Member Biography

Chris Nunes Ph.D., CPRE

Chris Nunes, Ph.D., CPRE, is the Director of Parks and Recreation for The Woodlands Township, in The Woodlands, Texas. In that position, he oversees the management of 105 full-time and 450 part-time staff divided into nine divisions (Park Operations, Planning, Recreation, Aquatics, Development, Town Center, Streetscapes, Environmental Services and Resident Care Center) a $37.9 million operational and a $6 million capital improvement budget.   He is accountable for the maintenance of 150 parks, 15 swimming pools and aquatic facilities, 220 miles of pathways, 220 miles of streetscapes, 1400+ cul de sac’s and 500 acres of lakes and ponds.

Prior to The Woodlands, he was the Director of Community Services for the City of Fort Morgan, Colorado, an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the Recreation Management Program at Ashland University and Director of Parks and Recreation in Fort Kent, Maine. Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management and a Master’s degree in Sports Management from Springfield College in Massachusetts and a Doctorate in Parks and Recreation Administration from the University of New Mexico.  In 2011, he became one of the first 50 Certified Park and Recreation Executives (CPRE) and in 2012, Chris was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrators. In 2015, he received the National Distinguished Professional Award from NRPA and in 2016 he was elected President of the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrators. In 2019, through his leadership, The Woodlands Township was recognized by NRPA as a Gold Medal Grand Plaque Winner and in 2020, The Woodlands Township received NRPA’s Conservation Innovation Award

Service on state and national committees and councils includes: Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA), Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions (COPART), CPRP/E Committee (Chair), CPRP Exam Committee (Chair),  NRPA- National Certification Board (NCB), NRPA Administrators Network (Chair), NRPA Educators Network, Revenue Development and Management School (Chair),
Rocky Mountain Revenue Management School (Chair), Texas A &M Parks, Recreation and Tourism Advisory Committee, Springfield College Recreation Management Advisory Committee, Texas Recreation and Parks Society-Strategic Planning Committee (Chair), Secretary/Treasurer Texas Municipal Parks, Recreation and Tourism Association,
Gulf Coast Parks and Recreation Directors Association (Chair), member of the Colorado Parks and Recreation Association- Certification Committee and Conference Education Coordinator, Colorado Parks and Recreation Foundation-Board of Directors, Northern Maine Community Recreation Association (Chair), founded the Gulf Coast Leadership Development Institute and serves on the GP Red National Operating Board.

Over the course the past 18 years conducted 420+ presentations to thousands of parks and recreation professionals on topics including: business plans, contracting, creative programming, marketing, external funding, communication, leadership and succession planning. to the following conferences: National Recreation and Parks Association-Annual Congress, NRPA Revenue Management School, NRPA-Rocky Mountain Revenue Management School, NRPA-Resource Management School, NRPA- National Aquatics Conference, Athletic Business, the International Society for the Child’s Right to Play, Alabama Recreation and Parks Association, Alaska Recreation and Parks Association, Arizona Parks and Recreation Association, Arkansas Recreation and Parks Association, Colorado Parks and Recreation Association, Connecticut Parks and Recreation Association, Florida Parks and Recreation Association, Georgia Recreation and Parks Association, Idaho Recreation and Parks Association, Illinois Parks and Recreation Association, Indiana Parks and Recreation Association, Kansas Recreation and Parks Association, Maine Recreation and Parks Association , Maryland Parks and Recreation Association, Massachusetts Recreation and Parks Association, Michigan Recreation and Parks Association, Minnesota Parks and Recreation Association, Mississippi Recreation and Parks Association, Missouri Parks and Recreation Association, New Hampshire Parks and Recreation Association, New Jersey Parks and Recreation Association, New York Parks and Recreation Society, Nevada Parks and Recreation Society, North Carolina Recreation and Parks Association, Ohio Parks and Recreation Association, Oklahoma Recreation and Parks Society, Oregon Parks and Recreation Association, Tennessee Parks and Recreation Association, Texas Recreation and Parks Society, Vermont Recreation and Parks Association, Washington Parks and Recreation Association, Wisconsin Parks and Recreation Association, Colorado Association of Special Districts, Texas Municipal Parks, Recreation and Tourism Association, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, Ohio Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, Springfield College Sports and Recreation Marketing Symposium, Gulf Coast Leadership Development Institute and has provided agency wide training to 10 different parks and recreation agencies across the country. [current as of December 2020]