John Prue is the Installation Program Director, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Department at Naval Station-Great Lakes. As the subject matter expert for the Commanding Officer, he assures a comprehensive quality of life program for more than 25,000 Navy personnel, their family members, retirees and other eligible patrons in the immediate area. This includes the oversight of nationally accredited child development centers and school age care programs. He has management oversight to an organization with annual resources of $15 million and employs approximately 365 team members. With more than 20 different facilities and programs, they include general recreation, sports & fitness, community activities, child and youth services, lodging/hospitality program, entertainment clubs, restaurants, and other revenue producing business activities. This also includes planning and organization of an internationally recognized open-to-the-public “4th of July Celebration” which draws more than 30,000 attendees during this annual multi-day event. In 2012, his MWR Team won the coveted National Gold Medal Award presented by the American Academy of Parks & Recreation Administration in conjunction with National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA). They were the first ever Military Installation to win this award. His MWR team also currently holds the Commander Navy Installations Command (CNIC) 5 Star Accreditation which exemplifies the highest standards of MWR programming, professionalism, financial performance and superior customer service. Mr. Prue himself also participates as an accreditation team lead for CNIC, going out to review and validate other MWR programs throughout the Navy.
He spearheaded a six-year $14M non-appropriated fund construction project from inception to completion in 2017. The multipurpose entertainment complex that supports the entire Great Lakes population is complete with a twenty-eight lane bowling center, movie theater, restaurant, sports bar and live entertainment area. The project came in under budget and reduced the MWR footprint combining multiple facilities into one for long-term efficiency. The “Epicenter” as it’s called, is one of the best entertainment complexes in all of the Department of Defense.
Mr. Prue started his career with MWR as a college intern at Naval Station Great Lakes in 1986 and was quickly promoted into a management position upon graduation. He served as the Recreation Division Director from 1991 to 2007 and then promoted to his current position at that time. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Recreation Administration from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a Master's Degree in Management from Webster University, St. Louis, MO.
Mr. Prue has received numerous individual awards to date to include the Department of the Navy’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 2003 for his outstanding contributions to the mission. In addition, he received the Armed Forces Recreation Society (AFRS) "Fellow" Award in 1993 and the “Executive Fellow” Award in 2008, for his achievements in improving the quality of life for active duty personnel and their family members.
Since 2014, he has served as Part-Time Adjunct Instructor for the Accelerated Learning Program at Concordia University Wisconsin - Kenosha Center. Courses of instruction include but are not limited to; Introduction to Sports & Entertainment Management & Public Finance & Budgeting. As a collateral duty, he has served as a training facilitator through the Navy’s Fleet & Family Readiness Training Branch. He has been certified to facilitate leadership courses and a variety of synchronous and asynchronous virtual learning events across the Navy.
Mr. Prue also currently serves on the National Program Committee for NRPA, helping to advance the knowledge of the Parks & Recreation profession through the educational sessions offered at the annual conference. His involvement with NRPA goes back many years, serving on the Armed Forces Recreation Society/Network leadership group in various capacities and from 2009-2014 serving as the U.S. Navy representative to NRPA. He has been an NRPA conference speaker numerous times and authored the feature article in the November 2017 edition of Parks & Recreation Magazine on the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games. As a special assistant to the 2017 Warrior Games, he helped in the coordination, planning and sponsorship for a nine-day Paralympic-style adaptive sports competition in the City of Chicago. The 2017 DoD Warrior Games played host to 265 wounded warriors from all branches of the armed services including athletes from the United Kingdom and Australia. [current as of September 2018]