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Posted on: March 15, 2021

Canton Leisure Services Deputy Director Jon LaFever Receives mParks Recreation Leadership Award

Photo of Canton Leisure Services Deputy Director Jon LaFever

Canton Leisure Services is pleased to announce that Jon LaFever, Canton Leisure Services Deputy Director, was recently honored with the mParks 2021 Recreation Leadership Award that recognizes outstanding contributions in the area of leadership and recreation programming and seeks to inspire other parks and recreation professionals to achieve excellence throughout the state of Michigan.

 This prestigious award was presented to LaFever during the 2021 Virtual mParks Conference and Trade Show, which was held online last month. mParks, formerly known as the Michigan Recreation and Park Association, honors exemplary park and recreation professionals and citizen advocates across the state of Michigan during its annual awards ceremony. Recipients of the Recreation Leadership Award embody the core values of their profession, demonstrate the highest level of performance in their job duties, and maintain a tremendous commitment to mParks and its membership. In addition, this award is the result of peer nomination from within Michigan’s community of parks and recreation agencies.

 “Jon represents the very best in a parks and recreation professional,” says Greg Hohenberger, Canton Leisure Services Director. “His humble approach and great leadership have earned him the respect and admiration of his peers and all of those he has served. Jon is quick to show initiative and is passionate about helping others. His numerous abilities, dedication, and giving nature, as well as his many contributions to statewide parks and recreation initiatives, significantly contribute to the ongoing success of our department. He truly epitomizes what the mParks Recreation Leadership Award is all about.” 

Since 2001, LaFever has worked in a variety of parks and recreation capacities with Canton Leisure Services and currently serves as Deputy Director, where he coordinates operations at several Canton Leisure Services facilities. LaFever also assists in recreation project administration, budget oversight, and helping to manage the department’s personnel. Canton Leisure Services staff includes approximately 55 full-time employees, as well as over 300 part-time and seasonal employees. In addition, LaFever and his staff are responsible for the planning and execution of Leisure Services' large-scale special events. A member of mParks since 2001, LaFever has most recently served as president of this state-wide advocacy organization and has been a frequent presenter at annual mParks Conference & Trade Shows.  In addition, LaFever has served on numerous mParks committees and was recognized as the organization’s New Professional of the Year in 2006. LaFever is also a Certified Park and Recreation Professional, overseen by the National Certification Board and the National Recreation and Park Association.

Canton Leisure Services, a department of the Charter Township of Canton, Michigan, has been recognized as the winner of the 2008 National Recreation and Park Association Gold Medal Award. The most prestigious award of its kind, the Gold Medal Award honors communities throughout the U.S. that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, fiscal resource management, citizen support systems, environmental stewardship, preservation, technological integration, program planning and assessment, and professional development. In addition, Canton Leisure Services has been accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies since 2004 and welcomes individuals of all ages and abilities to take advantage of its variety of recreational programs, events and services that make Canton, MI a great place to live, work, and explore.  For additional information on Canton Leisure Services programs, services, and facilities, visit

Founded in 1935, mParks was established to provide its members with industry resources, to advocate for the profession, and to prove parks, recreation, and leisure services matter. mParks is the leading advocacy organization in Michigan dedicated to the advancement of public spaces, recreation, and natural resources. mParks expects to host an official in-person awards ceremony later this summer.  For more information, go to


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