Parks & Recreation Emerging Professionals Committee (PREP)

Our goal is to connect students and emerging professionals with experienced professionals in the parks and recreation field. We look to help these folks gain experience, knowledge, and excitement about the opportunities that are available to them through our organization and the greater parks and recreation field.

Currently, the PREP Committee focuses on reaching out to Washington state universities offering degree programs that directly relate to the parks and recreation field by connecting with students and faculty through campus visits and conference opportunities such as our mentorship program and our University Speaker Pool

WRPA Mentorship Program

This annual program pairs distinguished professionals (our mentors) with a student or emerging professionals (our mentees) who can benefit from have a networking relationship with a current professional in the industry.

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University Speaker Pool

Our PREP speaker pool consists of local parks and recreation professionals whose experience categorizes them as subject matter experts. These industry experts have graciously agreed to volunteer their time (when needed) to local universities that are in need of panel members or guest speakers to add value and real-world perspective to their course teachings. Speakers will either be invited to participate, virtually or in-person (as WA state restrictions allow) and speak to students and professors about their experience and perspective.

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For more information or to join this committee, please contact:

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Committee Co-Chairs

Kelly McGinley Ashe
Cheney Parks & Recreation

NeSha Thomas-Schadt
Pierce County Parks

Committee Members

Carmen Murrell
Shoreline Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services

Kelly Darling
Pierce County Parks

Jay Sandstorm
Mill Creek Parks & Recreation

Carissa Ware
Spokane Parks & Recreation

Amanda Zollner
Shoreline Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services

Olivia Ryan,

Mercer Island Parks & Recreation

Melissa Bianconi

Bellingham Parks & Recreation

Jared Bucci

Pierce County Parks

Ethan Olson

Cheney Parks & Recreation