National Recreation and Park Ethnic Minority Society

Meet The Board

Cordell “Corky” Wiseman

Corky Wiseman is the Director of Community Outreach and Citywide Events for the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board. He is a graduate of the Indiana University Executive Development Program, board member for the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association (MRPA), and has received honors from the City of Minneapolis for work in the community related to inter-city gang’s wars. 

Lakita S. Watson, CPRP

Lakita S. Watson is the Director of Parks and Recreation with the City of Suffolk, Virginia. Lakita started her career in recreation in 1994 as a part-time recreation leader for the summer program. She is a dedicated professional who enjoys working with young professionals and students encouraging them to excel in the field of parks and recreation.

Alicia Bradford
Immediate Past Chair

Alicia C. Bradford is the former Director of the City of Detroit Parks & Recreation Department, serving the City for twenty-five years. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Public Administration from Wayne State University in 1996. Alicia earned her Master of Science Administration in Public Administration Degree from Central Michigan University in 2019 where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. Alicia has remained a faithful servant to the community through diverse efforts including but not limited to her support for youth scholarships and programs.

Dr. Sonya Shaw, CPRP

Sonya Shaw currently serves as Director of the newly nationally accredited Garner (NC) Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department. She has been in the parks and recreation profession for nearly 25 years. Mrs. Shaw’s career interests include advocacy for educational and training opportunities of underrepresented minority students and young professionals in the field of parks and recreation. She most recently attained a PhD in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management from North Carolina State University.

Ashley G. Thompson, CPRP, CYSA

Ashley Thompson is a Facility Director with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Ashley began her recreation career in 2006 as a Camp Counselor and is a Certified Parks & Recreation Professional. She acquired her CYSA (Certified Youth Sports Administrator) Certification in May 2019 and is a past recipient of NRPA’s Young Professional Fellowship.

Chris Bass
At Large Member

Chris is the Parks Manager with the City of Douglasville, Ga Parks and Recreation Department. Chris began his career as a recreation professional in Columbus, Ga where he served in several different positions to include; facility manager, project director and division manager. Chris is a member of NRPA, he serves on the Board of Directors for the National Recreation Ethnic Minority Society and he also serves on the GRPA (Georgia Recreation and Parks Association) Board of Trustees as the Programming Network Chair.

Sonia Wimbish
At Large Member

Sonia Wimbish, a native of Buffalo New York, manages the City of Atlanta’s Center of Hope at Rosel Fann. Prior to her 13 years of service with the City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation, she was the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Union City. Throughout her professional career, she has been actively involved with the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association serving on the Board of Trustees, the Leisure Careers Foundation, and Chairman of the Minority Section.

Tiffany Johnson, MPA, CPRP
At Large Member

Tiffany Johnson is the SE Recreation Manager for the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation. She is a PhD student with a Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) in Public Management, a Bachelor’s of Science Degree (BS) in Parks and Recreation Management, and a Minor in Business Management. She is the two-time recipient of the NRPA Mid-Atlantic Network Young Professional award, an American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA) past fellow, 2016 NRPA Crawford National Young Professional recipient, and sits on the NRPA Program Committee.

Chris Allen
At Large Member

Chris Allen is currently the Recreation Coordinator for the City of Rocky Mount in North Carolina. He graduated from North Carolina Central University with a masters and bachelors in sports administration in 2010. Before arriving in Rocky Mount in 2011 he worked with the city of Durham as a Recreation Specialist for 5 years.

Randy M. Little, MPA, CPRP
Mid-Atlantic Representative

Randy M. Little is the Recreation Division Manager for the City of High Point Parks & Recreation Department. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree (BS) in Physical Education from North Carolina Wesleyan College, attended Keller Graduate School of Management where he earned a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Organization Management, and a Project Management Certificate. He is Certified Parks & Recreation Professional and is member of both the National Recreation & Parks Association and North Carolina Recreation & Parks Association.

Kelly Guy
Pacific Northwest Representative

Kelly Guy returns to the City of Seattle Parks & Recreation after having spent the last twenty years working in child welfare reform/human services.  Prior to taking the Seattle Parks Recreation Director job, she served as the Community Support &  Self-Sufficiency Director with the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department. Prior to, Kelly worked with Casey Family Programs for eleven years ending her career as a National Partnerships Child Welfare Advisor.

Lawrence Hemingway
Great Lakes Representative

Lawrence Hemingway was named Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services for the City of Evanston in January of 2016. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Wayne State University. An active member of the Illinois Parks and Recreation Association, Lawrence has more than 15 years of executive leadership experience in the parks and recreation profession. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc.

Jonathan Jones
New England Representative

Jonathan P. Jones is the Commissioner of Recreation, Youth & Workforce Services with the City of Albany, New York. A former student-athlete, he holds a Master’s in Educational Administration, and a Bachelor’s in Sociology from the University at Albany (SUNY). Jonathan started his professional career in education policy, managing  federal education programs in low-performing schools across New York State. Selected as an Albany Business Review 40 under 40 honoree in 2016, Jonathan has a passion for empowering people to empower themselves.

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