2018 MRPA Candidates

President

Tracy Willette, CPRP

Director, Bangor Parks & Recreation
 

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors

A strong state association is important to promote our profession throughout the state. i have been fortunate to serve this organization and the Board for many years and would look forward to working with some of our new parks and recreation professionals to continue the great work the Board has done.
 

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected

Continue to set and reach managable goals that will set MRPA in a direction for growth.
Encourage the involvement of newer professionals in their state organization.
Ensure we are aware of state and federal issues that impact parks and recreation both in our local communities as well as state wide.
Ensure we are serving our profession statewide.
 

Summarize your previous service to MRPA

Current Vice President
Past President
Past Vice President
Past Board of Directors and Executive Board member
Most of the MRPA Committees over the years

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Vice President

Karyn MacNeill, CPRP

Director, Yarmouth Community Services
 

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors

I want to continue to support our MRPA leadership and Executive Director as we move MRPA ahead. My recent years of service to MRPA have taught me about our association's history and with my participation in goal-setting for our future, I believe I can be a good sounding board for further advancement.

I commit myself to MRPA by making time to attend meetings and I am involved in our association's professional development, regional partnerships, special events, student-leadership opportunities, and many other conversations.

I believe that my MRPA involvement provides great opportunities to improve both professionally and personally and is a realistic (and justified) combination for outside service directly related to my day-to-day work.
 

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected

-To learn more about the functions of MRPA and how we can enhance them;
-To continue to promote educational opportunities for peers, colleagues, and co-workers;
-To encourage the involvement of communities in sharing resources and creating regionalized networks;
-To promote the "MRPA brand" to organizations in Maine who SHOULD KNOW who we are and what we do.
 

Summarize your previous service to MRPA

-Annual Conference Chair, 2016-2018
-Annual Conference Committee, 2012-2015
-Fall Workshop Committee, 2013-2014
-VP MRPA Board, 1 year
-At Large MRPA Board, 2 years

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Treasurer

Joseph Crocker

Program Coordinator, Lewiston Recreation Department
 

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors

I have reaped the benefits of what the MRPA has set out to accomplish through offering education, networking, and personal growth opportunities such as the Hot Shot Competition. My skills in the Recreation Field have grown because of these sessions and relationships I have formed through the MRPA. I would be honored to be part of that mission going forward for many years to come.

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected

Learn the system that is in place and make improvements that will benefit the MRPA's mission going forward. Being Treasurer is a great way to also utilize my M.B.A.

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Secretary 

Sabrina Best, CYSA

Director, Auburn Recreation Department
 

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors

After 3 years of not having an active role within MRPA, I am finally settled in with my new position in Auburn and ready to get back involved with MRPA. There is a strong representation of P&R dept. in Maine that I feel are sometimes disconnected with MRPA opportunities and programs and I would love to help bridge that gap. The benefits and programs that MRPA has to offer can make a big impact in some of the smaller/under staffed communities in Maine.

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected

My priorities would be a mixture of; maintaining and promoting the free programs and services for communities, along with developing newer programs and services for ages not currently being served (seniors/active adults). We have established some great youth programs that are free and fun for communities to promote. but there is a growing population of Seniors and Active Adults that I think could have the same potential. The things that will draw new members and maintain the current ones are the benefits MRPA can provide them like free programs and resources.

Summarize your previous service to MRPA

I served as the State Hot Shot Coordinator from 2008 to 2015. During this time I was able to secure the partnership/sponsorship with the Maine Red Claws and grew the number of participants from 350 to just under 1000.

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SMART Rep

Jen DeRice, CPRP

Director, Standish Parks & Recreation
 

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors

I enjoy the work we do to provide valuable resources to members of our organization. Serving on the board is a great way to keep current with trends in the industry while helping to promote our profession throughout the State.
 

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected

I want to be involved in helping to engage the MRPA membership with the association's goals through education and networking. Continuing to offer training and collaboration opportunities between departments in our area will be a priority this year.
 

Summarize your previous service to MRPA

Served on MRPA Board of Directors as At-Large and SMART Representative, spring and fall conference committees, entertainment showcase committee (chair) and awards committee (chair).

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EMPRA Rep

Debbie Gendreau

Assistant Director, Bangor Parks and Recreation
 

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors

Not only that I like to get involved in our association, I like to gather our EMPRA members together to learn more about what we all do and how we can help one another.
 

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected

Build up EMPRA and to get some of them involved in MRPA.
 

Summarize your previous service to MRPA

- MRPA Board of Directors for 9 years as the EMPRA Representative.
- Served on the Fall Workshop Committee for 9 years.

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NMCRA Rep

Hillary Hallett

Director, Town of Easton
 

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors

At the request of Northern Maine Community Recreation Association.
 

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected

To keep our large state connected and informed.
 

Summarize your previous service to MRPA

Several years as NMCRA Representative.

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At Large (3 Members)

Jason Hanken, CPRP

Recreation Superintendent, Lewiston Recreation
 

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors

I'd like to get on the board to help shape the future direction of the organization.
 

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected

I would work to create a regional organization for the Central Maine portion of the state. There are about 20 communities in the Central Maine belt of the state that would benefit greatly from working together. Forming this physically closer regional group would help in many ways like unifying sports rules and play or bringing training days closer.
 

Summarize your previous service to MRPA

I have recently started working with the MRPA Conference committee to plan and organize that event and been on the Board of Directors for one year.

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Andy Kaherl, CYSA

Assistant Director, Bath Parks & Recreation Department
 

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors

It has been a pleasure serving as an At-Large Member for the last 3 years. Being an advocate for parks & recreation professionals and the Maine Recreation & Parks Association is something I take great pride in. My dedication, passion, and experience can help steer the organization towards a sustainable future and advance it's mission.
 

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected

My priorities if re-elected include:
Continue to help MRPA set and obtain new goals. Provide and promote additional educational and networking opportunities for members & non-members.
Strengthen relationships with colleges and universities.
Improve current MRPA programs/events and add new programs/events.
Develop and promote inclusion initiatives. Increase membership.
 

Summarize your previous service to MRPA

At-Large Member - Board of Directors (3 Terms)
Spring Conference Committee (3 Years)
MRPA Student Liaison (3 Years)
MRPA Hot Shot Coordinator (2 Years)
MRPA Track & Field Committee (2 Years)
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Lisa Thompson, CPRP

Director, Wiscasset Parks & Recreation
 

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors

I have served on the board in many capacities and would like to get more involved in the Association and assist other professionals to develop goals and strategies for moving the state forward in the Parks and Recreation profession.
 

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected

Develop a Strategic plan for the next 5-10 years in which we concentrate on making the association sustainable, feasible and a viable resource not only for professionals, but as advocates for Parks and Recreation throughout the state.
I would also like to see a mentoring project/ program take place and become sustainable within the association.
 

Summarize your previous service to MRPA

Co-Chair , Conference Committee 2004- 09
Ticket Program Chair 2006- 2012
Executive Director Committee
SMART Rep. ( I can't remember the years!)
NNERPC Representative 2010- present

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Erika Dube

Recreation Administrator, Saco Parks & Recreation Department
 

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors

I am interested in becoming more involved with the MRPA organization. I think it is important to grow our departmental relationship with MRPA and feel this would be a good place to start. In the opportunities I have had to attend MRPA-sponsored events, I have met a passionate group of people who are striving to provide quality professional development opportunities in our field. I truly see the value in networking and hope to further develop that for Saco. I feel that this is a great group of professionals that I would like to become more involved with to help support the work of parks and recreation both regionally and within the state.
 

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected

To start, I would be interested in serving on the board, but if there are other areas of need within MRPA that I could assist with, I would be open to that as well. As I had mentioned before, one of my priorities for our department is to create a better connection to the organization. As far as within MRPA, I look forward to learning more about the organization itself and seeing where I can best offer support.
 

Summarize your previous service to MRPA

I have attended MRPA conferences, SMART meetings (attended and hosted) and participated in the discount ticket program. This would be my first opportunity contributing to MRPA. I am excited about the possibility of being more involved on the planning and support side of the organization.

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Nicole Welch

Director, Buxton Recreation Department
 

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors

My passion for the parks and recreation field stems from observing the effects that leisure opportunities can have on Maine residents at all levels. MRPA has provided me with experiences for personal and professional growth over the years, and I want the opportunity to provide similar experiences for others, while also helping to move the organization into the future.
 

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected

Parks and recreation professionals improve the quality of life across the state, and I want to help guide networking and educational opportunities that would best serve the needs of their communities. I will continue to work with committee members to provide the most up-to-date and relevant information at the Fall Workshop and Annual Conference. Serving as an MRPA Board Member would provide me with a greater scope of state-wide issues, which will aid me in planning, and assisting at, MRPA events.
 

Summarize your previous service to MRPA

I joined the Fall Workshop Committee in 2014, and accepted the Chair position in 2017.
I have served on the Annual Spring Conference Committee as the Speaker Chair since 2015.

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Todd Souza, CPRP

Director, Scarborough Community Services
 

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors

I'm very excited about the direction of the MRPA and the path our past and present board members have set. I would like the opportunity to be part of these efforts, help meet our goals and aiding in the continued development of our profession.
 

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected

I would like to help in continued development of top notch educational opportunities. Increasing options in land care management, organic practices and the development of resources to aid our membership.
 

Summarize your previous service to MRPA

I have not served in an official capacity, but I have presented and volunteered at conferences/workshops.

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Parliamentarian

Doug Beck, CPRP

Outdoor Recreation Supervisor, Maine Bureau of Parks & Lands
 

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors

I have been an active member of MRPA for close to thirty years. During that time I have fulfilled many roles and responsibilities to help move MRPA forward. I am happy to continue to be involved to the extent that I can be of service to the association.
 

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected

As parliamentarian I will do my utmost to assure that the board operates within accepted protocols.
 

Summarize your previous service to MRPA

Conference Committee & Co Chair, Board member, Vice President, President, Executive Director, antagonist, protagonist, catalyst and dead weight. Perhaps more.

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Citizen Board Rep

Matt Tobin

Sales Manager, Pioneer Athletics
 

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors

My vision for the MERPA is to continue to be a leader in information, networking, and education for Parks and Recreation professionals in the State of Maine Continuing efforts in building a brand for MERPA.

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected

If elected, I will continue to support the board and membership in growing Maine Parks and Recreation in the great State of Maine. I will also be committed to the conference education committee and helping educate our members as best possible

Summarize your previous service to MRPA

Previous Citizen Board Member
Committee member for Spring Conference

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