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TeresaLPenbrooke2013About Me

I am very pleased to now be a full-time PhD student in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. In my spare time, I am also faculty for GP RED, a national non-profit firm focused on providing research and education for health, recreation, and land management agencies ( and the Director of the Healthy Communities Research Group. In addition, I am also still the part-time CEO and Founder of GreenPlay, LLC, ( a very busy parks and recreation management consulting firm, which began in Colorado in 1999. My husband is “holding down the fort” at our Erie, Colorado home, and our wonderful GreenPlay staff keep things running while I’m studying, working, and enjoying life in North Carolina. My career has included over 25 years of private and non-profit business management and teaching, along with six years as an administrator and practitioner for three different public parks and recreation agencies in Colorado. My Advisor is Dr. Michael Edwards.

Who has been most influential to you?

My mother was a “serial entrepreneur” and a single mom. She taught me the value of time management, education, productivity, love, and just the benefit of getting up every day and “doing the next right thing”. In addition I am indebted to the many strong parks and recreation educators, practitioners, and consultants who have created such strong methods, knowledge, and mentorship before me: Dr. David M. Compton, Dr. John Crompton, Dr. Karla Henderson, Leon Younger, Chris Dropinski (my long-time business partner), and many others. I am enjoying being influenced on a daily basis by the passionate educators here at NC State.

Professional Goal

Along with my focus on systematic assessment methodologies, management, and planning for community parks and recreation agencies, I teach at conferences around the world, and have led GreenPlay in master and strategic planning, feasibility and needs assessment projects, partnership facilitation, and overall operations, financial, and policies analysis for over 300 large and small communities. I have been honored to be part of helping to develop practitioner-acclaimed innovations such as the Pyramid Cost Recovery Methodology, the Healthy Communities Surveillance and Management Toolkit, and Composite-Values Method (CVM) for Level of Service Analysis. I am a long-time NRPA member, an Accreditation Visitor Chair for CAPRA, past Vice-Chair on the Board of Regents for the NRPA Pacific Revenue and Marketing School, and the Chair of the Management Commission for the World Leisure Organization. I want to continue this good work, and provide evidence-based publications and curriculum for upcoming generations that really help translate the academic-practitioner relationship and knowledge transfer. I believe that working as a researcher, consultant, and educator allows me to combine my entrepreneurial spirit with my public sector heart.

Previous Degrees and Where I Received these Degrees

I received a B.S. Magna Cum Laude in Kinesiology at University of Colorado – Boulder. I earned a Master of Arts in Organizational Management through the University of Phoenix – Denver, while working full-time in parks and recreation administration, and raising a son.

“Words of Wisdom” for Prospective Students

Don’t let fear limit you! You are capable of so much more, if you just find focus and apply yourself. Keep asking yourself every day, “What and who do I want to be when I grow up” for all of your life, and then just take the steps to make that happen!

My Leisure Interests

I believe that every day it is incredibly important to find balance through positive “re-creation” of body, mind, and spirit – whatever that means to you. I try to do something physical each day for “body maintenance” and to keep moving. In addition, I have faith and spiritual practices that keep me connected. I enjoy nature, rafting, kayaking, hiking, camping, along with music. I play guitar and percussion and sing whenever I can. I am a very social being and enjoy intellectual pursuits – the sharing of thoughts, good times, and play with other humans. When I can, I love being around the energy of my son and step-children (now all college-aged themselves), and my loving, supportive husband.