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ATRA 2018 Election Results

Thursday, July 19, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Julie Utano
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ATRA 2019 Election results


This year we had a great ballot put forward for the 2018 American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) elections, and ATRA members responded by recording the second highest voting turnout in the past five years! A huge thank you to Nominations and Election Committee, and particularly Karen Wenzel, Ph.D.c., CTRS, for their support and willingness to serve ATRA in this very important process.


On behalf of the ATRA Board of Directors and the Nominations and Election Committee, we are pleased to announce and introduce the new President-Elect and two new board members-at-large for the 2019 Board of Directors.


Randy Wyble, MS, CTRS


Randy began working in the field in 1987 in an adult day treatment program and finished hisMaster’s in Recreation with a TR emphasis from Michigan State University (MSU) in 1989. In 1993 he switched to an inpatient adult psychiatric unit and then, in 1994, he was appointed the Lead Activity Therapist for Sparrow Hospital’s Behavioral Health programs in Lansing, Michigan.  Randy was recruited to teach MSU’s TR courses from 1998-2001 as an adjunct faculty member until they discontinued the emphasis in 2001.  During that time, he became active as a board member for the Michigan Therapeutic Recreation Association (MTRA) and worked to coordinate their annual conference which took place on the campus of MSU. 


In 2002 he moved to New Zealand and was employed as a TR faculty member.  While there, Randy helped establish the New Zealand Therapeutic Recreation Association.  Upon returning to the USA in 2004 he was rehired by Sparrow and resumed as Lead Activity Therapist until being hired as a TR faculty member at GVSU in 2008. 


Since that time, he has served as the TR program director (2013-2016) and am currently the chair for Diagnostic and Treatment Sciences, the department housing the TR program.  During the last eight years, he has been actively involved in both ATRA and MTRA, serving in various capacities and presenting many times at both state and national conferences.


Tracey Crawford, CTRS, CPRP 
2019 Member at large 




Tracey strives to continually enhance her knowledge of best practices in the field of therapeutic recreation/recreation therapy and give back to the profession that has given her a career she loves and the opportunity to change lives in the communities that she serves.


She feels is critical to the communities that we serve that all people with disabilities have access to recreation!  Keeping up with the ever-changing needs of individuals with disabilities in the community requires that recreation therapists, act as agents of change and take the lead to work as one profession.  To accomplish this, a continued pursuit of learning, sharing and growing together must take place by all involved. All TR/RT professionals need to work together to provide seamless services from clinical, rehab, psych to the community


Tracey also believes that we as a profession and a board need to strive for more diversity.  Our society is changing.  Our workforce and leadership has not evolved as quickly.  We as a profession must address this, our customers and patients, with disabilities, deserve service by professionals with a rich mix of backgrounds.


Laura Kelly, MS, CTRS



Laura has served as the Recreational Therapy (RT) Director at ManorCare for the past seven years, as well serving as an adjunct instructor at Georgia Southern University for the past five.

She has been ATRA’s Older Adult Section Co- Chair for the past two years. As a section, they have developed competencies, increased advocacy and external marketing efforts (e.g., universities, multi-disciplinary conferences), and continue to refine and expand their evidence-based practice research and programming. She believes her most significant contributions to ATRA are her conference presentations and webinars focusing on key, relevant topics such as evidence-based practice, as well as serving as a consultant and reliable resource to members looking to start and/or expand current RT programming.

Laura also serves as the “President- Elect” of the Georgia Therapeutic Recreation Association, in which she has benefited from vast experiences and opportunities including public policy initiatives to obtain state licensure, conference event planning, membership marketing, website development, and board member liability insurance.



Welcome Randy, Tracey, and Laura!!


Here is your full 2018-19 ATRA Board of Directors, effective September 2018 -


President                          Tim Passmore, EdD, MS, CTRS

President Elect                 Randy Wyble, MS, CTRS

Past-President                  Marieke VanPuymbroeck, PhD, CTRS, FDRT

Secretary                          Betsy Kemeny, PhD, CTRS

Treasurer                          Brent Wolfe, PhD, CTRS

Member at Large              Tracey Crawford, CTRS, CPRP

Member at Large              Laura Kelly, MS, CTRS

Member at Large              Kathy Davis, MA, CTRS

Member at Large              Vinnie Bonadies, MS, CTRS

Member at Large              Taylor Hooker, MS, CTRS

Member at Large              Thea Kavanaugh, PhD, CTRS   




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