Podcast Episodes

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Parks and recreation is an amazing field to be a part of.  This community has some of the most generous, passionate, and engaged professionals out there.

In this podcast, I attempt to tell their stories, gain wisdom from their experiences, and share what they think it means to raise the bar in the field.

I am honored that this podcast can be a vessel for the next generation of parks and recreation leaders.  I am thrilled that this podcast is helping professionals reignite their passion for their work.



Navigating Parks and Recreation as a Student with Deona Micheli

What do you do once you figure out “I want to work in parks and Recreation”?   This is the question that Deona and I started with in this conversation.  Deona reached out to me as a current student in the parks and recreation field.  I definitely see her as an up-and-coming leader in our field, and I am excited to hear what she has to say!  We talked about how to choose your degree, the right school, the right classes, and then how to get your foot in the door.  She has some really useful tips around volunteering, researching your dream job, and reaching out to other professionals.

NEW! Future Trends in Recreation Centers with Craig Bouck

Today I have got a great interview for you!  I am talking to Craig Bouck from BRS Associates about future trends in recreation centers, including aquatics, operations, planning, and design. BRS is a planning and design firm that focuses primarily on community and recreation design.  They work around the country to provide bring a lot of these trends we are about to talk about to LIFE.  They like to focus primarily on recreation centers, because they say that this is the one architecture that at some point really touches everybody in the community.

Trust Me Now, Judge Me Later with Pat O’Toole

How do you step up to the plate when you are a young director and have a lot of responsibility – but limited experience?  How do get things done despite limitations, especially around rules and policies?  what would you say to agencies who say that the lack of funding is currently holding them back?”

Staying Relevant: What does it take? w/ Chris Nunes

Staying Relevant in Parks and Recreation is no easy task.  Technology is moving at a rapid pace.  Trends seem to change daily.  What, then, does it mean for agencies to stay relevant? How do we decide when to compete, collaborate, or step back?  In this episode, I talk to Chris Nunes from the Woodlands Township to hear his perspective on what it means to stay relevant in today’s world!

Celebrate Community Milestones! w/ Jason Hendrix from the City of Menifee

It is so important to celebrate milestones.  Small or big, all wins all matter. Celebrating means that you’ve reached some sort of milestone.  Maybe you set a goal at the beginning of the year, and you’ve finally reached it.  Celebrate it!  Maybe your employee went above and beyond, celebrate it!  Or if you’re like the Menifee California, maybe you’re coming up on a milestone of being incorporated for 10 years, definitely celebrate it.

[SOLO] Conference Tips for NRPA 2018 and Beyond!

In preparation of the 2018 National Parks and Recreation Conference, we talk about the top five tips for you to implement before the event!

[SOLO] Season 2 Reveal! Be involved in the podcast!

So excited that you have joined us for another season.  Each season will be 15 episodes long.  I invite you to participate by submitting to be a part of the podcast (form below) or by being a guest contributor to the blog.


Preparing for the Next Generation of Recreation Leaders with Art Thatcher

A LOT is changing in the world of parks and recreation. I had the privledge of sitting down with Arthur Thatcher with GreenPlay LLC to talk about the ways the young professionals are changing the face of recreation. Today we talk about entrepreneurship of millennials in our field and beyond, the specialization of parks and rec career paths, the changing on-demand nature of programs, how social media and connectivity will impact our field, and the need for flexible schedules and workplaces.

Creative Marketing Strategies for Parks & Recreation Departments W/ Katy Keller

In this episode, we talk to Katy Keller about some really awesome topics:  Strategies to get your audience to tag their friends and engage with your office; how creating a REACTION in people will help them stop and pay attention; How one of Indian Trail’s event promotion on Facebook reached 1,000,000 people! Why Awesome PRIZES will promote engagement and inspire people to share your post.  How to successfully and strategically plan out social media content without burning out

Engaging the Public: Conservation & Recreation w/ Keri Konold

Keri Konold joined me for another episode on the podcast this week to talk about public engagement in relation to conservation and recreation.  It can be difficult to achieve a balance between conservation and recreation; they seem like opposing sides, and yet one in the same.  Keri talks about using the SHIFT principles to reframe the conversation to make progress.  We also dive into her philosophy behind public engagement and some of the ways she has found success when talking to communities, large or small.

Emerging Trends in Parks and Playground Design

In this episode, Dustin Graham talks about emerging trends in parks and playgrounds.  We get deep into how playgrounds are the foundation for skill building and risk taking. What does the future of parks look like?  What happens when cookie cutter playgrounds get replaced by unique, creative, and imaginative structures?

Starting a Parks and Recreation Department from Scratch with Jay Tryon

In this episode, we talk to Jay Tryon, who is the director at Indian Trail Parks and Recreation.  This is a new department, and I talk to him about what it was like to start his work from scratch.  Trusting his team, their decision-making, and their ability to get the job done are essential components to getting things done.  He also does a great job at investing in professional development and educational opportunities for his staff.

Inspiring Pride in Parks & Recreation with Angela Summers

Angela is a leader, mentor, wife and a mom.  She and her husband Isaac have 5 beautiful children and she enjoys sharing openly and honestly about the trials and tribulations of motherhood and being a strong female leader.  Angela believes that the key to building strong relationships is “working for it”, which is something she strives to do each and every day.  Being exceptional at something requires dedication, commitment, passion and HARD WORK!

Collaborating for Public Health in Parks with Jo Burns

As parks and recreation professionals, we also know that health means something a little different. Naturally, parks and rec facilities provide the safe places for people to improve their health for exercise, but we also now have the opportunity to partner with health organizations to create long lasting change. These partnerships can help expand health benefits to underserved populations, which can be powerful. In this episode, Jo Burns talks about what local agencies can do to take steps towards building health into your core services.

Professional Development for Parks & Rec Leaders with Anthony Iracki

The words “During working hours, we make a living. During leisure hours, we make a life” ring true for Anthony Iracki, a supervisor for the Village of Brown Deer Parks and Recreation Department. Anthony has worked in the field of parks and recreation since the age of 16, and he is passionate about enhancing the quality of life for everyone in his community. His focuses include innovative program development, business partnerships, conservation through education, and social equity in programming. Anthony’s ultimate goal is to ensure that every resident in his community has the opportunity to truly experience life

[SOLO] My Love/Hate Relationship with Technology

Technology will be a critical piece in the future of parks and recreation, but sometimes it can be downright frustrating.  In this episode, I talk about bringing new technology to your team and how to expect there to be glitches and obstacles to overcome.

Preparing for Summer with Jayna Lang

As we get ready for summer, Jayna Lang walks us through some of the most important things to remember as we gear up.  We talk about onboarding systems, optimizing your procedures and policies, and getting in the mental headspace to handle one of our busiest seasons!

Creating, Evaluating, and Marketing Recreation Programs w/ Renee Raney

For the first interview on the podcast, I talk to Renee Raney who is now the Parks Supervisor for Cheaha State Park in Alabama.  They have a great following on social media, and they fill up their classes and spaces by promoting their programs on Facebook.  Learn how Renee engages a community of 36,000 and evaluates her programs based on learning outcomes.

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