Meet the 2022 Board Candidates

Board members will be voted on at the Annual Meeting on March 14th, 2022

President

Nicole Welch, CPRP
Recreation Director, City of Lewiston

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors
I have had the pleasure of watching and helping the Maine Recreation and Park Association change and adapt over the years, providing support to our members in whatever capacity is needed. Networking with like-minded colleagues from around the state, while also working to promote the industry, has been personally and professionally rewarding. I enjoy giving back to an association that has guided me towards new opportunities.

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected
There are so many passionate professionals around the state, all of us working towards similar goals. The work that MRPA does to connect, educate, and advocate for its membership is important now, and in the future. As President, I will continue to support the Board of Directors in its goals and help guide the association into the next year. I will also focus on promoting leadership opportunities on committees and projects to ensure that those professionals who want to become more involved in MRPA, have the supportive outlet to do so. Encouraging members to find their role in the organization will increase statewide connectivity, promote personal growth, and ensure that the parks and recreation industry continues to grow across the state.

Summarize your previous service to MRPA
Fall Workshop: 2014 to 2019, Chair 2017-2018
Annual Spring Conference Committee: Speaker Chair from 2015 to 2019, Conference Chair 2020-Current
MRPA Board Member: At Large 2018 to 2020, Vice President 2021-Current


Vice President

Tyler Stewart, CYSA
Recreation Programmer, Old Orchard Beach Recreation

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors
MRPA continues to provide me opportunities to seek growth by being part of committees, organizing special events, and to help lead the organization by being on the board of directors. The lessons learned, support, feedback, and connections with members of MRPA will continue to be valuable to me and my community. I feel it is important to that I do my best to give back to the association, the local departments, and all the members who serve the communities in Maine.

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected
Every year new priorities and tasks are laid upon us. Having been part of the board for several years, this year proved to be one of our most productive. We began re-organizing and working on the strategic plan and operations manual to help long term success of the organization. I look forward to begin taking action on these tasks as we go into the new year as potential Vice President. The growth of our youth sports committee continues to be an important goal. I would like to add to the committee and begin prioritizing the importance of our mission statement and goals.

Summarize your previous service to MRPA
– Executive Board Member 2018 – Current
– MLB Pitch, Hit, Run Chair 2014 – 2019
– Fall Workshop Committee 2019 – Current
– Advocacy Committee 2020 – Current
– Bill Bonnyman Golf Tournament Chair 2020 – Current
– Youth Sports Committee Chair 2020 – Current
– Spring Conference Vendor Chair 2021


Treasurer

Karyn MacNeill, CPRP
Director, Yarmouth Parks, Recreation, and Community Services

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors
To participate in the promotion and advancement of our profession; to provide a short, recent history of MRPA; and to give back to our professional association.

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected
To contribute to the development of MRPA professionals who want to advance their work and succeed at their positions. I believe MRPA should provide educational sessions and opportunities, professional resources and networks, and be responsive to the changing parks and recreation needs.

Summarize your previous service to MRPA
Current MRPA Treasurer, MRPA President, Vice-President, At-Large BOD member, Annual Conference Chair, Fall Workshop subcommittee member, Advocacy subcommitee member, State-side legislative Advocacy member, Golf Tourney subcommittee member.


Secretary

Sabrina Best, CPRP
Deputy Director, Brunswick Parks & Recreation

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors
For the past 4 years I have been able to serve on the MRPA Board and have enjoyed learning the history while developing the future vision of the Board. I would like to continue supporting my fellow collogues from around the State and be part of the State board leading the way for our profession. I would love to continue with the work and relationships I’ve been able to make over the years and moving MRPA forward showcasing Parks and Recreation as an essential service to the communities we serve.

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected
My priority will be to focus on youth sports and programming impacted by the pandemic and assist with educating, advocating and connecting through our journey back to normal.

Summarize your previous service to MRPA
Secretary on the MRPA Board – 2018 to present
MRPA State Hot Shot Coordinator – 2008 to 2013


SMART Rep

Erika Dube
Deputy Director, Saco Parks & Recreation

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors
This year, I am submitting my intent to serve the MRPA Board as the SMART Representative. In the last three years on the board, my appreciation of what MRPA is, how the association benefits its members statewide, and ways I personally can contribute to the organization has grown considerably, and I look forward to continuing to support MRPA initiatives.

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected
I’m very excited about leading the SMART regional group in the 2022-2023 season. I have heard from so many SMART attendees how this group is such a benefit to their professional development, and I echo this sentiment. It is a vital resource for learning, connection, and support, and I hope to encourage and grow this asset for us all.

There is no way to predict the future, but as more of our life returns to a modified norm, it seems likely there will be chances for us to safely resume SMART meetings in person. I know many members look forward to those meetings as opportunities to network, share, and work more closely connect to one another. As with all planning in the past two years, it is important to evaluate current trends and modify/adapt accordingly. Fortunately for SMART, if a virtual meeting is the safer option at any point, we have a two year history of running successful online meetings which still maintain the sense of community SMART has always provided.

Thoughts I have for next year: as a previous SMART rep, I have a list of past suggested meeting topics ready to explore. It will also be important to connect with SMART members about their current needs, address how their concerns have changed in recent years and examine what topics they would be most interested in for the future. I would also love to survey SMART members about interest in hosting our meetings outdoors when weather and seasons permit us to visit some of the regional locations mentioned during our discussions of summer camp trip planning. In general, I look forward to connecting with everyone again!

Summarize your previous service to MRPA
• MRPA Board: At-Large member (2021-2022); SMART Rep (2019-2021)
• Annual Spring Conference Committee (2019-current): Event marketing (ads, graphic design of the conference guide), recruiting speakers, presented two sessions at the 2019 conference.
• MRPA Advocacy Committee Co-Chair (current)
• LWCF support: 2020-current
• Fall Workshop: presenter in 2018 and Fall Workshop Chair for 2019, graphic design for flyer
• Special Events: helped at Golf Tournament and Pine Tree State Track Meet (2019)


EMPRA Rep

Meghan Mazzella
Parks & Recreation Manager, Orono

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors
I would like to serve on the board to support the MRPA community. The board is responsible for keeping the organization moving forward and dynamic. I would be eager to join this group that has such a positive influence on the professional development of the parks and recreation profession.

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected
My priorities would be focusing on the relationships MRPA creates. Having strong relationships between members will allow us to grow as individuals. We can bring the new ideas, feedback, and, education MRPA can provide back to our towns and allow us to create memorable experiences within our communities. In addition to strengthening our existing community, I think it is important for MRPA to continue to expand to reach new members and business partnerships alike.

Summarize your previous service to MRPA
Spring Conference Planning Board 2022

 


NMCRA Rep

Hillary Hallett
Director, Easton Recreation

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors
Serving on the Board has granted me the opportunity to promote and be a voice for Northern Maine and our small communities recreation departments. It is so important to promote the work being done by for our towns and cities throughout the entire state!

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected
Continuing to serve voice for northern Maine departments and encourage involvement with Maine Recreation and Parks.

Summarize your previous service to MRPA
NMCRA Representative 2016-2021

Currently serving as co-coordinator Northern Maine Hot Shots State event.
State Hot Shot coordinator 2017-2019.
Treasurer of NMCRA 2015-current.
Secretary of NMCRA 2010-2014.


At Large (3 Members)

Dana Delahanty, CPRP
Assistant Director, Bath Parks and Recreation Department

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors
The opportunity to be apart of the MRPA Board of Directors will allow me to develop and build professional relationship in the profession that we all love. Being a member of the Fall workshop committee, I was able to see another side of the organization and how much it benefits and supports it’s members. I would like to share thoughts and ideas with the Board and advocate for Parks and Recreation in all communities.

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected
Promote and advocate for Parks and Recreation in the great state of Maine. Letting people know what MRPA has to offer and what is happening in our organization in an efficient manner.

Summarize your previous service to MRPA
MRPA Fall Workshop Committee
Certified Park and Recreation Professional

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Gary Colello, CPRP
Director, Bridgton Recreation

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors
I think it is important to give back to the profession and advocate for its important role Parks and Recreation play in each community.

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected
I want to learn about the various creative ways parks and recreation professionals manage, create, and develop programs while helping to bridge the gaps between seasoned and new professionals. Ultimately I would like to help members of MPRA and our profession reach its highest potential and advocate for the importance of the role Parks and Recreation plays in community health and economic development.

Summarize your previous service to MRPA
I have was the Chair of the Fall Workshop for 2020 and 2021. I have served on the Board of Directors for the first time in 2021-22.

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Anthony Johnson, CPRP
Deputy Director of Recreation, South Portland Parks, Recreation & Waterfront

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors
To continue to help promote the field of Parks & Recreation in the state of Maine. MRPA has helped me both personally and professionally throughout my career and I feel that it’s time to give back to an organization that has given so much to me, and many others in the field over the years. Hopefully my experience and passion for Parks & Recreation will benefit the board and help shape the future of MRPA.

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected
To be an advocate for Recreation, to help promote the image of MRPA, and to assist with events and programs that benefit young professionals in the field such as our annual golf tournament.

Summarize your previous service to MRPA
2019 – 2021 Bill Bonnyman Golf Tournament Volunteer

2012 – 2016 Spring Conference Vendor Chair
2010 – 2014 Aquafina Pitch, Hit & Run State Coordinator
2010 – 2011 Spring Conference Planning Committee
2009 – 2010 Fundraising Volunteer, Bill Bonnyman Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser

 


Parliamentarian

Doug Beck, CPRP
Outdoor Recreation Supervisor, Maine Bureau of Parks & Lands

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors
My intention in serving on the board is to continue to work with fellow board and association members to improve the status of the parks and recreation field. In particular my goal is to work to raise parks and recreation service delivery as an “essential service” at every level – Municipal, State, Federal.

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected
As the current president of the National Association of State Outdoor Recreation Liaison Officers (NASORLO) my priority will be to connect MRPA, with NASORLO and NRPA in rolling out NASORLO’s Grass Roots Information Program (GRIP). This program is designed as an advocacy toolkit for state P&R associations and local department directors to easily interact with elected officials and communicate the value of the services they provide to communities, and the value of the Land and Water Conservation Fund and other funding programs in assisting their work to improve the lives of people in their communities.

In addition to this, as parliamentarian, I will endeavor to aid fellow board members in proper protocols when enacting board and association business.

Summarize your previous service to MRPA
My service to this fine association of professionals began in the late eighties or early nineties. Over the years I have served as an association committee member and chair or co-chair (legislative, conference, fall workshop, etc.,), board member, vice president, president, executive director and for the past eight+ years as parliamentarian if that is even possible.


Citizen Board Rep

Alan Grady
Regional Sales Representative, Musco Lighting

Tell us why you want to serve on the Board of Directors
I feel my experience as a past parks and recreation director and now vendor dealing with numerous schools and municipalities can be impactful for the board.

Tell us what your priorities would be if elected
Continue to evaluate the boards goals/master plan, advocate for fundraising, help with Bonneyman golf tournament.

Summarize your previous service to MRPA
1 year as citizen rep

1 year as SMART rep