Altruism Institute
A once in a lifetime experience for park & recreation professionals
2020 Program - Monday, September 7 thru Thursday, September 10

2020 Speakers & Facilitators

The Institute is led by a team of experts from the fields of philosophy, health, higher education, law, and parks & recreation. They will lead and facilitate thought provoking conversation and generate insights on a variety of sub-topics specific to the Institute's theme of Ethics.
John is the Dean of the School of Environment & Sustainability at Western State Colorado University, where he oversees the Master in Environmental Management program. He is also a Professor of Environmental Sustainability and Philosophy where he focuses on the intersection of environmental ethics and social justice.

​John has authored and edited many books including Catlin's Lament: Indians, Manifest Destiny, and the Ethics of Nature; Aaron Abeyta's Letters from the Headwaters; Wildness: Relations of People and Place; and his forthcoming co-edited collection What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be?​

John has been the co-founder of the Coldharbour Institute, the Resilience Studies Consortium, the Mountain Resilience Coalition, and Western State's philosophy minor, Master in Environmental Management, and School of Environment & Sustainability. 

John serves on the Society for Wilderness board, is a Fellow for the Center for Humans and Nature in Chicago and has passionately presented teachings across North America and Europe.

On a personal note, John spilts his time between his farmhouse in Gunnison, CO, a yurt in Pitkin, CO, and a tiny house in Tesuque, NM.
Dr. John Hausdoerffer  

Steven Kleinman is a litigation strategist, educator, and retired general counsel who now serves as a consultant, trainer, and educator to the park and recreation industry.

Steve served as chief litigation counsel and thereafter, general counsel, for the Park District Risk Management Agency (PDRMA) from 1992 – 2017, retiring from PDRMA in 2018.  He specializes in employment practices liability, human resources, playground and recreation liability, litigation strategy, the Americans With Disabilities Act (the “ADA”), tort law, appellate and legislative advocacy, workers compensation, civil rights, and aquatics liability.

Serving as lead counsel and co-lead counsel for the Illinois Governmental Association of Pools, Steve represented the interests of over 1000 public entities, including park and recreation agencies, school districts, townships, cities, and law enforcement agencies – through legislative and appellate advocacy. For over 20 years, Steve also served as both a mediator and arbitrator chairperson for the Illinois 18th  judicial circuit. Prior to serving PDRMA, Steve was in private practice as a trial attorney and litigation specialist – trying cases in both state and federal court. 

Steve relocated to Florida after leaving PDRMA and the sunshine of IlIinois...

Steve Kleinman
A Clinical Assistant Professor within the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies at Indiana University, Julie was the recipient of the 2017 Indiana University 69th Annual Weir Award Student Choice Excellence in Teaching award. She curretly directs IU's Executive Development Program for Park and Recreation Professionals.
Julie has facilitated numerous training programs for the National Park Service and currently serves on the Armed Forces Recreation Professional Development Committee for all branches of the US Military.
Julie’s vast and diverse professional experiences include residential camping, campus recreation, the private fitness industry, coaching for USA Swim Team, MWR experience  with the US Navy in Sasebo Japan, and work with the YMCA’s of America.
A Cornhusker who grew up in rural Nebraska on an airfield for crop dusters-Julie still lives in the 'country' in Southern Indiana on 13 acres with her family.
Dr. Julie Knapp
Jayne is the President and CEO at the Pittsburgh Park Conservancy and current Chairperson of World Urban Parks. 

Jayne led the the nationally renowned Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) for many years leading it to national prominence as the #1 public parks and recreation agency in the US from 2013-2017 according to the Trust for Public Lands prior to moving to Pittsburgh to assume the executive role with the Conservancy.
Jayne is committed to giving back professionally and personally. AS Chair of World Urban Parks, she has traveled the world giving presentations on the critical improtance and value of park systems and their imapcts on communities across the globe. She is also a board member with the City Parks Alliance, Indiana University Executive Dvelopment Program, and previously served on the Rocky Mountain Revenue and Management School.

Jayne is a recognized speaker and shares her knowledge and expertise at a number of conferences and schools each year across the country.
​The mother of 25-year-old twins — Zachary of Minneapolis and MacKenzie of Washington, D.C. — Miller has a goal of hiking the 46 high peaks of the Adirondacks with her son.
Jayne Miller
Jamie has dedicated the majority of her adult life to the parks and recreation profession and movement. She refers to herself, on occasion, as a disappointned idealist continuing to hope that people will do the right thing.  She started the Altruism Instiute in 2016 with an altruistic vision - people will commit to being smarter and more courageous. This is a categorical imperative. 

Her provacative style can be embraced or held at a distance - but is regulary on display in an effort to challenge folks to think below the surface. Jamie believes those in community service industries should be “fueled by anger and love” in order to make sure what needs to be said is said so that the important work gets done.

Past experiences in collegiate athletics, as a parks and recreation professional and as a university faculty member have fed Jamie's passion to help improve performance.​ She has testified in front of the US Congress about the critical importance of recreation and public parkland.

Jamie is a native Illinoisan who lives in the mountains of Colorado, is nicknamed “Pumpkin” in honor of her halloween birthday, is a former college jock, enjoys hiking, biking, and golf, volunteers for community organizations, and has a love affair with the Chicago Cubs.

Jamie Sabbach



Sandra Taylor is a 45-year-old woman with over a decade status post cancer, chemotherapy, and surgical residency training, who complains of a long history of “blurry vision”. 

She works as a general surgeon in South Lake Tahoe, CA where a pack of four dogs has tried to raise her, frolicking in the mountains, without bias. 

Sandra's medical and general surgery training have instilled within her the ideal of nonjudgement.   She participates in endurance athletics, encounters nature daily, and has survived cancer, all of which do not discriminate. 

Still, she reports persistent “blurry vision” and desperately seeks relief of symptoms in herself, and mostly, everybody else.

Sandra Taylor