Slate of candidates

We are pleased to present for your consideration the proposed slate of candidates for the APRA Board of Directors.
 
Each year the board strives to find the right balance of strategic thinking and tactical know-how to advance APRA's strategic goals.  Through their experience, perspectives and contributions, they will help grow and advance APRA and the parks and recreation community throughout Arizona. The candidates are proven leaders within their own organizations and will join a group of dedicated and experienced board members led by next year’s President, Miranda Gomez.  

Members will receive the link to vote via a Wild Apricot poll and will have until December 4th to complete it. Only members with active memberships enrolled in voting categories will be eligible to vote.

Each candidate is asked a set of questions when applying for the position, below, you can read those responses.

Eligible members must be logged into their APRA member account to participate.

For the Office of President

This position is a three-year term beginning January 2023 President, 2024 Vice President and 2025 APRA President.

The President acts as the presiding officer of the Executive Committee, Board of Directors and all membership meetings. Interpret the policies and decisions of the Board to the membership at large. Act as the association's official representative and spokesperson for professional parks and recreation interests. Establish and maintain communications and good working relationships with professional organizations and agencies through personal visits and other communications.


Stacia Holmes

City of Phoenix


APRA Member for Twenty years

Previous positions with APRA: Board Secretary | TEAM Lead | Conference Committee


Why would you like to be considered as part of APRA leadership?

In the more than 20 years I have been an APRA member and three years on the APRA Executive Board, I have always been a big supporter of its programs, conferences, and events. There is enormous work being done by the Board and so much more that can be done. I see areas where I can be of more service and guide APRA to be a national leader and model for state agencies.


What do you envision as the primary function of the position you seek and what skills do you have that would benefit the Association (and ultimately the membership) if elected to the position?


I envision the primary functions of the President is to act as the official representative of the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association, demonstrate professional standards, be an advocate and spokesperson for the organization and profession, and increase and maintain a healthy membership.


The skills I have include a high standard of professionalism, organizational management, vision for the future growth and sustainability of the organization, good working relationships with others in the field, and access to a network of professionals that are currently untapped or underrepresented in the overall membership.


One of the greatest challenges facing APRA is the delivery of innovative and applicable professional development opportunities. What approach would you employ towards identifying potential training opportunities and how would you determine their overall effectiveness in meeting the needs of the membership? What strategy would you utilize for the development and implementation of these development opportunities?

I believe one of the best approaches to identify potential training opportunities is to ask the membership what they want from APRA. Scheduled surveys using a variety of methods like electronic, through the website, text, and social media. We should also incentive the surveys to maximize participation. Additionally, I believe APRA should reach out to other state agencies to learn what has been success in their areas.

An evaluation plan will document to which extent the membership’s needs are attained, objectively and subjectively assess the overall impact of the professional development opportunities and identify variables in the programs influence outcomes and attitudes. The process evaluation will document staff and membership activities through document reviews, interviews with members, and observations. The outcome evaluation will use a pre-post design with indicators specific to the training.

The diversity of the APRA membership base is extremely wide, based on geographic location, professional level, area of interest, and many other factors. What strategy(ies) would you utilize to effectively engage in dialogue with the membership? Additionally, how would you go about analyzing the various needs and desires into a manageable and realistic action plan for the Association?

I would take a holistic approach towards engaging with the diverse APRA membership. My strategies include virtual meetings, focused “coffee chats,” streaming board and committee meetings, phone calls, and visiting members in-person throughout the state. I love to travel and enjoy seeing the beauty of the state of Arizona in person. Since I have been on the Board, I have taken the initiative to visit colleges throughout the state and through those visits have developed friendship and close professional ties.

I would use the data collected from the membership surveys and evaluations to develop a realistic plan that aligns with the Association’s mission, strategic plans, and capacity for action. Additionally, the information will be used to discover gaps in service delivery, blind spots, and areas where the Association can outreach to underserved areas and industry professionals.


Lane Gram

Town of Gilbert


APRA Member for nearly Ten years

Previous positions with APRA:  Conference Committee 


Why would you like to be considered as part of APRA leadership?

Serving on the board will provide me with an incredible opportunity to meet influential, intelligent, and well-connected people in the field of parks and recreation. I want to focus on productive meetings that focus on priorities that are important to the advancement of the profession. The annual conference is a very important function of the state organization and I want to have an impact on the quality of training opportunities available. I envision the primary function of the board to engage in monthly conversations about the status of the organization including a budget, new members, programs, policies, and outreach. I would utilize my connections in the community to recruit new support for the organization including sponsors, leaders, presenters, and members. I believe that the board should have a key influence on the annual conference and other large functions hosted by the organization. I envision the primary function of the board to engage in monthly conversations about the status of the organization including a budget, new members, programs, policies, and outreach. I would utilize my connections in the community to recruit new support for the organization including sponsors, leaders, presenters, and members. I believe that the board should have a key influence on the annual conference and other large functions hosted by the organization.


What do you envision as the primary function of the position you are seeking and what skills do you have that would most benefit the Association (and ultimately the membership) if elected to the position?


I envision the primary function of the board to engage in monthly conversations about the status of the organization including a budget, new members, programs, policies, and outreach. I would utilize my connections in the community to recruit new support for the organization including sponsors, leaders, presenters, and members. I believe that the board should have a key influence on the annual conference and other large functions hosted by the organization.


One of the greatest challenges facing APRA is the delivery of innovative and applicable professional development opportunities. What approach would you employ towards identifying potential training opportunities and how would you determine their overall effectiveness in meeting the needs of the membership? What strategy would you utilize for the development and implementation of these development opportunities?

The most important step in identifying what the community of parks and recreation professionals want to learn about at the conference is to ask them. I would survey the current membership of APRA to find out what topics they want to see covered as well as where the gaps are in the current conference offerings. I would also use network connections from other states and national organizations to find out what they are offering and how we could partner with them to engage in the same training. In order to find the overall effectiveness, I would be sure to conduct a post-event survey and then also follow up later in the year.

My strategy for the development and implementation of these strategies would be to build buy-in from the board of directors and committee members so that it is a team approach. I understand that I cannot build the strategy and implement it without building a team of people that believe in the purpose. I lead by example and encourage involvement from the entire group. I am strong at finding strengths in the group and utilizing those assets to benefit the team.

The diversity of the APRA membership base is extremely wide, based on geographic location, professional level, area of interest, and many other factors. What strategy(ies) would you utilize to effectively engage in dialogue with the membership? Additionally, how would you go about analyzing the various needs and desires into a manageable and realistic action plan for the Association?

COVID was not kind to our community but it did lead us to virtual meetings and finding ways to connect when we cannot be in an office space together. Hosting monthly virtual meetings so that members from all across the state can connect on a topic would be the first priority. The TEAMS concept of APRA is valuable and can grow into an important monthly forum for groups to engage in needs, wants, issues, and concerns. The challenge when meeting virtually is to get everyone to contribute. I think that a trained facilitator could get more active participation rather than a one-way conversation. It also requires smaller groups or break-out sessions so that more people feel comfortable talking and joining the conversation.

I also believe in putting the right people in the right place. My selection of committee chairpersons or leaders for this organization will impact the success of the dialogue.

Growing the state conference to be affordable for all parks and recreation professionals to participate either virtually or in person will be another way to open the dialogue with everyone.

A President's email to the members could be a beneficial way to share news and information. I think that we all get emails so often now and we ignore the majority of them because we are busy. I would like to find a way to engage everyone through an incentive to read the newsletter. Hidden clues and rewards for reading it would be one idea to implement that gets them to read the information.

Analyzing the needs and desires of the members will be a large challenge for the board. My strategy would start with communication. It is important for the members to understand that the organization cannot implement everything in one year. I would clearly communicate and outline the goals and initiatives that APRA is focused on for the year. I would take the list of ideas, suggestions, and interests of the members and prioritize them by what is important to furthering the goals and initiatives of the organization. I would combine some tasks into categories if they could be completed together. I would highlight what was urgent and start there. I would consider the time sensitivity and level of effort for each item to ensure that the board and office have the time and resources to complete it. The board would have this live document available to review regularly and would discuss each item due at the monthly board meeting to ensure that we are continuing to make progress and meet the expectations of the members.


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