|Johnson County Park & Recreation District's Maasen Receives KRPA Distinguished Fellow Award|
Presentation of the award will take place during the annual Awards of Excellence Lunch during the KRPA Conference on Feb. 3 at the Wichita Hyatt Regency Hotel. Bill will be among eight people from across the state who will be honored with various awards during the event.
Bill was nominated by Superintendent of Recreation Jill Geller, who notes Bill was initially hired in 1986 as land acquisition specialist to seek and acquire the land necessary to make then-Director Gary Haller’s vision of a future streamway park system a reality. Bill’s efforts resulted in the 17-mile Mill Creek Streamway Trail which exists today, as well as many additional miles of trails along other major county streamways. He has also acquired land for three large regional parks and added acreage to two regional parks and contributed to the purchase of major indoor and outdoor recreational facilities, including two softball complexes, a fieldhouse, and a large event barn with meeting and retreat space.
"During his tenure at JCPRD, Bill has been responsible for the purchase or lease of over 7,000 acres for the District, more than tripling the District’s acreage from 1986 to the nearly 10,000 acres managed today," Geller writes.
In 2001, Maasen assumed the newly-created position of planning and development manager for the district. Upon the retirement of former Superintendent Bill Cobb in 2008, Maasen was promoted to the position of superintendent of parks & golf courses.
"His leadership in this position facilitates the effective and efficient maintenance and upkeep of nine JCPRD parks enjoyed by more than 7 million visitors each year," Geller writes. "His knowledge of our organization, and of the business of parks and recreation, make him a valuable member of JCPRD’s Administrative Team in developing deistrict-wide policies and procedures. Johnson County Park & Recreation District is a better, and stronger, organization because of Bill Maasen."
"Bill’s leadership has contributed to the development of dozens of young professionals throughout his career," Geller adds. "He is in this field for all the right reasons, places a high value on the role we play in serving the public, and freely shares this philosophy with those around him. He is always willing to share his experiences and knowledge, and has done so as a presenter at local, state, regional, and national conferences on numerous occasions. During his 23 years as a member of KRPA, he has developed relationships with hundreds of parks and recreation professionals, and is well-respected by all for his expertise and wealth of knowledge."
Maasen has served as a liaison for Kansas in the development of the Metro Greenways Plan, a master plan to coordinate trails and greenways on both sides of the state line. He is a former KRPA president, has served on numerous KRPA committees, and has been appointed to statewide development task forces. He has previously been honored as KRPA's Distinguished Young Professional and as the National Recreation and Park Association's Midwest Regional Distinguished Professional. He serves KRPA as designee to the Midwest Regional Council and is currently the group's past chair. On the national level, Maasen has served on NRPA’s National Society of Park Resources Board.
"Bill does not take his role as a public servant to our community lightly," Geller notes. "He is responsive to citizen comments and needs, and quickly addresses concerns. Bill’s acquisition of land and the development of parks and trails for the citizens of Johnson County have resulted resulted in beautiful open spaces enjoyed by millions each year."