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2016 Election Candidates

MRPA Elections - 2016

If you belong to a branch, return to this page after you vote for the Board of Directors and scroll down for each separate branch ballot and branch voting link.

Board of Directors Candidates

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President Elect

Tim Chesnutt

Director of Parks & Recreation

City of Rockville


Tim’s career in the public sector began more than 30 years ago when hired as a Recreation Supervisor with the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks.  From there, progression took him to Arlington County (VA) where his responsibilities were for Countywide Services, to Loudoun County (VA) as a Division Chief to become the Director; to the City of Jacksonville (NC) as the Department Director, and finally back home to Maryland where he serves as the Director of Recreation and Parks for the City of Rockville. While he has been involved in the leadership of every State Association over the course of his career, his years with MRPA are probably the most pertinent.  During his time with Anne Arundel County, he served MRPA in several capacities, including but not limited to, Ways and Means Chair, Treasurer and Chair of the RALS Branch; served on the Conference Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, as Membership Chair, and Treasurer for MRPA.  He believes in the value and importance of an inclusive, responsive, and representative professional association, and hopes to help guide OUR association to even greater heights.

Vice President

Holly Harden

Howard County Recreation & Parks

Holly is the Manager of Teen & Grant Programs for Howard Co. Recreation & Parks.  She holds a B.S. in Recreation with an emphasis in Program Administration from the Univ. of Maryland. She is a Certified Park & Recreation Professional.  In her 25 years in the field she has programmed for ages 1 to 90 working with classes, child care, camps, trips and special events. She is the chair of the Youth Development Coalition in Howard Co. and is a mentor/leader for Voices for Change, a leadership group for high school students.  She serves on the Fine Arts Advisory Council for Howard Co. Public School System.  She is passionate about youth engagement and program access. She served MRPA on the Conference Committee for several years, and is currently the Co-Chair.  She hopes to give back to the Association that has provided her opportunities for education, networking and professional growth.

Secretary/Treasurer Elect

Myra Butler

Kent County

A native of Maryland’s smallest county on the Eastern Shore, Kent County, Myra has over 23 yrs. of experience in the parks and recreation field.  Starting as a seasonal Summer Playground Counselor in 1992, she quickly navigated through numerous areas within the Kent County Dept. of Parks and Recreation in posts, including After School Director, Evening School Facility Supervisor, Special Events Assistant, Leaders Club Camp Counselor and assisting regularly with administrative clerical assignments.  In 1996 she became a FT Recreation Program Coordinator.  She has been an MRPA member since becoming a FT professional.  In 2005, she became the Recreation Supervisor for her Dept., and although most programming responsibilities were reduced, being in a small dept. kept her very much hands-on.  She became the Director and earned her CPRP.  She is also a certified Pool and Spa Operator in pursuit of Aquatics Facility Operator (AFO).  Her role in MRPA has included being part of the Rebranding Committee whose goal was to assess how MRPA could become more relevant to the entire membership as well as active professionals who were not currently members of MRPA.  She attended numerous MRPA sponsored workshops, trainings and the Annual Conference through which she has grown and developed both personally and professionally, along with being afforded invaluable opportunities for networking.  Additionally, for the past 3.5 yrs. she has served as Member-At-Large for the RALS Branch.  She believes it’s now time to take things to the next level in what she hopes will be her next role in our rewarding field, Secretary/Treasury. She is committed to seeing MRPA move forward in a direction that ensures that the legacy of our profession is one that is forever valued and embedded in the lives of many generations of professionals to come.



PARC Branch Candidates

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Chair Elect

Angela Hummer

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Angela holds a Master of Science Degree in Park and Recreation Resources Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Leisure Studies.  She brings 27 years of experience as a Park Ranger in a variety of park venues throughout Maryland.  Her certifications and affiliations include an AMA in General Management and Human Resources Management, First Responder Instructor, American Heart Association CPR/AED Instructor, Maryland Office of Tourism Training Certification, and Maryland Police Training.  Angela is President of the Maryland Rangers Association, is a Life Member of United Steam Engine Fire Co. #3 in Frederick, Maryland, and is a member of the “Wags for Hope” Pet Therapy Group.  She has received awards and commendations for her work with the Maryland Park Service and the Baltimore Shock Trauma Unit, and was awarded the Maryland Park Service Valor Award in 1998.  Angela’s commitment to community service and her wide range of experience within the Park setting, make her a viable candidate for the PARC Chair position.

Steve McCoy

Sandy Point State Park

Steve hopes to bring his passion, dedication, and expertise to MRPA. He has dedicated nearly 30 years of professional service to the field of Recreation and Parks. A long-time employee of the MD Park Service, he has filled many roles in state parks over his career. He worked in various locations, including Tuckahoe State Park in Queen Anne’s Co., Martinak State Park in Caroline Co., and Patapsco Valley State Park in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, and Carroll Counties. His early career focused on Education and Interpretation when he served as a Regional Program Mgr. for State parks in the Eastern Region of MD, the Mgr. of the Statewide Scales & Tales Environmental Education program, and ultimately the Chief of Interpretation and Education for all MD State Parks. Answering a call to return to fieldwork, Steve has worked during the past decade in managing parks including Point Lookout State Park, Seneca Creek State Park, and currently Sandy Point State Park. He holds a B.S. in Wildlife Management from the Univ.  of Maine. He has served in an active role in several professional and service organizations including MRPA, the Boy Scouts of America, and the National Assoc. for Interpretation, where he served on the National Board of Directors for several years. He continues to visit and enjoy parks throughout Maryland and beyond, as he and his family strive to stay connected to our natural world. As MRPA continues to grow and enter a new phase with Agency Memberships increasing our ranks and diversifying the expertise of our membership, Steve wants to help lead the PARC Branch through this transition and explore new training and networking opportunities for park professionals and resource managers all across the spectrum of state, county and local parks.


Gary Burnett

M-NCPPC - Mongtomery Parks

Gary has B.S. in Conservation and Resource Development from Univ. of MD and over 26 yrs. of service with the MD Park Service starting as a park ranger at Gunpowder Falls State Park in 1987. He later became the manager of Pocomoke River State Forest and Park, Elk Neck State Forest and Park and Patapsco Valley State Park before becoming the So. Regional Mgr. He became the Chief of Mission Support and Sustainability and the Dir. of Support Services for the MD State Park Service. Gary recently accepted a position with the M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks as the Northern Region Operations Mgr. Gary has served on the Boards of the Snow Hill Chamber of Commerce, DNR Black Officers Assoc., North East Chamber of Commerce, Cecil Co. Tourism Board, Cecil Co. Commission on Aging Foundation, Howard Co. Environmental Alliance, Baltimore Co. Community College Catonsville for Parks and Recreation majors, Carrie Murray Nature Center, Fallston Recreation Council, and is the Founder and President of the Friends of Carrie Murray Nature Center. Through his 26 years of service, he has worked at every operational level for the MD State Park Service from Ranger Trainee to Park Ranger Major. He is married to Nikki Brooks-Burnett, also a Park Ranger for the MD Park Service and has 2 sons in college.


Lisa Shore

Lisa has been a member of MRPA for over 30 years and hopes to bring energy and passion to the PARC Branch, while building partnerships between community organizations.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Master’s in Recreation and Parks.  She has served in various leadership positions to include,  Park Ranger and volunteer at Quiet Waters Park, PTA leadership positions with Anne Arundel County Public Schools, the MRPA Interagency Committee, the MRPA Children in Nature Committee, and has served on local management boards and advisory committees for Anne Arundel County.  Lisa hopes to continue her service and commitment to MRPA and the PARC Branch in serving on the Board.

Members At-Large (select 2)

Buffy Kirby

Retired, M-NCPPC

Buffy holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and is currently in her 2nd year of Graduate School, Teacher Leadership/Art Education, with concentration in Ecological Ethics and Community-based Education at the University of Maryland.  Retired after 33+ years of service to The Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, in office management and administrative support, she hopes to serve the PARC Branch in its objectives to conserve and maintain natural beauty throughout our statewide parks and trail systems.  Buffy brings both administrative and management expertise and long-standing leadership and volunteer service to her local community, serving on Associations and Boards at both the local and State level.

Ron Schroers

Montgomery Village Foundation

Ron has worked in the Recreation and Parks field for 28 years.  He currently works for the Montgomery Village Foundation, managing their parks and property.  Prior to working for the Village, he was Director of Recreation and Parks for the City of Westminster.  He has served as president and worked on several MRPA committees over the years and has enjoyed these opportunities.  Ron would like to continue serving the PARC Branch as an at-large member.

Grant Williams

Prince George's Parks and Recreation

Grant is a Park Maintenance Leader with The Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission.  He began his career with the Montgomery County Parks and is currently working in the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation.  He is a member of the Prince George’s Cultural Council and looks forward to serving the PARC Branch, with interest in organizing professional development and trainings for Branch members.



RALS Branch Candidates

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Chair Elect

Alexandria Wilson

Prince George's Parks and Recreation

Alexandria is a Recreation Specialist in Southern Prince George's Co. with M-NCPPC. In that role she works as a liaison for Youth and Teen Programming; Health & Wellness Ambassador for Southern Prince George’s Co; and manages Mobile Activity units just to name a few. She is a Recreation and Parks Management Graduate of Frostburg State Univ. She has been a member of MRPA since 2003 and an active member of both MRPA and RALS since 2008. Over the years, she constantly sought out opportunities to be more involved in MRPA. She is currently the Secretary of the RALS Branch, but has also served as Member at Large and Trainings/Workshops Committee Co-Chair of RALS, and has served as a former Marketing and Communication Chair of MRPA. She has continued to promote MRPA to others both inside the profession and work towards recruiting those that are not.


Leigh Ann Eckenrode

Prince George's Parks and Recreation

Leigh Ann is the Facility Director at Beltsville Community Center, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. She is going into her 7th year as a FT employee with M-NCPPC but has been involved in recreation and M-NCPPC since 1993 as a seasonal/intermittent employee. She served on several committees within MNCPPC, including the Health and Wellness Committee, Cotillion Committee, Lead Learner’s Committee, and Teen Vocal Showcase Committee. She became involved with MRPA and RALS as a result of employment with M-NCPPC. She served as RALS Secretary, RALS Chair, MRPA Conference Committee Co-Chair, and in several other capacities. She was awarded the MRPA Bi-Annual Award and the MRPA Committee of the Year Award – Conference Committee. She has also been awarded several awards within the RALS branch (Committee of the Year – Marketing and Communications Committee, Buffalo Wild Wings Softball Tournament Committee, Reach the Beach Flag Football Tournament Committee, and Outstanding Recreation Professional).



Wendy Donley

Prince George's Parks and Recreation

Wendy graduated from the Univ. of Delaware with a degree in Recreation and Parks Administration and received my Masters with a degree in Parks and Recreation Resource Management from Frostburg State Univ. She works for the M-NCPPC, Prince George's County Parks and Recreation. I am the Facility Manager for the Wells Ice Rink/Ellen Linson Splash Park.  She has been a member of MRPA and NRPA since 2001. She has been very active in the RALS branch serving as Member At Large, Secretary, Treasurer, and RALS Chair.  She has also presented education sessions at the NRPA Annual Conference and the MRPA Annual Conference as well as volunteering during the Conferences.  She is currently the RALS Treasurer and serves on the MRPA Awards Committee and the Conference Committee.

Robbin Oden

Prince George's Parks and Recreation

Robbin is an Area Specialist with M-NCPPC, Prince George’s Co. She has been working in recreation for over 15 years and have been a member of MRPA for 10 of those years.  In her current position she has an opportunity to work with youth and teen programming, sports leagues, Inclusion Services, volunteers, after school programs and summer programs.  She would like to be the Treasurer for the RALS Branch as an opportunity to become involved again with MRPA and the Branch.

Sara Swarr

Montgomery County Recreation

Sara Swarr is a Recreation Specialist on the Youth Development Team for Montgomery County Recreation. She supervises after school middle school based programs at selected middle schools throughout the county for a program called, “Excel Beyond The Bell”.  Within the program, she works with colleagues to ensure we are programming and staffing appropriately within our allocated funding for the fiscal year for all EBB sites.  For the past 3 years she has serving as the Secretary-Treasurer Elect, Secretary-Treasurer, and Past Secretary-Treasurer on the Executive Branch for MRPA.  As she ends that term, she is happy to accept the nomination to run for the position of Treasurer.

Member At-Large (select 2)

La'Toya Brooks

Queen Anne's County

La’Toya Brooks is a Recreation Assistant with the Queen Anne’s Co. Department of Community Services. La’Toya puts programs together for the summer camps and 3-5 year kiddie sports. Ms. Brooks was recently accepted into the MRPA Leadership Institute program; organized the softball clinic and tournaments with the Maryland-DC-Delaware ASA; provided coaching of Chesapeake Christian School and has acted as referee for volleyball games. Fundraising, whether it’s raising monetary donations for her child’s softball league or requesting supplies and/or promotional giveaways for community events, is a rewarding challenge. La’Toya has a can-do attitude, and is often called upon to lead staff training in ice breakers.  La’Toya Brooks is a single mother of two beautiful daughters, resides in Easton, and is passionate about life in general.

Ashley Gibbs

Prince George's Parks and Recreation

Ashley Gibbs has been that ‘behind the scenes person’ for the RALS Branch over the past couple of years and feel it’s time to get in front, serving in a greater capacity.  Her past experience includes helping with Conference Socials, Branch Fundraising, Marketing & Communications, and Awards. Currently she is working in the field at Ellen Linson-Herbert Wells Complex and the Greenbelt Aquatic & Fitness Center. It would be her pleasure and honor to help and serve as your Member at Large.

Owen McPherson

Prince George's Parks and Recreation

Owen is extremely proud to place his name in contention for the position of “Member at Large” for the RALS branch of MRPA. He has over 30 years of providing recreation/athletic programs across a large population of participants.  His current position is General Manager of Fairland Sports & Aquatics Complex, Watkins and Cosca Tennis Bubble, with direct control over daily business operations, budget operations, and programmatic concerns for the Aquatics, Gymnastics, Fitness Center, and 3 Indoor Tennis facilities (Cosca, Watkins Park, FSAC) in Prince George’s County. He greatly appreciate the opportunity to be considered for the position of “Member at Large” for the RALS committee of MRPA.

Jennifer Mogus

City of Gaithersburg

Jennifer is the Aquatics Superintendent for the City of Gaithersburg.  She is actively involved with the National Recreation and Parks Association where she just finished her term as Chair for the Aquatics Network.  She is an inaugural graduate of the MRPA Leadership Institute and recently earned her CPRE designation.  She is a graduate of Towson University with a Master of Arts in Teaching and enjoys teaching a variety of Aquatics courses.  She is excited about the opportunity to become part of the RALS leadership and give back to MRPA!

Jeremy Weiss

Prince George's Parks and Recreation

Jeremy is the Facility Director at Vansville Community Center with the M-NCPPC. While working passionately at various locations in Prince George's Co. his goals have been to provide exceptional recreational activities for all the communities he's served. Mr. Weiss is looking forward to coming on board as a Member at Large with the RALS Branch of MRPA.


TR Branch Candidates

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Chair Elect

Melissa Wyman

Potomac Community Resources, Inc.

Melissa Wyman is a certified therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS) and works as the Program Coordinator at PCR,inc., a non profit in Montgomery County that provides therapeutic, social, recreational and respite services for teenagers and adults with developmental Melissa Wyman graduated in December from Frostburg State University with her Master’s of Science in Recreation and Park Management. In addition to being PCR’s Program Coordinator, Melissa was invited to join Frostburg State University's Department of Kinesiology & Recreation as an adjunct professor teaching and advising Therapeutic Recreation students starting this spring semester.


Joya Johnson

Prince George's Parks and Recreation

Joya Johnson is currently a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist with the Prince George’s County MNCPPC and has worked in this position for seven years. Joya graduated from Bowie State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and is working on her Masters in Mental Health Counseling.  Joya previously worked in therapeutic recreation programs part-time for the M-NCPPC while working full-time as a Paraprofessional with the Prince George’s County Public Schools. Joya also serves on a number of committees and is an active member of the MPRA TR Branch.


Gen Jennai

Montgomery Parks

Genevieve Jennai, works as Program Access Specialist for Montgomery Parks after working as Inclusion Specialist for many years in Prince George’s County Parks & Recreation. Originally a Special Education teacher, Genevieve decided to stay on the same path, work in with individuals with disabilities, in a broader setting. Genevieve has previously served as the MRPA Therapeutic Recreation branch’s Treasurer, as well as the Secretary, and past chair. She has been a member of MRPA for about 8 years and counting… she is looking forward to being of service once again!


Member At-Large (select 2)

Mary Bowie

Prince George’s Parks and Recreation

 Mary is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and has been for the past 21 years.  She has presented locally, regionally and nationally on many therapeutic recreation and disability related topics to include: Effective Staff Training, Marketing, Positive Programming, Behavior Management, Adaptations and Modifications, and Budgeting and Funding Models, ADA compliance and Reasonable Accommodations.  She earned a degree in Human Services Techniques, with an emphasis in Adult and Family Counseling.  She received her undergraduate degree from York College of Pennsylvania in Recreation and Leisure Administration with concentrations in both Therapeutic Recreation and Community Recreation.  Mary is a member of the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA), and a member of the National Institute on Recreation Inclusion (NIRI) Steering Committee. She also has been an active professional member of the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association (MRPA) for over 23 years. She has received numerous awards for her work and has held many leadership positions within the Association to include the Executive Committee and Therapeutic Recreation Branch Chair.  In April 2008 she received the prestigious Excellence Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Therapeutic Recreation Award.    She is currently employed as the Therapeutic Recreation Manager.   She is responsible for the coordination and provision of Therapeutic Recreation Programs and Inclusion Services throughout the county.  Mary has worked with the Commission for the past twenty years and was instrumental in helping to formulate policies and in launching their Inclusion Services Program in 1995.

Melissa Davis

Prince George's Parks and Recreation

 Melissa Davis graduated from Winston-Salem State University with a Bachelor’s in Therapeutic Recreation in 2013 and received her Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist credential in 2014. She has been working with Maryland – National Capital Park and Planning Commission since 2012 as a part time staff and in 2014 became the Therapeutic Recreation Specialist I for the Central Area of Prince Georges County. She has been working at the Therapeutic Recreation Specialist II for the Northern Area of Prince Georges County since September 2015. She loves the field and all scopes of Therapeutic Recreation and maintains a passion for helping others and would love to continue to grow and mature in this field.

Kryss Lacovaro

Montgomery County Recreation

Kryss Lacovaro began working at age 13 when she volunteered at a camp for children with physical disabilities. From age 22-32 she taught special education during the week and ran a social club for adults with disabilities on the weekends.  During those 10 years, her summers consisted of directing two camps for individuals with disabilities.   In 2009 she began working with MNCPPC as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist.  In 2013, Kryss left MNCPPC and went to Montgomery County Recreation.  She is still working with MCR as a Therapeutic and Inclusion Recreation Specialist. Working with people with disabilities is her passion.

Brandon Morgan

Prince George's Parks and Recreation

Over the past 16 years, Brandon Morgan has served in several capacities for Prince George’s Parks and Recreation.  Prior to working for Parks and Recreation, Brandon was a full time teacher for Prince Georges County Public Schools for 11 years, working in Special Education and Physical Education.  He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Minor in Sport Management from Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, PA. In 2014, Brandon transitioned to career staff as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist for the Northern Area in the Special Programs Division.  During his tenure, he has served on several committees within the commission, and also is an active member of the Therapeutic Recreation Branch and Awards Committee with MRPA.

Nancy Pfeffer

Prince George's Parks and Recreation

Nancy Pfeffer has been in the field of recreation for over 25 years, she is employed by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation, as the Facility Director of the South Bowie Community Center, in Bowie MD. . She is responsible for the overall coordination, programming, hiring, training and supervision of the staff at the facility, where she has 90% retention of her hired staff. She has presented locally, regionally and nationally on Sponsorships and partnerships. Nancy has worked with the Commission for the past seventeen years and is Nancy has presented at the NRPA conference in 2012, 2013, 2014 2015 and MRPA in 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016 on topics pertaining to sponsorships, staff retention and Saving your "Cents" : Promoting Sensory Engagement. Nancy currently serves on The MRPA membership committee and is co-chair of the sponsorship committee.


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