Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Heather Weishaar, Outreach Director, [email protected]

Illinois Park & Recreation Association Receives National Award

The Illinois Park & Recreation Association (IPRA) has been awarded the ASAE Power of A Silver Award, for its 75 Conversations Tour. Launched in 2019, in honor of IPRA’s 75th anniversary, the 75 Conversations Tour was a state-wide tour embarked on by IPRA Executive Director, Debbie Trueblood. The goal was to visit as many park and recreation professionals as possible, have some good one-on-one time with IPRA members, see agency parks, facilities, and programs, and most importantly to listen and learn, as parks and recreation professional shared why they love what they do. This is the 3rd time IPRA has received an ASAE award!

“We take great pride in being a part of an organization that is on the cutting edge of innovation; trying new ideas, creating our own association best practices, and stepping out of our comfort zone to create compelling, thoughtful programs that support our members. In this tour, we were able to meet with 147 of our members across the state, have one on one or small group discussions to listen to our members share their needs with us. Further, we were able to tour our members’ home agencies, see what they’re proud of, tour their facilities, walk through their parks, and really get a sense of what is important to them. Together, we shared these stories on our social media and newsletter throughout the year so our members could follow the tour and hear the stories and feel like a part of it all. By sharing these photos with our members, we were able to bring ideas and make connections from one member to another all across the state, carrying each of our members’ stories statewide.” – Debbie Trueblood, CAE, IPRA Executive Director.

“Congratulations to the Illinois Park & Recreation Association on being named among the very best organizations that go above and beyond their tax-exempt purpose to improve society and our quality of life in America and abroad,” said ASAE President and CEO Susan Robertson, CAE. “This has been a very trying year for associations, but even amid a months-long pandemic, associations are proving that positive change can happen. More than ever, the Power of Associations is on full display in this year’s award-winning programs, providing tangible evidence that associations will help lead the way toward economic and societal recovery in the months ahead.”

About IPRA

Established in 1944, the Illinois Park & Recreation Association’s mission is to provide and promote exceptional standards of education, networking, and resources for all professionals in the Illinois park, recreation, and conservation communities. For more information about IPRA, its board and mission, please visit the IPRA website:

About the Power of A Awards

ASAE’s Power of A (association) Awards, the industry’s highest honor, recognize the association community’s valuable contributions on the local, national and global levels.  The Power of A Awards reward the outstanding accomplishments of associations and industry professionals who work tirelessly to solve problems, and strengthen lives, the workforce, the economy, and the world.