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What Inspires You?

2012-06-01, Department, by Barbara Tulipane

CEO Barbara TulipaneSome say there are two types of people in this world – those who live to work and those who work to live.   While I would like to tell you that I’m the latter, the truth is, I’m really not.  That’s right – I admit it. While I may preach about the importance of work-life balance, achieving this balance continues to be a daily struggle for me. And I suspect that many of you are right there with me.  C’mon, am I right?  

Early in my career, I worked in certain jobs that were less than satisfying.  At a certain point, I decided to accept only positions that were “right” for me.  Everyone has their own definition of what is right for them, but for me it’s a position that challenges my skills, honors my beliefs, and makes a difference in the lives of others. 

I also found that I need be inspired—but finding inspiration isn’t always easy.  Most recently, I have been really inspired by the members of NRPA’s Young Professional Network.  I’m impressed with their focus on getting things done and seeing results.  I’m in awe of their willingness to work together—volunteering for a greater good, working collaboratively toward common goals, and respecting history and tradition, without allowing the past to limit their future.  

How do I get this inspiration from the young professionals?  I take every opportunity that I have to sit in on their meetings and their conference calls.  The enthusiasm and energy of the young professionals are contagious.  And the inspiration I draw from them makes me realize how much we need more young professionals to lend their vitality, ideas, and commitment to NRPA.

The good news is that we have a great way to bring them into NRPA at no essentially no cost to them—through the new Premiere Agency membership package.   This new membership category is designed to allow agencies to sign up all their full-time employees for a single agency membership fee, a fee which is very comparable to the rate presently being paid by many agencies for far fewer employees and board members. 

The Premiere membership includes full benefits for all designated members, such as member pricing for Congress attendance, publications, and online learning—as well as access to the Knowledge Center and NRPA Connect professional networks.  The only exception is that Premiere package members will receive a digital version of Parks & Recreation, rather than the printed version. 

Directors who have signed up their agencies recently have told us how much they like this new membership category—it will give literally hundreds of their employees access to topical new knowledge, outstanding professional development opportunities, a direct path to certification, and unparalleled networking potential through NRPA’s professional networks.

These benefits will give young professionals a competitive edge in their careers and enable them to learn from leaders in the field about innovative practices.  NRPA members in the Premiere Membership category will benefit from new research, including the ability to access up-to-the-minute market research and custom data reports through PRORAGIS. 

Finally, the impact on advocacy for parks and recreation will be enhanced by the power of our collective voice on Capitol Hill and in communities across the nation.  The fight to save parks and protect the jobs of our profession has never been more important, and NRPA is the only organization that does it for you.

So, what inspires you? 


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This article was inspiring for me! After two years, working in the field of Recreation; recently, I've been learning new knowledge from more experienced Parks & Recreation Professionals who I have worked with directly in the past. These Directors and Executives have given me insight towards the greater goal in our profession. This article as well has fallen under that category for me, and I feel appreciated as well as necessary to continue into the field which I was always passionate about. Thank you Barbara Tulipane for writing this article and I definitely look forward to renewing my membership and connecting in through the packaged deals this upcoming year. -Catherine B. Young National Parks & Recreation Professional