Where Are They Now? Shelley Slapak, Class of 2005

This post is part of an occasional series focusing on Leadership Development Academy graduates and what they have done, personally and professionally, in the years following their LDA experience. Please contact us if you would like to be profiled here, or would like to recommend a graduate for us to feature.

Shelly & Cullen Slapak
Shelley & Cullen Slapak


Shelley Slapak

Year Graduated:


What are you doing now?

Recreation Director for the City of Janesville

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Parks and Recreation field.

How did LDA help you on your journey?

The networking, monthly topics, and project management and collaboration skills were extremely valuable in my career.

What piece of advice would you give a new LDA participant?

Take advantage of all the networking opportunities, make note of contacts, stay connected with the community during time in LDA and after.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Marin & Cyler

Spend time with my family, work out, and enjoy parks and recreational activities depending on the season.

Favorite Rock County event?

Enchanted Forest.

Where do you volunteer?

Downtown events.

When you reflect on your LDA experience, what is your fondest memory? Scariest memory?

Fondest memory: Being a small part of such a great community initiative and getting to meet and collaborate with so many different people in the community that I otherwise might not have.

Future goal or dream?

Run a marathon with a PR.

Jeff, Shelley, and Sara dressed up as “Parks and Rec” characters for Halloween

Why have you stayed involved with LDA?

Trying to stay involved with community events and volunteering as able.

Favorite quote:

Work Hard, Play Hard.

What was your LDA project? How did it impact your experience with LDA or in life?

Strategic Initiatives for Janesville was the overall focus for that LDA year. I was a part of the “Neighborhoods & Collaborative Partnerships” initiative. Many of the LDA outlined initiatives are a strategic goal for the City of Janesville currently.

There are many neighborhood and collaborative partnerships going on today and many that continue to develop. In my role, as City Recreation Director, a focus of mine is community partnerships.

If you could choose a community project or need to help out with today, what would it be and why?

Awesome Ideas Grant Program. Essentially it would be forming a group of 10 individuals and or businesses that would be willing to donate $100 of their own money on a monthly/bi-monthly/or quarterly basis towards a $1.000 grant for an awesome idea submitted from someone that would benefit the community.

People with ideas, would submit an application and the applications would be reviewed by those contributing and a winner selected to award grant to that would fund that idea. The ideas should benefit the community as a whole.

Janesville could create their own concept, or there is already other concepts out there with various chapters. There could be a lot of unique ideas that come out of this program for the community.

How has LDA prepared you or your business for COVID? Any stories you would like to share with us?

Realizing the importance of partnerships, collaborations, information sharing amongst organizations and to the community.