Great Expectations

January 31, 2016, Department, by Gina Mullins-Cohen

NRPA Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Publishing and Editorial Director, Gina Mullins-CohenBefore moving to Virginia in 2012, I lived in Orange County, California. I lived there for 11 years, first in a new area of an old city called Tustin, and next in a master-planned development in the hills above the beachside town of San Clemente, called Talega. These two communities, once separated by 40 miles of strawberry fields, are now connected by the 5 freeway and toll roads. The 5, the main artery not just within Orange County, but to the entire state of California, connects the older beach communities to the sprawling climb of new stucco homes through the fire-prone canyons and up the backside of the Cleveland National Forest.

My 11 years in Orange County began with skyrocketing real estate values, and with that, I was also witness to the dream, the downfall and what is now becoming the rebirth of Orange County’s Great Park. Michael Stockstill, a California-based journalist who has followed and reported on The Great Park for several years, brings to our pages a vigorous, living timeline with updates on the most recent developments in “The Great Drama of The Great Park.” This piece speaks to lofty goals, a slow pace of construction, the investigation launched by the Orange County Grand Jury, the financial chaos during the recession and finally, the positive outcome on the horizon. 

Two years into NRPA’s Commit to Health initiative, NRPA Vice President of Conservation and Parks, Rich Dolesh, and NRP Director of Public Health Strategies, Zarnaaz Bashir, MPH, discuss the promising expansion of partnerships between park and recreation agencies and those working in the realm of public health. “Breaking Down Barriers: Parks and Recreation Connecting with Public Health,” looks at agencies that are embracing such collaborations and how they can be a model to other agencies across the country.

If you want a basic lesson in building successful sponsorships, read “12 Steps to Sponsorship Success,” by Sylvia Allen, which lays out each fundamental stage of building lasting and strategic partnerships for successful event and programming endeavors.

Just like your agency is a member of NRPA, associations themselves also belong to associations, and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) recently honored NRPA’s Marketing, Communications and Magazine department with five coveted awards.

ASAE’s Association TRENDS presented silver ribbons to NRPA for the design of our conference pocket guide, our membership marketing campaign and our 50th Year Anniversary video. Gold ribbons were presented for the video we produced under our Health and Wellness pillar, Get Out and Walk, and Parks & Recreation’s 50th Anniversary Commemorative issue, published in August 2015.

Our work is inspired by your work, so we want to share these honors with you and also say thank you.

Gina Mullins-Cohen is NRPA's Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Publishing and Editorial Director.