PRESIDENT

Richard Bentley-Smith has an graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with and Bachelors Degree in Political Science then went on to the University of Houston and earned a Masters Degree in Sports Administration.  After working for the  Houston Dynamo and Houston Texans he moved back to Baton Rouge, LA n 2010 and began working for BREC Parks and Recreation.  In 2016 he took a job with Recreation District #14 in St. Tammany Parish as the Executive Director, and oversees all functions at Coquille Parks and Recreation.  He has served on the LRPA Board since 2015, and is on his second term as the President for LRPA.

DISTRICT V

Douglas A. (Doug) Seegers is a 14 year veteran of managing and operating City of West Monroe facilities. Before accepting the Director of Parks and Recreation position in 2009 he served the citizens of West Monroe at the West Monroe Convention Center.

During his tenure with West Monroe Parks and Recreation he has led his team in revitalizing the department. Major projects include redeveloping the grounds and facilities of the city's flagship park, 150 acre Kiroli Park, a former boy scout camp; a complete remodel of the city's aging recreation center in 2013, embracing community health standards, he was instrumental in designating all city recreation facilities "smoke free" in 2014; being the first community to do so in Northeast Louisiana and most recently in June of 2017 opened an all-inclusive playground, where all children can "play as one" designed by world renowned playground designers Shane's Inspiration, The Civitan Smiles Park at Kiroli, was a cooperative endeavor with the West Monroe Civitan Club.  Opening this spring is another joint playground project targeting children 6 months – 4 years.

The City of West Monroe, a rural community of approximately 14,000 citizens operates over 300 acres of public parks and recreation facilities all created with public health and wellness in mind. Facilities include, Kiroli Park, Restoration Park, Lazarre Park, AC Facen Memorial Park, Brian Smith Memorial Park, Gator Park, Brady Memorial Ballfields and Park, The GYM at Riverbend, in addition to The Pavilion and Gardens, The Farmer's Market and The REC, all at Seventh Square in the heart of the city.

PAST PRESIDENT

Katrina Coots-Ward is currently the Regional Director of Facilities and Programs for the Recreation and Park Commission for the parish of East Baton Rouge. Katrina began her work in her recreation profession as a park and rec kid, who was involved in sports leagues and summer camps. She continued her passion for recreation and began to work with people with disabilities in 1994, volunteering with Louisiana Special Olympics and working as a camp counselor. After graduating with her B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2005, her journey began at BREC. She initiated the action of ensuring all BREC programs were inclusive and available for all patrons. Katrina has worked throughout BREC working with a variety of programs such as the basic recreation programming (dance class, gymnastics, karate, etc), community events, inclusive sports leagues, grants, and summer day camps. Katrina has presented at over 25 conferences, both local and nationally, served on several community boards, committees, served on the LRPA Executive board for the past five years, and is currently a member of the NRPA Congress Program Committee. Katrina is an advocate for recreation, educating both professional and personal on the benefits of its effects such as increase of quality of life and self-expression, as well as improving the overall feeling of personal satisfaction in one’s life.