20 Pre-ConferenceWorkshops

175 Sessions

300+ Exhibitors

Photo Credit:

City of Chicago courtesy of Choose Chicago

About The Conference /2020 Soaring to New Heights

The IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference holds the unique distinction of being the largest state park and recreation conference in the nation. The conference brings together more than 4,200 professionals and elected officials for three exciting days of quality educational programming, networking and professional development. Featuring nearly 200 educational sessions and workshops, and an exhibit hall where more than 300 exhibitors showcase their latest and greatest products and services, the 2020 conference is THE place to be!  Mark your calendars now and plan to join us at the Hyatt Regency Chicago next January for this exceptional event!

All Images © 2019 JHyde Photography

2020 Conference Sponsors /Thank You For Your Support!

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2020 Final Program /Now Available!

Get the insight you need and find the learning you seek with a first-class educational program filled with inspirational presentations, real-world case studies, peer exchange and access to leading solution providers. To view and download the 2020 Conference Final Program, click on the brochure image to the right.

Interested in contributing to the program? The 2020 Call for Proposals has ended. However, you can learn more about the submission process when the 2021 Call for Proposals opens in January.

For a sneak peak at this year’s CDS speaker, check out the video above.

Career Development Symposium /Brenda Hamilton Clark
/January 23, 2020

Rally Your Communication Mojo! Increase Your Effectiveness as a Communicator at Work

In this engaging, interactive workshop, we will explore simple strategies for increasing your effectiveness as a communicator, particularly at work. We’ll cover key areas including consideration of your listeners’ perspective: active listening skills; deductive vs. inductive communication; nonverbal communication; and when to use different modes of communication (e.g., email vs. phone). These strategies can be immediately implemented to make you more skillful and effective when you communicate.

Participants will also be able to:
• Identify key behaviors of active listeners, including what it means to sift through anger to gain deeper understanding.
• Explain the difference between “deductive” and “inductive” communication.

Keynote Speaker /Jarrett Payton/January 25, 2020

Lessons From My Father

Jarrett Payton, son of the late NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton, is a radio host, businessman, philanthropist, motivational speaker, former NFL and CFL running back, and devoted husband and father. In his keynote address, Jarrett shares the inspiring story of what it was like growing up with the most famous football player in the world as his dad. You’ll learn about the difficulties he faced living up to the Payton name and what it meant to carry on his father’s legacy. Jarrett describes the challenges he faced on the football field and off – as he speaks about the death of his father and how it impacted him. Jarrett shares why he chooses to honor his father’s legacy of making a difference in the community and tells the story of how he became an entrepreneur. He addresses the importance of finding your passion in all that you do whether it be family or work-related. Most notably, Jarrett emphasizes the importance of investing in our youth and why we should serve as role models who stress the value of sports, education, and character.

Participants will also be able to:
• Never undervalue the passion and drive of the human spirit.
• Recognize the potential for greatness that lies within each of us.
• Appreciate the importance of finding one’s own personal or professional passion.
• Identify and relate how parks and recreation makes a difference in the communities they serve through youth activities and sports programs.

Event Location

Hyatt Regency Chicago
151 E. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312.565.1234

Get Directions

Illinois Association of Park Districts
211 E. Monroe Street
Springfield, IL 62701-1186
Phone: 217-523-4554

IPRA Logo_Small

Illinois Park and Recreation Association
536 East Avenue
La Grange, IL 60525-6815
Phone: 708-588-2280