APRA staff is here to help serve you, our valuable member! We are so pleased that you have chosen to commit your valuable time as a professional to the Park & Recreation industry. Staff play an essential role in the delivery of service to APRA members. Creating professional development and networking opportunities, member communications, website and event details, managing funds and ensuring the policies of the Association are followed. We are here to help you so don't hesitate to reach out anytime! The best way to reach us is via email as we are frequently out of the office attending meetings and events around the state, listed below you will find each staff members bio and contact information.

Samantha J. Coffman

APRA Executive Director/CEO

Contact Samantha

Samantha is the Executive Director/CEO for Arizona Parks and Recreation Association, she has served in this position since 2013. The Executive Director manages the day-to-day operations of the organization along with management of the office staff, is the staff liaison to the Board of Directors, is responsible for the business operations of APRA and helps the board provide a strategic vision for the future of the Association. She works closely with all volunteers and stakeholders. 

Her past experiences includes working nine years for the Town of Fountain Hills as the Director of Community Center and Senior Services. In addition to her years in a municipal setting Ms. Coffman has many years of experience in business management, sales & marketing, public relations, public administration, event planning, volunteer and human resource management.

Samantha's education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Missouri State University and is a Certified Non-Profit Accounting Professional. Ms. Coffman has both served on and managed several boards and is currently an appointed member on the Arizona State Parks - Arizona Outdoor Recreation Coordinating Commission (AORCC). 

Samantha is an avid trail runner and outdoor enthusiast who competes in marathons, ultra-marathons and fitness competitions. She loves cycling, yoga, camping, hiking and traveling. 


Krista C. VanderMolen

APRA Deputy Director

Contact Krista

Krista is the new Deputy Director for Arizona Parks and Recreation Association supporting special projects, dailly operations and membership.

She has enjoyed 17 years in education, serving as teacher, club sponsor, camp director, dean of students and assistant principal. She has taught and mentored hundreds of students as they navigated their way through academics, activities and the many social-emotional aspects of the high school experience. 

Krista considers herself a people-person with strong organizational skills and attention to detail, which served her well in her transition into municipal government. She dedicated her most recent years to  Gila Bend, serving project coordinator in Community Development working with homeowners, businesses and contractors to build a stronger Gila Bend and then as Director of Parks and Recreation, successfully engaging residents through well executed special events, celebrations and experiential play. 

Her educaton includes a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations, a Post-Baccalaureate degree in Secondary Education and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration. 

Krista has a love for horticulture; currently designing her own small backyard oasis. She has a penchant and talent for all things DIY and hopes to one day open an Etsy shop.

Carol F. Gary

Special Projects

Enjoying her first retirement in 2008 after 25 years with the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, Adaptive Recreation Services, she took on the role as Interim Executive Director and embraced the opportunity to continue the work and vision of our association.

Carol comes with a broad background in office and fiscal management, event planning and implementation, staff and volunteer supervision, presentations and public speaking, improving the quality of life for those with and without disabilities, and promoting the power of outdoor recreation.

Her volunteer activities include those same skill sets in sharing her time so others can enjoy the outdoors through kayaking, cross country skiing, hiking, cycling, swimming, backpacking, and camping and is also a proud Mom of three children and three grandchildren.

In early 2016 Carol "retired" for a second time from APRA. She is currently still working part time in a special projects roll.

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