2024 Election Results

Welcoming New WRPA Board Members

Each year, we welcome new members to the WRPA Board of Directors at the Annual Conference & Tradeshow. The Board of Directors is the governing body of our association and is responsible for the supervision, control, and direction of WRPA. These Board members are elected by you, the members, during an annual election.

The following WRPA members have been elected to join the board:

WRPA Vice President 

The WRPA Vice President serves a four-year term, assisting the President and President-Elect with all association business. They become acquainted with the activities of the corporation and the duties of the President in preparation for assuming the presidency. (The person in this position automatically advances to become WRPA President-Elect and then WRPA President.)

Christopher Powell, King County Parks


I’m a proud alumnus of Eastern Washington University, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation Management.

Job History: 

Through out my thirteen years of experience working in the Recreation industry, I have operated and facilitated programs at all levels. In that time, I have led diverse teams of staff, volunteers, and have been able to oversee the development of college interns. I have been fortunate in my experiences working both in the public and private sectors to serve communities in Washington State, and Florida. In my most recent years I have gained the privilege of working with the diverse communities of Seattle and King County to form partnerships and draft agreements to create increased opportunities for communities to experience recreation in their local parks, and schools. 

WRPA Involvement: 

I’m a current WRPA member and participate in the Administration and Facilities/Rentals/Marketing networks. Last year I was able to attend the annual conference in Spokane and was honored with the 2023 WRPA Emerging Professional Award. This year in addition to attending the conference, I get the opportunity to share the experience with my new staff.

Why do you want to serve on the WRPA Board of Directors?:

I would relish the opportunity to serve on the WRPA Board of Directors to bring a fresh perspective to our association, while searching out ways to increase participation, and engagement with our members. In addition to serving our current WRPA members, I am dedicated to finding innovative ways to connect with our University Partners to increase recruitment and participation in the association. 

What type of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging initiatives have you contributed to previously or would you contribute to in the future?: 

Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to create and be a part of efforts to create more equitably inclusive spaces for the community to provide a great sense of belonging. One such opportunity was the successful negotiation of the Seattle Parks-Seattle Schools Joint Use Agreement, which provides the community access to hundreds of fields and facilities in Seattle. A crucial equity component to that agreement was the creation of the new equity on fields and in facilities program. To serve the needs of the community both agencies now actively work to support BIPOC & underserved groups through financial assistance, dedicated priority usage, and through a donation option for rental customers to make additional contributions.

An opportunity that I’m currently engaged with is the Healthy Communities and Parks Fund.  As a part of the Targeted Equity Grant Program, the fund supports projects that increase access to recreation and use of parks, open spaces, and recreational facilities in underserved areas and communities. This grant program intends to reduce health disparities in various underserved communities and invest in their capacities to meet the unique needs of their residents. Serving on the Tier 1 Review Panel, we are responsible for reviewing incoming proposals to allocate $200,000 of Parks Levy funding to projects with high potential for recreation and open space access and impact.

I’m strongly passionate about creating opportunities for all community members to experience recreation and to get moving in their local environments. Through increased access and programming my desire is to see every community gain equitable access to parks and recreations across the state. 

Describe the contributions you feel you can make as a member of the WRPA leadership team: 

My vision as a part of the WRPA Leadership team is to take the goals and objectives from the newly updated WRPA Strategic Plan and be a leader in moving the initiatives forward, particularly in the Equity, Inclusion & Belonging components. I strongly support making WRPA more accessible to all professional levels and I’m passionate about finding ways to work with the colleges and universities to connect students to the WRPA.

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WRPA At-Large Director

Rocky Houston, Clark County Public Works, Parks & Lands Division


  • Master of Public Administration
  • Bachelor of Science History
  • Bachelor of Science Psychology
  • Project Manager Professional

Job History: 

  • 2021 to present | Parks and Lands Division Manager, Public Works, Clark County, WA
  • 2016 to 2021 | Parks Department & Lands Department Director, Douglas County, OR
  • 2004 to 2021 | State Trails Coordinator, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Salem, OR
  • 2000 to 2024 | Branch Manager, Oregon Department of Human Services
  • 1995 to 2000 | Private sector employment

WRPA Involvement:  

I moved to Washington from Oregon in the past two years. While in Oregon, I was on the Board of ORPA for 5 years as a section president. Prior to that, I presented frequently at the annual conference for the prior 12 years on a variety of topics. 

Why do you want to serve on the WRPA Board of Directors: 

I was on the board of ORPA in Oregon and understand the impact the organization has on parks and recreation professionals. I feel that I have a diverse background in parks and recreations that would benefit WPRA members. Lastly, I want to help contribute to and advocate for my colleagues in SW Washington with WRPA and statewide issues.

What type of Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging initiatives have you contributed to previously or would you contribute to in the future?: 

I have been engaged in several initiatives that address equity, inclusion and belonging. While on the ORPA Board, we created a track for diversity, equity, and inclusion at our annual conference.

At Clark County, I completed our most recent PROs Plan to develop goals and objectives to address diversity, equity, and inclusion. We have changed our capital program project scoring rubric to reflect these values, developed procedures for public engagement on planning to increase our engagement with community members and are developing a plan for our division. We have revamped our Park Advisory Board solicitation to target diversity of our board members.

I have brought in trainers, utilized active engagement with staff on these matters and encourage staff to come forth with ideas to improve our engagement and practices to improve inclusion, diversity and equity in our programming and parks. This has led to a new park rule sign that utilizes international symbols and is translated in three languages, a complete revamp of our new park development strategy that re-directed our 10 year plan for new parks, new public meeting practices that are resulting in significant improvement of attendance and comments after the meeting, and an empowered team. I have a long way to go, but these small changes are inspiring to me.

Describe the contributions you feel you can make as a member of the WRPA leadership team:  

I have worked in rural, urban, and suburban areas delivering parks and recreation facilities to the community. I understand the differences and similarities these different parks and recreation programs have in delivering their programs and managing their portfolio’s. In addition, as a Southwestern representative I believe that I can assist in engaging with local parks and recreation staff and represent their needs to WRPA. 

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