethnic equity and inclusion at the Annie E. Casey Foundation and, as such, is responsible for investing and managing resources to identify, implement and promote the most effective strategies to increase equitable opportunities and outcomes for children, families and communities of color.

    Sykes serves as a member of the racial equity and leadership advisory board of the National League of Cities, as well as on the board of the Equity Advisory Committee of the Opportunity Finance Network and the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG). She also serves as co-chair of ABAG’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

    Sykes holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore, and a Certificate in Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership from Georgetown University.

  • Open or CloseXavier D. Urrutia

    City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation (San Antonio, TX)

    Xavier D. Urrutia
    Xavier D. Urrutia has served as the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation director since 2008 and, most recently, also as the interim director of animal care services from March to September of 2016, after serving as an interim assistant city manager in the summer of 2015.

    A native of San Antonio, Texas, Urrutia has worked for the city since 1996, and his combined work experience has allowed him to serve in several leadership roles, including the assistant director for solid waste management and, prior to that, in the department of human services.

    Urrutia holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Trinity University and is a member of the International Hispanic Network, Texas Recreation and Parks Society and Leadership San Antonio Class 37.

  • Open or CloseDr. Howell Wechsler

    Alliance for a Healthier Generation (New York, NY)

    Dr. Howell Wechsler
    Howell Wechsler, Ed.D., MPH, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation since 2013, is a national expert on childhood obesity, having previously served as the director of the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Dr. Wechsler spent 18 years at the CDC, which he joined as a health scientist in 1995, and, most recently, served as the director of its Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) from 2004 to 2013.

    Dr. Wechsler earned a Doctor of Education in Health Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, a Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. He entered the field of public health during his service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire.


Life Trustees

  • Open or CloseView List

    Beverly D. Chrisman
    Lexington, SC

    Anne S. Close
    Fort Mill, SC

    James H. Evans
    New York, NY

    Rosemary Hall Evans
    Sugar Hill, NH

    Earl T. Groves
    Gastonia, NC

    Charles E. Hartsoe, Ph.D.
    Richmond, VA

    Harry G. Haskell, Jr.
    Chadds Ford, PA

    Kathryn A. Porter
    Mendham, NJ

    Perry J. Segura
    New Iberia, LA

    R. Dean Tice
    Round Hill, VA

    Eugene A. Young, CPRP
    Baton Rouge, LA


NRPA Senior Staff

  • Open or CloseVP of Membership & Certification: Julie Boland

    Julie joined NRPA in 2008 and serves as the vice president of membership and certification.  In this role, she develops and oversees the association’s membership and certification initiatives. Julie received her Bachelors of Science in Forestry from Purdue University and has been working in the field of parks and recreation since 2000. Prior to her time with NRPA, she served as the Parks Director for the City of Crown Point, Indiana. Julie is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) from the National Recreation and Park Association and a Certified Association Executive (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives.

  • Open or CloseVP of Individual Giving: David Cooper

    David R. Cooper is Vice President for Individual Giving at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). David leads NRPA’s efforts to solicit and steward philanthropic gifts from individuals to advance the organization’s work in the areas of conservation, health and wellness and social justice.

    Prior to joining NRPA, David served for three years as the Chief Development Officer for the Gettysburg Foundation supporting the Gettysburg National Military Park. Prior to this, David spent ten years as the chief development officer with two different national advocacy organizations, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Land Trust Alliance. Both organizations are based in Washington, DC.

    At the Land Trust Alliance, David led a comprehensive five-year “Campaign for the Land” to raise $85 million, and in so doing, establish a national major donor program. The successful effort was conceived and implemented while working in collaboration with the Alliance’s 1,500 member land trusts across the country.

    At the National Trust, David led its three-year $170 million “People Saving Places: The Campaign for America’s Heritage,” the largest fundraising campaign for historic preservation in the nation’s history. The resulting major donor program was critical to the Trust’s financial health having moved away from Federal funding prior to the effort.

    David entered the field of fundraising in 1986 and has held leadership positions in the development offices of Loyola College, the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Peace College, the University of Maryland University College and George Mason University. He worked as a fundraising consultant for Ketchum, Inc. providing capital campaign counsel to a diverse range of organizations. Over his career, he has helped raise almost $400 million at a wide range of small and large organizations. Today, David regularly consults with heritage and preservation based non-profits across the country.

    A native of North Carolina, David graduated from Campbell University and received his Masters of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC).

    David has extensive service in his local community, including service on the boards of Partners for Sacred Places (Philadelphia, PA), PACT: Helping Children With Special Needs, Inc. (Baltimore, MD), the Norbel School (Pikesville, MD), and the Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce (Fairfax, VA).

    David lives in Ashburn, VA with his wife Kristi who works for the National Institutes of Health. He has three children, Ashley, Sara and Matthew and a new granddaughter, Canady.

  • Open or CloseVP of Strategic Initiatives: Richard J. Dolesh

    Richard J. Dolesh joined NRPA in 2002 and serves as the vice president for strategic initiatives. 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.

  • Open or CloseVP of Marketing, Communications & Publications: Gina Mullins-Cohen

    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.

  • Open or CloseVP of Urban & Government Affairs: Kevin O'Hara

    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.

  • Open or CloseVP or Research: Kevin Roth

    Kevin A. Roth joined NRPA in 2015 as Vice President of Research. Kevin leads the research team in its mission to create valuable data and insights for NRPA members and to support NRPA’s strategic goals and tactics.

    Kevin has served in research functions in the nonprofit association space for two decades, including leading research at the Association for Financial Professionals for 13 years and running survey research activities at the National Association of Realtors for four years. Kevin has a PhD in Economics from George Washington University and a BA in Economics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

  • Open or CloseSenior VP of Development: Rebecca Wickline

    Rebecca joined NRPA in 2009 and serves as Senior 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.



Do You Have a Question for the NRPA Board?

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