2020 Virtual Conference

Keynote and Opening Session Speakers

NOV 2nd -13th

2020 ORPS Keynote Speaker

Tom O’Rourke

Tom O’Rourke is currently an educator, a parks and recreation consultant, a city council member, a director of two national parks and recreation schools, a high school track and field coach and a speaker.

Tom is in his fifth year as a Professor of Practice in the PRTM Department at Clemson University. His responsibilities include teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels and working with other faculty to assist communities, agencies, and practitioners in a variety of capacities. Tom’s focus at Clemson is in creating innovative and entrepreneurial models and solutions to issues facing the parks and recreation field.

In Tom’s role as a consultant his expertise lies in operational, programmatic, and financial planning for park and recreation agencies and nonprofits. Currently Tom is working on projects in Ohio, Texas, Utah, South Carolina, and Kentucky.

Tom previously served as the Executive Director of The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission from 2001-2019 leading the Agency though the largest capital project, budget, and attendance growth in the agency’s history. During Tom’s tenure at CCPRC the agency grew from 5,000 acres of parkland to over 12,000 acres of protected parkland. CCPRC has been nationally recognized for operating an ever-expanding park system with little reliance on tax subsidies for growth.

Educating professionals in the Parks and Recreation field has always been a significant part of Tom’s work. Tom is a frequent presenter at numerous State, National and International Conferences. He also has served as a member of the Board of Regents for the Revenue Development and Management School, the Supervisors Management School, and also the NRPA Directors School. Tom is currently the Director of the Parks Foundations School held in Oglebay, WV., and the Northern Parks and Recreation Leadership Symposium.

Previously, Tom served as the Executive Director of the Parklands Foundaiton of Charleston County, Inc., he also served as the Director of the Mt. Pleasant Recreation Department in Mt. Pleasant South Carolina. Tom also worked as Manager of the Sports and Recreation Division for Seamon Whiteside and Associates, a Landscape Architect and Engineering firm. Tom’s first job was as a high school Athletic Director and Coach.

Tom has recently been elected as  Council Member for the Town of Mt. Pleasant, in Mt. Pleasant South Carolina where he serves as Finance Committee Chair.  He has been married to Jackie O’Rourke for 40 years. They have three grown and married children and three grand children. Recreation is Tom’s profession but his passion has always been coaching. When time allows, he serves as a Track and Field coach, (Pole Vault.) He has coached State Championship teams and numerous State Qualifying Pole Vaulters.

Opening Session Speaker

Michael Spurgeon

Michael Spurgeon has been Broken Arrow’s City Manager since September 2015.  Spurgeon has over 33 years of experience in the field of public administration, which includes service in five different municipalities in the states of Oklahoma, Missouri, and New Jersey.

Spurgeon holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Rutgers University and Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Edison State College.

Michael is a past winner of Oklahoma’s prestigious Don Rider award for Oklahoma’s Outstanding City Official of the Year and has been recognized as the State’s Emergency Management Public Official of the Year. He serves on various boards and committees related to city and community organizations. In 2018, he received his Certified Municipal Official designation from the Oklahoma Municipal League.

Prior to working in the field of municipal government, Spurgeon served in the U.S. Army.  While working in public administration Spurgeon was also a citizen-soldier, serving in the Army National Guard. Spurgeon attended Army Officer Candidate School (OCS) and was selected Distinguished Honor Graduate and earned the rank of U.S. Army Commissioned Officer.

Spurgeon is originally from Tulsa, where his father was a Captain and retired from the Tulsa Fire Department, and his mother and grandmother worked for the Tulsa Police Department. He and his wife Jill live in south Broken Arrow with their three-year-old Great Dane, Luna Grey.




ORPS | PO BOX 631 | Edmond, OK  73083 | 405-780-2345 | ed@orps.us

Oklahoma Recreation and Parks Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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