Skip to main content

NRPA New Board of Directors Robert García The City Project National Recreation & Parks Association

NRPA’s three pillars are conservation, health & wellness, and social equity!

Message from NRPA’s CEO Barbara Tullipane

It is my pleasure to introduce our 2016-2017 Board of Directors. Sworn in each year at the NRPA Annual Conference, we have continued our focus on creating a diverse board with strong leadership skills representative of our membership and the field.

Our new Board Chair Stephen Eckelberry is a longtime member with an extensive amount of leadership experience. He currently serves as a Commissioner of the Bartlett Park District in Bartlett, Illinois. I look forward to his leadership and vision over the next year.

Joining our existing Board Members are seven new individuals selected for their ability to help achieve our mission and strategic plan:

  • Jesús Aguirre, Superintendent of the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Boyd Behnke, retired KPMG partner
  • Robert García, Founding Director and Counsel of The City Project
  • Richard Gulley, Board Member, Balboa Park Conservancy
  • Karen Kress, Former President of the Yellowstone Park Foundation
  • Herman Parker, Director of the Park and Recreation Department for the City of San Diego
  • Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation

They join an amazing group of individuals who have remained on the Board from last year:

  • Leon T. Andrews, Director of Race, Equity and Leadership at the National League of Cities’ Institute
  • Neelay Bhatt, Vice President of PROS Consulting
  • Kevin Coyle, Vice President for Education at the National Wildlife Federation
  • Roslyn Johnson, Deputy Director of Facility Operations for The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission’s Department of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County, Md.
  • Jack Kardys, Director of Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department
  • Michael Kelly, General Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District
  • Molly Stevens, CEO and Executive Director of Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center
  • Susan Trautman, Executive Director of the Great Rivers Greenway District in St. Louis
  • William “Joe” Turner, Director of the Houston Parks and Recreation Department

Please join me in welcoming this talented group of individuals to our board. I know their combined expertise and passion for parks and recreation will help us achieve our goals – moving the association forward.

You can learn more about our talented board and view their bios online.


Barbara Tulipane, CAE
NRPA President and CEO

P.S. – We are looking for new members to join the 2017 Board of Directors.
I welcome you to apply!