2017 Midwest Regional Conference

Branching Out

April 23-25 in Lawrence, KS

DoubleTree Hotel
200 McDonald Drive
Lawrence KS  66044

Registration is now open for the 2017 Midwest Regional Conference. The conference will be held on April 23-25 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Lawrence, KS. Keynote Speaker will be Bill Self, University of Kansas Head Basketball Coach.

Early Bird Registration is until April 15, 2017 after that rates go up. 
Click button below to register.


DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Lawrence
200 McDonald Drive
Lawrence KS  66044
(785) 841-7077
Room Block Code: 
Kansas Recreation and Park Association


Sunday, April 23

11-4 p.m. Golf Tournament
Eagle Bend Golf Course & Learning Center
1250 E. 902 Road
11 a.m. Check-in | Lunch |Range Balls provided
11:30 a.m. Tee Time Start (every 8 minutes)

Noon-4 p.m. Exhibitor Check-in

2-6 p.m. Registration/ Check-in

4-7 p.m. Exhibitors Open and Dinner

7-8:15 p.m. Welcome and Keynote
Bill Self, University of Kansas Men’s Head Basketball Coach
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2017 nominee Bill Self is in his 14th season as the University of Kansas Men’s Basketball Head coach. As the eighth head coach in the university’s history, Self has won a national championship, a NCAA-record tying 13-straight regular-season Big 12 Conference titles and seven league tournament championships. In a career spanning 24 years, Coach Self has garnered a total of 620 wins and currently sits in the top 30 all-time wins by a Division I men’s basketball coach. A native of Edmond, Oklahoma, Self played basketball at Oklahoma State University where he was a four-year letter winner from 1982 to 1985. He received his bachelor's degree in business in 1985 and a master's degree in athletic administration in 1989, both from OSU. He and his wife, Cindy, have two children: daughter, Lauren, and son, Tyler, a fifth-year senior on the KU team.

8:15-11 p.m.       Social at Hotel Bar
Coal Creek
The Coal Creek Band is a Country/Southern Rock Band based out of Lawrence, KS, formed by the members while attending college in the surrounding areas. The band's home base is Coal Creek Farms 4 miles south of Lawrence known for raising Alpacas and other livestock.

Monday, April 24

8:30-9:30 a.m.   Community Coalitions: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back – Why Coalitions Work and How to Sustain Them  (Panel Discussion)
Marilyn Hull, Co-Founder of LiveWell Lawrence and program and communication officer at the Douglas County Community Foundation in Lawrence, KS.
Scott Wituk, executive director of the Community Engagement Institute at Wichita State University. He has assisted nonprofits, grassroots groups and coalitions for 20 years.
David Toland, Thrive Allen County – CEO and executive director of Thrive Allen County, a nonprofit coalition that works to improve quality of life and economic conditions in Allen County, Kansas.

Session Description: A panel discussion of continuing the momentum of your community coalition; how do you lead/structure a coalition for effectiveness; recruiting young professionals to meet changing demographics of a community and provide diversity; creating advocates for health and wellness in your community.

8:30-9:30 a.m. Teaching Customer Service To Your Sports Officials
Steve Herrig, recreation manager with Blue Valley Recreation, CPRP Certified, 30 years in the profession of Parks and Recreation, Member of KRPA and NRPA.

Session Description: Your sports officials have a huge influence on the perception of your program and agency for participants and families. For adult sports programs, officials most often have, by far, the BIGGEST impact on the perception of your program. They are your game and program ambassadors, and as such,  it is IMPERATIVE that you play a role in how your officials are trained, supervised, evaluated and re-trained.

8:30-9:30 a.m. Restoring Habitats For Monarchs and Pollinators: A Role For Parks
Chip Taylor, founder and director of Monarch Watch, as well as professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas.

Session Description: An introduction to Monarch Watch, an outreach program focused on education, research and conservation relative to monarch butterflies.  Monarch Watch has enlisted the help of volunteers to tag monarchs during the fall migration, assisted citizens to plant habitat restoration for migration and provided milkweed plants for conservation restoration.  The program has provided great understanding of the monarch migration.

8:30-9:30 a.m.  Tennis Court Maintenance 101 & USTA Facilities Grants
John Terpkosh, USTA Missouri Valley, worked with USTA MV section for 16 years.  Program manager for Parks and Recreation and TSR Iowa.
Rob McConnell, president of McConnell Associates. McConnell Associates have built and renovated hundreds of tennis courts and have work closely with the USTA.

Session Description: This session is directed for park maintenance workers and recreation supervisors that work with tennis programming of facilities. Questions like: “How often do we need to resurface our courts?”  “What is causing these cracks on the courts and how do we remedy them?” “What are the common maintenance concerns regarding tennis courts?” “What type of playing surface should we go with considering our playing population?” “What resources are available to help me rebuild our tennis courts?” will all be answered. The audience will learn from the experts in the field and review Tennis Courts – A Construction and Maintenance Manual.

9:30-10 a.m. Break and Exhibitors

10-11 a.m. Everything you wanted to know about Your Event/Tournament’s Impact on the Economy
Kelli Hilliard, PR and Travel Development Manager, Kansas Dept. of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism. Kelli received her Bachelor of Science degree in Tourism and Marketing from Central Missouri State University.  
Michael Davidson, executive director, eXplore Lawrence.
Judy Riling, director of sales, eXplore Lawrence.

Session Description: Learn how to measure the economic value of an event or tournament and calculate its return on investment in local taxes. Learn about the DMAI Event Impact Calculator and how it can help tell your story, as well as the partnerships that can be formed in your community to help track the impact your events are having on the local economy.

10-11 a.m. Mediating Between Parks and Recreation Departments and Swim Clubs  (Panel Discussion)
Darcie Parkhurst, AFO, Derby Recreation Commission.  Graduate of Kansas State in Kinesiology and a masters degree from Wichita State University in Sports Administration.  Darcie has worked in recreation since she was 15 years-old and is currently the aquatics and fitness facility director for the Derby Recreation Commission, where she operates an indoor pool, two fitness centers and a multimillion dollar outdoor water park.
Lauren Ozburn, aquatics supervisor, City of Lenexa, has worked in the aquatics field for nine years. She has worked for the City of Overland Park as a lifeguard and continued as a senior guard, swim lesson coordinator and pool manager. She has also worked for the City of Bonner Springs as the aquatics recreation coordinator.
Kelly Cook, AFOI, LGIT, aquatics/ice rink supervisor, Manhattan Parks and Recreation, is a graduate of Fort Hays State University with a masters degree in sports administration.

Session Description: Mediating between parks and recreation departments and swim clubs in the current political climate requires tactics suitable to individual communities. The panel of experts bring more than 49 years of professional experience dealing with the most challenging topics in aquatics. The panel will discuss issues in the field by addressing billing and fees, expectations from both sides as far as staff, equipment, facility usage, city staff and club staff interactions/relationships, communication and protocol for contact, agreements versus contracts, politics, parents versus recreation owned versus privately owned swim teams and differences in philosophies in running our business versus service in our industry.

10-11 a.m. GIS and Recreation
Micah Seybold, GIS coordinator, City of Lawrence, is a Kansas native earning his BS in geography from the University of Kansas. He has had many roles in GIS at the City of Lawrence for 17 years. He lives in Lawrence with his wife and three children.     

Session Description: Micah will discuss the beneficial relationship between Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and parks and recreation departments. How can GIS enhance customer service for patrons, park services and facilities? How can GIS contribute to better management of resources? Examples of current practices and descriptions of the latest trends in GIS will be presented.

10-11 a.m. Gaining Progressive Fitness Applications TBD

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Lunch and Exhibitors

12:30-1:30 p.m. The Power of Social Media – A Sales Tax Success Story
Joe Snook, assistant administrator, Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation, has been with LSPR since 2001.

Session Description: On August 2, 2016, the citizens of Lee’s Summit, Mo., overwhelmingly (78% passed a 15 year, ΒΌ of a cent sales tax extension to support the continued efforts of LSPR. The educational campaign utilized social media to compliment traditional educational efforts and the local advocacy group used social media almost exclusively to share the “Vote Yes” message.

12:30-1:30 p.m. Grant Opportunities with a 501C3
Panelists/Speakers: TBD

12:30-1:30 p.m. Promoting Health and Quality of Life through Nature-based Recreation
Mallory A. Cox, South Dakota State University, received her BS from South Dakota State University and is currently working toward a masters degree in Sport and Leisure Studies.
Hung-Ling (Stella) Liu, assistant professor at South Dakota State University and received her doctoral degree in Leisure Studies at Oklahoma State University.

Session Description: Discussion will present the significant importance of health and quality of life with nature-based recreation/outdoor recreation. From theoretical foundation and practical implementation, the presenters will share the current research trends in studying the linkage between nature-based recreation and individuals’ physical and psychological health and using outdoor recreation to enhance quality of life for all ages. The presenters will also present a study to demonstrate how to use a simple research project for communicating with the public about the importance of natural environment, green open spaces, and recreation opportunities for our society and future generations. Finally, the presentation will include practical tips and ideas to promote nature-based recreation for developing a healthy lifestyle and healthy community.

12:30-1:30 p.m.  Bicycling In Your Community
Mike Wise, director of Recreation Services. Mike has been involved with numerous pedestrian-friendly projects, such as walking routes, and gaining recognition at Emporia State University for a “bike-friendly campus.”

Session Description: TBD

11 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.  Tour of University of Kansas’ Jayhawk Boulevard: Integration of Historic Preservation, Sustainability and Multi-Modal Transit; Lawrence Visitors Center and Garden and Children’s Mercy Park Stadium, Kansas City, Kan.
David Stokes, ASLA, PLA, senior landscape architect, Jeffery L Bruce & Company; President PGASLA. David graduated from Iowa State University in landscape architecture.
Erick Landis, director of grounds for Sporting Kansas City. Erick manages grounds at two facilities at Sporting, which include four grass fields and six artificial fields.

Session Description: (Box Lunch Provided). Tour will include Jayhawk Boulevard  Phase 2 landscape master plan, historic preservation at Lawrence Visitors Center and Gardens  and a behind-the-scenes tour of stadium used by Sporting Kansas City, the MLS team in Kansas City.

1:30-2 p.m. Break and Exhibitors

2-3 p.m. The Journey From PRORAGIS To Park Metrics: With Some Benchmarks Of Value To You
Sid Stevenson, professor in the Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources at Kansas State University. In addition to numerous presentations and publications, he published 3 SCORPS for the State of Kansas.  In the 2002-3 version he started collecting statewide GIS data.  In the 2007-8 version this data was published as RecFinder with the help of a grant from the Sunflower Foundation.  It was the most comprehensive in the country, and included parks, facilities and trails. 

Session Description: In 2007-08 Dr. Stevenson published the KS RecFinder.  This comprehensive geodatabase contained all of the state’s known parks, facilities and trails.   It was the most comprehensive statewide data set in the country at that time.   He subsequently worked with NRPA in getting PRORAGIS (now PARK METRICS) up and running and the fact that it looked a lot like RecFinder was not coincidental.  This dataset was analyzed for comparables, not unlike what Park Metrics does…but we took it to another level and developed a KS City and County level PARKSCORE approach that I believe you will find interesting.    Documenting access proximity for health, outdoor and economic benefits will also be a highlight. 

2- 3 p.m.  How Does Mental Health Impact Those Around Us?
Amanda Cunningham, licensed master level psychologist, currently serving as chief operating officer of CrossWinds Counseling & Wellness. Has been at CrossWinds for 16 years. Amanda is also an instructor of mental health first aid, which she has done for the past six years.

Session Description: This session will give a brief overview of the signs and symptoms of mental health and how to utilize this information in day-to-day operations. It will provide direction on how to interact with someone having a mental health problem or crisis, as well as how to connect to resources. This session will provide information on the benefits of taking Mental Health First Aid as a certified course.

2 -3 p.m.  Conversation of Tennis and Pickleball
Kristy Lintz, Rapid City Parks and Recreation, South Dakota

Session Description: TBD

2-3 p.m. Survive and Advance: Tips and Tools to Make Parks and Recreation a Lasting Career
Tim Laurent, recreation operations manager, Lawrence Parks and Recreation.
Brandy Shoemaker, recreation operations manager, Lawrence Parks and Recreation.

Session Description: A session geared for new professionals that will provide insight into navigating the way to a long-lasting career in the profession of Parks and Recreation.

4 – 8 p.m. Social- KU Booth Museum/DeBruce Center Naismith original rules
James Naismith, creator of the game, characterized by Bill Nicks, retired as the first director of Lenexa Parks & Recreation Department (1978-2008).  Since then he has been conducting historic bus tours and performing first person re-enactments for his company HistoryKC.com.  His four characters include Dr. James Naismith, IKE Eisenhower, Octave Chanute and Wilbur Wright. 

Liberty Hall - Dinner and Show

Ric Averill is a director, playwright, screenwriter, composer, director,
conductor, and actor.  Averill has been commissioned by the Coterie Theater in Kansas City, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, First Stage Milwaukee and San Diego State University.  Ric’s work may be found at Dramatic Publishing.  Ric’s most recent work; Midnight Visit to the Grave of Poe;  A Grotesque Arabesque, is an opera with modern dance, rock instrumentation and digital scenery.

9 p.m. - ?  Downtown Lawrence- Pub Crawl

Tuesday, April 25

8:30-9:30 a.m. Understanding Social Equity:  Three Ways to Create and Engage an Inclusive Culture

Bernard Franklin, special assistant to the Vice-President of Student Life of Kansas State University. Bernard lives in Kansas City, Kansas, and is passionate about K-State and about serving the educational needs of the youth who live in the urban community.  He has served as assistant to the president at Donnelly College in Kansas City, Kansas, and vice-president of urban education and director of Kauffman Scholars for the Kauffman Foundation.

Session Description: Service is the key differentiator between good customer experiences in a culture when customers have little need to leave their home and physically visit a local park or a recreation facility. While we in the community parks and recreation business compete with large “box” concepts, many guests still enjoy visiting in person, especially if the experience trumps convenience. Those who create warm, caring, and inclusive environments that best serves the guests are the key drivers of customer experience and are directly tied to the growth and increased attendance at our facilities.  This session will highlight three of the most important customer service indicators that should teach us a lot about social equity in our business. 

8:30-9:30 a.m. From Best Practices To Next Practices
Steve Herrig

Session Description: Best practices allow you to do what you are currently doing a little better, but next practices increase your organization’s capability to do things it has never done before.

8:30 -9:45 a.m. Modern City & Campus Arboretums Trekking, Treesand QR Technology (Panel Discussion)
Rick Spurgeon, City of Olathe arborist, a town of 140,000 people. Rick oversees a broad forestry program, including: planting, pruning, removals, cultural practices, nurseries and tree spades.
Lila Courtney, member of the Olathe Garden and Civic Club since 2009. Lila was active in updating Olathe Tree Tours.   Lila is a retired public educator and a graduate of Kansas State University and holds a MS from Emporia State University.
Dr. Cathie Lavis, associate professor with a teaching and extension specialist appointment in the areas of landscape maintenance and landscape irrigation, in the Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources at K-State. Cathie earned a BS in agronomy from Oklahoma State University; MS in ornamental horticulture and a PhD in Agronomy both from Kansas State.

Session Description: The City of Olathe and Kansas State University have taken steps to add interactive QR technology to Arboretums to encourage citizens and students to walk arboretum paths and learn about trees.  Both entities have qualified for Tree City USA awards.

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Training With A Twist: How to Develop a Comprehensive Employee Handbook and Training Manual for your Organization
Amanda Gutierrez, has worked for the Emporia Recreation Commission for the past 15 years and is currently serving as the program supervisor. Amanda manages approximately 70 part-time staff and teaches more than 20 first aid and CPR classes annually. Amanda graduated from Emporia State University with a degree in Recreation.
Jennifer Bennett, has worked for the Emporia Recreation Commission for the past six years as the marketing supervisor. She had prior served on the Emporia Recreation Commission’s Board for 17 years. Jennifer has a degree in biology and has worked as a manager in several different jobs including a chemistry lab manager for Tyson for more than 10 years before coming to Emporia Recreation.

Session Description: “I can’t wait for our next employee training meeting!” Said no employee ever.  But we all know how important good training is to everyone who works for our recreation organization. At Emporia Recreation Center, we decided to tackle the issue of consistent, cohesive staff training by creating our employee handbook and training manual. Learn how we divide training into six categories given every other month to ALL staff working in our building. The training instructors are our supervisors and the burden of training is divided equally among them, so that no one supervisor is overwhelmed with the job. We will also discuss the employee handbook and how it covers the basic details of behavioral standards, conduct and operational policies for all employees. Our goal is to give you all the tools you need to write your own comprehensive handbook and training manual.

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Break

10-11 a.m. POUND Fitness Demo
Marianne Hoffman

Session Description: TBD

10-11 a.m. The Value of Sponsorships – Are They Worth it? (Panel Discussion)
Panelists/Speakers: TBD

10-11 a.m. Using Native Plants in Parks and Landscapes: Opportunities and Challenges
Craig Freeman, senior curator, RL McGregor Herbarium, Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas; senior scientist, Kansas Biological Survey. Craig received his BS from Wartburg College and an MS and PhD from Kansas State University.

Session Description: TBD

10 -11 a.m. Afterschool Programming (Panel Discussion)
Lisa Hughes, Children’s Services Specialist, Johnson County Park and Recreation District.
Jennifer Anderson, Children’s Services Specialist, Johnson County Park and Recreation District.
Amanda Gutierrez, has worked for the Emporia Recreation Commission for the past 15 years and is currently serving as the program supervisor. Amanda manages approximately 70 part-time staff and teaches more than 20 first aid and CPR classes annually. Amanda graduated from Emporia State University with a degree in Recreation.
Tammy Michael, has been with Baldwin City Recreation Commission for 20 years, starting out as the Sports Coordinator. Since 2004, she has been a Recreation Specialist responsible for day camps, kids day outs, after school/before school programs, pool and special events.

Session Description: A panel discussion of effective afterschool programming.

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.           Awards Luncheon

1:15 - 4:30 p.m.                 Offsite Tours – Rock Chalk Park | Sports Pavilion Lawrence | Indoor Aquatic Center

NOTE:  Employees of companies that sell products or services to parks and recreation agencies are not eligible to register as an attendee.  Contact Bonnie Simon at bonnie@krpa.org or by phone at (785) 235-6533 to request Vendor registration information for the Midwest Conference Trade Show.

Cancellation Policy: No refunds, substitutions allowed.

For additional information or questions please contact Bonnie Simon at (785) 235-6533 or email your questions to bonnie@krpa.org.

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