Slate of Candidates Announcement

  • Friday, July 04, 2014
  • A link for your vote will be sent out early next week

Listed are the candidates that have been secured for the various openings on next year’s APRA Board of Directors. 

A link to vote will be sent out early next week to all current members. The election will close on August 7th.

For Vice President

Robert Carmona – Town of Wickenburg

Robert Carmona is currently the Parks, Recreation and Facilities Director for the Town of Wickenburg. Robert has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional. In 2013 he was awarded the APRA Professional Award at the Annual Conference. The Leisure Benefits Branch awarded Robert with their Professional Service Award in 2012. In 2011 Robert served as the Chair for General Sessions and created the conference program for the APRA Conference in Tucson. In 2010 he was selected by the Arizona Daily Star as one of the top 40 under 40 professionals in Southern Arizona. Robert currently serves as the APRA Treasurer as well as Past Chair for the Leisure Benefits Branch. 

The APRA boards, branches and Executive Director have positively impacted the development of APRA over the last few years, and I would like to continue the association on the path to excellence. APRA still has a challenging road ahead, and I would like to serve the association by helping create a sustainable, affordable non-profit model that still empowers the current and future members with professional development, advocacy and resources.

Advocacy also means securing our future by mobilizing leaders in Parks and Recreation to understand the value of serving in APRA. Reaching out to the other Parks and Recreation Directors to encourage all staff to be involved in APRA, and having APRA create valuable experiences for membership. Membership in APRA has been vital in my professional development, and serving the association that has given me so much would be an honor.

For North Region Representative

Brian Grube – City of Flagstaff

I reside in Flagstaff Arizona. As the Recreation Services Director for the City of Flagstaff I have the privilege to work alongside a great team of recreation professionals. I have been in this position for just over six years and am looking forward to many more. I am originally from Wisconsin where I ran a Wilderness Expedition camp and is where I developed my passion for the outdoors. Since then I have been traveled around the world, lived in great places like San Diego and Mammoth Lakes CA. While in California I was the Director of Outdoor Recreation at UCSD. I then ran the wilderness camp and corporate training center for the YMCA of LA, located in Mammoth Lakes. We have been in Flagstaff since 2006 and we call Flagstaff and Arizona home. 

I have a wonderful family and we have a passion for mtn biking, canyoneering and just about anything outdoors. I have been looking for an opportunity to become more involved with APRA and representing the Northern region of Arizona would be a great honor. I have a passion for all things Parks and Recreation and have the time and energy to work closely with my fellow APRA board members if the opportunity should arise.

Cynthia Nemeth – Coconino County

Cynthia Nemeth is the Parks and Recreation Manager for the Coconino County Parks and Recreation Department in Flagstaff, Arizona.  She received her B.S. in Recreation and Sociology from Arizona State University.  A committed public servant, she pursued and earned a Masters of Public Administration from Northern Arizona University.  Cynthia possesses over 20 years of experience in the field of Parks and Recreation spanning the federal, county and city levels of government.  

Within the field of Parks and Recreation she has gained experience in the areas of recreation programming, athletics, special events, and the management of facilities ranging from an outdoor amphitheater, athletic fields, campgrounds, to even a horse racing track.  Being a leader, a creative problem-solver, and managing challenging projects are a few of the things she enjoys most about her work.  Cynthia takes her recreation seriously – at work and outside of work. When not in the office, she enjoys hiking, rafting, camping and is known to swing an occasional tennis racket, get her Zumba on, and strike a yoga pose. 

Cynthia’s career passion is to ensure that outstanding facilities, recreational, educational, natural and cultural opportunities are available to the communities and customers she serves.  She is committed to her own professional growth as well as that of others through continued education, responsiveness to industry trends, and participation in industry associations such as the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association.  

For South Region Representative

Kelly Cheeseman – Pima County

Kelly has been with Pima County Parks and Recreation for 16 years and APRA for 15 years.  I was in the medical field when I started volunteering at my daughters’ recreation program and was hooked. In 1997 taking a position with Pima County as a temporary employee and quickly moved up in the department. 


Currently serving as Recreation Program Manager managing 7 community centers, special events and department travel.  I have been involved in APRA in many areas in the past year and have held several positions on the Leisure Benefits Branch including secretary, treasurer, vice chair, chair and past chair. 

Co-chairing the successful 61st Annual Conference and Trade show in 2011 and will be a part of the 2015 event.  I have worked hard for APRA through the good times and the tough times.  I look forward to continuing to help build APRA into the best association for its members.

Ken Ventura – Town of Sahuarita

My name is Ken Ventura and I am the Recreation Administrator for the Town of Sahuarita Parks and Recreation Department and a current member of the Leisure Branch.  Parks and Recreation is my passion because I get to work with a variety of people and in a variety of situations.  I have learned a lot about the impact our profession can have on people and the people who make parks and recreation happen for their communities.  

For over 30 years I have promoted and worked in the parks and recreation field.  During that time, I have been involved in APRA on a variety of levels from NRPA representative to helping on committees to support the annual conference.  Your vote of support to elect me as South Region Representative will give me the opportunity to continue supporting the association by being involved in planning educational opportunities, increasing my advocacy for members, and continuing to promote the association’s benefits to community leaders.  Thank you for your consideration. 

One vote per eligible member

12950 N 7th Street  |  Phoenix AZ 85022


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