Joe Abrahams Academy for Leadership Excellence in Parks and Recreation

Class of 2017




The Joe Abrahams Academy for Leadership Excellence in Parks and Recreation goes beyond a traditional educational session.  The Academy provides an opportunity for participants to explore and develop their leadership capacity, create personal leadership advancement plans, and encourages personal introspection, group activity and individual assessment.

The two year long experience commences with the initial training and continues throughout the year with suggested readings, group interaction through conference calls and social media, and one on one mentorship from a coach.  Combining the initial training and post-Academy activity, participants  begin to transfer theory into practice in preparation for assuming executive level leadership positions in the parks and recreation field.


Ideal Candidates for the Academy are:

  • Seeking career advancement from the managerial level to a visionary, leadership role within the parks and recreation profession; and
  • Individuals with a minimum of 7 years experience with progressive ascension in their employment; and
  • Willing to personally commit to attending the courses, invest time to accomplish post-Academy activities; and return for year two of the Academy.

Curriculum includes:

  • Advanced Leadership
  • Strategic Thinking and Decision Making
  • Courageous Communication
  • Negotiation as a Conflict Management A Tool
  • Business Plan Development
  • Performance Measurement
  • Managing External Relations
  • Motivating Employees and Building Motivational Competency Into Your Organization
  • Effective Communications With the Media
  • Organizational Change / Transition / Risk Taking
  • External Quality Validation
  • Politics of Parks and Recreation
  • The Changing Landscape of Parks and Recreation   

Candidates must attend Year One of the Academy prior to returning for Year Two, and must complete interim assignments that serve to reinforce theory provided in the Academy. Each participant is assigned a coach between Year One and Two, that works with participants to assure they are receiving information they need to continue their advancement in the field.