Member Biography

Chris Nunes Ph.D., CPRE

Chris Nunes, CPRE is the Chief Operating Officer for The Woodlands Township, in The Woodlands, Texas. In that position, a $50+ million operational budget and is accountable for the management of transportation systems, covenant administration and parks and recreation which includes 151 parks, 14 swimming pools and aquatic facilities, 220 miles of pathways, and 200 miles of streetscape. While in The Woodlands, he implemented cost recovery strategies, developed business/operational plans for facilities and programs, facilitated the planning and development efforts for additional parks and sports fields, and has increased programming (recreation, aquatics, environmental, special events) significantly to better meet the needs of the community.

Chris speaks and provides trainings around the country (over 580+ sessions) on topics including: business plans, contracting, creative programming, marketing, external funding, communication, leadership and succession planning and co-authored “Managing Programs and Services” in” Management of Park and Recreation Agencies – 5thEdition”. Chris serves or has served on the, NRPA Director’s School, Oglebay Revenue Management School (Chair 2020), NRPA Council on Accreditation, National Certification Board (NCB- Chair 2021), Rocky Mountain Revenue Management School (Chair 2012), NRPA Admin Network (Chair 2013-2014) and founded the Gulf Coast Leadership Development Institute and the Hispanic Professionals in Parks and Recreation. He is a Certified Parks and Recreation Executive and currently, he serves on the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA), the GP RED Operating Board and as an instructor for NRPA’s Director School.

In 2012, Chris was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrators and in 2015 he received the National Distinguished Professional Award from NRPA. In 2016-2017 he was the President of the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrators, in 2019 The Woodlands Township was recognized by NRPA by winning the Gold Medal Grand Plaque Award for excellence in parks and recreation management and in 2020, The Woodlands Township received NRPA’s Conservation Innovation Award. Since 2022, he has served as an advisor/mentor to the Hispanic Professionals in Parks and Recreation association.

Prior to being appointed the Chief Operating Officer for The Woodlands Township he served as its Director of Parks and Recreation and as 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.

[current as of April 2023]