NRPA Announces 2018–2019 Board of Directors | Athletic Business

NRPA Announces 2018–2019 Board of Directors

SOURCE: National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

Jack Kardys to serve as chair of the organization 

Ashburn, Va. (May 23, 2018) — The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is proud to announce its new 2018–2019 Board of Directors. Long-time board member, Jack Kardys, will serve as chair, welcoming three new board members at the 2018 NRPA Annual ConferenceSept. 25–27, in Indianapolis, Indiana.  

Former Director of the award-winning Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces (MDPROS) Department, Kardys currently serves as president of J. Kardys Strategies and an associate with PROS Consulting. He also serves on the board of the Park Foundation of Miami-Dade and is the past president of the Florida Recreation and Park Association (FRPA). Highly respected in the field of parks and recreation, Kardys has received several notable accolades, including the NRPA R.O.S.E., FRPA Distinguished Service and American Society for Public Administration Administrator of the Year awards. He also led MDPROS to earn two Florida Governor’s Sterling Awards and the FRPA Agency Excellence Award. Kardys is a graduate of St. Thomas University where he received a bachelor’s degree in sports administration and a Master of Science degree in management.   

The following new board members were elected to serve a three-year term:

  • Carol Coletta, senior fellow, The Kresge Foundation’s American Cities Practice
  • Joshua Medeiros, director of recreation, Town of Cheshire, Connecticut; adjunct professor, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Greg Weitzel, director, department of parks and recreation, City of Idaho Falls, Idaho

Currently serving a one-year term, the following board members were elected to serve a three-year term:  

  • Kong Chang, community recreation specialist, City of Saint Paul Parks and Recreation
  • Nonet Sykes, chief equity and inclusion officer, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.

These individuals will join forces with the following group of professionals and advocates currently serving on the board:

  • Michael Abbaté, FASLA, former director, Portland Parks & Recreation
  • Jesús Aguirre, chief operating officer, Tower Steel Services, Inc.
  • Leon T. Andrews, Jr., director, Race, Equity And Leadership (REAL), National League of Cities
  • Neelay Bhatt, vice president, PROS Consulting
  • Hayden Brooks, chairman, American Realty Corporation
  • Kevin Coyle, vice president of education, National Wildlife Federation
  • Richard Gulley, board member, Balboa Park Conservancy
  • Roslyn Johnson, deputy director of facility operations, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Prince Georges County, Maryland
  • Jack Kardys, president, J. Kardys Strategies
  • Michael Kelly, general superintendent and CEO, Chicago Park District
  • Karen Bates Kress, park advocate
  • Carolyn McKnight, superintendent, Recreation and Park Commission, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
  • Herman Parker, director, City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department
  • Ian Proud, market research and inclusive play manager, PlayPower
  • Molly Stevens, CEO and executive director, Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center
  • Xavier Urrutia, director, City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department
  • Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO, Alliance for a Healthier Generation                  

“We are proud to have so many talented individuals with strong leadership skills serving on our board,” said Barbara Tulipane, CAE, NRPA president and CEO. “Their combined expertise and passion for parks and recreation will help us achieve our goals — moving the association forward.”

NRPA’s Board of Directors is composed of 15–30 individuals. Board members are representative of NRPA’s membership, which includes leaders in the park, recreation and conservation movement, park and recreation professionals and individuals from corporations, industry suppliers, commercial businesses, and volunteer and civic groups.

To learn more about NRPA’s leadership team, click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit

About the National Recreation and Park Association 
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit

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