Kathy J. Spangler is the National Partnerships Director, National Recreation and Park Association in Ashburn, Virginia. During her tenure with NRPA, Spangler has served as Fitness and Wellness Director, American Park and Recreation Society staff liaison, Marketing Director, and National Partnerships Director. Before coming to NRPA in 1987 as the Northeast Regional Director, she worked for the Town of Salem, NH (Program Coordinator), and the Concord Parks and Recreation Department, NH.
In 1998 she spearheaded the creation of a national programs department and has been responsible for advancing NRPA’s external partnership and public visibility profile including the launching of the landmark campaign: “Healthy Lifestyles, Livable Communities…It Starts In Parks!” which has been featured in Sports Illustrated and Fitness Magazine.
Spangler has been particularly active in the area of health promotion and has helped NRPA receive two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cooperative agreements and two National Institutes of Health grants. As past-president of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity and an advisory board member of the American Council on Fitness and Nutrition, Spangler is involved in framing the national dialogue regarding policy changes needed to improve activity friendly environments and promote physically active lifestyles.
Spangler delivered the Centennial Commencement Address (University of Maine at Presque Isle), and has made presentations to groups such as the International Trails Conference, United States Tennis Association, World Future Society, National Convention of American Society for Association Executives, International Conference on Outdoor Recreation, National Association of American Sports Management, Chronic Disease Conference and the National Nutrition Summit.
She has contributed numerous articles and publications including: Active Options: Health for Older Adults (2003); Process Evaluation of Implementation and Dissemination of a Sun Safety Program at Swimming Pools (2002); Experience Marketing: Strategies for the New Millennium (1998); and JumpStart Afterschool (1996).
Spangler graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 1979. In 1998, the University of Maine at Presque Isle recognized her as Alumni of the Year and conferred on her an honorary doctorate in 2004. She sits on the board of the National Association for Accessible Golf; USA Coaches Coalition; and Nickelodeon’s Let’s Just Play.
She has been recognized by the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association with their Citation Award (1999); American Park and Recreation Society Partnership Award (1998), Special Citation (1997) and Outstanding Service Award (1995); District of Columbia Recreation and Park Society Special Commendation (1994); Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society Recreation Friend Award (1994); America the Beautiful Award (1992); Connecticut Recreation and Parks Association Citation Award (1989); Outstanding Young Women in America (1987); New Hampshire Recreation and Park Association Special Recognition Award (1987); Dorothy Mullen Arts and Humanities Award (1985); and the New Hampshire Business and Professional Women’s Club Young Career Woman of the Year Award (1980).