Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute 


The mission of the Southwest Parks and Recreation Training Institute is to present and promote educational opportunities to students, professionals, and lay supporters of the broad field of Parks and Recreation.

The Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute is a non-profit organization that is administered by volunteers from the Parks and Recreation field. The organization is governed by its Officers and a Board of Directors. The Officers, Board of Directors, and Committee Chairs meet three times per year and their meetings are open to all members of the Institute. The current year President appoints Committee Chairs for the upcoming Institute.

Institute Officers 

President: Mike Amond, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The President is to provide direction, guidance, and leadership to the Institute, the Executive Committee, and the Governing Board.

President-Elect: Tim Phillips, Denton, Texas. The President-Elect is to serve as the Chair of the standing Program Committee and to assume the Presidency if, for any reason, the President vacates the office

Immediate Past-President: Greg Snider, , Oklahoma. The Immediate Past-President is to perform other duties assigned by the President and the Executive Committee

Secretary: Les Pulliam, Vian, Oklahoma. The Secretary is responsible for documenting all minutes of meetings and coordinating registration. 

Treasurer: Merle Cox, Wilburton, Oklahoma. The Treasurer maintains all budget and accounting functions related to the operation of the Institute.

Governing Board of Directors

The Board of Directors along with the President-Elect shares the responsibility of putting together the educational programs for the Institute. Each Board Member also serves as a liaison to one or more Institute Committees. Each Board of Director serves a three-year term. These terms are staggered in pairs with a new pair of directors being elected each year. 

Director (Term ends 2020): Willis Winters, Director, City of Dallas 

Director (Term ends 2020): Edward Benavides, District Supervisor, City of Plano

Director (Term ends 2021): Ryan Haggard, Program Instructor, Southwest Oklahoma State University

Director (Term ends 2021): Tucker Heglin, Oklahoma State Parks

Director (Term ends 2022): Chad McCall, Park Manager, Oklahoma State Parks

Director (Term ends 2022): Bruce Divis, West Regional Manager, Oklahoma State Parks


Members of the Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute have been making the annual trek to Oklahoma since 1956. Created to serve practitioners in the parks and recreation field, the Institute has strengthened itself through the years because it is an agent for evolution within its steadfast mission, providing institutional stability without squelching needed change.

Elo J. Urbanovsky, a professor at Texas Tech University along with other notable park and recreation professionals in the early 1950's, had the vision for a training institute for the Southwest. The model for its development was the Great Lakes Park Training Institute. After a meeting at an American Institute of Park Executives conference in 1955, plans were set to conduct the first Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute in the spring of 1956 at the Lake Murray State Park Lodge.

Through the efforts of Elo Urbanovsky, L.B. Houston, R.R. Murphy, Mark Miles, Ernest Allen, Tye Bledsoe, Dwain Miller, and others, the first members arrived at the lodge. Room and meals were available for $5 per day and the full conference registration was $5. The attractive rate and outstanding value of the conference helped cultivate a loyal and growing membership. Membership increased to over 300 people annually. In 1961 the Institute moved to the Lake Texoma State Park Lodge, near Kingston, Oklahoma.

Dr. James W. KitchenIn 1965, James W. Kitchen took over the role of program chairman. With Dr. Kitchen's leadership and Dorothy Bentley's assistance, the Institute flourished in a time when the need for parks and recreation services and an awareness of our natural resources was rapidly expanding.

Dr. Kitchen was instrumental in bringing representatives from new federal agencies and information about programs created in the early 1960's, such as the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the Housing and Urban Development Act to the Institute.

The Institute continued to change with the times. In 1974 it became independent from national organization ties. Along with Texas Tech, other universities such as Louisiana State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Stephen F. Austin, etc. contributed resources and support.

After Dr. Kitchen passed away in 1990, the Officers, Board of Directors, and Standing Committees, have kept the Institute program fresh with new ideas each year. The regional networking opportunities have been cited in recent membership surveys as an important reason for attending the Institute. Membership participation is a key ingredient in continuing the vitality and value of this training institute today.

In late 2006, The State of Oklahoma closed the Lodge at Lake Texoma Resort. So starting in 2007, the Institute moved from Lake Texoma Resort to our new home at Sequoyah State Park Resort. Thus allowing us to continue our long standing relationship and tradition with the State of Oklahoma Parks.

The current logo for Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute symbolizes the migration of birds to the Tishamingo National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was always one of the late Dr. Kitchen's favorite places to visit. Rich in history and success, the Institute continues to promote educational opportunities and career enrichment for parks and recreation professionals as they flock to Oklahoma each year.


Past Presidents

Greg Snider - 2019

Tony Presley - 2018

Randall McFarlin - 2017

Robert Townsend - 2016

Susie Snider - 2015

E. Brian Bristow - 2014

Jill Beam - 2013

Mendy Putman - 2012

John Webb - 2011

Cindy Olson - 2010

Kenneth Beam - 2009

Greg Snider - 2008

Bob Monaghan - 2007

Roger Scott - 2006

Jeff Lingo - 2005

Michael Herron - 2004

Sally Rodriguez - 2003

Don Horton - 2002

B. Dan Kamp - 2001

Shellene Beach - 2000

Michael Massey - 1999

John Lampe - 1998

Jackie Kayne - 1997

Mark McHenry - 1996

Dee Hardin - 1995

James Fox - 1994

Bob Overman - 1993

Terry Putman - 1992

William Sharp - 1991

Max Robertson - 1990

Don Wendell - 1989

Mickey Carter - 1988

Max Wiens - 1987

Eddie Hueston - 1986

Bob Woodruff - 1985

John Alford - 1984

Michael Segrest - 1983

Alton Johnson - 1982

James Fisher - 1981

Russell Studebaker - 1980

Jack Robinson - 1979

David Loughridge - 1978

Terry Dopson - 1977

Hugh McKnight - 1976

Gordon Jones - 1975

William McLaughlin - 1974

Robert Key - 1973

Phillip Huey - 1972

Eugene German - 1971

William Gosdin - 1970

William Landahl - 1969

Arthur Johnson - 1968

Dwain Miller - 1967

Scott Fikes - 1966

W.G. Scheibe - 1965

Ernest Allen - 1964

James Taylor - 1963

Robert Frazer - 1962

Robert Frazer - 1961

Henry Walker - 1960

David Abbott - 1959

L.B. Houston - 1958

Mark Miles - 1957

Mark Miles - 1956

Awards Program

The Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute annually recognizes its members with participation, attendance, and special awards in recognition for service to the Institute.

Special Awards

Awards in this category are based on special service and/or service contribution to the Institute. Awards are made in the following categories:

Past Presidents - Emerald Award

This award is presented annually to the outgoing President of the Institute in recognition of his/her service for the past year. Complete list of our Past Presidents.

James W. Kitchen Memorial Special Recognition Award

This award is the highest honor awarded by the Institute. Here are the recipients of the James W. Kitchen Memorial Special Recognition Award:

Mick Massey, 2019

Susie Snider, 2018

Sally Rodriguez, 2017

Michael Herron, 2014

Greg Snider, 2013

Bob Monaghan, 2012

Roger Scott, 2011

Jeff Lingo, 2009

Don Horton, 2008

Kenneth Beam, 2005

B. Dan Kamp, 2004

Terry Putman, 2001

John Lampe, 2000

Jackie Kayne, 1998

James Fox, 1997

Alton Johnson, 1995

James Fisher, 1993

Eddie Hueston, 1992

David Loughridge, 1991

Participation Awards

Awards in this category are based on individual service and participation in the annual meeting of the Institute and/or work of the Institute on an annual basis. Awards in this category require both attendance and participation point accumulations. Although points are not accumulated for attendance, minimum standards of attendance have been adopted as part of the award criteria. Awards in this category are non-discretionary.

The point system with accumulation criteria utilized for this category of award is as follows:

  • One point for Board Member and Officer participation
  • One point for committee participation
  • One point for program participation
  • One point for Brag Night participation

The participation award categories are as follows:

Amethyst Award

Minimum 20 years attendance and 25 participation points

Cindy Olson, 2019 

Mark McHenry, 2015

Tim Phillips, 2015

Jill Beam, 2014

Susie Snider, 2014

Cindy Anderson, 2013

Jeff Lingo, 2013

Susan Musgrove, 2013

Greg Snider, 2013

Tammie Tritico, 2013

Mendy Putman, 2011

Larry Moyer, 2009

Don Horton, 2008

Bob Monaghan, 2008

Robert Townsend, 2007

Martha Downey, 2007

Sally Rodriguez, 2006

Roger Scott, 2006

Max Robertson, 2006

Terry Putman, 2006

Max Wiens, 2006

Kenneth Beam, 2006

Michael Massey, 2006

Michael Herron, 2006

John Lampe, 2006

James Fox, 2006

B. Dan Kamp, 2006

Alton Johnson, 2006

Dee Hardin, 2006

William Sharp, 2006

Richard Zavala, 2006

Eddie Hueston, 2006

Jackie Kayne, 2006

David Loughridge, 2006

Russell Studebaker, 2006

James Fisher, 2006

Sapphire Award

Minimum 15 years attendance and 20 participation points 

Dr. Chad Kinder, 2019

Tony Presley, 2019

Lindsey Rider, 2019

Shohn Rodgers, 2019

David Burke, 2015

Cindy Olson, 2011

Tim Phillips, 2011

John Webb, 2011

Jill Beam, 2010

Susie Snider, 2010

Greg Snider, 2009

Gene Spearman, 2009

Tammie Tritico, 2009

Cindy Anderson, 2008

Susan Musgrove, 2008

Jeff Lingo, 2008

Bob Monaghan, 2007

Mendy Putman, 2006

Dewey Shroyer, 2006

Larry Moyer, 2005

Robert Townsend, 2002

Shellene Beach, 2001

Jeff Stuyt, 2001

Michael Massey, 2001

Sally Rodriguez, 2001

Celeste Hoehne, 2001

Martha Downey, 2000

Max Robertson, 2000

Kenneth Beam, 2000

Don Horton, 2000

Michael Brownlee, 1998

Dee Hardin, 1998

Michael Herron, 1998

B. Dan Kamp, 1998

John Lampe, 1998

Mickey Carter, 1997

Richard Zavala, 1997

Max Wiens, 1997

William Sharp, 1997

James Fox, 1997

Eddie Hueston, 1997

Alton Johnson, 1997

Jackie Kayne, 1997

Mark Mchenry, 1997

David Loughridge, 1997

Terry Putman, 1997

Roger Scott, 1997

Hugh Mcknight, 1992

Russell Studebaker, 1985

James Fisher, 1983

Diamond Award

Minimum ten years attendance and 15 participation points 

Shohn Rodgers, 2017

Dr. Chad Kinder, 2016

Tony Presley, 2016

Randall McFarlin, 2015

Vickie Hamrick, 2014

Lindsey Rider, 2014

Gary Zimmerman, 2011

David Burke, 2011

E. Brian Bristow, 2010

Jim Mays, 2010

Emerson Vorel, 2008

Cindy Olson, 2008

John Webb, 2007

Tim Phillips, 2007

Kevin Chaney, 2006

Gene Spearman, 2006

Susie Snider, 2005

Jill Beam, 2005

Tammie Tritico, 2005

Susan Musgrove, 2004

Greg Snider, 2004

Pamela Sloan, 2004

Bob Monaghan, 2004

Cindy Anderson, 2004

Jeff Lingo, 2003

Larry Moyer, 2003

Dewey Shroyer, 2002

Andrew Jennings, 2001

Mendy Putman, 2000

Robert Townsend, 1999

Celeste Hoehne, 1999

Richard Diano, 1999

Shellene Beach, 1998

Dwain Doris Miller, 1998

Don Wendell, 1998

Sally Rodriguez, 1998

Jeff Stuyt, 1998

Martha Downey, 1997

John Guthrie, 1997

Don Horton, 1997

Dee Hardin, 1996

Michael Massey, 1996

Kenneth Beam, 1996

John Lampe, 1995

John Blackburn, 1995

Bob Overman, 1994

Michael Herron, 1994

Mark Mchenry, 1993

James Fox, 1993

Michael Brownlee, 1993

Jackie Kayne, 1992

Hayden Karn, 1992

Richard Zavala, 1991

Terry Putman, 1990

William Sharp, 1990

Alton Johnson, 1989

Max Wiens, 1987

Mickey Carter, 1987

Max Robertson, 1986

Roger Scott, 1986

Eddie Hueston, 1984

John Alford, 1984

David Loughridge, 1984

B. Dan Kamp, 1982

Terry Dopson, 1981

Russell Studebaker, 1980

Hugh Mcknight, 1979

James Fisher, 1978

Ruby Award

Minimum five years attendance and 10 participation points

Walt Dabney, 2019

Michael Darr, 2019

Tracey Robertson, 2019

Karen Woodard, 2019 

Jodie Johnson, 2017

Lessley Pulliam, 2017

Willis Winters, 2016

Mike Amond, 2015

Tony Presley, 2014

Rick Ewing, 2013

Dr. Chad Kinder, 2013

Denise Moore, 2013

Shohn Rodgers, 2013

Vickie Hamrick, 2012

Keli Clark, 2012

Randall Mcfarlin, 2012

Lindsey Rider, 2012

Joseph Walker, 2010

Jim Mays, 2009

Larry Apple, 2009

Bobby Kinser, 2008

Henry Painter, 2008

E. Brian Bristow, 2008

Dan Baker, 2007

Luster Gooden, 2007

Mark Woolsey, 2007

Gary Zimmerman, 2006

Emerson Vorel, 2006 

David Burke, 2004

Cindy Olson, 2004

Kevin Chaney, 2004

Jill Beam, 2003

John Webb, 2003

Gene Spearman, 2002

Pamela Sloan, 2002

Tim Phillips, 2002

Tammie Tritico, 2002

Susie Snider, 2002

Bob Monaghan, 2001

Susan Musgrove, 2001

Andrew Jennings, 2001

Cindy Anderson, 2001

Greg Snider, 2000

Jeff Lingo, 2000

Larry Moyer, 1999

Robert Fishbeck, 1999

Sandra Youngblood, 1998

Richard Diano, 1996

Robert Townsend, 1995

Shellene Beach, 1995 

Martha Downey, 1995

Sally Rodriguez, 1995

Mendy Putman, 1994

Jeff Stuyt, 1994

Celeste Hoehne, 1994

John Guthrie, 1993

Donna Pond-Watson, 1993

Don Horton, 1993

John Blackburn, 1993

John Lampe, 1993

Michael Massey, 1992

Michael Herron, 1992

Dee Hardin, 1992

Kenneth Beam, 1992

Bob Overman, 1992

Don Wendell, 1991

Hayden Karn, 1991

Mark Thornton, 1991

Michael Brownlee, 1991

Richard Zavala, 1990

Larry Smith, 1990

Terry Putman, 1989

Dewey Shroyer, 1989

Jackie Kayne, 1989

James Fox, 1989

Mark Mchenry, 1988

William Sharp, 1988

Roger Scott, 1986

Mickey Carter, 1986

Rick Holland, 1986

Max Wiens, 1982

Eddie Hueston, 1981

John Alford, 1981

David Loughridge, 1979

James Fisher, 1977

Terry Dopson, 1977

B. Dan Kamp, 1977

Alton Johnson, 1976

Russell Studebaker, 1975

Max Robertson, 1975

Hugh Mcknight, 1974

Dwain Miller, 1974

Attendance Awards

Awards in this category are based on years of attendance to the Institute. Awards are made to individuals who have attended the Institute in the following categories:

50 Years Attendance

B. Dan Kamp

45 Years Attendance

Roger Scott

John Lampe

Kenneth Beam

Dan Kamp

40 Years Attendance

James Fox

Randall McFarlin

Max Wiens

David Loughridge

Alton Johnson

Roger Scott

Dewey Shroyer

35 Years Attendance

James Fox

Michael Herron

30 Years Attendance

Michael Massey

Robert Townsend

Earl London

Sally Rodriguez

Bob Monaghan

Don Wendell

Eddie Hueston

Dee Hardin

James Fisher

William Sharp

25 Years Attendance

Rick Ewing

Cindy Olson

Tim Phillips

Mendy Putman

Don Horton

William Knepshield

Jim Sindelar

John Webb

Mark Wilkerson

John Blackburn

Terry Putman

Max Robertson

Earl London

Sally Rodriguez

Mickey Carter

Russell Studebaker

Larry Smith

Duane Polster

20 Years Attendance

Jill Beam

Susie Snider

Mark McHenry

Cindy Anderson

Vickie Hamrick

Jeff Lingo

Susan Musgrove

Greg Snider

Tammie Tritico

John Guthrie

Don Horton

Jackie Kayne

Terry Dobson

John Sellars

Fredrick Herring

Ray Reid

Shellene Beach

Hayden Karn

Dwain Miller

Dick Huck

Gerald Luekenga

William Knepshield

Mendy Putman

Larry Moyer

Richard Zavala

John Alford

Luster Gooden

Lewis Hiltpold

Jill Beam

Robert Modlin

Martha Downey

Celeste Hoene

Bob Overman

Thom Hanford

Susie Snider

15 Years Attendance

Dan Baker

Dr. Chad Kinder

Tony Presley

Lindsey Rider

Shohn Rodgers

Lois Knepshield

Mike Sexson

Larry Apple

Matt Meyer

Jeff Schwartz

Andrew Jennings

Robert Reich

Bryce Todd

Michael Brownlee

Henry Painter

Randy Nicholson

Timothy Dorny

Glenn Montgomery

Hugh McKnight

Jeff Stuyt

David Burke

Lesley Pulliam

Robert Hanna

Barbara Andrews

David Peters

Bobby Jones

Bob Thomson

Curtis Working

Gene Spearman

Tom Creider

Benjamin Hill

Donald Davenport

Lindsey Sehorn

Mark Woolsey

Robert Hall

Lina Wintz

Susan Hendon

Kenneth Hurst

Wes Barton

Dennis Wisdom

10 Years Attendance

Vince Allen

Tony Jaramillo

Joseph Walker

John Waytula

Kris Marek

Bruce Divis

Barry Hardaway

Tracey Robertson

Todd Antilley

Melvin Cason

Merle Cox

Doug Hawthorne

Jodie Johnson

Adam Adams

Michael Amond

Keli Clark

Greg James

Richard Diano

Jim Mays

Donna Pond-Watson

Rick Holland

Sandra Youngblood

K'Ann Parham

Sarah Macias

Marco Cisneros

Bob Cheatham

Rick Sanders

R. Pyron

Emerson Vorel

Mark Thornton

Juan Ortiz

Eric Kroese

Shohn Rodegrs

E. Brian Bristow

Kevin Chaney

Pamela Sloan

Bobby Kinser

Colin Miller

Richard Keithley

Susan Canpbell

Terry Cheek

Robert Tickner

Charles Boseman

Mickey Martin

Kent Besley

Gary Johnson

Jim Lea

Danny Nottingham

Lois Knepshield

Gary Zimmerman

Jackie Bubenick

Dan Baker

Lindsey Rider

Walter Heard

Gary Edwards

Jerry Haire

James Mergen

Jessie Davis

Gerry Bradley

Don Booher

Robert Harder

Eric Klemm

Tom Ferguson

Ann Fuller

Ernie Johnston

Charles Kempel

William Lunsford

Timothy Pickens

Robert Webster

Gary landers

David Nicholas

Mike Sexson

Dr. Chad Kinder

Alison Letnes

Pamela Robertson-Young

Sammy Fare

Dewayne Franklin

Guy McClain

Rick Parkins

J.D. Carpenter

Leonard Evans

Bill Hollie

Cathy McMahan

Doug Melton

Paul Sheckells

Tim Shinogle

Ronald Underwood

Ken Unkart

Lynn Welsch

Guy Woodland

Allen York

Mike Davis

5 Years Attendance

Walt Dabney

Carolyn McKnight

Karen Woodard

Stephen Conner

Michael Crumb

Michael Darr

Shannon Goodman

Joseph Hahn

Paul Hummel

John Kilgore

Aron Maib

Stefani Shultz

Larry Spain

Virgil Walker

Chad McCall

Paul Naughton

Donald Paddock

CD Perkins

Bryan Qualls

Ann Skelton

Christopher Twyman

Susan Baxter-Harwell

Sarge Binn

Lowell Caneday

Craig Dishman

Keith Franklin

Mike Howerton

Melinda Adams

Sherri Burris

Michael Farr

Mark Freeland

Robert McVey

Denise Moore

Tera Putman

Mark Smith

Nick Whisenhunt

Douglas Smith

Daniel Welch

Lisa Woolsey

Mark Atherly

Jarrett Kelough

Richard Munson

Val Roming

Patrick Standingbear

Matthew Swor

Charles Gleba

Patrick Phelan

Tim Dentler

Paul Gooch

Jennifer McRorey

Joseph Minella

A. Kym Hughes

James Carter

Stephen Pittsinger

Phillip Gill

Thurman Brashear

Ronnie Ostrom

Carol Spencer

H. Thompson

Danny Wilson

Jeff Popenoe

Ronald Lee

Tommy White

Paul Moore

Michael Farr

James Loven

Burck Tollett

John Reynolds

Mark Swafford

Joseph Walker

Ralph Mendez

Laura Valerius

Tony Presley

Bill Runnoe

Kevin Moore

June Howard

Milton Martin

Robert McGlothlin

Ken Idleman

Thomas Blagg

William Horton

Sandra Martin

Lavonia Price

Adam Adams

Lowell Boozer

Kevin Murray

Danny Tate

Ronald Taylor

Michael West

John Young

Roger Wyrick

Richard Stottlemyre

Robert Tucker

Jon Richardson

Nolan Little

Clark Thurston

Richard Harms

Kristina Courson

Douglas Arednt

Stacy Sorrels

Bruce Riley

Tommy Bean

Susan Eaves

Judith McAllister

J. Kevin Starnes

Sheri Endsley

Robert Warren

Kelly McGinnis

Douglas Green

Michael Vaught

Travis Lindley

Willis Winters

Russell Koch

Jodie Johnson

Melvin Cason

Steven Thompson

Ronald Allen

Emerald McGinty

Todd Vaughn

Edgar Voss

Reginald Hicks

Kip Edington

Doug Hawthorne

Cynthia Boland

Odell Brockett

Mike Brown

Joe Contreras

Scott Esmond

James Focht

Tim Hightshoe

Carol Lucas

Charles Mitchell

David Moody

Jack Murphy

Mike Parrish

Randy Petterson

Flo Temengil

Gregory Zimmerman

James Mackey

Craig Light

Douglas Howard

Sheridan jones

Todd Antilley

Merle Cox

Roger Walton

Courtney Blevins

Richard Horton

William Kaufman

Larry Schaapveld

Michael Hammitt

Harold Pitchford

Carol Beavers

Dana Conklin

John Davis

Paul Collins

Tom Norquist

Richard Tuttle

John King

Bill Nelson

Tracey Robertson

Phil Thornburg

Ernie Feille

Jim Baughman

Dennis Byers

Jim Carder

Bruce Divis

Max Graham

Brandon Howard

Ben Hulsopple

Jim Johnson

Bob Keith

John Lee, Jr.

Richard Lyon

Ed Parton

Robert Russell

Walter Russell

Geoff Seidler

Clint Stoddard

David Turner

Leta Walker

Becky Worden

Jana Glass

Jeff Mahurin

David Schmitz

Wayne Hulsey

Chad Wheeler

Jim Dollar

Roberti Trevino

Jeff Jones

Bill Aycock

Joseph Hardin

Simon Rodriguez

Larry West

Richie Gauthier

Tony Jaramillo

Gary Kelley

Carol Conrad

Kris Marek

Vince Allen

Jerry Pipkins

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