William C. "Bill" Beckner is President of Conservation, Environment and Historic Preservation (CEHP) Incorporated of Chevy Chase, Maryland. CEHP provides management, planning, and consulting services to federal state and local park, recreation and resource management organizations.
Beckner began his career in parks and recreation in 1966 as a Recreation Specialist in the United States Air Force. Following his military service, Beckner obtained a bachelors degree from Iowa State University and a MRPA from Clemson University. During his MRPA program he worked as a Ranger/Naturalist for the National Park Service on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
In 1975, Beckner was worked for the Mississippi State Park Commission developing an interpretive program, and then moved on to the Oregon State Park System where he served as the Director of Long Range Planning including preparation of the Oregon Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) and the state park's capital improvement plans. In 1977, Beckner became the Chief Naturalist for the Fairfax County Park Authority of Virginia. After many years there, in 1985, Beckner was selected to lead a detailed strategic planning process for the Authority and subsequently to implement the completed plan. Then in February of 1989 Beckner was appointed the Director of the Park Authority and served in that capacity until December of 1993, when he resigned and formed his own consulting business.
Throughout his career Bill has made numerous presentations at national and regional conferences for NRPA, the Association of Interpretive Naturalists (AIN, now known as National Association of Interpretation [NAI]), the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) and various state associations. Much of his service has been focused on efforts to improve park and recreation opportunities and resources for all organizations. He served on the President's Commission on Americans Outdoors, Land Resources Committee; as a Member of the Planning Regulations Team for the Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery Act; as a Task Force Member and co-author of elements for the National Urban Recreation Study; and the Nationwide Outdoor Recreation Plan. He also served as the Chair of the Professional Services Committee, Professional Ethics Committee and Education Committee for AIN; Chair of the Legislative and Education Committees for NACPRO, and as a member of the Program Committee for NRPA since 2003. In addition, Beckner has been a member of the Natural Resource Council of America since 1978 and is on the Advisory Committee for the Virginia Tech Natural Resource Management Graduate School.
While Beckner has received a number of local individual honors, his major accomplishments have been recognition for his Agency. These include a 1993 Gold Medal finalist nomination for Special Recreation; the National Golf Foundation’s 1991 and 1992 Golf and the Environment Award; the NRPA, 1991 National Aquatic Program of the Year; and two National Association of Counties Awards for Excellence and Innovation for, (a) A Community Maintenance Program; and (b) Public Involvement in Park Planning.