CANDIDATES FOR VICE PRESIDENT

Richard E. Durr, Jr., CPRP, AICP, PLA
Seminole County Leisure Services Department
Director
All response items below have been submitted and communicated exactly as they were written by the nominee. 

Rick Durr has been serving in the Seminole County Government since 2012 and is currently Director of the County’s Leisure Services Department. As Director, he manages a headcount of over 190 employees with an annual operating and capital budget combined of over $19 Million. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Florida and is formally trained in project management with over 26 years’ experience in project planning, strategic planning, public space design, management and policy implementation. Prior to the role of Director, Rick served as Greenways & Natural Lands Division Manager for Seminole County and managed parks planning and improvements projects for the County.

Rick has been professionally licensed in the State of Florida as a Landscape Architect since 1996, as a Certified Planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners since 2001, and a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional since 2016. His experience includes serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission and Local Planning Agency for the Village of Royal Palm Beach, Florida for over nine years, including serving as Vice Chair or Chair for four of those years. Prior to his work at Seminole County, Rick spent eighteen years in private practice with a focus on parks, public spaces & greenways planning, design and construction. He has also spent time serving in various roles on a Youth Sports non-profit Board of Directors as a league organizer and treasurer, and nine years as a youth sports coach. Rick is a graduate of Leadership Seminole’s Class 28 in 2019 and has been speaking at and participating in FRPA events since 1999.

Rick is a native Floridian, has two grown children and resides in Lake Mary with his wife of over 30 years.

Why do you want to serve FRPA as Vice President?

To help FRPA provide the tools that support us all as leaders in our communities in the areas of the four pillars. To lead in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in our profession and in our communities. And to strengthen our membership, supporting the spectrum of roles within the parks profession through expanded educational opportunities.

To assist our current Board help us all to walk the talk.

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?

      My passion for parks and public service was realized in the mid-1990s the first time I participated in and providing my professional expertise for the planning of a regional trails project. Since then my 25 plus-years of parks, greenways, trails and natural lands experience has led to working with many communities to assist residents and elected leaders to realize their vision, establish goals and objectives to meet the current and future needs of their residents, and improve their quality of life through parks. My own public service has included facilitating recreation programs, serving neighborhood groups to address their parks and trails needs, establishing excellent rapport with elected representatives, hands-on experience with parks user groups and non-profits, and finally as Director of Leisure Services for Seminole County.

      The tools and resources which I utilize to stay on the cutting edge in the Parks, Recreation and Leisure profession include: outwardly directed efforts within the profession; inwardly-focused efforts in working with a team of talented professionals to continually learn from each other; and lastly, continuing to learn from other industries and government leaders which affect and influence our profession.

      Outwardly directed efforts specific to Parks, Recreation and Leisure Profession include:

      -Active engagement in FRPA through volunteerism, collaboration and fellowship with peers in the profession in both informal and formal settings. Examples include participating in the annual spring Central Florida meetings in DeBary, actively participating in online programs such as the “Chat and Chew” zoom meetings or other outreach sessions and lastly, active engagement in formal agency functions, such as the Agency Summit and Annual Conferences.
      -Facilitating inter-agency collaboration and involvement between the County and our seven Cities in strategic planning, such as inter-County and multiple jurisdictional master planning programs for parks, trails and natural lands.
      -Reading and research of the latest materials issued by FRPA and NRPA, as well as other national publications such as those for parks design and construction professionals, community planning and landscape architectural publications;
      -Reading of daily bulletins through publications such as Athletic Business, Orlando Business Journal and other business publications;
      -Participation in the customized Annual Agency Performance Review through NRPA and analysis of the various national benchmarks and trends;
      -Active involvement and outreach to leaders in the Parks profession, such as other award-winning agencies and universities on anything from current issues to best practices;

      Inwardly focused efforts include creating a collaborative environment for our Leisure Services Department Leadership Team to better inform and support each other with the challenges and changes within our profession. These efforts include:

      -Fostering a working collaboration between the senior members of the Leisure Services Department within each profession. Our Department includes not just the Parks & Recreation Division, but Greenways & Natural Lands Program, UF/IFAS Extension Services and Seminole County Library System. These Divisions include staff with diverse backgrounds, such as professionals with advanced degrees; licensed, certified professionals in different, parallel fields; contractors and tradesworkers; trained educators; certified inspectors; professional biologists; and trained project managers. Harnessing this cross section of experience and input from professionals and specialists in their fields helps us to understand trends and insight into the future of our profession – and are critical to our continued success as an agency.
      -Working with the Leisure Services Leadership team to facilitate management discussions within a bi-monthly book club, along with other readings and discussion of leadership and management materials and trends. The emerging concepts or principles discussed in the book club is intended to then be incorporated into the active management of our agency.

      Lastly, our professional does not exist in a silo, and is affected and influenced by other factors in governance, trends in economics, development and redevelopment. Therefore, some of the ways to stay current on trends which influence our profession include:

      -Staying actively involved in our County’s annual Legislative Agenda preparation;
      -Being engaged and collaboration with our County’s Executive Leadership Team;
      -As a recent graduate of Leadership Seminole, continuing to support and actively participate in the continuance of the program, collaborating with other professionals, non-profits, industry and government leaders in the region;
      -Making presentations and facilitating discussions with other community leaders in other forums, such as within various Rotary Clubs in Seminole County;
      -Collaboration with peers in other parallel and/or supporting related industries, such as volunteer efforts with Florida Chapter of the American Planning Association, Florida Planning & Zoning Association and Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects;
      -Participating in educational sessions and professional outreach provided by other groups such as 1000 Friends of Florida programs;


      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? 


      With an endeavor like this in service of the membership, I would begin with direct communication with the membership – such as our past and current efforts in the Environmental Sustainability Work Group. We conducted a need assessment survey organized around the objective of determining and delivering innovative and applicable professional development opportunities for the membership. This survey and the responses collected will help guide the updating of online available resources as well as future outreach efforts.

      We’ve also begun discussions about how to reach across and deliver services with other parallel disciplines. For example, an offering by a private provider of an online or in person seminar on economic impact of public projects may become a registered provider of CEU credits for the planning, landscape architecture and law profession. Diversifying opportunities across other disciplines may be an opportunity to further explore for the membership.

      Lastly some of the work we’re currently doing in the Environmental Sustainability Work Group are to reexamine the educational opportunities and educational track available for parks facility professionals. This renewed effort should yield a robust offering for facility management professionals starting in 2022.

      Kevin S. Pickard, CPRE
      Director, Sunrise Leisure Services
      All response items below have been submitted and communicated exactly as they were written by the nominee. 

      Kevin Pickard has worked in Parks and Recreation for over 20 years, serving the City of Sunrise for the past 12 and a half years.  He began is career in Sunrise as the Recreation Supervisor of Youth Athletics, and worked his way to becoming the Director of Leisure Services.  His responsibilities include the general oversight of the Leisure Services Department, including over 320 employees, and the implementation of a $65M General Obligation Bond program specifically for Leisure Services parks and facilities.  Recent accomplishments include the management of completed construction projects such as Flamingo Park ($6.3M) Nob Hill Soccer Club Park ($4.9M), Sunrise Sportsplex ($16.3M) and the Sunrise Civic Center Expansion ($10M). 

      Through his involvement with the Florida Recreation and Park Association (FRPA), he has hosted educational trainings, vendor expos, holiday luncheons, co-managed a “PODS” mentoring group and served on the association’s membership committee for the past two years.  Additionally, he has served on the faculty of the Emerging Leaders Institute for the past three years, including a ten-week virtual leadership training for 200 professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

      Kevin is a Certified Parks and Recreation Executive, while previously earning Playground Safety Inspector and Youth Sports Administrator certifications. He is a proud graduate of the University of Florida, earning his Bachelors of Science in Business Management and his Masters of Science in Sports Management.  Kevin and his wife Vickki have two young boys, and they are enjoying introducing them to the world of parks and recreation opportunities around South Florida.

      Why do you want to serve FRPA as Vice President?

      Servant leadership is a philosophy that I try to live by every day.  This mindset is focused on leading by example, paying it forward, helping others develop their skills, fostering leadership opportunities for everybody around me, and creating a culture of trust, empathy and diversity.  The opportunity to serve as Vice President would fall directly in line with this mindset, focused on paying it forward and developing the next generation of Parks and Recreation leaders throughout the state.

      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?

      Locally, it is critical to have the pulse of my community and understand the everchanging dynamics of how we can best serve our residents.   Our community in Sunrise is rapidly changing from a very senior driven community to one with young and growing families.  From a bigger picture standpoint, it’s important for me to understand what the other 30 municipalities in my County are doing.  I became the Director of Leisure Services in Sunrise at the beginning of COVID.  With Broward County facing their own challenges and time constraints, I requested and received their permission to start a monthly Directors Roundtable.   This was something that historically only happened on an annual basis, if not longer. I have continued this monthly Roundtable for over a year, and the meetings have transitioned from COVID related discussion to conversations about what everybody is doing internally.  This certainly helps us also understand and prepare for changes and challenges that others may have faced which just haven’t hit our individual communities yet.   On a broader note, I enjoy reading the publications such as the FRPA Journal, the NRPA Parks and Recreation magazine, Recreation Management, Athletic Business, etc.   I also make it a priority to attend available trainings when possible to continue the lifelong journey of education in our industry.

      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? 

      Without seeing some of the attendance data, it would be very interesting to see what session(s) are most in demand at conference.  Although there are always the “new and innovative trends”, we all often come across types of employees, programs, facilities, etc. that have not changed too much over the years.   There is a good chance that the topics that were popular and well received by the membership years ago would still be excellent topics to cover today.

      Additionally, I would also be curious to see the data on sessions that may not have seen large crowds at conference, but the topics/speakers were very well received by the people that attended.   There may be an opportunity to re-visit that session in some capacity at a local level, or even virtually.   With there being such a large variety of sessions to attend in a conference setting, I have no doubt there are sessions that many people just couldn’t attend.   If we were able to find the ones with excellent feedback, it would be a good starting point.

      When it comes to the implementation of these trainings, it goes back to the previous question and finding those agencies or members that are out there, but have not taken that next step in hosting an event.   With 200 people attending last year’s Emerging Leaders Institute, I imagine there are many people in that group that would be chomping at the bit to take that next step of growth and help implement a session at their agency.

      Krista Pincince, CPRP
      Director, Largo Recreation, Parks and Arts
      All response items below have been submitted and communicated exactly as they were written by the nominee. 

      My name is Krista Pincince and I have been in the field of Parks & Recreation for 22 years. I have been with the City of Largo, Recreation, Parks & Arts Department for my entire career. I started with the department as a temporary worker planning the weekly Friday Night Program 1998, I quickly realized that this was the field I was passionate about. I have also held positions with the department that include a Recreation Program Coordinator for our neighborhood outreach program, Special Events Coordinator for citywide events ranging in size from a few hundred to 25,000, and Recreation Program Manager for the Highland Recreation Center where I played an active role in the design, construction and grand opening of our state of the art facility in 2013 and Assistant Director for the department where the recreation, aquatic, athletic and golf course operations were under my leadership.  I am currently the Director for the department.

      I graduated from the Unversity of South Florida with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. I am a Certified Parks & Recreation Professional. I also have a current Childcare Directors Certification and School Age Credential. I am also a graduate of the first Abrahams Academy class.

      I have been married to my husband, Marc for 22 years. We have three beautiful children. Ashlynn is 21 a Florida State Graduate and currently studying for the medical school entrance exam. Zachary is 16 and a junior in high school and our youngest, Nicholas is in fourth grade. I am believer in the importance and difference that recreational activities make in children as they grow up. Most of our free time as parents is spent supporting, Ashlynn at a dance competition or rooting on the boys while they are playing baseball.

      Why do you want to serve FRPA as Vice President?

      I have been a member of FRPA for over 17 years. During this time I have served the association on several local and statewide committees, presented at both the local and statewide level and served as a previous Vice President. I am passionate about continued educational opportunities for parks and recreation professionals.  I look forward to working with the board of officers in accomplishing goals that are in line with the strategic plan of the association.

      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?

      Regular research of current trends is important for the field of Parks and Recreation. The information that is found helps us as professionals to offer popular programs and facilities as well as to prepare and allocate resources for challenges in the future. In preparation for upcoming weeks, I try to set aside a period of time to research current trends. The resources that I use include magazine publications, internet searches of specific topics and visits to websites with similar programs. Another resource is the networking with other recreation professionals about programs they are offering and amenities being added to their facilities.

      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 best way to identify the professional development needs for the association is to talk with the members to determine the needs of both them and their staff members. It is also important to look at other trainings that agencies are sending their team members. There is the possibility for FRPA to bring the topics being covered in these other trainings to the annual training schedule.
      In order to assure the success of new trainings, it is important that all members help spread the word of scheduled workshops and trainings. This makes it the responsibility of the board to assure that the membership base is kept informed of training opportunities.
      The effectiveness of a training can be measured by the participation in the session and by receiving feedback from those that attend either through surveys or by speaking with them directly.