Bryan Nipe
Director, Parks and Recreation, City of Lake Mary

Bryan Nipe has 15 years of experience in a management role, 12 of which are in the Parks and Recreation field.   Bryan is currently the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Lake Mary where he and his team oversee city facilities, building maintenance, beautification, events, recreation programs and the renowned Lake Mary Events Center.  Prior to coming to Lake Mary, Bryan worked for the Seminole County Leisure Services Department as a Division Manager and in South Florida for various consulting engineering firms as an Environmental Specialist.   He has a Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture, a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Economics, and is a Certified Arborist and LEED Accredited Professional.  In his off time, Bryan enjoys outdoor living and spending leisure days on the boat with his 5-year old daughter Julianna and wife Catalina.

Why do you want to serve FRPA as Vice President of Finance?

Having participated in various capacities with FRPA in the last twelve years, including education sessions at conferences and Emerging Leaders along with recently serving as the Chair of the Economic Impact Calculator, my familiarity with the association is a certain asset.  I have been in parks and recreation management for those twelve years and the last seven I have served my community as Parks and Recreation Director.  In addition, I volunteer on several boards in the community including the Finance Chair of the local YMCA board and board member for the Lake Mary Heathrow Festival of the Arts.  I will bring vision, passion and leadership to the Board and I will be driven to continue to build on the successes of past board members.  I look forward to working with you.

What tools/resources do you utilize to stay on the cutting edge in the Parks, Recreation and Leisure profession, and where would you look to gain insight into what lies ahead as far as challenges and changes in the next five years?

Staying connected to our State Association has been key to keeping up with trends.  Networking and interaction with other professionals and agencies and classes keep myself and my team up to date on current trends and direction of the parks and recreation industry. I also keep up through NRPA online journals and I attend the national conference on a bi-annual basis.  Becoming a Nationally Accredited Department in 2014 required immense work and held our Department to a high level through benchmarking against the top agencies is the country while constantly updating processes to meet re-accreditation.  Working in concert with other departments including economic/community development, public safety and public works also keeps me up to date with trends affecting Government overall in turn affecting the Parks and Recreation Department. 

Locally, I also stay in tune with local community recreation, events and culture by currently sitting on three boards outside of our City Advisory Boards:  J. Douglas YMCA Board Member, Lake Mary Heathrow Festival of the Arts Board Member and Seminole County Sports Hall of Fame Committee Member.

I believe networking in a variety of circles, surveying the public and following demographic trends is key to forecasting what lies ahead in the next 5 years and beyond.

What do you believe to be the greatest opportunity for revenue growth at the Association?
    -CEU offerings for more than just CPRP such as LA, Arborist, AICP Etc. to draw a wider range of outside professionals to meetings. This may draw more interest in conferences and membership by those outside of Parks and Recreation.
     -Offer the Impact Calculator to paid members only, with a heavy focus on marketing to draw interest.
     -Outreach is key to grow the organization, a greater focus on marketing through social media to reach a new generation of professionals from a younger age. I may have studied Parks and Recreation or Leisure Studies over Economics had I known about the program and that I could have had such a great career in the field.
     -Partner with colleges and universities to ensure sustainability of curriculum related to Parks and Recreation.

One of the greatest challenges facing FRPA 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 the key is knowing our audience and hammering out through survey of members and even further – non-members, to see what educational opportunities agencies are looking for.  Overall effectiveness should continue to be evaluated through survey and further direct communication with agency Directors.  To develop identified opportunities, I would work with the board and staff to identify leaders in the various areas of educational need.  Market studies should be done to ensure that those identified and recruited from outside of FRPA are compensated for travel and per diem commensurate with other like sized conferences.