“Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
― Walt Disney Company
Looking back, while moving PA Forward is the 75th Conference Tag Line. While looking back – I have many fond memories of friends, learning, all while having an absolute blast getting to know some of the most amazing people in Parks and Recreation in PA. I would be remiss to start naming names, and locations, as being one of the Baby Boomers of this organization, the days and years really do start to run together. One aspect that does remain constant is the faces of those that have assisted me, and the community in which I live to keep moving forward, opening new doors, and attempting new things!
So with the 75th conference around the corner, I would like to really encourage you to take the time right now, to reach out to PRPS colleague(s) or friend(s) that you haven’t had the time to converse with over the past two years, and set up a time to meet at the conference to meet up and share ideas, learn from and simply network.
There are many benefits of attending a conference, but personally, over many years, the one that has assisted me the most would be the networking opportunities with other professionals. I could definitely write a paper on all the positive camps, programs, grants, procedures, policies, and processes that I have “borrowed” from many of you. What more of an accolade than that assisting someone start something in their community?
My plan when attending any conference is to bring home and implement at least but no more than three ideas, or incremental steps to positive change. I try to keep a list of items separate from my notes taken during the educational sessions to refer back quickly and easily, and to continue to add to the list. Obviously, I want to learn anything, and everything there is to learn, but while doing so, it is important to incorporate realization into what you can bring home, and what might be later down the road for your community.
While developing your career at the conference, by educating yourself, and improving your performance as a Director, manager, leader within the field, it is also imperative to set time aside to meet with industry suppliers and individuals that can assist with you doing your job at a higher level, by utilizing their products. Please take time to visit the Exhibit Hall, and introduce yourself to the Vendors that bring their knowledge and expertise to share with you. It is vital to our budget that continues to bring in these valuable exhibitors!
Re-energize yourself, and your staff by sharpening your knowledge, learning the new best practices, meeting industry leaders, making new contacts, and connecting with those friends and colleagues, all while having a wonderful time at Kalahari Resorts in March 2022.