2019 Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute
February 3 - 6, 2019
2019 Opening Keynote Speaker
Phil Gaines, Professor of Practice in the Parks Recreation and Tourism Management Department at Clemson University and retired South Carolina State Park Director.
Phil is a native of Greenville, South Carolina and a graduate of Clemson University. Phil completed a 37-year career in State Parks in 2018. He began his park career as an entry level Park Ranger at Kings Mountain State Park, and served as Park Superintendent at three different state parks. Phil served as Director of South Carolina State Parks for 13 years. Phil has served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Park Directors, and the National Association of State Outdoor Recreation Liaison Officers. He has severed as Past Chairman of the Board of Regents for the America’s State Park Leadership School in Wheeling West Virginia where he still is an instructor. Phil has served on the External Advisory Board for the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences at Clemson University and the Board of the Institute for Parks at Clemson University. Phil has received the Distinguished Service Award for national leadership for America’s State Parks from the National Association of State Park Directors and the Walter Cox Award for Public Service and Leadership in Natural Resources, from Clemson University.
The Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute accepts donations to help support a variety of programs and activities for the Annual Institute. All donations are tax deductible as the Southwest Parks and Recreation Training Institute is a non-profit 501-C3 organization. Donate Today!
Note from Greg Snider, President
Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute is an incredible way to connect with other park and recreation professionals, receive valued training in the industry, and to be honest, escape from the real world for a few days. You will immediately start to relax during the drive into Sequoyah State Park on your way to the lodge.
This year’s conference in stacked with amazing speakers from South Carolina, Utah, Kansas, Baton Rouge, Dallas, and many other areas across this great nation. The quality of programing this year is off the chart, and I for one am looking forward to hearing many of these great speakers. Thank you to our President-Elect Mike Amond and the entire Education Board of Regents.
Along with the great education opportunities, fun activities are available as well. Starting Sunday afternoon we will start with the golf tournament, then the Super Bowl Party, music after the Super Bowl, and many other activities throughout the conference. One event that you will not want to miss is the Dueling Piano’s!
SWPRTI would not be what it is today without the volunteer support from so many professionals. I want to take this moment to thank each person that serves on the board, committees, Sally Rodriquez, and those that work behind the scene to make things happen. Along with our annual conference, we have our Park Planning and Maintenance Academy in Colorado. I want to thank that team led by Mendy Putman for the solid work they have done making that school a great success.
One last note, don’t forget the auction. Our auction was started many years ago by Ken Beam to assist with raising money for our scholarship program. Now that our scholarships are endowed, the money earned is used to fund the Institute.
Thank you and we look forward to seeing many of you at the Institute.
"Thank you for all your work. Once again the Institute was a highlight! "
- Lowell Caneday, Ph.D.
"What an honor to be selected as a speaker for the 63rd Annual Southwest Parks and Recreation Training Institute. This great group of professionals came together from all agency levels and divisions across the country for continuing education. The institute offers a unique opportunity for Parks and Recreation Professionals to gain national insight from real-time projects and programs."
– Kevin Eatherly, 2018 Speaker
“Again, thank you for not only the blessing of tuition assistance, networking, and insightful professional development learning, but also for the warm reception and welcome that I enjoyed from all your friendly and hospitable members and speakers. If I am in Africa this time next year, I will surely be missing and wishing for the opportunity to be with y'all again.”
- Karl Noren, 2018 Scholarship Recipient
"All of my staff that attended said it was a great experience so you and the Board are to be congratulated. We plan to try and have more at the 64th and I think OKC will be sending at least one person to your new Maintenance school over in Colorado."
- Douglas Kupper, OKC
Thank You to Our 2019