2023 Virtual CEU Sessions


April 4, 2023 :: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Words Matter, Lets Get On The Same Page With Disability Inclusion
Lisa Drennan

Join this session with a focus on practicing inclusive language & understanding the different types of program design that helps to foster a disability inclusive culture. Let's start by analyzing the term "Inclusion", using person first language, and replacing "words to lose" with "words to live by", producing language that is more empowering and positive focused. Next, we'll break down the different models on how your programs can be offered: Specialized, Adaptive, Integrated, or Authentic Inclusion - what are the core elements, benefits & challenges to each model. Wrap it up with a discussion on the word "Special" and its impact on how people with disabilities are supported to be valued members of our community.


June 20, 2023 :: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Think Like a Disrupter
Gabriel Castillo

In a post-COVID world, Parks & Recreation Departments, now more than ever must think and act like a disruptor. The recent loss of so many iconic companies offers a timely reminder that if you don't change and adapt the status quo, you might just become it.


September 19, 2023 :: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Skills for Resiliency
Farrell Buller 

Resiliency is the ability to withstand and recover from adversity. But have you ever wondered how to effectively build it so you can unlock your true potential? This training focuses on learning the 10 skills of resilience, identifying which ones you personally want to improve, and equipping yourself with the tools to grow in these areas. The ability to utilize these skills will not only enable you to consistently decipher your current reality from perceived reality, but it also allows you to conquer even the toughest obstacles so you can continue to operate in a credible and confident manner.


November 14, 2023 :: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Strategies for Leading Positive Organizational Change
Greg Davidson Laszakovits

It's been said that, the only place we cannot expect change is from a vending machine. That quote itself is a great example as vending machines go cashless! Organizational leaders are under constant pressure as our world evolves at an increasingly rapid rate. We know that those who refuse to meet the world‚ changes will fade into irrelevance. In this course, leaders, board members, and staff will learn how lead positive change in their unique context so they can bring their organization‚ vision and mission to life. Even in the face of organizational inertia. Participants will learn a proven strategic model that will equip them to lead change with confidence, while also bringing along staff and key stakeholders in the process. Warning: this session offers no quick fixes, simple solutions, or, 5 Easy Steps to Organizational Transformation! Grounded, intelligent, passionate leaders, who are ready to dig in will benefit greatly.

2022 Virtual CEU Sessions

January 18, 2022 :: 1:00 – 2:00pm
3 Ways to Improve your DEI Efforts
Lisa Koenecke

Learn from a former camp director how to improve your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts.We will explore current laws to guide your policies. Together we will discover how to SHOW your allyship, how to SHIFT  mindsets and behaviors to SHAPE your culture.


March 15, 2022 :: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Park Master Planning for Climate Resilience
Rachel Banner

Extreme storms, aging stormwater infrastructure, and hotter summers are having a profound effect on our communities and the parks and green space that support them. Parks can provide additional safeguards to our community's exposure to climate change, but prioritizing climate resilience in parks when there are so many demands on our park system is a challenge. This session will outline strategies for park master planning that unveil the climate risks to your park system and provide strategies to prioritize climate resilience strategies that align community priorities for parks, recreation, and play. The program will present case studies from three different community types -a dense, industrial city, a suburb, and a rural-ish community -all planning for climate resilience in their park systems.


April 19, 2022 :: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Digital Playgrounds
Sam Hollis and Mel Langlotz

Digital Playgrounds and the benefits to the community.

May 17, 2022 :: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Building Resiliency through Trauma Informed Programing
Melissa Murphy

Talking is great but what change can actually be done? STRYV365's program is a way for adults to work with students who have experienced the effects of trauma and toxic stress.

This session will not be in the standard Webinar format. Attendees will be asked to have their cameras on and come ready to participate in STRYV365's interactive program. A Zoom Meeting link will be sent out the morning of the session. 


September 13, 2022 :: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Pool Operations and Programming during the Pandemic: the good, the bad, the ugly.
Nicole Jacobson

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated Recreation professionals pivot the approach to programming and operations.Two years into the pandemic, lessons have been learned - many have revealed better practices related to safety and accountability, while others have left heads shaking in the wrong direction. This session will explore modifications to programming and operations in Aquatics that have evolved from the pandemic, including the good, the bad, and unfortunately, the ugly lessons learned that will not be repeated.

October 18, 2022 :: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Parks as Critical Infrastructure: How to Quantify and Message their Equity, Health, Climate, and Economic Benefits
Taj Schottland, Ayanna Williams, and Jennifer Clinton

There is growing awareness of the structural inequities in our communities. We now know that parks serving non-white populations are, on average, half the size as parks in white neighborhoods yet serve five times as many people. Similarly, low-income, non-white neighborhoods are disproportionately vulnerable to flooding and extreme heat because they lack adequate green space. To change this, we must transform the public's perception of parks as nice-to-have amenities to must-have infrastructure. Using case studies from around the country, presenters will share how to effectively communicate the benefits of parks, attract advocates, and build support. They will share examples of how parks generate significant benefits, new research that quantifies carbon capture, and resources that position green infrastructure in parks as a multi-benefit community solution. Attendees will learn how to advocate for parks as critical solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our communities.

November 15, 2022 :: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Communication Strategies in a Virtual World
Brad Gingras 

How could we complicate communication even further? How about a global pandemic that forces drastic change to the workforce. Will communication as we know it rebound? Gain insight into the evolution of communication along with effective strategies to engage your co-workers, colleagues and even strengthen personal relationships.

December 20, 2022 :: 1:00 – 2:00pm
Aquatics ‘Best Practices’ That Hold Us Back
Kate Connell

There has been a collective shift towards more inclusive practices in aquatics but many common "best practices" stand in the way of truly equitable aquatics. We'll discuss obstacles and their step-by-step solutions in this interactive session and dismantle "we've always done it this way" mindsets to advance diversity in our field through personnel management, programming, and policies.

2021 Virtual CEU Sessions 

January 19, 2021 :: 1:00 – 2:15pm - SESSION FREE TO ALL WPRA MEMBERS
Fire Up So You Don’t Burnout: How to Prevent, Break Through, and Extinguish Burnout (and the Power of Resiliency)
Jessica Rector

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Burnout is like a wildfire—spreading quickly and affecting everything in their path. Jessica's research shows that 79% of the workforce is burned out, yet most don't even know how to identify it. The World Health Organization recognizes burnout as a workplace syndrome, but burnout isn’t just for the workplace anymore. With having to juggle more things and in different ways, burnout and stress are at an all-time high, reducing performance, health, and morale. In this powerful presentation, Jessica gets you fired up by sharing the role resiliency plays to prevent and extinguish burnout, pinpointing your contributing factors to overwhelm, and showing you how to handle stress to improve focus, performance, and team dynamic.

Participants will:
• Examine Jessica's Burnout Success Formula to locate how it affects your work and life
• Apply proven burnout strategies to enhance time management, focus, and team engagement
• Identify and pinpoint your biggest “burnout moments” to prevent future stress and overwhelm to improve your health, mind, and team

Sponsored by: Lee Recreation

March 16, 2021 :: 1:00 – 2:30pm
Service GLOWS
Natalie Livingston

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Join us for a high energy session focusing on customer service. This session will you immerse you in the keys of service and show you how to create your own unique program.

April 20, 2021 :: 1:00 – 2:15pm
The Psychology of Working With Today’s Park and Recreation Participants
Dr. Joel Fish

Working with today’s park and recreation participants is a major source of stress for park and recreation professionals. This session will identify myths and facts in working with today’s park and recreation participants (parents, colleagues, athletes, coaches, etc…). In addition, this session will help participants identify the psychology of park and recreation participants who are difficult to work with, and offer strategies to effectively work with a variety of different personality types.


May 18, 2021 :: 1:00 – 2:15pm
Upcoming Trends in Park Development
Blake Theisen

Are you parks old and busted? Before you make them shiny and new, lets understand what your community members want most out of your system. This session will look at national, regional, and local trends in park development and redevelopment projects.

Sponsored by: Lee Recreation

August 17, 2021 :: 1:00 – 2:15pm
Managing Violence in Sport: Excellence in Governance
Lynn Jamieson

Sport related violence regularly occurs at the community level regardless of type of sport, age or gender of participant, level of skill, level of ability, or other factors. This presentation will include a discussion of the social issue of sport violence. Several steps for anticipating potential problems will be reviewed, and solutions will be presented to ensuring positive sport experiences for players, coaches, officials, parents or guardians, and others who enjoy community sports.


September 14, 2021 :: 1:00 – 2:15pm
Ignite the Burned and Stressed Out: How Leadership Inspires the Disengaged

Jessica Rector

Employees feel overwhelmed, unappreciated, un-recognized, which decreases productivity, attitude, and performance. As the #1 expense to organizations, burnout is an organizational and leadership issue affecting morale and bottom-line results. Research shows even the “best place to work for” Google has 53% burnout. How much is burnout really costing you? Using her burnout research, Jessica shares how organizations can proactively anticipate burnout, teams can stop stress from spreading to other work and life areas, and how leaders can ignite, motivate, and empower employees to build resilience, create a thriving culture, and tackle uncertainty and challenges without burnout.
Participants will:
  • Identity the top three ways to extinguish burnout in your workplace to build a stronger team and culture
  • Examine how to use wellness initiatives to better recruit and train top talent
  • Use on-the-spot demonstrated burnout relieving techniques to reduce current and future stress

October 19, 2021 :: 1:00 – 2:15pm
The Art of Staff Training
Kate Connell

Create staff trainings” can be one of the most unactionable to-do’s in your legal pad. And worse, you might only dabble in writing agendas and laying out expectations and professional development once or twice a year which leaves you out of practice once it rolls around. Whether your leading temp or full-time staff, it’s essential to learn how to generate ideas, content, and format for staff enrichment all year round. This dynamic session is designed to lead you through in-person exercises and explore strategies to make your trainings more intentional, impactful, and organized while leaving with concrete ideas that are unique to your leadership approach and employee/operational needs. Spoiler alert: staff trainings will no longer be a marathon talk fest you dread annually but instead a multilayered approach that is woven into the every day.

November 16, 2021 :: 1:00 – 2:15pm
Protecting and Creating Pollinator Habitat in Lawns
Samuel Bauer

Pollinators have created all the "buzz" lately. In recent years, pollinator decline issues have caused many parks and campuses to rethink their management programs, with a focus on protecting pollinators in lawns. In this session you will gain a better understanding of how you can protect and create pollinator habit in your lawn. This includes a discussion of low maintenance grasses which ultimately reduce inputs, benefiting the environment as a whole. 


December 21, 2021 :: 1:00 – 2:15pm
Advancing Your Career: Understanding the Process
Megan Owens, Ph.D.

A person's path in life can be a winding road, which sometimes reflects the twists and turns of a career. Multiple opportunities exist for one's career advancement, but professionals may experience greater benefits when they reflect and plan. The first step is to understand the process then one can assess current and future professional interests. This session will examine how professionals advance their career and engage in a self-assessment to identify current and future goals.

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