Wednesday Education Sessions


Day Time  Session Title Session Description  Main Speaker Name  LEARNING OUTCOMES 
    DRAFT AS OF APRIL 9  - subject to change      
Wednesday Aug 21 9:30-10:45 Building Meaningful Relationships at Work! You often hear that you need to separate your personal and professional life; however, building meaningful relationships that focus on critical communication, can significantly improve your culture at work. This session focuses on building lasting relationships that will improve employee morale and foster an environment where people come to work not because they have to, but because they want to.  Angela Summers, City of Henderson, NV Communicate/discuss current leadership methodology and relationship dynamics.  Identify patterns of behavior and areas of concern (self/group exercise)  Propose/prepare a plan for employee relationship building/training upon return to work. 
Wednesday Aug 21 9:30-10:45 Outdoor Fitness Courses: Fitness and Fun    Obesity rates in the U.S. have reached epic numbers and correlate to significant health and economic impacts. Outdoor obstacle courses in public green spaces can provide appealing, effective, and free training equipment to the community to help increase physical activity. Review the theories of obstacle course training and guidelines for their design and installation.  Sarah Lisiecki, BCI Burke At the end of this program, participants will be able to:  Explain how obstacle course training may increase participation in exercise and encourage participation in strength and mobility training.   Describe the fundamental exercise activities included in obstacle course training and the types of outdoor fitness equipment required to safely and effectively perform those activities.  Select an appropriate site for a public obstacle course and recall relevant ASTM standards and ADA compliance requirements.  Describe safety concerns related to the use and maintenance of outdoor obstacle courses and mitigation strategies. 
Wednesday Aug 21 8:00-9:15 The Role of Humor in Leadership and Team Building  Humor has a number of positive effects when used by leaders: improved morale, enhanced group cohesiveness, etc.  Humor can be used to enhance leadership effectiveness with an emphasis on improved communication and team building. Guidelines for use of humor will be discussed to ensure humor is appropriate. Staff will be educated on the dangers of using inappropriate humor. David Jacobson, Humor Horizons 1. Identify ways humor can be used to improve communication 2. Describe and practice humor techniques for team building  3. Recognize and distinguish the differences between appropriate and inappropriate humor 
Wednesday Aug 21 2:30-3:45 Special Event Management 101: Creating a Successful Event in your Community Organizing a special event can be a very rewarding experience. Although there is more work involved than your participants realize, making your first event transform from an idea can be an important tool towards creating awareness for your recreation organization. Learn some of the most important steps to consider when planning, promoting and executing your first special event. Hillary Roemersberger, CPRP, Apex Park and Recreation District 1. Upon session completion, participants will be able to plan and execute a special event in their community.  2. Participants will be able to identify the logistical components of putting on a race including: location, safety, budget and day-of duties.  3. Participants will be able to identify and implement different marketing options including website, social media, paid advertising, target email and event calendars to promote their event.  4. At the end of the presentation, participants will receive a checklist identifying the key components of planning and hosting an event.
Wednesday Aug 21 4:00-5:15 The Good the Bad and the Challenges to Volunteer Recruitment & Retention. This session will be demonstrating the evolution of the volunteer over the past 50 years. Who the volunteer is and where the volunteering is going presently and in the future.  What tools to use when recruiting, and selecting volunteers for your program and what you will need to provide to them in return to keep them.  Barry Worman, Arizona State Parks & Trails Participants will learn what volunteers used to want from their volunteer experience and what they want now.  Participants will learn to select the right volunteers for your program.  Participants will also learn the transition of volunteer demands going from long term volunteering to Episodic (short term) Volunteering 
Wednesday Aug 21 9:30-10:45 Select, Don't Hire!  Finding the Right Fit for Your Department When you “hire” someone, you’re finding a person to fill an open seat.  By simply refocusing your efforts to “selecting” the RIGHT person for the job, team morale, retention, and overall performance improves dramatically.  This session will focus on best practicing recruiting and interviewing to find the best talent, training to create the right expectation, and reinforcing culture through selection. Kirsten Barnes, Five Star Recreation Participants will be able to . . . a. Understand how finding the right fit can help organizations maintain their cultural standards. b. Discuss the differences between hiring to fill a position and selecting the best talent. c. Identify ways to create an interview process that will retain the focus on agency goals.   
Wednesday Aug 21 4:00-5:15 Supercharge Your Team: 50 Ways to Show Them You Love Them Recent studies show that our teams WANT to be appreciated, and appreciation is a major drivers of job satisfaction and happiness. And happy teams make happy customers!  In this fast-paced session, discuss how to engage your team in your culture, identify low-cost and no-cost “perks”, and walk away with a list of fun and memorable ways to say “thank you”! Kirsten Barnes, Five Star Recreation Participants will be able to . . . a. Understand why employee recognition is imperative to creating a successful business;  b. Discuss ways to keep your employees engaged in your business and low- or no-cost perks;  c. Define at least 25 easy and memorable ways to say “thank you” to your team. 
Wednesday Aug 21 8:00-9:15 How YES Can Change Your Business Have you ever wondered what would happen to your business and those you serve if you found ways to say “yes” to every inquiry?  While there are times we have to say no, learn how to break your habit of saying “no” to better serve your community, open new opportunities, and change your outlook! Kirsten Barnes, Five Star Recreation a. Understand the psychology of why saying “no”becomes a habit b. Identify opportunities in our daily business interactions to say yes – including when you need to change consider a policy change c. Outline a plan to start saying “YES” that will still allow you to uphold facility guidelines, safety, and your personal sanity 
Wednesday Aug 21 8:00-9:15 Aquatics In Service Engagement   Marek Holke, AquaLeaders  
Wednesday Aug 21 2:30-3:45 Using Technology to Enhance Aquatics Staff Training Staff training is one of the most fundamental components in preparing our recreation teams, and there are many ways to do this! This session will share many creative, innovative and engaging ideas ... with technology! Many free ideas will be shared, all with the purpose of enhancing the training experience for your teams! Bring your electronic device! Marek Holke, AquaLeaders • Sharing an example of an internet based quiz platform that allows staff to answer in a competitive nature questions posed by the training conductor • Sharing an example of an internet based knowledge review platform that allows staff to review content in a fun-competitive way from a previous training • Sharing an example of an internet based discussion based platform that allows staff to interact digitally regarding specific topics at hand • Sharing an example of an internet based knowledge inquiry platform that allows staff to provide their opinions, answers and interaction using low-tech capabilities not reliant on everyone having a electronic device • Sharing an example of a popular smartphone applications that double as learning platforms in a staff training environment
Wednesday Aug 21 4:00-5:15 Customer Service through the Lens of a Consumer Think of the best customer experience you have ever had. Think of Disney? Creating a lasting impression on our customers will keep them coming back, and bringing their friends! Let’s take a journey to see what some of the country’s top organizations do to provide a memorable experience for their customers and how we can emulate the experience in Recreation! Marek Holke, AquaLeaders • To understand the physical and emotional needs of a customer • To contrast and compare top tier organizations customer service programs • To provide initiatives for implementation to deliver a customer experience that will enhance any operation 
Wednesday Aug 21 8:00-9:15 The Thrill of No-Frills Strategic Planning As program/facility preferences change in park and recreation, agencies must respond to the needs of consumers though strategic planning. Meeting this demand requires a comprehensive assessment of which program/facilities are the most important and if these needs are being met. This presentation will show how this determination can be done efficiently/effectively without depleting an agency’s time and fiscal resources. Brandon Harris, University of Arizona 1. Discover how the the integration of new technology has enabled park and recreation agencies to engage their entire community in the strategic planning process.  2. Explore the benefits of no-frills strategic planning in assessing an agencies strengths/weaknesses, its capacity for meeting the programming and facility needs of the consumer, and how it should prioritize future projects.  3. Learn how no-frills strategic planning produces data-driven results and recommendations tailored to the needs of each agency.  
Wednesday Aug 21 2:30-3:45 New Trends in Camping and Navigating Uncharted Zoning Codes This session will review camping trends and their economic value.  An increase in private campground development and new trends such as 'glamping' are forcing communities and their planning departments to evaluate their zoning codes. Zach Schwartz -Current trends in camping. -Challenges in working through zoning codes not written to address increases in camping and 'glamping' permits. -Creative solutions for addressing zoning challenges and identifying if camping facilities is a fit with one's agency.
Wednesday Aug 21 8:00-9:15 Young Professional/New APRA Member Round Table  This season is designed to gather young professionals, individuals new to the profession, and new members of APRA. We will kick off this conference by making connections, building your profession toolbox, and opening your eyes to the benefits of APRA. We will discuss challenges we face in our positions and discover unique solutions. Let's learn from each other! Brandon Laue, Town of Oro Valley Participants will make professional connections.  Participants will creatively problem solve common professional struggles.  Participants will learn the benefits of APRA and how to leverage our profession.
Wednesday Aug 21 4:00-5:15 Preparing a Natural Resource Managment Plan This presentation will provide information on how to prepare a management plan, prioritize goals & objectives. It will provide answers to questions like, where do I start? What do I need to include?  Attendees will gain a knowledge of the components involved in writing a management plan. The attendees will leave empowered and prepared to plan their own management plan.   Juanita Armstrong-Ullberg, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Participants will know when and why they need to start with a management plan. Participants will have a good understanding of the necessary components that go into writing a management plan.  Participants will better understand problems and finding solutions to issues related to managing natural areas. 
Wednesday Aug 21 2:30-3:45 Got Turf?  Got a Plan for that Turf? Learn how Pima County NRPR implemented a comprehensive year round plan addressing ball field turf maintenance at 60 fields spread throughout the county.     Ron Odell, Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Participants will learn how Pima County NRPR:  1.) Develop and implement a turf maintenance program to be consistent and improve conditions  2.) Identify program goals and measure results  3.) Gain management, staff and constituent support
Wednesday Aug 21 2:30-3:45 Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Microagressions This session is designed to improve work environments and customer service delivery in an inclusive manner by explaining the differences between equality, equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Learn about microaggressions and unconscious bias, and strategies on how to deter them. Tracee Crockett, City of Phoenix 1. Participants will understand differences between equality, equity, diversity and inclusion.   2. Participants will learn strategies to deter microaggressive behaviors and implicit bias.  3. Participants will be better equipped to create better work environments and improve customer service. 
Wednesday Aug 21 9:30-10:45 Mystery Shopper – A New Approach to Lifeguard Audits   Join us as we highlight the deficiencies between lifeguard training and how they actually perform under stress. This method of audits adds the element of surprise to your audit program and eliminates the issues of drilling the obvious. We will share staggering results collected from over 250 audits and discuss the changes and improvements implemented due to these audits. Kelly Martinez, City of Phoenix 1. Participants will discuss the importance of internal audits and whether the trainings methods currently used are effective. 2. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the differences between using an obvious victim (lifeguard) versus a realistic victim (secret shopper). 3. Participants will view mystery shopper videos and evaluate the response and care given during several mystery shopper audits. 4. Participants will analyze and discuss evaluation outcomes and deliberate alternative techniques for training lifeguards. 
Wednesday Aug 21 9:30 - 10:45 Small Yet Mighty Parks and Recreation Departments: Does Size Really Matter? Have you ever wondered what it is like to lead a small department, or are you currently positioning your agency for a growth spurt?  We will share practical and philosophical approaches to organizational design, service delivery, strategic planning, and sustainability, and present examples of the risks and rewards of working in a small(er) agency. Nanette Smejkal, Town of Sahuarita Parks & Recreation Attendees will select methods of positioning their organization to attain their vision  Attendees will identify staff assignments and define core services that achieve results  Attendees will discuss, contrast and compare creative solutions to leverage resources 
Wednesday Aug 21 4:00-5:15 Beautiful SITES: Sustainable Park Design with the SITES Rating System The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) Rating System provides a framework for sustainable park and open space design. Modeled after LEED, the SITES Rating System is a set of performance-based metrics that aligns design and development practices with functions of healthy ecosystems, and provides a valuable tool grounded in science. This session will introduce SITES and highlight successful case studies. Mary Estes, Norris Design • Participants will learn fundamental information about SITES, how to implement the program, and available resources for continued education. • Participants will learn how the application of SITES Rating System may benefit a potential landscape, from beginning stages through implementation and management of a built landscape.  • Participants will learn about relevant existing built work that implemented SITES, and how the project benefited by leveraging SITES. 
Wednesday Aug 21 8:00-9:15 LED Sports Lighting 101: New technology is here! Solid State LED Sports Lighting is here! The needs and demands of sports venues continue to evolve with technology.  Considerations includes safety of players, green initiatives, controls and monitoring and budgetary benefits, including decreased maintenance costs.  Communities progressively choose to convert to LED, ultimately satisfying neighbors with targeted light.  Learn how LED Sports Lighting may be right for your community. James Mcarty, Eaton's Ephesus Lighting 1. Participants will be able to define the benefits of solid state lighting technology vs. legacy lighting for sports venues. 2. Participants will explore how the appeal of energy savings is just one benefit of upgrading old mechanical lighting to solid state sports lighting. 3. Participants will experience a hands on demonstration of controls and monitoring, while also discussing life cycle costs through case studies.
Wednesday Aug 21 8:00-9:15 Increase Outdoor Recreation For People With Disabilities: Park Grants and Creative Projects  Have we done enough to increase outdoor recreation for the disabilities community? Most would say we can do better. This session will discuss grants to help your community improve accessibility along trails and parks. We will talk about creative ADA projects throughout U.S., Arizona and internationally.  Various types of adaptive equipment will be on site for audience to view.   Sean Hammond, Arizona State Parks & Trails 1. Participants will use the information provided to apply for grants to improve accessibility. Arizona State Parks will open up their grant cycle 4 weeks after the conference, allowing for participants to submit a proposal immediately.  2. Participants will learn about the many different types of ADA recreation projects they could initiate. 3. Participants will have a hands-on experience with the various types of adaptive equipment that will be on-site. All equipment is related to outdoor recreation and will give participants ideas for what to include in their grants.  
Wednesday Aug 21 4:00-5:15 The Most Important Tasks to Maintain Athletic Fields Explanation of key tasks, frequency, products, timing, and practices to maintain athletic fields (soccer, baseball, softball, etc.).  Many of these are commonly not done or skipped due to budget restrictions or lack of equipment, resulting in more injuries and poorer conditions. Andy Slack, Slack Landscape & Irrigation Consulting Participants will learn what maintenance tasks need performed, and how often, to produce top quality athletic turf.  Participants will learn about agronomics, soil testing, and fertility and soil amendments.  Participants will learn how to properly manage watering of their athletic fields.
Wednesday Aug 21 8:00-9:15 Introduce Group Training Programs For Seniors that People Attend and are Successful!   Senior Programs for 60+ generations can be daunting and challenging for even a seasoned fitness professional.  Learn what you need to know about assessing, programming, motivating and making a difference in the lives of a demographic that gets lost in today's market.  Technique, music, choice of words all make a great experience. Learn what you need to know.    Bobby Kelly, resultsonly Provide Program Design to effectively train Active Baby Boomers Develop advanced techniques for cuing, progressing and regressing exercise selection Learn effective strategies to market to this growing demographic Improve your knowledge and skills for dealing with this generation Show real world, hands on techniques on how to work with Boomers that can be used on Monday 
Wednesday Aug 21 9:30-10:45 AZteens  Azteens seeks to unite teens from various cities across the state of Arizona. The program provides quality activities such as recreation trips, cultural, workshops, and volunteer opportunities.  Jaqueline Preciado, City of Phoenix 1) This session will guide you on how to start your own teen program in your local Recreation Facility.  2)This session will educate you on creative ways to sustain teen involvement in recreation programming.   3). This session will inform you on how to successfully network with other cities 
Wednesday Aug 21 9:30-10:45 Senior & Active Adult Programs: Success through reinvention & innovation! Join professionals from Leisure World, a 45-year-old active adult community, as they share their programming successes in Wellness, Fitness, Recreation and Golf, yes, GOLF!  Through reinvention of existing programs, bringing in state of the art programs and partners, adding clever incentives and new funding options, their programs are not only meeting, but exceeding expectations of both the participant and staff! Rhonda Cap, Leisure World Community Association • Participants will learn ways to change and enhance existing programming.  • Participants will come away with several ideas for new, creative marketing and incentive programs. • Participants will learn of new funding opportunities to support programming. 
Wednesday Aug 21 9:30-10:45 From Dirt to Destination: A Case Study of Mansel Carter Oasis Park Municipalities, Designers, and Developers today are being pushed to develop quality parks and open space systems that provide maximum value for communities, while working with limited budgets, space, and time. This session provides recent examples of park design solutions that achieve creative community placemaking while working with significant project constraints. Jeffrey Velasquez, J2 Engineering & Environmental Design 1. This session will explain design of the Playground Area – the “heart of the park” - in terms of maximizing play value. 2. Attendees will learn how to create a lake amenity as a community destination. 3. This session will demonstrate multi-modal connectivity to and from the park and community. 
Wednesday Aug 21 2:30-3:45 Keynote Speaker Session - TRUE VALUES
What is truly valuable in life? What do you really believe in? Take a powerful journey of self- discovery with Eddie. 
Come face-to-face with difficult life decisions and discover how you would react.  This exercise is soul-searching and impactful.  
Eddie Slowikowski, Slowikowski & Associates
1.Participants will gain perspective on what matters most in their life. 
2. Participants will find the correlation between their values, decisions, and actions.
3. Participants will recognize  how they respond to stressful circumstances. 
4. Through the value process, participants will advocate for what matters most to them.
Wednesday Aug 21 4:00 - 5:15 Keynote Speaker Session  -  TEAMING UP TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Teams are formed to come up with answers to questions regarding popular music. There is a teambuilding element to this exercise in which teams work together to attain points.
This breakout promotes an environment of collaboration, creative thinking, innovation and outright fun.  A highly motivating hour of interactive teamwork. 
Eddie Slowikowski, Slowikowski & Associates
1. Team members will execute teamwork skills, including support and encouragement.
2. Team members will effectively work together to achieve the goals set forth during the interactive session.
3. Team members will transfer the pillars of teamwork built into the exercises performed during the session to their work lives. 


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