Meet the mParks Staff!

Executive Director - Ann Conklin
Ann has been involved with the Michigan Recreation and Park Association as an active member since 1979; she served as Association Vice President in 1988 and 1993, and as Association President in 1989 and 1999. A 30 year veteran of the park and recreation field, she assumed an administrative role with mParks in 2011 following ten years as the Director of Canton Leisure Services. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Recreation from Central Michigan University, as well as the Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP) designation.

Operations Manager - Justin Lippe 
Justin joined mParks in September 2008 after having served as the Community Education Director for Charlotte Public Schools. He also worked as a Recreation Coordinator for Burlington Parks & Recreation in Vermont and as a Recreation Programmer for Novi Parks & Recreation after receiving his bachelor's degree in Recreation Management & Policy from the University of New Hampshire. Justin manages mParks statewide programs and serves as the staff liaison to several committees. He currently resides in Williamston with his wife and three children.

Communication & Marketing Manager - Tina Nowakowski
Tina originally joined mParks in 2012 as a communications intern, transitioning to a full-time role as she finished her degree in Journalism and Public Relations from Michigan State. After more than two years with mParks, Tina explored the political world as a Field Organizer for a statewide campaign and then took over as the Communications & Community Outreach Specialist with the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness, all while assisting mParks with special projects, including Conference. Tina enjoys running, kayaking, cooking and traveling. 

Registrar - Aja Jenks
Aja (pronounced Asia) joined the mParks team in May of 2016. Aja's responsibilities include managing the membership database and membership renewals. She also acts as the liaison for USA Softball of Metro Detroit and assists with many other mParks projects. She received her Bachelor’s of Applied Art in Two-Dimensional Art and Art History from Central Michigan University. She has also received an Entrepreneurial Certification from Lansing Community College. Although her previous experience was primarily focused in after-school art education, she is very passionate about the outdoors and promoting a healthy lifestyle. She participates in several adult recreation leagues including softball and volleyball. She also enjoys traveling, baking, and spending time at her family’s lake house.

General Office Support- Hillary Ackerson 
Hillary joined the mParks team in May of 2017. The majority of her professional experience has been in the customer service industry. She assists in office operations, helps to develop a salary and wage matrix for the parks and recreation industry, and assists in the implementation of special events as well as the Come Out and Play curriculum. She enjoys cooking, golfing, and spending time with her family. She currently lives in Laingsburg with her husband and two children.  

Special Projects Coordinator- Marilyn Troshak
Marilyn returned to mParks in October of 2016 after more than 30 years away. Marilyn worked as an administrator from 1980-1983 and served as mParks President in 1997. Following a 15-year career with partner and vendor, Miracle Midwest, Marilyn decided to retire- but couldn't quite stay away. Marilyn is the liaison for the Regional Groups, coordinates the mParks Ticket Programs, manages the Annual Conference Exhibit Hall and completes special projects as needed. 

Health & Wellness Coordinator - Kari Woloszyk
Kari joined mParks in January 2016. The majority of her research and professional experiences have focused on assessing and improving the reach and quality of health and wellness programs by uncovering, highlighting, and sharing best practices. In this position, she will continue to build on mParks' work with community partners to engage them in creating and promoting places for healthy and active living. Kari holds a Master’s of Public Health from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor and a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Promotion from Oakland University. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking and everything outdoors!

Student Liaison - Patsy Kufta 
Patsy joined the mparks team in October of 2017. A senior at Michigan State University studying sustainable parks, recreation, and tourism, she was originally a student member with us. Her professional background ranges from customer service, to a nature center naturalist, and working as a student assistant for the MDNR’s grants management section. Her current duties consist of general office support and assisting with our annual conference and trade show. Patsy describes herself as all around artsy and outdoorsy, but some of her favorite hobbies are fishing, cooking, and painting.