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O’side Parks and Rec Director, Eileen Lohner-Turk, Receives National Honor

Oceanside CA— The City of Oceanside’s Parks and Recreation Director, Eileen Lohner-Turk has been selected to receive the 2016 Helen I. Pontius National Award of Merit which will be presented to her today in Chicago IL.

The Helen I. Pontius National Award of Merit has been presented to an extraordinary member since 1966. The Helen I. Pontius (HIP) Awards Committee, comprised of former HIP award recipients, recognizes Eileen as a member who has made significant contributions to the organization; has created a foundation for members to share ideas, broaden their interests, and sharpen their professional skills; and has demonstrated a high standard of involvement and achievement in her community.

“I am blessed to do what I love for a career and I am humbled to be recognized.” said Eileen before leaving for Chicago to accept the award.

The HIP award is the single most prestigious recognition awarded by the organization. On an annual basis, chapters can nominate one member for the award. The Delta Chapter nominated Eileen for her successive leadership within the organization, the mentor-ship and friendship she has provided to colleagues in the recreation field, and for her volunteer service and love for the greater community of Oceanside, California.

Eileen is currently the Parks and Recreation Division Manager for the City of Oceanside. Some would argue that her career in the field began at birth. Her father, Paul Lohner, was a 30-year parks and recreation professional. Eileen seamlessly followed in her dad’s footsteps. His love and passion for work was infectious and no desk job would satisfy Eileen’s professional interest. Before entering high school, she began volunteering for Pleasantville Day Camp Program as an arts & craft junior camp counselor.

During her high school and collegiate years, Eileen worked during the summer months as a swim instructor, tennis coach and taught groups of young people how to play New Games. Eileen augmented her professional experience with a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation Management from Springfield College in Massachusetts. Her continued education includes the prestige of becoming a Certified Park and Recreation Professional in the state of New York.