Bill Koegler is a lifelong Parks and Recreation professional with over 40 years managerial experience at Oglebay Park in Wheeling, West Virginia. He has managed every phase of the operations of this self-sustaining, public park system, including park operations, the Wilson Lodge Conference and Convention Center, the acclaimed National Training Center for Public Facility Managers, and the Oglebay Foundation. NTC operates fourteen national training schools including the first ever Directors’ School, developed by Koegler, in conjunction with the National Recreation and Parks Association. The initial “D” school was conducted in August of 2008 at Oglebay and the first year class was “sold out” in three months. Koegler raised $270,000 from two private foundations to initiate the development of the school.
Oglebay employs over 1,000, has over 50 facilities, and has an annual operating budget of nearly $35 million dollars. Koegler is a graduate of West Liberty University, with a B.A. degree in Education, has 30 hours of graduate classes in Park Administration and Recreation at West Virginia University, a certificate of Hospitality Management from the Hotel School at Cornell University, is a graduate of Park Maintenance Management School, Revenue Sources Management School, Parks Security and Safety School, and has completed a number of professional fundraising courses. He is a member of the National Recreation and Parks Association and the American Fundraising Professionals.
Mr. Koegler retired in June 2013 as the Director of the National Training Center at Oglebay and currently is President of WLK Consulting, which specializes in foundation development and alternative funding master plans. He conducts seminars, retreats, and consults with Parks and Recreation agencies on the development of public foundations with missions to support public parks and recreation agencies. He is a nationally recognized speaker and has made presentations at a number of NRPA National Congresses as well as many state and regional meetings. He is scheduled to present a pre-congress workshop at the 2014 Congress.
Koegler has also been the creative force and operational director of the WV LPGA Golf Tournament; Oglebayfest, an annual Oglebay music and craft festival held every first weekend in October that attracts over 50,000 guests; and the Festival of Lights, an Oglebay event that attracts nearly 500,000 guests during a 60-day period each November and December.
Bill was elected to the prestigious American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in the fall of 2007. This organization elects the top 100 leaders in the field of parks and recreation in the United States. In his appointment, he was sited for “exemplary leadership within the profession, willingness to contribute to the sharing of knowledge, and professional involvement demonstrated in his desire to go above and beyond to further the parks and recreation profession and its impact upon the individuals, communities, states and nation we serve.” In 2012 he was named a “legend” of the Academy. He currently serves as a trustee of the Academy Foundation. Additionally, In 2010 Koegler received the NRPA’s highest award, the Distinguished Professional of the Year. The International Association of Venue Managers named Koegler the prestigious “Ray Ward” award winner in 1998, the highest educational award the association offers.
He was instrumental in youth sports development in the Wheeling area in both programming and facility development serving a number of years as the girl’s soccer commissioner of the Upper Ohio Valley, and on the Board of Directors of the Wheeling Soccer Association. Koegler is credited with the establishment of girl’s soccer in the Wheeling area and for starting varsity women’s soccer at Wheeling Park High School. Currently he serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce.
Bill has been married to Debby for 40 years, has two adult children, Jason and Erika, and four grandchildren. [updated 3/14]