Steven M. Neu, CPRP, served as Director of Parks and Recreation for the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District, Bismarck, North Dakota, May 1987 through June 30, 2011. Prior to working in Bismarck, Steve was the Director of Parks and Recreation in Williston, North Dakota and in Wolf Point, Montana and is a 1976 graduate of the University of North Dakota where he earned a bachelor of science degree in Parks and Recreation Administration. In 1994 he completed a master’s degree in Management at the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota.
Steve has served as adjunct faculty and advisor for the Sport and Leisure Management Program in the Gary Tharaldson School of Business at the University of Mary and currently associate professor and program director of Sport and Leisure Management and Director of Lifelong Learning at the University of Mary in Bismarck.
Steve is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional through the National Recreation and Park Association and the North Dakota Recreation and Parks Association. Steve served as president of NDRPA (1983) and it’s Legislative Chair (1991-2009), as chairman of the Midwest Regional Council (1987-1988), as board member of the American Parks and Recreation Society (1990-1993), and as member of the NRPA Board of Trustees (1995-2007). Steve was granted admission into the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in 1998.
While a Trustee of the National Recreation and Park Association, Steve served as a member of the International, Membership, Governance, Vision 2010, Professional Development, and Finance committees. Additional leadership positions were held as co-chair of the Public Awareness Committee, chair of the Trustees Certification Task Force, co-chair of the National Issue Action Committee, co-chair of Award Committee, co-chair of Vision 2010 Review Committee, a member of the Executive Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, co-chair of the National Forum and Nominating Committee and chair of the Branch and Sections Task Force.
Steve was elected President of the NRPA in October 2005 and served as chair of the Executive Committee. Steve has been recognized for his contributions in the field of parks and recreation and service to his community by receiving the NDRPA “Professional Award of Excellence”, the Midwest Region “Fellow Award”, Bismarck-Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau “VIP”, APRS Branch “Meritorious Service Award”, Sertoma Club “Service to Mankind” Award, University of North Dakota Recreation and Leisure Services Department “Outstanding Alumni” and induction into the ND Recreation and Park Association Hall of Fame.
The Bismarck Parks and Recreation District has been recognized by NRPA and the National Sporting Goods Foundation as a Gold Medal Award Recipient, by the USTA as Tennis Town and as a NRPA Citizen Branch Outstanding Board/Commissioner Award winner. In 2004, Bismarck was selected by NRPA and Sports Illustrated as “Sports Town” of North Dakota and a Playful City USA by KABOOM.
The Bismarck Parks and Recreation District received agency accreditation through the National Commission for Accreditation of Parks and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) of NRPA. BPRD is one of less than 100 accredited agencies in the United States and the only accredited park district in North Dakota. [updated 11/11]