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Calling all students and emerging professionals. You're invited to join us on Wednesday, May 22 from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM, for an enriching experience at the FREE Student & Emerging Professional Networking Dinner. This event offers an ideal platform for students to connect and engage in a relaxed atmosphere over a delightful dinner. It's an excellent opportunity to foster meaningful connections with seasoned professionals, providing valuable insights and potential mentorship. Come be a part of this gathering where networking meets camaraderie, paving the way for professional growth and development.

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Learn From the Industry Experts (more to come)

Amanda Zollner, Youth and Teen Development Programs

Amanda Zollner has worked in the Recreation field for 20 years. She has worked for more than 16 years for the City of Shoreline and is currently the Recreation Supervisor overseeing the Youth and Teen Development Programs (YTDP). Amanda helped develop the YOLO program in Shoreline that combines Youth-Led outreach and access to Mental Health professionals in teen programming. Amanda is passionate about providing engaging programming to young people and feels that all youth need a place to connect with each other and with caring adults. Her goal is to get the younger generation invested in the youth development process and ultimately be the caring adults connecting to the next generation.  

Andy Colman, Maintenance & Administrative

Andy is currently the Parks & Recreation Director for the City of Walla Walla. He has 29 years of full-time experience in this great profession. This experience includes 20 years in various recreation positions, 2 years as Park Maintenance Supervisor, and 7 years as a Director. Prior to this full-time experience, he worked part-time as a gym supervisor, sports official, pool operator, and more. He has served multiple roles with WRPA including East Region Director, Athletic Section Representative, and Annual Conference Chair.


Nicholas Farline, M.S., CPRE, Recreation and Facilities

Nicholas Farline has over 20 years of experience in the parks and recreation field, and currently is the Parks, Recreation & Facilities Director for the City of Kennewick, Washington. Previously he served as the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Director for the City of Valdez, Alaska. He also worked for the City of Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, Washington State University Extension and was born and raised in Spokane, WA. 

Farline is accredited as a National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE), earned a M.S. in Recreation and Sport Sciences from Ohio University, and B.A. in Economics from Eastern Washington University. He has directed outdoor recreation programs internationally as well as for municipal and state agencies, has taught both didactical and skill-based college courses, and has presented at state, national and international conferences. Nicholas Farline spearheaded a successful award of an Economic Development Association Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation Grant to provide a 186-acre park and trail system in an under-developed natural area. 

Jen Burbidge, Culture & Recreation

Jen pursued Recreation Management with the intent to go into private recreation but fell in love with community parks, culture and recreation and dove into that work for the past three decades.  She enjoys the wellness aspect, creating healthy communities, and being the “fun” part of local government.  Over the past 30 years, she has managed a diverse range of programs and projects in 6 communities prior to Lacey:  Olympia, Anacortes, Federal Way, Kirkland, Puyallup, and Tacoma. Her passions are leading a strong team and building relationships that will bring more amenities and access to people.  She loves being in Lacey and working in partnership with North Thurston Public Schools, Senior Services for South Sound, Rotary, Lion’s Club, Saint Martin’s University, YMCA, PARC Foundation, Lacey Community Foundation, and many others.  

Jen is your WRPA President for the coming year and will be focusing on equity, inclusion and belonging for all members.  She is excited to listen to your needs and do what she can to enact positive change. Jen is a board member for North Thurston Kiwanis and heads up their social/service committee. She received the club’s Mover & Shaker award twice in the past two years.  Earlier this month she received one of the 2024 Exceptional Woman Awards from the Soroptimist International Club of Olympia.  

Jennifer Wills, Parks and Recreation

Jennifer has been the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Longview, Washington, since 2015, and current President of the Washington Recreation and Parks Association. She is a graduate of Outdoor Recreation Management with a minor in Business from Springfield College in Massachusetts, attended the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Patagonia, and is a Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE). Her current position includes oversight of the city's Urban Forest, Golf Course, Parks, and Recreation programs. Prior to 2015, she worked in a variety of positions including outdoor guide, trail builder, wilderness ranger, wildland firefighter, sports coordinator, business administrator, recreation manager and restaurant owner. She is passionate about fostering leadership and growth opportunities for Park and Recreation professionals and hopes to inspire others to help their communities become healthier, happier places to live!

Joanna Martin, Parks & Urban Forestry Manager

For 20 years, Joanna Martin worked in the recreation divisions at the cities of Ellensburg, Longview, Sammamish and Marysville. Over this time, she offered direct programming for all age groups, planned over 100 community events, rented a variety of facilities, manage a Community Center and supervised volunteers and staff. In January of 2021, she moved from recreation over to parks with a return to the City of Longview as their Parks & Urban Forestry Manager. Joanna currently manages 645 acres of park land, 24 acres of medians, urban forest of over 13,000 trees and supervises 27 staff. Her formal education includes: Master’s in Public Administration with Bachelor’s in Recreation Management, Speech Communication and Psychology, as well as multiple levels of Emergency Management Institute, Risk Management School, Supervisor Management School and Resource Management School.

Brad Case, City of Ellensburg Parks & Recreation Director

Brad has served as the Parks & Recreation Director for the City of Ellensburg since 2003 where he oversees three indoor recreation facilities, over 250 acres of parks and open space, and a wide range of recreational programs.     After graduating from Central Washington University in 1996 with a degree in Leisure Services, Brad started out his professional career working for the Boys and Girls Clubs of King and Snohomish County.  In 2001 he returned to Ellensburg to run the Ellensburg Racquet & Recreation Center, at age 30 Brad was promoted to the Director position.  In addition to his work with the City, he has served on the Washington Recreation and Park Association Board from 2013-2016, including a year as Board President in 2015.    Apart from his career, Brad has two children, Grady (22) a 2024 graduate of Carroll College (Montana), and Lily (19) a sophomore at Bowling Green State University (Ohio) studying Aviation.

Carmen Murrell, Recreation Supervisor City of Shoreline

Carmen has worked for the City of Shoreline for twelve years. Before that she worked for the City of Henderson in their Specialized Recreation programs. Carmen has been in the supervisor role for over 7 years and oversees Camps, Specialized Recreation, Outdoor programs, and youth athletics. Carmen is passionate about creating equitable access to recreation activities within the community to provide opportunities to youth without barriers. She continues to work to advance efforts that help provide scholarships, keeping costs down, and targeting areas that are underserved.

Chuck Cuzzetto brings over 15 years of experience in government roles, with a dedicated focus on parks and recreation for the past decade. He is a recognized leader in public relations, marketing, and communication within the sector, where his expertise in project management and operations leadership shines. Known for his precise coordination and public engagement, Chuck’s strategic oversight has successfully delivered numerous community-centric projects, ensuring that events not only meet but exceed stakeholder expectations.
An advocate for team development, Chuck emphasizes the importance of continual learning and professional growth, creating an environment where both staff and guests feel valued and respected. His passion for enhancing community engagement through dynamic marketing and communication strategies promotes public awareness and increases participation in recreational programs. Chuck's commitment to accessible and sustainable recreation makes him a pivotal advocate for public wellness and environmental consciousness in his community.