Next Practice Partners is a team committed to building a more inclusive and innovative future for all.
We are not your expert consultants; we are your trusted partners.
We don’t have all the answers; we will have a lot of questions.
We don’t believe in following trends; we want to create them.
We don’t know what the future holds.
We do know that we refuse to settle for the status quo.
Will we fail? Certainly; Will we learn from it? Absolutely!
We believe that life is a journey of learning and continuous improvement.
Others may share Best Practices from the past,
We will partner with you to co-create Next Practices for the future.
A more inclusive and innovative future for all
To help communities prepare for what's next
Inclusion + Innovation + Information = Inspiration
Neelay’s career on five continents includes Disney, The Super Bowl, The Olympics, and years of consulting, public speaking and training. He champions "Ideas Worth Spreading" as the curator for TEDxCollegePark, TEDxIndianapolis and TEDxIndianapolisWomen and his service as a trustee for the National Recreation and Park Association sought to ensure "no child was left indoors."
As the Founder & CEO of Next Practice Partners, he combines inclusion and innovation to help agencies prepare for "what’s next" through planning, training, and technology solutions. Over his 25-year journey, he has developed business and operations plans for Los Angeles County serving 12 million people, trained Olympic Governing bodies, and co-created the world’s largest municipal customer service and leadership training initiative for Chicago Park District’s 3000 employees.
His Master and Strategic planning work with Atlanta, Broward County, Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, San Diego, among others have recommended facility development and infrastructure improvements totaling over $2.5 billion, shaping a more equitable and accessible future for all.
As a first-generation immigrant raised by three women and a father who always showed up, he hopes to model the same for his two kids. These life experiences are woven into his keynotes on next practices and trends, the art of storytelling and magical customer service, and have inspired executives, professionals, startups, and students from Charlotte to China and from Switzerland to New Zealand.
Jason has nearly 25 years’ experience in training, development, and management both in the private and public sector. Within his work in the public sector with organizations such as Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Target; Jason would lead multiple teams and processes; receiving awards and commendations for his work in customer service, operational excellence, data analytics and fiscal growth.
He would finally find his "Why" in his seven plus years at Willamalane Park and Recreation District, where he was a key part of their National Gold Medal winning team and take the lead in their, now, successful CAPRA accreditation process. He championed the District’s workplace culture, with a focus on staff development and a "mission" focused approach to problem solving, goal setting, and personal accountability.
A consultant, a CAPRA accreditation visitor and a passionate Disney fan (ask him about his Tinker Bell story some day) committed to being an ally for those not in the room, he routinely speaks nationally on workplace culture, change management, purpose driven leadership, and the importance of developing an emotional connection to the work we do and the communities we serve.
Ms. White-Lapierre is a Chicago native who grew up at Columbus Park on the city's west side. Her journey into parks and recreation began first as a program participant, then a volunteer and ultimately her first job as a seasonal lifeguard until leaving for college.
Her nearly 20-year career as a practitioner in parks and recreation spans the US with experiences including special districts, municipalities, and nonprofits such as the YMCA and Girl Scouts of America. Ms. White-Lapierre has overseen cultural & fine arts programs, special events, community center operations, resident & day camps, youth & adult sports, afterschool, and teen programs across multiple states.
As an advocate for continuous learning and development, she holds a bachelor's degree in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, along with master's degrees in Sports Management and Human Resource Management. She is a doctoral student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign completing her dissertation work on the internship experiences of former undergraduate parks and recreation students.
Ms. White-Lapierre is a Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE), holds an Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) certification, has chaired the National Recreation and Park Association's (NRPA) Certification Board and currently serves on the Conference Program Committee.
She regularly presents at the local, state, and national levels, while participating in student development opportunities as a guest speaker and panelist. Her expertise and passion lies in areas of equity and access, workplace culture, customer experience, recreation programming and internships.
Estrella focuses on bringing about stronger communities and relationships with our natural environment through park and recreation planning. She is expected to graduate with her Masters in Community and Regional Planning at the University of Texas at Austin in 2023 and has earned her Bachelors of Arts in Development Studies with a minor in Global Poverty and Practice at UC Berkeley while also spending time in Chile at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.
Estrella has experience in public service, organizational leadership, project management, community engagement, and strategic planning. Estrella currently participates in the Austin Pedestrian Advisory Council where she furthers pedestrian safety and opportunities in the city.
Originally from Los Angeles, California, Estrella grew up at the foothills of the Angels Crest National Forest and is passionate about bridging the gap in access to nature and recreation for underserved communities.
When she’s not studying or researching, she is enjoying the beautiful outdoors available at her fingertips in Austin, visiting family or exploring parks in different cities. Estrella enjoys biking, dancing, reading, and hanging out with her nieces and nephews.
Nikolaos completed his MBA in June 2022 and he will graduate with his Masters in Sport Administration in May 2023 from Ohio University’s globally renowned program. His 5+ years in international sport development, fitness operations, team leadership, and community development projects took him through Europe, Africa, and the Americas. These global experiences helped him approach clients and communities with increased empathy and cultural sensitivity.
He is passionate about promoting physical activity in kids and during his role as a sport development officer in Port Elizabeth, South Africa he worked with over 150 stakeholders and helped enroll hundreds of kids in sport foundation programs. He also spent 3 years in London, UK leading projects targeting physical inactivity to promote a long-term physically literate environment in partnership with other leading sports organizations. In addition, he also assisted the Welsh National Team in athletic sponsorship and development to help bring in additional earned income.
Spending time with family is a priority which often takes him back home to Greece. In his time off, he enjoys playing soccer and basketball but he never says no to participating in new sports.
Rumnik (pronounced rum-neek) is New York born, Indianapolis raised tri-lingual Hoosier who graduated from Butler University with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing with a minor in Digital Media Production.
Her career spans small businesses to larger agencies in the marketing and communications space though she connects most deeply with community-focused organizations. Rumnik’s experience includes branding, social media engagement and project management, and she is certified in Advanced Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Tableau and Google UX Design.
Rumnik is the daughter of Indian immigrants and is passionate about educating people to minimize cultural differences, something she did as the President of the South Asian Students Association at Butler University. She volunteers at Gleaners Food Bank to help address food insecurity and finds peace working for a cause that helps people. Her childhood was spent outdoors playing in parks, some of which are now abandoned, and she aspires to see them revitalized for others to enjoy.
In her free time, Rumnik enjoys reading rom-com books, building architectural lego sets, and being outdoors either watching sunsets, hiking, or doing an adventure sport. Most of all, she loves spending time with her family and friends.
Kiaan has explored parks, playgrounds and zoos on every continent besides Antarctica from tennis courts in Australia to beaches in Brazil and from neighborhood parks in Germany to night Safaris in Zambia.
He passionately represents the voice of the park user and can be counted upon to challenge the status quo and ask “Why” in the most insightful of ways. He has successfully advocated for outdoor adventure elements for Bear Creek Park in Carmel, IN, tested ziplines on site tours and attended public meetings in Lisle Park District, IL and explored historic parks in Carlsbad, California.
When he’s not irritating his younger sister, he’s likely reading the entire Harry Potter series for the 7th time or cheering on the Indiana Pacers, Colts or the Indian cricket team.
Anika is our Hugger-in-Chief. At 4 going on 24, the only thing bigger than her personality is her heart. In her words “I love everyone, even people I haven’t met yet”. She will regularly make an appearance on a Zoom / Teams meeting to cheer everyone up (or ask her father for a snack).
She can be counted on to inspect (and re-inspect) slides and swings at various parks in Indiana or across the country. An outdoor adventure enthusiast, she climbed every step of the Eiffel Tower before she was 2, explored Zion National Park before she was 3, hiked Diamond Head State Monument, Hawaii before turning 4 and trekked Cape Point at the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa before her 5th birthday.
Inspired in equal parts by Moana, Frozen and Encanto she endeavors to inspire self-belief in everyone and when dressed as Elsa, if she is addressed as a princess, will gently smile and remind people that she is a Queen.