2022 “William V. Haskell” Distinguished Professional of the Year Award Winner Jen DeRice, Director, Standish Parks & Recreation Department

Jen began her career in Parks and Recreation like many of us did, as a summer camp counselor at Yarmouth Community Services.  She graduated from USM and what started out as a summer job evolved into a full-time position as a Recreation Programmer, working under the guidance of the late Russell Packett and lo and behold, a Parks and Recreation Professional was born. In addition to this role, Jen has worked as a Field Hockey and Lacrosse official and continues to be a strong advocate for youth sports and women in sports to this day.

During Jen’s career in this profession, she has learned and worked with many of us- from Yarmouth she went to South Portland, working under the guidance of Deb Smith and becoming part of a bigger team, her programming skills were her strength with offering senior programs and trips, special events and summer camps.  From South Portland she ventured onto Old Orchard Beach and Cape Elizabeth, coming full circle to work for Russell Packett once again, building her skills in programming and positive leadership.

In 2015 she became the Director of Standish Parks and Recreation, where she has been able to bring the department to a new level of service, providing families with expanded out of school time programming, building strong relationships within the community and leading projects such as the development of the Rich Memorial Beach and Standish Memorial Park.

Jen’s   contributions to MRPA since 2003 have been vast, which include having a seat on the MRPA Board of Directors as President, Vice President, At-Large & SMART Representative,   Awards Committee Chair, Entertainment Showcase Committee Chair, Fall Workshop Committee, Spring Conference Committee and   MRPA Conference Presenter.