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Staff

Meet our team! If you have any questions regarding IPRA or your membership don't hesitate to reach out!

IPRA Staff

Suzi Wirtz

Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA)
Executive Director

Serves as IPRA and IPRF Executive Director, overseeing staff and all departments within IPRA. Suzi is a lifelong association management professional, motivated by organizational culture and inspiring and impacting positive change. She has worked for Association Forum of Chicagoland, was CEO of the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce, and has served as an association exec for a wide variety of other international, national, state and local associations. Her background also includes consulting with associations on marketing, membership and educational projects. She is a double major (English/Marketing) from Loras College and a Masters from DePaul University. Suzi holds the IOM designation and has been a speaker for ASAE, state associations, Chambers of Commerce and local businesses.

Barry Franks

Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA)
Finance Director

Barry Franks is IPRA's Finance Director and has been with IPRA since 2009. He has two graduate degrees, in finance and banking, and has spent 25 years in non-profit management. His favorite IPRA event is Park Pursuit but loves seeing and interacting with members at all the events.

Heather Weishaar

Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA)
Communications & Marketing Director

Heather Weishaar is IPRA's Communications & Marketing Director, and has been with IPRA since 2001. She has a B.A. Organizational Communication from Western Michigan University, and a Certificate in Non Profit Management from UIC. Her favorite IPRA event is Park Pursuit, and loves serving the park, recreation and conservation industry in Illinois.

Duane Smith

Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA)
Education Director

Duane Smith is IPRA’s Education Director and has been with IPRA since 2016. He has a B.A. Social Science and Secondary Education from North Central College, and he is a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) with 1o years of experience as a practitioner. Duane’s favorite IPRA event is the IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference.


Kim Laper

Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA)
Community Engagement Manager

Kim is IPRA’s Community Engagement Manager and has been with the organization since January of 2019.  She has a Master’s Degree in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism from University of Illinois, is CPRP certified, and has thirteen years prior experience in the Parks & Recreation field.  One of her main responsibilities is being IPRA's Section & Committee Liaison, where she works very closely with member volunteers coordinating events on the IPRA calendar.  Kim’s favorite IPRA event is a toss-up between Professional Development School and Park Pursuit.

Cindy Galvan

Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA)
Conference & Meetings Manager

Cindy is the Conference and Meetings Manager at IPRA and has been with the organization since 2023. Cindy is here to work on all aspects of the Soaring to New Heights Conference. Prior to joining IPRA, Cindy worked for the American Bar Association for over 15 years and has her CMP certification. Cindy’s favorite IPRA event is the IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference.

Vince Davis

Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA)
Membership Manager

Vince is the Membership Manager at IPRA and is here to answer all of your questions regarding the website or your membership. He is an alumni of the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism with a concentration in Sport Management. He has 5 years of previous parks and recreation experience with Salt Creek Rural Park District and Clarendon Hills Park District. 

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Maria McGuire

Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA)
Administrative Assistant
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