A New Leadership Year

By Donahue, James | Parks & Recreation, November 2003 | Go to article overview

A New Leadership Year


Donahue, James, Parks & Recreation


Communication and commitment are keys to success.

Timely, efficient and effective communications are key components to the success of any organization. As the new president of the National Recreation and Park Association, I have vowed to work with membership, leadership and staff to improve and broaden the channels of communications both within the NRPA family and outside our organization. I am also committed to working with our leadership to develop and promote "One NRPA."

Our proper use of technology is critical for us to better communicate our needs and wants. We must first determine the best means and methods of communicating with our leaders and members. NRPA is unique, not only because it combines the efforts of citizens and professionals working together for the improvement of the quality of life, but also because it fosters an internal relationship with more than 20 branches, regions, sections and affiliates. There are more than 500 individuals serving in leadership roles within the governing units in NRPA. Developing an ongoing dialogue and communication protocol with these committed leaders is a challenge and opportunity worth pursuing.

Communication is more than an occasional e-mail, phone call or meeting. Comprehensive communications strategies should be all-encompassing, using e-mail, teleconferences, newsletters, Web sites, listservs and more to encourage member and leader involvement on issues critical to our profession. Communication must be multilateral and include those who are instrumental in our success.

Communication strategies must be further incorporated both within and among our governance groups. One of our seven strategies in Vision 2010 is to "maintain an organizational structure sensitive to changing membership needs." The Board of Trustees spent five years reviewing and modifying the governance structure. Our key governance groups include:

* Board of Trustees: The Board of Trustees comprises 70 members representing regions, branches and at-large members elected by the trustees. The trustees oversee nine national committees and is our ultimate policy-making body.

* Executive Committee: The Executive Committee includes 11 elected officers and members of the Board of Trustees, and acts on behalf of the Board when the Board of Trustees isn't in session.

* National Forum: The reconstituted National Forum involves leaders from the regions, branches, sections and affiliates. This is truly the grassroots leadership representation of our association. This group doubled in size as a result of the new governance changes. The number of citizen representatives on this body has grown from one to 12. …

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A New Leadership Year
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