The MRPA Conference & Trade Show is the premier education and networking event for Michigan's park and recreation professionals. The event will begin with Pre-Conference Educational Sessions on February 10, 2015 in Lansing. The full Conference will kick off on Wednesday, February 11 with an opening ceremony. Conference events will run through Friday, February 13. The Annual Trade Show will take place February 11-12.

The Conference Homepage will be updated weekly as planning progresses - as the event draws closer we'll have a handy "Conference Updates" section, so you know what's newly added - no hunting around.

Conference Registration

Registration for the 2015 Conference is now open! Be sure to take advantage of early bird rates - prices expire December 20!


NEW! Conference Schedule At-a-Glance & Education Sessions

Displayed in a handy one-page format, the latest version of the Conference schedule contains a snapshot of what's happening each day from morning 'til night. View the at-a-glance schedule here! Keep in mind this is subject to change as plans are finalized! 

Descriptions will be posted soon, but in the meantime, take a look at how the education sessions are shaping up for the week!

Return on Investment

Once again, MRPA and the 2015 Conference Committee have put together a set of tools to help you figure out the return on your Conference investment. There's a worksheet to calculate expenses, a template for writing a letter to supervisors, a worksheet to plan your Conference experience, and more. As the schedule of events and education sessions are compiled, these resources will be even richer. Access the return on investment tools here!


A block of rooms is reserved at the Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol, steps away from the Lansing Center. Standard rooms are $122 per night + tax. Reservations can be made online, or by calling 800.333.3333. To get the block rate, use promotional code MRPA15.

The Radission Hotel is located at 111 N. Grand Avenue, Lansing MI  48933.

UPDATED! Featured Speakers

John L. Crompton
Distinguished Professor of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M

John L. Crompton holds the rank of Distinguished Professor of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University. His undergraduate work was in physical education and geography at Loughborough College. He holds an M.S. degree in Recreation and Park Administration from the University of Illinois, and an M.S. degree in Business Administration from Loughborough University of Technology. He received his doctorate in Recreation Resources Development in 1977 from Texas A&M University. Dr. Crompton's primary interests are in the areas of marketing and financing public leisure and tourism services. He is author or co-author of 14 books and a substantial number of articles which have been published in the recreation, tourism, sport and marketing fields.

André Pichly
Recreation Superintendent, City of West Sacramento Parks & Recreation

André Pichly has worked for the City of West Sacramento’s Parks & Recreation department since 1996 and has been Recreation Superintendent since 2000. He has worked in the profession full-time for 22 years. He has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Recreation Administration from Sacramento State University. He has taught part-time in the Recreation, Parks and Tourism Department at Sacramento State University, is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional; is a graduate of the Disney Institute’s Quality Customer Service course in Orlando, and attended the Recreation Facilities Design & Management School in Denver, CO. He is a nation-wide site visitor for the Commission for Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). He is also trained as site visitor for the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism (COAPRT), which is for colleges and universities.

Ryan Hegreness
Marketing & Enterprise Development Manager

Ryan has a unique blend of experience in recreation, business, marketing, and website design. Ryan has a masters’ degree from Clemson University in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. Previously he was an Assistant Director for a recreation department in Vermont, where he also started a website development business. He is frequently asked to speak at local and national conferences on the subject of parks and recreation marketing.


Mitchell J Silver
Commissioner, New York City Parks and Recreation

Commissioner Silver is the immediate past president of the American Planning Association. He is an award-winning planner with almost 30 years of experience, and is internationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to the contemporary planning issues. He specializes in comprehensive planning, placemaking, and implementation strategies. As Parks Commissioner, he oversees management, planning, and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of parkland.


John Baldoni
Chair of Leadership Development, N2growth

John is an internationally recognized leadership educator, executive coach, speaker, and author. John has authored twelve books on leadership, with three of those books, Lead with Purpose (2011), Lead Your Boss (2009), and Lead by Example (2008) being selected as best leadership books in their respective years. Prior to joining N2growth, John was the President of Baldoni Consulting, which he operated for 12 years. Learn more at


Tom O'Rourke
Executive Director, Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (PRC)

Tom oversees the 11,000 acre park system. The Charleston County PRC is widely known for its continued expansion without using tax increases to fund growth. Previously, Tom was the Director of the Mt. Pleasant Recreation Department in South Carolina, and also established and served as the Manager of Sports and Recreation Division for Seamon Whiteside and Associates, a Landscape Architecture and Engineering Firm.


UPDATED! Pre-Conference Sessions

Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) Course and Exam
The CPSI course is important for school districts, municipalities, playground manufacturers, childcare facilities, insurance companies, and other organizations that are responsible for playgrounds and playground equipment.

View full CPSI details, including registration information and a daily schedule.

Certified Youth Sports Administrator Course and Exam

Completing the Academy gives youth sports administrators a strong foundation of knowledge on issues pertaining to overseeing youth sports programs in today’s ever-changing environment. Some of the topics covered through the Academy are youth sports philosophy, professional development, volunteer management, child abuse prevention, parent management, conflict resolution, insurance and risk management, program evaluation and marketing. More than 3,100 professionals from around the world have earned this important certification.

View full CYSA details, including registration. You can also register for CYSA as part of your Conference package!

Session Proposals

Do you have an idea for an education session? Submit your proposal here!