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KRPA Conference & Trade Show Preliminary Schedule
Clickable Schedule PDF Available Here


Monday, January 30th (Pre-Conference)

9:00am-3:00pm
Esports Tour
(Pre-Conference) Join us for a trip to Level-Up facility in downtown Kansas City. Tour the facility and learn more about esports.


1:30pm-5:00pm
NAYS 
(Pre-Conference) 
The National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) will offer a special onsite Academy for Youth Sports Administrators for professionals pursuing the Certified Youth Sports Administrator (CYSA) credential. NAYS believe that every community should have at least one CYSA overseeing organized youth sports programs. After a half-day of hands-on training, participants will complete the certification process via the Online Academy system. This allows participants to experience both the Onsite and Online Academy, have an opportunity to meet the NAYS Academy faculty and to network with other youth sports professionals from Kansas.

Completing the Academy gives youth sports administrators a strong foundation of knowledge on issues pertaining to overseeing youth sports programs in today’s ever-changing environment. Some of the topics covered through the Academy are youth sports philosophy, professional development, volunteer management, child abuse prevention, parent management, conflict resolution, insurance and risk management, program evaluation and marketing. More than 4,700 professionals from around the world have earned this important certification.
Click here to register for NAYS.

1:00pm-5:00pm
Managing Conflict Workshop

Cost: $100
Speaker: Gayle Hopkins, Organizational Performance Solutions, LLC
(Pre-Conference) *Limited to 50 attendees. This 4-hour course helps participants understand the various sources of interpersonal conflict and develop the necessary skills to transform destructive disagreements into positive encounters that open the lines of communication, spurring high-quality ideas, greater collaboration and strengthened relationships. Participants develop an awareness of their own behavioral tendencies and preferences toward conflict management by completing and evaluating a validated personal conflict style self-assessment.

2:00pm-4:00pm
Tech Tours
(Pre-Conference) Join us for an open house of presentation from leading technology companies. Learn how you can harness the power of technology to advance your recreation and park department. Come hear from a carefully curated line-up of companies as they demonstrate their products and services.

2:00pm-4:00pm
Psychological Safety Workshop: Becoming the Leader the Future Needs You To Be

Cost: $75
Speaker: LaTonya Wilkins, Change Coaches
(Pre-Conference) *Limited to 50 attendees. The workplace is changing at an alarming rate. There are more generations in the workplace than ever, diversity and inclusion has evolved from an option to a must-have, and employees are working outside of a common space more than ever. All these changes have caused dominant, traditional, leadership approaches to become obsolete. In this workshop, we will gain an understanding of the future of work while challenging traditional leadership approaches. Participants will leave with a blueprint of their own personal leadership style that they will embrace in the future.

4:00pm-5:30pm
Sports Roundtable

7:00pm-10:00pm
Social at Chicken N Pickle

Cost: FREE with full package purchase
Join us at Chicken N Pickle in Overland Park, KS. Chicken N Pickle is a unique, indoor/outdoor entertainment complex whose mission is to provide an atmosphere that fosters fun, friendship and community. It boasts a fast-casual dining restaurant, 10 pickleball courts, bocce ball and shuffleboard courts, a bar and entertainment space, an outdoor game yard, and a game room with ping pong and TV screens. We’ve rented the place out for the evening, so we can kick off the 2023 Conference with friendly competition and yummy appetizers.


Tuesday, January 31st

8:00am-9:00am
Retired Member Breakfast
Room: Hawthorne
*Purchased ticket required for this breakfast.

8:00am-3:00pm
Student Summit
Room: Maple/Leatherwood 3

9:30am-11:00am
OPENING KEYNOTE: Half Full Of It™: Activating Optimism and Other Hardcore Soft Skills
Room: Leatherwood Ballroom
Speaker(s): Tami Evans
Are you or your team a bit rusty on relationship skills, a little crunchy on communication concepts and pooped-out on positivity? Soft skills are the new black and if you want to make the most of your personal and professional life, you had better know how to wear them! Tami will help you laugh your glass half full, and set you on a renewed path for a happier, healthier and more productive life!

11:00am-3:00pm
Trade Show
Room: Cottonwood Ballroom

3:15pm-5:30pm
From Coworker to Supervisor
Room: Leatherwood 1
Speaker(s): Gayle Hopkins, Organizational Performance Solutions, LLC
(2-hour Session) The transition from employee to supervisor is a delicate and complex one. You’ve worked together on projects, and maybe even became friends away from the job. Now you’re leading your peers and administering the project, and the relationships between you and your peers change. Leadership is a learned behavior, not a science with correct formulas and exact predictability. Effective supervisors work with their people to create clear direction, build effective teams, focus on customer needs and practice sound business management. This 2-hour course guides learners to consider and plan for how to make the transition from individual contributor to supervisor.

3:15pm-5:15pm
Park Tour #1
Our first park tour of 2 this conference will tour 3 beautiful parks: Meadowbrook, Strang and Thompson.

3:15pm-5:15pm
Facility Tour #1
The first facility tour of the 2023 Conference will cover the Blue Valley Recreation Commission and the Overland Park area showcasing Blue Valley "Sheels" Sports Complex and Blue Valley Recreation Center, Hilltop.

3:15pm-5:30pm
Active Shooter Response Within Park Settings
Room: Leatherwood 2
Speaker(s): Matt Witt, Retired from KUPSO/DPSO
(2-hour Session) Tabletop discussions and lectures on Active Shooter Response and management of a critical incident within a park setting.

3:15pm-4:15pm
Generation Roundtable - Administration Branch
Room: Leatherwood 3
Speaker(s): Administration Branch
The Admin Branch is hosting a roundtable where we’re asking our young professionals to talk to us! Agency leaders are constantly looking and searching for how to reach our young professionals, what they’re looking for in hiring and job, what works best for them, what turns them off, etc. We’re seeking a Call to Action for all KRPA Young Professionals who want to help us “oldies” learn more from them! All generations are invited to this roundtable where we can learn from the Young Professionals themselves.

3:15pm-4:15pm
Call of the Wild
Room: Maple
Speaker(s): Jenny Smith, Mission Park and Recreation
Borrowing ideas is the easiest way to keep your activities and programs fresh and exciting. Swing by the session and hear from your fellow parks & rec peers!

3:15pm-4:15pm
If you Build it, They Will Come
Room: Linden
Speaker(s): Ryan Peterson, RDG Planning and Design; Jason Blome, RDG Planning and Design
This presentation will focus on the planning and design of the Field of Dreams Youth Sports Complex in Dyersville, Iowa. Attendees will gain an appreciation of the design philosophy, development intent, impact and overall experience that is the Field of Dreams. Special attention will be given to the approach, timeline and implementation of the first phase of improvements from master plan to completion.

3:15pm-4:15pm
About the MAHC: Demystifying and Understanding the Model Aquatic Health Code
Room: Hawthorne 1
Speaker(s): Dewey Case, Council for the Model Aquatic Health Code (CMAHC)
The CDC Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) is a guidance document based on science and best practices to ensure healthy and safe experiences in public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds. Now on its 5th Edition, the MAHC has been an influential force in the world of health codes and operating commercial swimming pools. This session will dive in to explain what the MAHC is, how it’s updated and, most importantly, its relevance to owners/operators of commercial pools across the country.

3:15pm-4:15pm
Chainsaw Safety and Maintenance
Room: Hawthorne 2
Speaker(s): Kevin Viestenz, Crader Distributing Company/Stihl
We will cover the safe use of a chainsaw and the reactive forces that can occur while using a chainsaw. We will finish with maintenance tips that help operators get longer life out of the equipment.

4:30pm-5:30pm
Emergency Preparedness in Youth Sports – Are You Ready?
Room: Leatherwood 3
Speaker(s): Lisa Licata, National Alliance for Youth Sports
Accidents, injuries and unexpected incidents can and DO happen in youth sports – and they can strike at any time. We will examine emergency types and preparedness, plus we will discuss specific actions that must be taken to build a thick protective shield and to be ready for emergency situations.

4:30pm-5:30pm
Tree Injection Best Management Practices
Room: Hawthorne 2
Speaker(s): Justin Matlock, Rainbow Ecoscience; Cory McDurry, Rainbow Ecoscience
Tree injection is an integral part of any Plant Health Care toolbox. In this presentation, we will look at why use tree injection, common uses, and proper application methods and equipment.

4:30pm-5:30pm
Panel Discussion, Rising Issues - Employee Recruitment, Retention
Room: Maple
Speaker(s): Park Branch
The panel will discuss an overview of local issues and efforts pertaining to overall employee recruitment and retention. Topics will include incentives, total rewards, pay, flexible schedules, career ladder, required education, training and certifications. The session is intended to be interactive between the panel and the audience including question and answers.

4:30pm-5:30pm
Extraordinary Events Delivered
Room: Hawthorne 1
Speaker(s): Jo Ellis, Lawrence Parks and Recreation; Matt McClure, Baldwin City Recreation Commission; Jason Garvert, Spring Hill Recreation Commission; Barbara McGuire, Wichita Park and Recreation
E
verybody loves special events... but do you want to try something different and exciting? Hear from professionals around Kansas on their spin on special events and how to incorporate them into your community.

4:30pm-5:30pm
Small Community Strategy
Room: Linden
Speaker(s): Brian Peel, Spring Hill Recreation Commission
A detailed review of best practices in small communities. Many times, education sessions focus on strategy and information that is directed to medium and large-size communities and departments. This session will focus on strategies specific to small organizations and how large community strategies can be adjusted and applied in a small community.

4:30pm-5:30pm
Networking 101
Room: Juniper
Speaker(s): Tom McEvoy, Emporia Recreation Commission
The objective of this session is to learn the importance of networking with not only your colleagues within the association, but also with individuals within your communities. Learn from of past “experts” in our field the most effective ways to network. Since this is the last session of the day, the leaders of this session will use creative ways to help meet the aspirations of effective networking.Transforming a golf course for a few to a park for many; reimagining three under-preforming open spaces into signature recreational facilities and mixed-use developments. The presentation will feature a discussion of three specific projects including: The Meadowbrook Mixed Use Development; Lake Olathe Park and Clapp Park. Each of these facilities were golf courses that were closed and reenvisioned into destination park facilities and developments providing a variety of parks and recreation facilities for each of their communities.Transforming a golf course for a few to a park for many; reimagining three under-preforming open spaces into signature recreational facilities and mixed-use developments. The presentation will feature a discussion of three specific projects including: The Meadowbrook Mixed Use Development; Lake Olathe Park and Clapp Park. Each of these facilities were golf courses that were closed and reenvisioned into destination park facilities and developments providing a variety of parks and recreation facilities for each of their communities.Transforming a golf course for a few to a park for many; reimagining three under-preforming open spaces into signature recreational facilities and mixed-use developments. The presentation will feature a discussion of three specific projects including: The Meadowbrook Mixed Use Development; Lake Olathe Park and Clapp Park. Each of these facilities were golf courses that were closed and reenvisioned into destination park facilities and developments providing a variety of parks and recreation facilities for each of their communities.Transforming a golf course for a few to a park for many; reimagining three underperforming open spaces into signature recreational facilities and mixed-use developments. The presentation will feature a discussion of three specific projects including: The Meadowbrook Mixed Use Development; Lake Olathe Park and Clapp Park. Each of these facilities were golf courses that were closed and reenvisioned into destination park facilities and developments providing a variety of parks and recreation facilities for each of their communities.

7:00pm-10:00pm
Social at the KC Royals Stadium
Location: Kauffman Stadium
Let’s celebrate like Royal-ty. It might not be the Worlds Series, but we are bringing our 75th Anniversary celebration to Kauffman Stadium. This will be a party like no other in KRPA history with yummy food, drinks, a DJ, stadium tours and a chance to have your face on the jumbotron. Buses leave at 6:30pm. Sponsored by MUSCO Lighting and Landscape Structures.
    


Wednesday, February 1st

8:30am-11:00am
Park Tour #2
The park tour on Feb. 1st will take attendees through several of the most natural parks and largest bodies of water on the western side of Johnson County- Lake Olathe, Kill Creek, Shawnee Mission Park and Blackhoof Park.

9:00am-10:00am
Better Together! How to Drive Work Culture Through the Internal CX
Room: Leatherwood 1
Speaker(s): A’Yanna Webster, Winning Within
In this session, participants will identify and explore key individual and team behaviors that support a healthy work culture. Participants will be given a framework to intentionally build an internal customer experience (CX) that leads to a positive, inclusive and collaborative work environment where team members thrive and customers reap the benefit.

9:00am-10:00am
Homelessness and the Park Professional
Room: Leatherwood 2
Speaker(s): Donald Forgione, Tailgate-Talks
Homeless people pose a unique issue concerning public safety. Some individuals attempt to hide their existence; others establish themselves in parks or other public places. Although living on the streets is not a crime, a sizable homeless population impacts everyone’s community safety and quality of life. While homelessness is a community issue, park professionals are often called to “handle” these situations alone more frequently. This interactive session will examine the facts on this unique population and challenge participants to share their experiences and solutions to help manage their response to this population.

9:00am-10:00am
Regenerating Ecosystems: A Holistic Approach to Operations & Maintenance
Room: Maple
Speaker(s): Will Metcalf, SWT Design; Christina Hoxie, AICP, Hoxe Collective; Jessica Norris, PHD, Biohabitats
Parks departments across the country are consistently being asked to do more with less. This can range from increased strain on existing spaces and facilities to transforming or updating parks to reflect new community needs. These pressures can be addressed through a holistic rethinking of Operations and Maintenance practices. Attendees will learn about ecosystem services parks can provide, how to successfully ensure long-term benefits, and outcomes related to ecology and community development. Experts in park planning, community development, and landscape ecology will walk through the planning process and outcomes of historic Kessler Park in Kansas City, Missouri to contextualize learnings from the session.

9:00am-10:00am
Science of Happiness
Room: Leatherwood 3
Speaker(s): Michelle Lane, North Kansas City Hospital
These are challenging times…the world has changed…let’s make it for the better. To navigate these challenges, we need to think different and be different. National studies suggest that burnout is at record highs. Burnout is a syndrome characterized by exhaustion, cynicism and reduced effectiveness and influences the quality of work, employee turnover and satisfaction. Addressing burnout isn’t a shiny brochure on the break room table. We plan our day in our head...we run thru what our day is going to look like, during our shower or our drive to work. We plot out what needs to be accomplished, maybe we vow to hit the gym, get the chicken out for dinner, or maybe pick up more toilet paper. The one thing we forget to plan is our happiness...we expect happiness to just show up at our doorstep like a pizza delivery…it doesn’t. Happiness takes work, it’s like a muscle, it takes energy and intentionality to grow it and feel it. I am going to share with you the science behind happiness, why it’s so darn good for us and ways we can grow our happiness muscle using evidence-based strategies.

9:00am-10:00am
Water Safety Strategies For Underserved Communities
Room: Hawthorne 1
Speaker(s): Kyle McCawley, PE, Waters Edge
This session will focus on the challenges of providing water safety skills to underserved communities. The objectives will be to identify historical challenges of connecting aquatics and underserved communities and Highlight the benefits that can be achieved by making the connection to underserved communities

9:00am-10:00am
Youth Sports Compliance - Setting Standards and Enforcing Requirements
Room: Hawthorne 2
Speaker(s): Lisa Licatta, National Alliance for Youth Sports
A young athlete's experience in sports is directly influenced by their coach. Coaching requirements like background checks, child abuse prevention trainings, concussion certificates, sport skills clinics, and code of ethics pledges exist to create a safe and positive environment for children. Whether your requirements for youth sports coaches come from local, state, and national legislation or from your agency's policies, tracking compliance with imposed requirements does not have to be a headache. In this session, we will review industry standards for youth sports coaches, share tools and tactics to maintain compliance with coach related policies, and we will review examples of successful agencies, including one large agency that set strict coaching standards and oversees thousands of coaches from nearly 60 youth sports user groups. Plus, we will discuss requirements for other youth sports volunteers, staff, officials, and parents.

9:00am-10:00am
Building and Developing a Nutrition Program
Room: Linden
Speaker(s): Kylie Keller, K2 Performance Nutrition
During this session, Kylie Keller will discuss all the details of building a program and review obstacles along the way. He will discuss what the day-to-day looks like at the college level and review the expectations that come with a large program; comparing these to starting a smaller program within a recreation department or smaller school. Within this, we will look at staffing, budgeting and working with vendors to meet expectations. Next, we will dive into starting a private practice consulting business.

9:00am-10:00am
Inclusive Play Matters: Whole Child, Whole Environment, Whole Community Design Best Practices
Room: Cottonwood 1
Speaker(s): Bill Patterson, Cunningham Recreation
Thoughtfully aligning evidence-based design best practices that address the physical, social-emotional, cognitive, sensory, and communicative needs of all children can create truly equitable and inclusive play and recreation destinations that break down barriers for both physical access and social participation. Case examples, new research, and resources will inspire park professionals to champion inclusive park destinations and make a validated case for inclusive play to better meet the needs of a diverse society.

10:15am-11:15am
You’ve Got This! Managing Difficult Customer Interactions Like A Pro!
Room: Leatherwood 1
Speaker(s): A’Yanna Webster, Winning Within
In this session, participants will learn strategies to manage the inevitable conflict that arises in customer-facing roles. Participants will spend time identifying their personal approach to conflict, learn how to effectively engage in difficult situations, and apply actions that result in a win-win resolve.

10:15am-11:15am
Youth Sports Officials: Why Officiating Counts More than Ever
Room: Hawthorne 2
Speaker(s): Gordie Wetmore, Board of Directors, Kansas Sports Officials Association, Kansas Youth Soccer - Director of Referee Development, KSHSAA Official; Trent Buchman, Blue Valley Recreation Commission
One of the foundational ideals of officiating is the very challenge of it. What are the necessary ingredients for any program to put officials in their best place to succeed? Teaching them smarter using new curricula and methods of delivery. Training them quicker by focusing on survival fundamentals. Networking across demographic boundaries. Informing everyone on the positives and negatives of social media. As sportsmanship continues to get worse we will discuss ways to get your parents, players, coaches and officials to work together to create a positive and successful youth sports culture.

10:15am-11:15am
The Power of a Great Image
Room: Leatherwood 2
Speaker(s): Donald Forgione, Tailgate-Talks
Our image as park professionals is based on years of countless employees before us. Their dedication, passion, and sacrifice make being a park professional today an important position in the community. This interactive session will explore practical ways to maintain this high standard in 2023 and beyond.

10:15am-11:15am
Improve Operations and Planning Using GIS and Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (SMMS)
Room: Juniper
Speaker(s): Josh Lehman, Shawnee County Parks + Recreation; Jeremy Myers City of Overland Park, Parks and Recreation, Lee; Allen City of Overland Park, Parks and Recreation
Building a strong asset management program can help build a foundation of time management and communication within an agency. Why is this so important to Parks and Recreation? What are GIS, CMMS and other acronyms and what do they do for Parks and Recreation? Every agency has assets to maintain and future maintenance/replacement expenses to plan for. See how utilizing GIS data in conjunction with a CMMS improves operations and planning within park systems.

10:15am-11:15am
The Basics of Aquatic Sediment Removal and Dewatering
Room: Maple
Speaker(s): Matthew Gardner, PE, CFM, GBA; Mark Hannah, Stream, Lake and Wetland Solutions
This session will address an overview of dredging and provide an outline for steps to have a successful project. What is dredging - types, equipment, pros and cons? Why is dredging needed? How much material needs removed and where to dispose of it? What steps need to be determined and completed for a successful project? Where to begin? Experts within the field will discuss the engineering, sedimentation study, and bathymetric measurements in addition to the process of hydraulic dredging.

10:15am-11:15am
The Ins and Outs of Aquatic Inflatables
Room: Hawthorne 1
Speaker(s): Shelby Duncan, City of Olathe; Renee Reis, City of Overland Park
Do you operate an inflatable aquatic attraction or are you thinking of adding one to your facility? This session will take a look from an operator’s stance on all things inflatable. From picking a style and location to operations and maintenance (including KDOL Amusement Ride Act and Operator trainings) and all the in-between, this session will help you on your path.

10:15am-11:15am
Stop Complaining: From Grumbles to Gratitude
Room: Leatherwood 3
Speaker(s): Michelle Lane, North Kansas City Hospital
Everybody needs to vent sometimes, but constant complaining isn’t good for your overall health, damages relationships and limits success. This session can help you gain an understanding of why people complain and tips for changing your ways.

10:15am-11:15am
Designing Fitness Centers that EXCITE!
Room: Linden
Speaker(s): Jeff Paxton, Advance Exercise; Laura Emrich, Advanced Exercise
How do you build or refresh a fitness and wellness space to inspire and excite? The details can be more daunting than you think, and the right process can help you create best-in-class results. The key to successful fitness spaces is a well-thought-out plan, collaboratively designed to meet the expectations of your community. The session will cover the design/layout process in new and existing facilities from start to finish, show layout examples, and show some new industry trends.

11:30am-1:00pm
Awards Lunch
Room: Cottonwood 2 and 3
Drumroll, please. And the winner is… Let’s honor the best of the best at the Awards Luncheon. We’ll celebrate the newest inductee(s) into the KRPA Hall of Fame and the distinguished annual award winners.

1:15pm-2:15pm
Successful Strategies for Working with Gen Z
Room: Leatherwood 1
Speaker(s): Chad Beasley, Midwest Pool Management; Brandon Stortz, Midwest Pool Management
Every generation believes that the one that comes after is difficult to work with. What if we told you that working with Gen Z is not as difficult as you think? This session will cover strategies that MPM - KC has employed to grow its seasonal workforce and retain those young people whom millennials, Gen X, and beyond have struggled to relate to. We will discuss how Gen Z likes to be managed and how a few adjustments make it relatively simple to relate to these young people.

1:15pm-2:15pm
Trends in Play Space Design
Room: Leatherwood 2
Speaker(s): Trevor Howard, Landscape Structures
Parks today face the challenge of providing environments that will attract children and families to engage, play and stay. To compete with indoor, more sedentary activities. In this session, we will examine playground trends that create kid magnets, facilitate multi-generational interaction and signature playgrounds that tell a community story. Discussions will also focus on the opportunities for stronger collaboration between playground designers and park planners.

1:15pm-2:15pm
Creating & Sustaining a Strong Work/Life Balance
Room: Leatherwood 3
Speaker(s): Les Norman, Breakin’ the Norm radio host
In this session, attendees will discover areas of their work, home and personal life that can be adjusted in order to feel energized, experience more joy in life, and see increased productivity in their work. They’ll learn easy ways to manage their time more efficiently, and most importantly, gaining more time during the day!

1:15pm-2:15pm
Artificial Turf Maintenance & Repairs
Room: Linden
Speaker(s): Brandon Schmidt, Fix A Field LLC
Artificial Turf Maintenance & Repairs covering playgrounds and sports fields

1:15pm-2:15pm
The Social Shake Up
Room: Hawthorne 1
Speaker(s): Kate Kincaid, City of Shawnee
Easy social media trends, tips, and tricks to help promote recreation activities and events in your community. What platforms best engage with your target audience, free websites to spice up your visual content, plus tips for scheduling and organizing your social plans! Save money in your advertising budget and market smarter, not harder

1:15pm-2:15pm
Aquatic Operations Manual & Maintenance Plans
Room: Hawthorne 2
Speaker(s): Brian Hill, Water’s Edge Aquatic Design
A dive into the importance of operation manuals and maintenance plans. What needs to be included, how to organize it, and how it helps your operation.

1:15pm-2:15pm
We like to Move it, Move it! - Youth Fitness
Room: Maple
Speaker(s): Alison Smith, Johnson County Park and Recreation District; Jenny Smith, Mission Parks and Recreation
Youth wellness, it SOUNDS like a great program, but how do you hook em so they keep coming back for classes? In this session, we’ll talk about keeping your Youth Fitness classes and programs fresh, and we’ll dive into the discussion of tweens being on your fitness floor. How do you determine what age is too young?

1:15pm-2:15pm
Budgeting Basics
Room: Juniper
Speaker(s): Jeremy Myers, Overland Park, Park and Recreation
Are you a new supervisor that has little to no experience with budgeting? Are you wondering what a cost recovery model may look like or what funding is available within your organization? With being a new or mid-level Supervisor, budgeting is not your top priority, but it will be as you grow in your profession. Learn more about budgets and how to manage your area’s budget.

2:30pm-3:30pm
The Dollars and Sense of Parks and Recreation
Room: Leatherwood 1
Speaker(s): Farrell Buller, 110%
The recent health, economic and social crises have created an urgent need for organizations to better understand their financial realities in order to prepare themselves for the uncertainties that lie ahead. What better way to help your organization and ultimately your community than by instilling financial discipline, understanding the cost of providing services to make informed decisions moving forward, and adopting financial management practices and policies that will help strengthen your organization for the long haul. This is what cost recovery is all about.

2:30pm-3:30pm
Invisible Privilege: If You Don’t Know, Then You Have It
Room: Leatherwood 2
Speaker(s): Misty Town, Johnson County Park and Recreation District
With terms like unconscious bias, microaggressions, systemic racism and structural inequity, you might still be struggling to fully comprehend where your place is in this politically correct world, even if you consider yourself an open-minded ally and are completely “woke”. The reality is, we all have privilege of one kind or another. The real question isn’t do I have privilege; it’s how do I choose to use it? During this session you will gain a better understand of your own personal privilege and discuss ways to use it as resource to help others.

2:30pm-3:30pm
Ranger First: Developing a Public Servant Attitude
Room: Leatherwood 3
Speaker(s): Phil Gaines, Clemson University
In this session, we will discuss the value of incorporating your skills as a park ranger into your law enforcement philosophy without compromising safety or compliance. We will identify specific techniques and philosophies that assist in creating a safe and respectful park environment, discuss and overview the role of public service in the park and recreation field, and identify opportunities for improvement for you and your organization in incorporate the Ranger First attitude as part of your law enforcement procedures and routines.

2:30pm-3:30pm
50 in 50: Trends Around America
Room: Maple
Speaker(s): Jenny Smith, Mission Park and Recreation; Kari Baesel, Johnson County Park and Recreation District
From coast to coast, north to south, what is happening in the world of recreation programming in the United States? Be there as we uncover what other agencies are offering, unique program ideas and networking information for recreation staff just like you. Leave with 50 programs/events ideas to implement in your community.

2:30pm-3:30pm
Developing Orientations for Seasonal Employees
Room: Hawthorne 1
Speaker(s): Sydni Baker, Manhattan Parks and Recreation
With short seasons and large staff, developing orientations for Parks and Recreation seasonal employees is an important step to building a successful, knowledgeable team, capable of meeting your department’s goals and objectives. From on-boarding and staff handbooks, to certifications, facility tours, and even emergency action plans, we’ll discuss how to fit all of that pertinent material into a shorter seasonal staff-sized training model, so everyone comes out the other side ready to facilitate all your department’s needs.

2:30pm-3:30pm
Supporting Transgender Athletes in Youth Sports
Room: Hawthorne 2
Speaker(s): Tiff Cunin, National Recreation and Park Association
This lecture-style session with a dialogue-centered design will provide an educational framework around gender identity, health equity, social participation and youth while allowing participants to reflect on and think critically about the importance of inclusion, and how inclusive practices influence the social-emotional development youth.

2:30pm-3:30pm
Genealogy - Find Your Story
Room: Linden
Speaker(s): Janice Jewett, Pittsburg State University; Laura Covert-Miller, Pittsburg State University; Rick Hardy, Pittsburg State University; Shelby Hutchens Pittsburg State University
It’s a great time to start your genealogy research and look into your past! In this session, attendees can learn tools for conducting their own personal research as well as ideas for collaborating with others to produce genealogy events, workshops and more to help others find their stories!

2:30pm-3:30pm
We Play Too
Room: Cottonwood 1
Speaker(s): Stephanie Sanford, Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas; Colin Olenick, Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas
Parks and recreational areas are an extremely important aspect of life. Unfortunately, all too often there is a group of individuals who are unable to enjoy even a simple trip to the park. Unless serious thought is given to inclusion, many times we build grand structures that only people who can walk can enjoy or imagine creating a beautifully colorful display and if you were blind, you would never know this beauty. Not only people with disabilities, but individuals who are aging, parents with multiple children of different ages, and others will benefit from making all areas accessible. Join us as we discuss some simple ways to make places more accessible and discover the many reasons why we need to do this.

2:30pm-3:30pm
Employee Handbooks & Legal Update
Room: Cottonwood 2
Speaker(s): Brian Huston, OutrightHR, LLC
An in-depth look at how to go about revising employee handbooks or policy changes. Brian will talk about easy ways to make the document more engaging and valuable to your team. We’ll end with a quick update regarding employment law.

2:30pm-3:30pm
Call for Wellness
Room: Juniper
Speaker(s): Jeremiah Salazar, Overland Park, Parks and Recreation
Come one, come all! Join a roundtable discussion that will help with new ideas for your wellness programs. This is a great opportunity for you to bring your previous or current activities; good or bad. With an open discussion, you will have a chance to share what has worked and what did not work with your program. At the end of the session, you will have gained opportunities you can implement for new programs such as weight loss challenges, wellness activities, incentives, and many more.

3:45pm-4:45pm
Beyond Budgeting
Room: Leatherwood 1
Speaker(s): Farrell Buller, 110%
As we know, being highly effective stewards of taxpayer resources takes more than a basic understanding of economic principles; there are a plethora of other vital considerations beyond budgeting. And as we begin to assess and impact the future, we must first learn. This session guides participants on how to best leverage financial discipline and forecasting with truly understanding your organization and communities’ unique realities. Together we’ll cover the principal considerations of an unmitigated commitment to strengthening our communities’ social fabric, creating rules and policies that favor the common good, and doing some tough but necessary work which will require courage, resolve, determination, and strength of character.

3:45pm-4:45pm
Transgender and Gender Identity Panel
Room: Leatherwood 2
Speaker(s): Misty Town, Johnson County Park and Recreation District and Panel Guests
While people who identify as transgender and nonbinary are increasingly visible in both popular culture and in daily life, there is still severe discrimination, stigma and systemic inequality facing this community. During this session, you will gain a better understanding about gender identity and gender expression, and how to best provide a safe and welcoming services for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals.

3:45pm-4:45pm
The Shift from Languishing to Flourishing to Live a Thriving Life
Room: Linden
Speaker(s): Haley Prophet, Garmin
Well-known author, Adam Grant, was not off base when he famously wrote about languishing in his New York Times article in 2021. In fact, well-being practitioners, coaches and professionals alike have been discussing and encouraging the state of flourishing in many practices for quite some time. But what does all of this really mean? What can I do about it? Does it impact my personal and professional life? To live whole, and have a sense of flourishment, we must also reflect on what it means to live a thriving life. I will share what I have learned as a well-being professional and what we have incorporated into our workplace and within the community to acknowledge the role well-being plays in living a flourishing, thriving life.

3:45pm-4:45pm
What Happened to Customer Service?
Room: Leatherwood 3
Speaker(s): Phil Gaines, Clemson University
In this session, we will discuss the importance of customer service in the park and recreation field, and what has changed in a post-pandemic world. We will identify specific challenges for customer service in a post-pandemic world, discuss and overview specific techniques and philosophies to improve customer service, and identify new opportunities for improvement for you and your organization in customer service focusing on developing a service culture that is true to your mission and core values rather than just “training” employees.

3:45pm-4:45pm
Aquatics Roundtable
Room: Hawthorne 2
Speaker(s): Jen Wegener, Emporia Recreation Commission
We will be discussing hot topics in the aquatics industry.

3:45pm-4:45pm
Inclusive Sports
Room: Hawthorne 1
Speaker(s): Tim Rehder, Special Olympics Kansas; Taylor Obersteadt
How recreation departments can increase growth and visibility through transition programming. As Unified Sports (SO athletes teaming with non SO athletes (partners)) grows, there is a need for more and more partners and recreation departments can help recruit partners. By increasing the number of partners, departments will be able to offer more inclusive sports to their communities.

3:45pm-4:45pm
Exciting and Impactful Orientation Activities to Train Summer Camp Staff
Room: Maple
Speaker(s): Roz Buck, Roz and Jed Training and Consulting; Jed Buck, Roz and Jed Training and Consulting
Training seasonal summer staff is critical to the success of every camp program. These staff members are responsible for the safety and well-being of campers and are charged with making sure the program is both safe and satisfying for all campers. At this highly interactive session, attendees participate in a variety of activities that can be used throughout summer camp staff orientation to maximize learning and retention and create an exceptional staff orientation.

3:45pm-4:45pm
Transforming a Golf Course for a Few to a Park for Many
Room: Cottonwood 1
Speaker(s): PJ Novick and Hank Moyers, Confluence
Transforming a golf course for a few to a park for many; reimagining three underperforming open spaces into signature recreational facilities and mixed-use developments. The presentation will feature a discussion of three specific projects including: The Meadowbrook Mixed Use Development; Lake Olathe Park and Clapp Park. Each of these facilities were golf courses that were closed and reenvisioned into destination park facilities and developments providing a variety of parks and recreation facilities for each of their communities.

3:45pm-4:45pm
Hire Right
Room: Cottonwood 2
Speaker(s): Brian Huston, OutrightHR, LLC
This session will discuss how to achieve better hiring results. We will also cover common mistakes, the cost of those mistakes, and how to address and correct those common pitfalls.

6:00pm-9:30pm
Social- 75th Anniversary Celebration
Location: Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center
This social will feature the Big Show Dueling Pianos as the evening entertainment. Dinner will start at 6:00, and KRPA branch award winners will be honored at 7:00pm. Also, start practicing your “yep” and personal signal/sign for this year’s KRPA hybrid live auction that will be going on at this social, along with our traditional silent auction. We are changing a few things up this year by adding professional cowboy auctioneers (Nigro Brothers Auctioneers) to have a LIVE auction off the hot ticket items. Get ready for some fun trying to outbid your fellow park and rec professionals! We will be auctioning off the hot ticket items. Sponsored by Cunningham Recreation.

Thursday, February 2nd

9:00am-11:15am
Facility Tour #2
Join us for a tour of 3 unique and outstanding facilities: Lenexa Recreation Center, Shawnee Mission School District Aquatic Center (SMSDAC), Merriam Community Center.

9:00am-11:15am
Rural Communities
Room: Leatherwood 1
Speaker(s): Farrell Buller, 110%
(2-hour Session) Recreation Professionals - have you ever felt like you have limited staffing, resources, or support? In this training, we will discuss the reality of working in small organizations, both discussing challenges as well as celebrating our strengths. This interactive workshop will be a combination of lecture, panel discussion, professional reflection, and group round table. This will give you new ideas, resources, and strengthen your networking connections. While we have designed this program specifically for communities whose staff size is between 1-4 FTE, staff of all levels are welcome to attend.

9:00am-10:00am
Ice Breakers That Do More Than Break the Ice
Room: Maple
Speaker(s): Roz Buck, Roz and Jed Training and Consulting; Jed Buck, Roz and Jed Training and Consulting
We’ve all done them…those ice breakers at the start of staff training, a staff meeting, or an event. Yes, they’re a fun way to start things off, but did anyone ever take the time to explain “WHY” we do these goofy games and silly activities? The debrief or reflection is the most important part of every training exercise. It’s what gives us the teachable moments that we need to convey important messages to our staff and/or participants. During this session, attendees will participate in a variety of unique, fun, and impactful icebreakers. We will share meaningful debriefs for each one that you can incorporate into your staff training or programming so that your ice breakers do more than just break the ice!

9:00am-10:00am
Lifelong Lessons in Leadership (Operations/Leadership/Management)
Room: Leatherwood 2
Speaker(s): Chris Stevenson, The Empower Group
Leadership is not about making people do things; it’s giving them the tools to do things that they never thought they could. In this engaging and interactive session, learn the keys to effective leadership and receive tangible tools that can be implemented immediately. Prepare to be inspired!

9:00am-10:00am
Staying Relevant, and Connecting with your Visitors
Room: Leatherwood 3
Speaker(s): Phil Gaines, Clemson University
In this session, we will discuss the importance of staying relevant to all audiences as we communicate and develop interpretative programs across a diverse audience. The session will focus on the importance of communications in the exchange of information and in the interpretation our heritage and natural resources. During the session, we will identify specific challenges and opportunities in communication and interpretation as it relates to our parks, recognize the importance of staying engaged and informed on trends, currents events and pop culture, and discuss and identify opportunities for improvement for you and your organization in incorporate this new knowledge into park interpretation and programs.

9:00am-10:00am
Water Chemistry- How to Achieve a Safe, Healthy, and Happy Aquatics Facility
Room: Hawthorne 1
Speaker(s): Jende Smith, City of St. Joseph
Let’s dive into water chemistry and talk about what we can do to ensure a successful swimming season. Discussing indoor, outdoor, and splash pad operations, participants will learn the differences in health department considerations, sanitation requirements, and staffing needs for different types of facilities. Resources will also be available to assist operators in developing a facility-specific action plan for those unexpected moments when faced with a water chemistry crisis including suspected RWI (Recreational Water Illnesses) exposure.

9:00am-10:00am
It’s Child’s Play
Room: Hawthorne 2
Speaker(s): Julie Eastland PT,DPT, Britain Development; Gracia Matlack, PT, DPT, Britain Development; Shelby Arpin, Pt, DPT, Britain Development
This presentation will address early childhood development and the importance of play. Play is a child’s work and outdoor spaces in the community that are designed well can enhance the opportunities for growth. This 3-part session will include ways to encourage physical development through community spaces and activities, as well as ways to adapt swimming lessons and sports programs to be more inclusive for children of all abilities.  

9:00am-10:00am
LGBTQ+ 101: What’s up with all of those Letters?
Room: Linden
Speaker(s): Misty Town, Johnson County Park and Recreation District
Have you heard acronyms like “LGBT,” “LGBTQ” or “LGBTQ+” and asked yourself what does any of that mean? Do you feel you lack the skills needed to address concerns and questions from patrons and co-workers who identify as LGBTQ? Gain a better understanding of current terminology such as, queer, pansexual, intersexed, gender fluid and transgender. In addition you will learning about issues facing the LGBTQ community while having the opportunity to ask questions in a safe and non-judgmental space.

9:00am-10:00am
The EASY way to ENGAGE your Community with Nutrition and Physical Activity Classes
Room: Juniper
Speaker(s): Tandy Rundus, K-State Research and Extension- SNAP-Ed
K-State Extension agents provide research-based nutrition and health education programs statewide. Extension’s SNAP-Ed staff provide nutrition and physical activity classes for low-resource audiences. Engaging your community through nutrition and physical activity classes is as easy as contacting the local Extension Office. Let us do the heavy lifting for you. Sharing more information about who Kansas SNAP-Ed and K-State Research and Extension are - as we have staff in many locations throughout the state that can come in to meet with Rec Center staff and determine if one of our existing nutrition education series classes (SNAP-Ed does 6-8 sessions usually - but is focused on a low-resource audience) or even single session classes (these are more informational in nature) might be a fit for what is needed at the local level. The connection with K-State Research and Extension offices as the educators would be the focus of the “how to start”. And I could also share more about the programs and services available for health from K-State Research and Extension including Stay Strong Stay Healthy (for older adults), Walk Kansas (8 week program each spring) Dining with Diabetes (an in-person or online cooking class for persons with diabetes) and more.

9:00am-10:00am
Sportsmanship Panel
Room: Cottonwood 1
Speaker(s): Shane Dewald, Blue Valley Recreation Commission; Bill Severns, Marketing Services Manager at HDR and Author; Les Norman, Breakin' the Norm Radio Host
Sportsmanship? This session will discuss the issues with sportsmanship and how to transform your negative culture to a positive culture. The panel will give you ideas and effective methods that will help you along the way to create a youth sports environment that will everyone a chance to enjoy youth sports again.

10:15am-11:15am
The Art of Dealing with Difficult People in Youth Sports
Room: Leatherwood 2
Speaker(s): Chris Stevenson, The Empower Group
People can be challenging. Especially when it comes to youth sports. Managing difficult situations involving the athletic triangle – coach, athlete, and parent – is crucial for ensuring a good experience. Dealing with difficult people is a skill that can be learned and when mastered, creates a great environment. In this engaging and interactive session, attendees will learn methods of effectively communicating expectations, the art of having crucial conversations, and other skills for dealing with challenging situations.

10:15am-11:15am
Why be Normal? Focusing on our Why.
Room: Leatherwood 3
Speaker(s): Phil Gaines, Clemson University
In this session, we will discuss the value of leadership in an ever-changing world. The session will focus on Parks and Recreation value and the importance of “the why” of what we do. We will identify specific challenges and opportunities for leadership in the Park and Recreation profession, recognize the importance of core mission and values while providing motivation for park professionals, and discuss and identify opportunities for improvement for you and your organization in a new year and a new era for park and recreation organizations.

10:15am-11:15am
Make Every Minute Count
Room: Maple
Speaker(s): Roz Buck, Roz and Jed Training and Consulting; Jed Buck, Roz and Jed Training and Consulting
How do you make every minute of the day a unique and special part of the experience? How do you mitigate unexpected program consequences like surprise rain or an absent staff member? How do you and your fellow staff members to turn down-time into fun-time all the time? Join us in this interactive session to learn/play a creative collection of easy games and activities that you can add to your toolbox as you prepare to make every minute count!

10:15am-11:15am
Aquatic Staff Tenure: How to Improve Workplace Engagement and Retain Employees
Room: Hawthorne 1
Speaker(s): Jende Smith, City of St. Joseph
Staff recruitment and retention are conversations taking place at a local, state, and national level. This session will explore different ways to encourage staff retention, minimize turnover, and increase overall productivity among your aquatics staff. We will discuss professional development opportunities while increasing job satisfaction and identify ways to improve workplace culture and boost your employee’s sense of value.

10:15am-11:15am
Lessons on Building Resilience & Avoiding Burnout
Room: Hawthorne 2
Speaker(s): Josh Wolf, JwolfCoaching, LLC
Have you ever wondered how some people seem to be able to just keep going? Day to day, month to month, they can give more energy, achieve incredible successes and have a contagious zest for life. The answer is actually at your fingertips, and it’s so simple that it just might shock you. In this session, you will learn from Ironman Coach & Triathlon Champion Josh Wolf how to build lasting resilience and avoid burnout that plagues so many of our lives. You will leave capable of taking on the challenges that we all face not only in our careers but also in life.

10:15am-11:15am
A Spreadsheet can do that
Room: Linden
Speaker(s): Tom McEvoy, Emporia Recreation Commission
I have used spreadsheets and Excel workbooks for close to 30 years in a variety of ways. Spreadsheets are more than just numbers, and this class will open the eyes of people to how flexible they are. I will demonstrate the many reports and functions I have developed and bring some of the “newer” items I have created in the past 15 years. This is not an Excel education class. It is a demonstration of what can be done with Excel.

11:30am-1:00pm
CLOSING KEYNOTE: Courageous Leadership – Living a Life of Influence
Room: Cottonwood 2&3
Speaker(s): Dan Meers, Kansas City Chiefs
On November 23, 2013, Dan Meers came within inches of losing his life while practicing a bungee jump and zip line stunt at Arrowhead Stadium… home of the Kansas City Chiefs. What Dan anticipated being the thrill of a lifetime ended up being the spill of a lifetime. The stunt went terribly wrong and Dan plummeted 75 feet before crashing into the stadium seats. Miraculously Dan survived. He spent 9 days in the hospital and got some really big scars. Dan smiles when he says, “Scars are just Tattoos that come with a Cool Story”. During this powerful presentation, Dan shares his incredible story and the important lessons that he learned during his long road to recovery about leadership and about life.


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