Michael Klitzing is director of Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation in Indiana. He has been instrumental in expanding and enhancing parks and recreation in each of the communities he has served. A visionary leader, Michael oversees a nationally accredited, two-time winning Gold Medal (2014 & 2020) agency with a $15 million operating budget over 80% self-funded. He transformed Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation into a national trailblazer in sustainability and inclusion. Michael's commitment to parks and recreation extends beyond his career. He is a member of Lake Lemon Conservancy District Board first elected in 2017 and previously served on the Brownsburg Park Board from 2009 to 2016, including five years as president. An active member of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), Michael is a former vice-chair of the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies and was the conference program committee chair and local host committee co-chair for the 2018 NRPA Annual Conference in Indianapolis. Michael was recognized as the 2018 National Distinguished Professional by NRPA, inducted into the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in 2017, and named the 2015 Recreation Alumnus of the Year by Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Michael received his bachelor's degree in economics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his master's degree in parks and recreation administration from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.