National Recreation and Park Ethnic Minority Society

Meet The Board

Dr. Sonya Shaw
Chair

Dr. Sonya Reddick Shaw is a retired parks and recreation director with over 30 years of experience in municipal parks and recreation. She currently serves as a community engagement and equity specialist with the McAdams Company and adjunct faculty at North Carolina Central University’s Kinesiology & Recreation Administration program. She is an American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administration Fellow, Past President of the NC Recreation and Parks Association, former regent of NRPA’s Supervisors Management School and former practitioner representative of COAPRT, the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions. Dr. Shaw is the first African American woman to earn her Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management from North Carolina State University, focusing her research on the career experiences, challenges and success strategies of African American women in public parks and recreation. She is a Life member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. 


Chris Bass, CPRP
Chair-Elect

Chris is the City of Douglasville, GA Director of Parks and Recreation. 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.


Lakita S. Watson, CPRP
Immediate Past Chair

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


Kendrick Mayes, MS
Secretary

Kendrick T. Mayes is the Community Outreach and Engagement Coordinator for Best Smile Dental in Greensboro, NC. He holds a Master’s degree from North Carolina Central University (NCCU) in Recreation Administration and a Bachelor’s degree from Catawba College in Therapeutic Recreation. Kendrick is the former Special Events Coordinator for the City of Greensboro where he reviewed and approved 180 special events a year including the City’s largest managed Special Event called Aggie FanFest. He was the recipient of the American Academy for Parks and Recreation Administration’s Ernest T. Atwell Professional Diversity Externship and National Recreation and Park Association Ethnic Minority Young Professional Award.


Ashley Green, CPRP, CYSA, CPO
Treasurer

Ashley Green is a Facility Director with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in Prince George’s County, Maryland. 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.


Dr. Augustus Hallmon
At Large Member

Dr. Augustus Hallmon’s research focuses on understanding and addressing the lack of diverse representation in the recreation field (e.g. programming, staffing, and access).  He is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP).  As well, he has over 10 years of recreation experience ranging from organizing youth programming and athletic programming to broad community-based events.  These experiences allow him to be an effective teacher, mentor, and scholar in assisting students in their future professional development as well as advancing scholarship in the leisure field.


Dr. Tiffany Johnson, MPA, CPRP
At Large Member

Dr. Tiffany Johnson is a Certified Parks & Recreation Professional that attained a Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) in Public Management, a Bachelor’s of Science Degree (BS) in Parks and Recreation Management, a Minor in Business Management. Tiffany is the Past-President of the National Recreation and Park Ethnic Minority Society (NRPEMS), and has more than 15 years of full-time professional work experience in the field of Parks and Recreation Leadership. She is a recipient of the 2011 New Professional Award, the 2016 Robert W. Crawford Young Professional Award, and sits on the NRPA Program Committee.


Anita Jones-McNair, CPRP
At Large Member

Anita Jones-McNair is the Recreation and Parks Director for the Town of Carrboro. Her career in leisure studies/recreation and parks spans almost 40 years as an educator and practitioner. In 2018 she was recently appointed the Racial Equity Officer for the Town of Carrboro. She gives back to the community by volunteering through her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Virginia Union University (one of her alma maters), and other neighboring historically black colleges and universities.


Khalid Salahuddin
At Large Member

Khalid Salahuddin has worked in the Parks and Recreation field for over 30 years. He currently serves as Recreation Supervisor for the City of North Miami where he oversees athletics, aquatics, facilities and recreation programming for over 75,000 residents. He has served on the Miami Dade Economic Advocacy Trust (MDEAT) for the past seven (7) years and is currently the chair of the Board. Mr. Salahuddin is an active member of NRPEMS serving on the nominations and strategic planning committees. He is a passionate professional who is dedicated to improving the lives of citizens through Parks and Recreation services.


Sonia Wimbish, AFO, CPRE
Southern Region Representative

Sonia Wimbish is the Assistant Director of Recreation for the City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation. Ms. Wimbish is a Certified Parks and Recreation Executive and an Aquatic Facility Operator. Throughout her nearly 30-year professional career, Sonia 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. Sonia was recently awarded the National Recreation and Park Ethnic Minority Society Presidents Service Award.


Sean Johnson, CPRP
Southwest Representative

Sean Johnson is the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of University Park, Tx, as of September 2020. Mr. Johnson is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional and has served in the parks and recreation profession for nearly 25 years. Sean was inducted into the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administration. His career interest includes continuous advocating and lobbying for parks and recreation funding, on the state and national level, and mentoring young professionals. Sean is an active member of NRPA, NFBPA, and served on the Texas Recreation And Parks Society (TRAPS) Board of Directors.


VACANT
Midwest Representative

VACANT.


Chukundi Salisbury Sr. 
Pacific Northwest Representative

Salisbury is a 24-year employee of the City of Seattle, where he works as a Manager for Parks and Recreation and serves as the founding director of the Youth Green Corps.   He has served as the Trails Coordinator, Urban Food Systems Manager, Director of Camp Long, as well as a Recreation Center Coordinator at Garfield Community Center.    Chukundi has a B.S. in Computer Science from Elizabeth City State University (NC) and is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. Currently, Salisbury lives in Seattle, WA with his family: wife Michelle, 21-year-old daughter, Alma, and 15-year-old son, Chukundi Jr.


Dr. Donte Watson
Pacific Northwest Representative

Dr. Donté Watson currently serves as Recreation General Supervisor for the City of Oakland (CA.) Parks, Recreation, & Youth Development.  Donté is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) and has served in the Parks and Recreation profession for nearly 22 years in various capacities. Donte is also a member of the National Recreation & Parks Association and California, Parks & Recreation Society.  Throughout his professional career, Donté has endeavored to engage in youth/community development by producing quality programs, events, facilities, and services. Donte demonstrates a passion for creating equitable opportunities and removing barriers to ease community access to services.  Donte is also passionate about mentoring and encouraging youth and younger professionals to reach their potential.


Randy M. Little
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.


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). He began 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.


LaReina Wheeler, CPRP, CPSI
Great Lakes Representative

LaReina Wheeler is the Director of Parks and Recreation with the City of Ferndale, Michigan. She’s a CPRP and CPSI who graduated from Central Michigan University with a Master of Science in Health Services Administration and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Biology from Michigan State University.  Prior to her current position, LaReina worked as an environmental specialist for over 15 years with the City of Detroit.  Throughout her professional career she has been involved with community programming, health initiatives, mentoring, youth development and owning many businesses.  LaReina has a passion for development, planning events, creative programming, personal training and teaching fitness classes. 

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