Special Events and Marketing


To provide an avenue to unite special event and marketing professionals through networking, educational and training opportunities, and VRPS events, while supporting the mission of the Virginia Recreation & Park Society.


  • Provide diverse trainings and meetings each quarter.

  • Increase SEMRG membership and member participation annually.

  • Establish a greater presence within VRPS.

  • Provide informational and educational resources to members.

SEMRG Leadership Team

Ben Fairbanks

Administrative Chair
Henrico Parks & Recreation
Work: 804-501-7489

Emily Upton

Logistics Chair
Suffolk Parks & Recreation
Work: 757-514-7256

Joy Johnson

Marketing & Communications Chair
James City Co. Parks & Recreation
Work: 757-259-5353


Membership & Networking Chair

JudiAnn Hawkins-Pond

Training & Education Chair
Hanover Co. Parks & Recreation
Work: 804-774-0120

Arlana Fauntleroy, CPRP

VRPS Board Liaison
James City Co. Parks & Recreation
Work: 757-259-5377


  • August 5, 2020 - The SEMRG Leadership Team plans to collaborate & use our creative brains to higlight and CELEBRATE the accomplishments of our agencies in the Virtual VRPS Annual Conference Awards Presentation - let's make it a P-A-R-T-Y! We're excited for the opportunity and want all of our special event colleagues (and beyond) to help us "hype up" this unique event! More details to come - stay tuned!
  • May 5, 2020 - Stay connected with SEMRG. Follow these simple instructions to make sure you never miss an update!
  • February 25, 2020 - We have a Facebook Group - SEMRG VRPS - join us!

Upcoming Meetings & Events

Postponed Stay Tuned! SEMRG webpage (1)

SEMRG Fall Planning Chat

August 19, 2020, 10 a.m. (WebEx Platform) - to register, email joy.johnson@jamescitycountyva.gov. We'll discuss Fall planning in the midst of COVID-19.

May Quarterly Meeting - Canceled due to COVID-19 Restrictions

May 7, 2020, 10 a.m. (Fredericksburg, VA)

Quarterly Meeting

October 5, 2020 (VRPS Virtual Conference)

Quarterly Meeting

December 1, 2020, 10 a.m. (Hanover, VA)

Past Meetings & Events

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Photo from the Special Events & Marketing Resource Group Meeting

  • June 4, 2019 in Henrico, VA - Special Thank You to all who were able to attend - see you soon!

Photo from the SEMRG Quarterly Meeting & Roundtable 

  • January 23, 2020 in Henrico, VA - professionals gathered to discuss current trends and challenges in special events and marketing.
  • Check out the SEMRG article in the VRPS Magazine article (page 10).

Meeting Minutes