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February 26-28, 2017
Hilton Garden Inn, Suffolk, Virginia
Visit the 2017

Earn up to 1.3 CEUs!

Education Sessions from 21 Speakers Include:

  • Partners in Collaboration...Partners for Success 
  • Making Personalities Work!!
  • Viking or Farmer
  • Creating Value through Innovation
  • Creating a Community of UPLIFT
  • Managing Change and Transition
  • The Fun-damentals of Innovative Partnerships
  • Unraveling the Grant Writing Conundrum: Securing Resources for the Future
  • And...Action! Ready, Set, Grow
  • Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings
  • Paradise Creek "A Sustainable Partnership"
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Legends of Main Street:  A Suffolk Ghost Walk
  • Don't Be the Missing Puzzle Piece
  • The ABC's of LinkedIn
  • Manage Up the Ladder
  • Situational Leadership "I'm Ready to Build Peak Performers"


The Fun-damentals of Innovative Partnerships

The discussion will focus on innovative partnerships and communication strategies that will empower organizations to collaborate and solve problems.  We will examine some ideas to improve our creativity and our staff's innovativeness.

Joel McCormick PhD, Chowan University

Dr. Joel G. McCormick is an Assistant Professor of Recreation, Wellness and Sport at Chowan University.  Dr. McCormick obtained his Ph.D. in Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management from the University of Florida in 2011.  His dissertation research was focused on Crime Prevention Strategies in Urban Parks.  In addition to a M.S. in Recreation Administration from Aurora University, he also has a master's degree in Sociology/Criminal Justice from Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.  He earned his B.S. degree in Psychology and Philosophy (double major) from Christopher Newport University, graduating with honors in May 1998.  Prior to embarking on his academic career, Dr. McCormick served in the United States Navy.  He was aboard the USS Eisenhower during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dr. McCormick has been employed as program director and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at South University since June 2011.  In addition to teaching graduate and undergraduate level courses, he served as academic advisor for up to 60 students each quarter.  While working on his doctorate (2007-2011), he taught undergraduate courses in Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management at the University of Florida.
Paradise Creek "A Sustainable Partnership"

Can a small group of people clean 27 miles of river and tributaries? That's just what the Elizabeth River Project (ERP) volunteers did.  ERP achieved this through the dredging of toxic sediments, restoring wetlands, education, the overhaul of sewage systems, and the creation of Paradise Creek Park. This 40 acre park was created in partnership with the City of Portsmouth to restore vital forests and wetlands while providing unique recreational opportunities for the community.  

Mark Furlo, CPRP, Portsmouth Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services

Mark Furlo is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional and currently serves as the Director of Parks, Recreation & Leisure Services for the City of Portsmouth. Prior to Portsmouth he was the Director of Isle of Wight County Parks and Recreation for seven years and he spent an additional seven years in various capacities with the City of Suffolk Parks and Recreation. Mark has is very active in VRPS and has served on various committees and spoken at the Annual Conference and Summer Survival.

Marjorie Mayfield-Jackson, Elizabeth River Project

Marjorie Mayfield-Jackson leads one of the more successful urban river restoration efforts on the East Coast. Executive Director of the Elizabeth River Project since its founding, she has organized hundreds of partnerships to carry out multi-level river restoration efforts with training from the US EPA and a background in an earlier journalism career.

Sarah Sumonski, Elizabeth River Project

Sarah Sumoski is the Urban Park Ranger for Paradise Creek Nature Park. Since the park's opening in 2013 she has developed, advertised, and led transformative environmental education programming for over 10,000 students, families, and volunteers. Sarah has worked as an Urban Park Ranger in New York City's Inwood Hill and Central Park, led education programming through summer day camps, and in her spare time is a Guest Blogger for Virginia State Parks.

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