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The original item was published from 8/14/2020 11:26:24 AM to 10/1/2020 12:00:01 AM.

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Parks and Recreation News

Posted on: June 15, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Parks and Recreation Director Receives National Award

James Worsley

Dr. James Worsley, Director of Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation, was recently selected to receive the National Distinguished Professional Award by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). The award will be presented during the 2020 NRPA Virtual Annual Conference in October.

Each year, NRPA National Awards are presented to individuals and agencies across the U.S. to honor their efforts, both professional and personal, in the field of parks and recreation. This year, there are 11 award categories in the NRPA National Awards program. Recipients are selected from a pool of applicants based on excellence in a variety of topics, including professional and voluntary service, programming, leadership, research and public outreach. 

The National Distinguished Professional Award is presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field through their leadership, research, advocacy, community outreach and program development.

Dr. Worsley is an active member of the National Recreation & Park Association and contributed his expertise to state organizations in in Georgia and Virginia. Dr. Worsley makes a priority of inspiring and mentoring young professionals in the field. He has served on the Board of Regents, as Chair, and as presenter for NRPA’s annual Supervisors Management School. Other NRPA affiliations include serving as past Chair of the National Certification Board and on the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions.  Additionally, Dr. Worsley serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials and as the Cultural Diversity & Recreation Therapy Section Reviewer for the American Journal of Recreation Therapy.  In 2019, Dr. Worsley was elected to the prestigious American Academy for Park & Recreation Administration.

Locally, Worsley holds leadership roles in numerous foundations and boards.  He received his bachelor’s and master’s in Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and his doctorate degree from North Carolina A&T State University.  He is married and a proud father of three children.

“Dr. James Worsley is a staunch advocate for Chesterfield County and the benefits that parks and recreation can offer the community. He is a true professional who believes in giving back and mentoring the next generation of leaders,” said Scott Zaremba, Deputy County Administrator for Community Operations.  “I am extremely proud of his contributions to the profession. He is a tremendous asset to our organization and very deserving of this recognition.”

“The NRPA National Awards and Scholarship Committee is pleased to honor the 2020 NRPA recipients of the Innovation and Spotlight Awards,” said John Stutzman, chair of NRPA’s National Awards and Scholarship Committee and recreation supervisor for the City of Golden Valley, Minnesota. “The committee was honored and excited to review nearly 200 applications of qualified initiatives and individuals who have made significant contributions to their communities through the field of parks and recreation.”

For more information about NRPA National Awards programs, visit

For more information about Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation, visit

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