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Greater&Greener2017:

PARKS CONNECTING CITIES, CULTURES, AND GENERATIONS

An International Urban Parks Conference

July 29, 2017 — August 2, 2017 · Minneapolis & Saint Paul

Speakers

Greater & Greener  featureS more than 150 national and international speakers and presenters.

Keynote Speakers

  • Glenn Harris

    President Race Forward View Bio
  • Lykke Leonardsen

    Program Director, Resilient and Sustainable City Solutions City of Copenhagen View Bio
  • PLENARY, SUPER SESSION, AND SPECIAL EVENT SPEAKERS

  • Carolyn Aguilar-Dubose

    Former Dean of Architecture Universidad Iberoamericana View Bio
  • Sabina Ali

    Chair Thorncliffe Park Women's Committee View Bio
  • Steven Belton

    President and CEO The Minneapolis Urban League View Bio
  • William Bird

    CEO and Founder Intelligent Health Ltd. View Bio
  • James Brainard

    Mayor City of Carmel View Bio
  • Matthew Clarke

    Director of Creative Placemaking Trust for Public Land View Bio
  • Christopher B. Coleman

    Mayor City of Saint Paul View Bio
  • Carol Coletta

    Senior Fellow, American Cities Practice The Kresge Foundation View Bio
  • Tom Dallessio

    President, CEO and Publisher Next City View Bio
  • Mickey Fearn

    Professor of Practice North Carolina University College of Natural Resources View Bio
  • Radhika Fox

    CEO US Water Alliance View Bio
  • Catherine Godschalk

    Vice President, Investments Calvert Foundation View Bio
  • Adel Hagekhalil

    Assistant Director Bureau of Sanitation, City of Los Angeles View Bio
  • Mami Hara

    General Manager and CEO Seattle Public Utilities View Bio
  • Allegra "Happy" Haynes

    Executive Director Denver Parks and Recreation View Bio
  • Betsy Hodges

    Mayor City of Minneapolis View Bio
  • Craig Holland

    Senior Director of Product Development NatureVest View Bio
  • Eric Letsinger

    Chief Operating Officer Quantified Ventures View Bio
  • María Claudia López Sorzano

    Secretary of Culture, Leisure and Sport City of Bogotá View Bio
  • Amanda Lovelee

    City Artist, Visual Art City of Saint Paul View Bio
  • Kathryn Ott Lovell

    Commissioner Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department View Bio
  • Toody Maher

    Executive Director POGO Park View Bio
  • Catherine Nagel

    Executive Director City Parks Alliance View Bio
  • Herman Parker

    Parks and Recreation Director City of San Diego View Bio
  • Guillermo (Gil) Penalosa

    Founder and Chair 8 80 Cities View Bio
  • Barbara Romero

    Deputy Mayor of City Services City of Los Angeles View Bio
  • Kevin Shafer

    Executive Director Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District View Bio
  • Diane Silva

    Project Manager Trust for Public Land View Bio
  • Marilyn Strickland

    Mayor City of Tacoma View Bio
  • Erion Veliaj

    Mayor Municipality of Tirana View Bio
  • Speakers

  • Chris Abbett

    Associate Regional Director - Partnerships, Interpretation, and Education National Park Service View Bio

    With 28 years of experience with the National Park Service, Chris Abbett is a leader in partnership development and community engagement. He currently serves as the Associate Regional Director for Partnerships, Interpretation and Education for the Southeast Region of the National Park Service, providing leadership and guidance on creating and ...

  • Jesús Aguirre

    Superintendent Seattle Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Jesús Aguirre is Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR). SPR manages a 6,200-acre park system of 465 parks and extensive natural areas. The department provides athletic fields, tennis courts, play areas, specialty gardens, and more than 25 miles of boulevards and 120 miles of trails. The system comprises about ...

  • Thatcher Bailey

    Executive Director Seattle Parks Foundation View Bio

    Thatcher Bailey has been Executive Director of Seattle Parks Foundation since 2010. Before that he established a public development authority to support restoration and programming efforts at a 450 acre State Park and National Historic site north of Seattle.He served as director of Centrum Foundation, and as publisher at Bay ...

  • Attila Bality

    Outdoor Recreation Planner National Park Service - Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program View Bio

    Attila is an outdoor recreation planner with the National Park Service Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program. He has been involved with parks, trails and open space issues in New Mexico and the southwest for over 25 years. Attila’s work is focused on helping local communities improve and enhance parks, open ...

  • Jane Beesley

    Administrator Los Angeles County Regional Parks and Open Space District View Bio

    Jane Beesley is the Administrator of the Los Angeles County Regional Parks and Open Space District (RPOSD). She oversees the implementation Proposition A and Measure A. Proposition A has, in the last twenty-four years, provided over $1.5 billion in funding for parks projects and their maintenance. Measure A will allocate ...

  • Adrian Benepe

    Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development The Trust for Public Land View Bio

    A Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development for The Trust for Public Land (TPL), Adrian Benepe is one of the nation's experts on the nexus of the public, private, and non-profit sectors in park an public space development and management. At TPL, Benepe oversees the creation of ...

  • Mark Bernstein

    Landscape Architect, Downtown Area Planner Parks and Recreation, City and County of Denver View Bio

    Mark Bernstein is a licensed landscape architect in the State of Colorado with over twenty years of professional experience in the parks and recreation industry. He has dedicated his career to creating livable and healthy communities.

    In 1999, he joined the City & County of Denver Department of Parks and ...

  • Kate Bickert

    Senior Director, Engagement & New Initiatives Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy View Bio

    Kate is the Senior Director of Engagement and New Initiatives at the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. She is interested in the intersection of parks, design, art, conservation and community engagement and social/civic benefit. She leads the community engagement activities associated with major park infrastructure investment as well as variety ...

  • Helena Bjarnegård

    Head Landscape Architect City of Gothenburg, Park and Landscape Administration, Sweden View Bio

    Helena Bjarnegård is the Head Landscape Architect of the City of Gothenburg, Sweden, and a part of the management of the Parks and Landscape Administration within the City. The Parks and Landscape Administration is responsible for urban planning, focusing on green areas, as well as constructing, managing and activating parks, ...

  • Kathy Blaha

    President Kathy Blaha Consulting View Bio

    Kathy Blaha is the president at Kathy Blaha Consulting, LLC, a greater Miami/Fort Lauderdale consulting firm focusing on new program development and public private partnerships for parks. Kathy is a parks and public lands planner with expertise in local and regional engagement, and planning and governance solutions that support public ...

  • Frederick Bonci

    Founding Partner LaQuatra Bonci Associates View Bio

    Fred Bonci is a Founding Partner at LaQuatra Bonci Associates. He received a Bachelor’s of Science in Landscape Architecture degree from The Pennsylvania State University in 1973 where he received the ASLA Award of Merit for Excellence in the Field of Study in Landscape Architecture and is the 2015 recipient ...

  • Yvette Bowden

    Parks and Recreation Director City of Boulder, Colorado View Bio

    Yvette Bowden is Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Boulder, Colorado, responsible for 1,800 acres of urban park space and amenities. In 2017, her role was expanded to include executive leadership for Boulder’s downtown civic area redevelopment. Yvette came to Boulder after a successful stint as President and ...

  • Lionel Bradford

    President The Greening of Detroit View Bio

    Lionel Bradford is the President and Executive Director of The Greening of Detroit, a non-profit organization devoted to creating sustainable growth of a healthy urban community through trees, green spaces, food, education, training and job opportunities.

    As President, Lionel oversees strategic planning, program development and management, staff supervision, grant writing ...

  • Jonathan Brinsden

    Chief Executive Officer Midway View Bio

    Jonathan Brinsden serves as Chief Executive Officer of Midway. As one of four members of the Midway Executive Team, Jonathan guides the company's overall business strategy and operations.

    Jonathan joined Midway’s development team in 2001, was named Chief Operating Officer in 2008 and CEO in 2013. Prior to joining Midway, Jonathan served ...

  • Rob Cann

    Co-Founder & Chief Impact Officer Street Soccer USA View Bio
    Rob and his brother Lawrence founded Street Soccer USA in 2009. Street Soccer USA brings soccer to communities to help people of all ages and backgrounds discover their strengths and take positive steps forward in their lives. Rob earned a Masters in Sport Management from the University of San Francisco ...
  • Kevin Caravati

    Senior Research Scientist Georgia Tech View Bio
    Mr. Caravati is a Senior Research Scientist and Professional Geologist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), where he manages the Energy and Sustainability group. He has over 25 years of work experience and received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton, and an MS degree from the University ...
  • Terri Carta

    Associate Vice President Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks View Bio

    Terri Carta is Associate Vice President of the Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks, which teaches the critical role of urban parks and the importance of their care to creating vibrant, sustainable, and resilient cities.

    The Institute for Urban Parks engages park users and park managers in critical dialogue ...

  • Susan Chin

    Executive Director Design Trust for Public Space View Bio

    Susan Chin, FAIA, Hon. ASLA, Executive Director leads the Design Trust for Public Space, a nationally-recognized incubator that transforms and evolves the city’s landscape with public agencies, community collaborators, and private sector experts—architects, landscape architects, planners, artists, graphic designers, photographers--since 1995. She has overseen key projects, such as Five Borough Farm, Making Midtown, Under the Elevated, The ...

  • Connie Chung

    Director HR&A Advisors View Bio

    Connie Chung’s work focuses on emerging commercial corridors, placemaking, and economic development. She brings expertise in economic development, open space planning, and commercial revitalization to public- and private-sector projects at HR&A. Currently, she is serving as project manager in the business planning and implementation of a public-space programming plan in Boston’s ...

  • Patricia Clark

    Landscape Architect New York City Department of Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Patricia Clark has more than 20 years of experience designing parks and playgrounds for NYC Parks. She believes playgrounds can serve children as safe spaces to, both, let off steam through physical challenges and discover STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) principles through the environment and elements within. The ...

  • Deborah Cohen

    Senior Scientist RAND Corporation View Bio

    Dr. Deborah Cohen is a Sr. Scientist at the RAND Corporation and the author of the book “A Big Fat Crisis—the Hidden Forces Behind the Obesity Epidemic—and How We Can End It”. Her major area of research is on the impact of the built and social environments on health and ...

  • Kevin Conger

    Founding Partner and President CMG Landscape Architecture View Bio

    Kevin Conger is a founding partner and President of CMG Landscape Architecture in San Francisco.  His work is focused on creating positive social and environmental impact in the pubic realm of cities, particularly in the Bay Area.  He is an advocate for democratic public space and community based design, and ...

  • Priya Cook

    Principal Associate, Connecting Children to Nature National League of Cities View Bio

    Priya Cook leads the Cities Connecting Children to Nature (CCCN) initiative at the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education, and Families and its Children & Nature Network partners. The CCCN initiative helps municipal leaders and their partners ensure that all children have the opportunity to play, learn, and ...

  • Candace Damon

    Vice Chairman HR&A Advisors View Bio

    Candace Damon has devoted her 30-year career to crafting sustainable urban redevelopment strategies for cities across North America. Her specific areas of expertise include ensuring the long-term viability of urban open spaces, leading organizational planning for non-profits and institutions, supporting master planning efforts for large-scale revitalizations, and addressing the financial ...

  • Mary deLaittre

    Manager Great River Passage Initiative View Bio

    Mary deLaittre is the manager of the Great River Passage Initiative. Drawing on 25 years of community design experience, she conceives major city-building projects and develops sustainable organizational structures to ensure the long-term success of the projects.

    As founder and principal of Groundwork: The Foundation for City Building, she has ...

  • Anthony-Paul Diaz

    Executive Officer and Chief of Staff Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks View Bio

    Anthony-Paul (AP) Diaz is the Executive Officer and Chief of Staff for the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP). He is responsible for helping to manage and oversee all day to day operations of the Department, while assisting the General Manger in all governance and leadership matters related ...

  • Emily Douce

    Associate Director, Budget and Appropriations National Parks Conservation Association View Bio

    As the Associate Director of Budget & Appropriations for the Government Affairs team at National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), Emily Douce researches and advocates for additional funding for the national parks, both through appropriations and supplementary sources.

    She leads the National Parks Second Century Action Coalition comprised of travel and ...

  • Kara Dukakis

    Senior Vice President, Strong Families and Early Learning Director, Too Small to Fail The Opportunity Institute View Bio

    Kara Dukakis is Senior Vice President for the Strong Families and Early Learning Program Area at The Opportunity Institute, which includes the early childhood and working families policy portfolio, and Director of Too Small to Fail.

    Previously based at Next Generation, Too Small to Fail is a joint initiative with ...

  • Tiffany Eck

    Associate Director, Convention Services VISIT DENVER View Bio
    A graduate from Marquette University, Ms. Eck started her career in the hospitality industry as a banquet manager for Rock Bottom Restaurants. She then relocated to St. Louis, MO, to become a Travel Director for Maritz Travel Company. While there, Ms. Eck was recognized for her excellence in operations and ...
  • Taylor Emerson

    Strategic Planning Analyst San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department View Bio
    Taylor Emerson directs Strategic Planning for the agency and has a long tenure of collaborating to solve problems and improve public service. She has led projects internally and across divisions, with sister city agencies, local partners, and regional organizations. Emerson conducted the Department’s first Equity Analysis, and manages performance reporting ...
  • Jared Erdmann

    Epidemiologist Minneapolis Health Department View Bio
    For the last 15 years Mr. Erdmann has worked across sectors with community and institutional partners to conduct community-based research projects, needs assessments and program evaluations. His current role as Epidemiologist at the Minneapolis Health Department brings him in touch with a diverse range of public health projects, issues and ...
  • Caryn Ernst

    Consultant Cross-Sector Partnerships View Bio

    Caryn Ernst is an independent consultant with expertise in cross-sector partnerships, nonprofit board development and leadership, strategic planning, citizen engagement, facilitation, consensus building, and workshop planning.

    Currently, Ms. Ernst is developing the City Park Alliance’s PARKXCHANGE City Workshops, a training program to strengthen and expand cross-sector park partnerships that contribute ...

  • Tom Evers

    Executive Director Minneapolis Parks Foundation View Bio

    Tom Evers is the Executive Director of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation and has focused his career on strategically guiding organizations dedicated to parks, land conservation, and youth development.

    Before joining the Parks Foundation, Evers served as the founding Executive Director of Playworks Minnesota and spent a decade with the Trust for Public ...

  • Belinda Faustinos

    Executive Director San Gabriel Mountains Forever View Bio

    Belinda Faustinos has over 30 years of experience working on parks, natural resources and social justice issues. She served as the Executive Officer of the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy (RMC), a California State Agency for 10 years and as Deputy Director of the Santa ...

  • Robert Ferry

    Founding Director Land Art Generator Initiative View Bio

    Robert Ferry RA, LEED AP BD+C, is the Co-Founder of the Land Art Generator Initiative and Studied Impact Design. He has two decades of professional experience designing and managing high profile capital projects in the US and the UAE.

    He consults on design strategy for net-zero and net-positive buildings and ...

  • Adam Ganser

    Vice President for Planning and Design Friends of the High Line View Bio
    Adam Ganser’s professional history has focused on advocating for, designing, building and managing urban scale, mission driven public private projects. As Vice President for Planning and Design at Friends of the High Line (FHL), Adam oversees planning, design and construction of the High Line, as well as zoning advocacy and ...
  • Vivian Garcia

    Manager The 606 Park District View Bio

    Vivian Garcia is the Manager of The 606 at the Chicago Park District. She administers operations, oversees programming, and manages the private-public partnership with the City of Chicago, the Chicago Park District, and the Trust for Public Land. Vivian joined the Chicago Park District as a summer camp leader for ...

  • Jake Tobin Garrett

    Manager of Policy and Planning Park People View Bio

    Jake Tobin Garrett is a writer and park advocate in Toronto. He works as Manager of Policy and Planning for Park People, a charity that builds strong communities by animating and improving parks.

    Jake is the author of the reports Making Connections, which highlights public space strategies for intensifying ...

  • Frances Gershwin

    Chair Muddy River Restoration Project MMOC View Bio

    Fran Gershwin serves as the chair of the Muddy River Restoration Project Maintenance and Management Oversight Committee (the MMOC), created in 2002 by the Massachusetts Secretary of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs for the Muddy River Flood Control, Water Quality and Habitat Enhancement and Historic Preservation Project (the Muddy ...

  • Sherenia Gibbs

    Supervisor, Youth Development, Youthline Outreach Mentorship Program Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Sherenia Gibbs has served the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board in numerous leadership capacities over the past 26 years. She is currently the Supervisor of Youth Development and the Youthline Outreach Mentorship Program with the MPRB, supervising professional youth outreach and engagement staff.  She has trained 500+ staff in effective ...

  • Scott Gilmore

    Deputy Executive Director Denver Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Scott Gilmore is the Deputy Manager of Denver Parks and Planning. Denver Parks consists of 250 urban parks of close to 6,000 acres and the Denver Mountain Parks system made up of 22 parks, 24 conservation areas (14,000 acres total) and 2 bison herds.

    Scott graduated in 1994 with a ...

  • Phil Ginsburg

    General Manager San Francisco Recreation and Park Department View Bio

    Phil Ginsburg is the General Manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. With more than 4,100 acres and over 220 parks under its jurisdiction, the Recreation and Park Department stewards some of the most spectacular public spaces in the world, including Golden Gate Park, Coit Tower and the ...

  • Jonathan Goldberg

    Green Benefit District Program Manager San Francisco Public Works View Bio

    Jonathan Goldberg manages the Green Benefit District program at San Francisco Public Works. Launched in 2015 with the successful establishment of the Dogpatch & Northwest Potrero Hill Green Benefit District (GBD), the GBD program modified local business improvement district legislation for use in residential and mixed-use neighborhoods to fund parks ...

  • Nancy Goldenberg

    Vice President of Development & Planning Center City District View Bio

    Nancy recently rejoined the Center City District as Vice President of Development & Planning & and Executive Director of the Center City District Foundation, having previously served as its Vice President of Planning for 12 years. During that time she was responsible for managing the CCD’s strategic planning initiatives and ...

  • Elizabeth Goldstein

    President The Municipal Art Society View Bio

    Elizabeth Goldstein joined MAS as its President in February 2017. Founded in 1893, the Municipal Art Society has worked to inspire, educate, and empower New Yorkers to engage in the betterment of our city. Elizabeth has an extensive background in parks and historic preservation advocacy and management. Throughout her career, ...

  • Debra Guenther

    Partner Mithun View Bio
    Deb is a partner at Mithun, an integrated design firm in Seattle and San Francisco. Her diverse project experience includes work for private and non-profit clients, resulting in productive partnerships. Currently she is working with the City of Seattle as an advisor for the city-wide public space plan which seeks ...
  • Michael Hahm

    Director Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Mike Hahm is a lifelong Saint Paul resident and a dedicated career employee of the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department.

    Mike’s career began more than 30 years ago as a recreation center employee while he was finishing his business degree at the University of Saint Thomas. For the past ...

  • Michael Halicki

    Executive Director Park Pride View Bio

    Michael Halicki joined Park Pride in 2013 as its Executive Director. Michael manages staff and programs, supports the board, and leads advocacy, fundraising, public relations, and program development efforts. He joined Park Pride from Southface, an Atlanta-based nonprofit supporting green building and sustainable design, where he served as the organization’s ...

  • Amy Harmon

    Founder and Managing Partner Urban Market Partners View Bio

    Amy Harmon is the founder and managing member of single purpose real estate venture entities; founder and President of the Community Coordinating Metropolitan District No. 1. Amy has over twenty years of art and park based urban-infill Real Estate, Art Production and Community Development, Construction, Asset Management and Brokerage. She ...

  • Peter Harnik

    Founder, Center for City Park Excellence Trust for Public Land View Bio
    Peter Harnik is the founder of the Center for City Park Excellence at the Trust for Public Land and author of the book, "Urban Green: Innovative Parks for Resurgent Cities." He is also a co-founder of City Parks Alliance. Retired from TPL in 2016, he is now writing a book ...
  • Sophie Harris

    Executive Director Friends of Lafitte Greenway View Bio

    Sophie Harris has served as the Executive Director of Friends of Lafitte Greenway since 2014, a nonprofit organization that works to build, program, and promote New Orleans' Lafitte Greenway—opened in November of 2015—as a great public space. She leads the organization’s strategic direction and operations, implementation of community health programs ...

  • Lee Harrop

    Program Director Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. View Bio

    Lee J. Harrop has been the Program Director for Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. since 2008. Mr. Harrop oversees the implementation of the overall Atlanta BeltLine Program and ensures that the appropriate resources are available. Mr. Harrop coordinates with Project Managers from ABI, the City of Atlanta, and outside partners (Trust for ...

  • Ben Helphand

    Executive Director NeighborSpace View Bio

    Ben Helphand is the Executive Director of NeighborSpace, a nonprofit urban land trust dedicated to preserving and sustaining community managed open spaces in Chicago. NeighborSpace shoulders the responsibility of property ownership for a network of more than 100 flower, vegetable and prairie gardens across the City, so that community groups ...

  • Megan Higgins

    Project Manager Innovate Memphis View Bio

    Megan Higgins began work as Project Manager at Innovate Memphis in the Spring of 2014. As part of the Mayor’s priority to improve access to city services, Megan worked with Parks & Neighborhoods in developing the city’s first online reservation and permitting system for public park space. Currently, Megan is ...

  • Dave Hutch

    Manager of Planning and Research Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Dave Hutch is a landscape architect and the Manager of Planning and Research for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation in Vancouver Canada. Dave has a diverse range of public sector experience connecting with people, health, ecology and place within a diversity of public agencies responsible for urban design, ...

  • Vicki Israel

    Assistant General Manager Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks View Bio

    As Assistant General Manager, Vicki currently chairs the Partnership and Revenue Branch for the department. Her leadership and commitment is apparent by her tremendous success in the creation of the public/private Partnership Division to enhance and expand existing programs, services and facilities. She has accomplished this by the establishment of ...

  • Warren Jimenez

    National Urban Conservation Finance Director The Trust for Public Land View Bio

    Warren Jimenez is the National Urban Conservation Finance Director for the Trust for Public Land. As part of the Conservation Finance Team, he works with elected officials and park leaders to create new sources of public funding for parks through ballot measures and other alternative funding solutions.

    Prior to working ...

  • Lynn Kelly

    Executive Director New Yorkers for Parks View Bio

    Lynn Kelly joined New Yorkers for Parks as Executive Director in December, 2016, where she oversees the citywide independent organization championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.

    She previously served as the President and CEO of Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, a ...

  • Edward Krafcik

    Director of Partnerships and Business Development Soofa View Bio

    Edward Krafcik is the Director of Partnerships and Business Development at Soofa, a three year old startup spun out of MIT’s Media Lab. Soofa makes solar powered, technology enabled outdoor furniture for the mobile generation.

    A former landscape architect and urban planner with Design Workshop, his role at Soofa includes ...

  • Greg Lais

    Founder and Executive Director Wilderness Inquiry View Bio

    Greg's passion for connecting people to each other and to the natural world by sharing life’s many adventures is truly inspirational. As the Founder and Executive Director of Wilderness Inquiry (WI), Greg has directed WI program growth and development since 1978, collaborating with many along the way to build a world-class organization ...

  • Mia Lehrer

    President Mia Lehrer + Associates View Bio
    Mia Lehrer, FASLA is the founder of the Los Angeles-based landscape architecture and urban design firm, Mia Lehrer + Associates (ML+A), known for the design and implementation of ambitious public and private-sector projects including complex mixed-use development projects, urban revitalization initiatives, and neighborhood and regional parks. A native of El Salvador, ...
  • Kent Lovern

    Chief Deputy District Attorney Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office View Bio

    Kent Lovern is the Chief Deputy District Attorney for Milwaukee County. He oversees the administration of an office comprised of 125 attorneys and 150 support staff. He also oversees several crime-prevention collaborations between the District Attorney’s Office and other community partners. Kent has been a prosecutor for Milwaukee County since ...

  • Jennifer Mahar

    Senior Director of Civic Initiatives Fairmount Park Conservancy View Bio
    Jennifer joined the Fairmount Park Conservancy, the non-profit champion of Philadelphia parks, in 2012. As Senior Director of Civic Initiatives, Jennifer helps oversee the ‘Reimagining the Civic Commons’ project – an innovative, collaborative network of public space organizations in Philadelphia. Together, the collective will demonstrate the ways that civic assets can ...
  • Erin Mateo

    Deputy Director Brownsville Community Justice Center View Bio

    Erica Mateo is the Deputy Director at the Brownsville Community Justice Center (Justice Center), an operating project of the Center for Court Innovation. She is in charge of overseeing the launch and development of the Belmont Revitalization Project, the Brownsville Stronger Together Campaign, interest-based and employment readiness programming for at-risk ...

  • George Matysik

    Executive Director Philadelphia Parks Alliance View Bio

    George Matysik serves as Executive Director of the Philadelphia Parks Alliance, the leading advocacy, public policy, and community engagement non-profit for public spaces in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Since joining the Parks Alliance in September 2015, George led the successful advocacy efforts for largest investment in public space in the city’s history—the ...

  • Kellie May

    Director of Health and Wellness National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) View Bio
    Kellie May is Director of Health and Wellness at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and has a demonstrated background in helping local park and recreation agencies implement strategies to improve healthy eating and increase physical activity. For the past three years, Ms. May has lead NRPA’s initiative to ...
  • Tom McCann

    Communications and Marketing Director City Parks Alliance View Bio

    Tom joined City Parks Alliance in 2016 as the organization’s Communications & Marketing Director, a new position created to elevate and amplify the work of CPA and its growing member network.  He is managing CPA’s emerging issues platform including biennial paper, and monthly column as well as the organization’s communications, ...

  • John McConkey

    Marketing Insights Manager Landscape Structures View Bio

    John McConkey serves as Market Research and Insights Manager at Landscape Structures. He brings over 15 years of experience in the healthcare field, and offers a unique perspective on inclusion, health, fitness and children’s play on the playground.

    John researches and tracks societal and industry trends to help create innovative playground design solutions.  ...

  • Rebecca Stanfield McCown

    Director National Park Service Stewardship Institute View Bio

    Rebecca Stanfield McCown is director of the National Park Service Stewardship Institute at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont. She began her National Park Service career as a student employee at the Institute while completing her doctoral research. Since joining the Institute, Rebecca’s work has focused on youth program ...

  • Gary McCoy

    Policy and Community Affairs Manager San Francisco Recreation and Park Department View Bio

    Gary McCoy is a Policy & Community Affairs Manager for the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. Much of Gary’s focus includes interagency support within the City & County of San Francisco around homeless populations, public and private partnerships, and policy and programs that impact the City’s park system. The ...

  • Thom McKenzie

    Professor Emeritus, Exercise and Nutritional Sciences San Diego State University View Bio

    Dr. Thom McKenzie is Emeritus Professor of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at San Diego State University and former Adjunct Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego.

    A native of Canada, he is a former school teacher and administrator, the director of residential camping programs for obese individuals, and ...

  • Kimberly McKnight

    Project Coordinator and Cultural Resource Specialist City of Austin Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Kim McKnight is a Project Coordinator and Cultural Resource Specialist at the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department. She is currently the project leader for the Seaholm Intake Building Redevelopment and the Mexican American Cultural Center Master Plan. Recent projects include the award-winning Historic Austin Cemeteries Master Plan, Mt. ...

  • Jayne Miller

    Superintendent Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) View Bio

    Jayne has served as the Superintendent of the nationally renowned Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) under the direction of a nine member elected policy-making board since November 2010. The MPRB is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA), receiving its initial accreditation in 2010. ...

  • Elizabeth Monoian

    Founding Director Land Art Generator Initiative View Bio

    Elizabeth Monoian (MFA, Carnegie Mellon University) is the founder and director of Society for Cultural Exchange (SCE), an organization that is developing global partnerships between private and public entities around interdisciplinary projects that address issues of climate and sustainability through the lens of creativity. She works closely with cities, universities, ...

  • Hayley Mortimer

    Vice President of Regional Operations National Parks Conservation Association View Bio

    Hayley Mortimer is the Vice President of Regional Operations at the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), overseeing grassroots advocacy programs in 27 locations across the country.

    Previously, she led NPCA’s Center for Park Management (CPM), managing a variety of complex projects aimed at better connecting diverse populations to the larger ...

  • Anna Muessig

    Project Manager Gehl View Bio

    Anna Muessig is an Urban Planner specializing in making public spaces more inclusive through the intersection of urban policy, design, and cultural programming. She has written about trends in placemaking, artist live/work spaces, creative economy, and industrial urbanism.

    At Gehl, Anna has led program planning for the early activation of ...

  • Maria Nardi

    Deputy Director Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces View Bio

    Maria Nardi serves as the Deputy Director for Miami Dade County Parks where she is responsible for the development of department wide strategic frameworks that connect policy and implementation to guide local, state and federal legislative platforms and initiatives. She is responsible for community health planning, park stewardship operations and ...

  • Khanh Nguyen

    Portfolio Director, Healthy Living The Colorado Health Foundation View Bio

    Khanh Nguyen is the portfolio director for the Colorado Health Foundation. In this role, she leads the Healthy Living philanthropy team that focuses on reducing Colorado’s obesity rate by investing in nonprofits throughout the state. Previously, Nguyen served as a consultant for various local foundations including the Denver Foundation, Piton ...

  • Stephan Nofield

    Deputy Chief - Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Office National Park Service View Bio

    Stephan Nofield is the Deputy Chief for the National Park Service (NPS) – Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Office. He is also the Program Manager for the NPS Community Assistance Programs that focus on community-based conservation and outdoor recreation. Recently, Stephan worked as the NPS Liaison to the Assistant Secretary of ...

  • Craig Obey

    Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Families USA View Bio

    Craig Obey, a board member of City Parks Alliance, is the Deputy Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer at Families USA, a leading national voice for health care consumers. Families USA is dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care, and improved health for all, and has been a ...

  • Caroline O'Boyle

    Director of Programs and Partnerships for The 606 The Trust for Public Land View Bio

    Caroline O’Boyle currently serves at The Trust for Public Land as the Director of Programs and Partnerships for The 606. She is a seasoned arts, parks, and open space professional who served as the Director of Environment, Culture and Special Events for the Chicago Park District and as the Deputy ...

  • Kevin O'Hara

    Vice President of Urban and Government Affairs National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) View Bio

    Kevin O’Hara is NRPA’s Vice President of Urban and Government Affairs where he oversees NRPA’s federal advocacy efforts with Congress and the Administration. He also leads the organizations efforts to promote parks and recreation agencies as leading problem solvers in American cities. Most recently O’Hara was the Manager of Government ...

  • Jason Ohotto

    Chief Law Enforcement Officer Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Jason Ohotto is currently the chief law enforcement officer for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB). He has been a decorated member of the Minneapolis Park Police Department for more than 20 years and has held every rank and position within the agency. In August 2013, he was appointed ...

  • Amelie Sandow

    Project Manager, Parks and Landscape Administration City of Gothenburg, Sweden View Bio

    Amelie Sandow is a landscape architect and project manager for the Parks and Landscape Administration within the City of Gothenburg, Sweden.

    Amelie is currently responsible for the design and delivery of a new jubilee park in Frihamnen and a new district park in Skeppsbron, both as part of the large-scale ...

  • Matt Scharver

    Senior Watershed Team Leader Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District View Bio

    Matt Scharver is a Senior Watershed Team Leader for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, coordinating various water quality programs with Sewer District member communities, including operation and maintenance of green infrastructure implementation under the Sewer District’s Project Clean Lake consent decree program to control combined sewer overflows in the ...

  • Stephen Schenkenberg

    Strategic Communications Director Forest Park Forever View Bio

    As the Strategic Communications Director for the nonprofit conservancy Forest Park Forever in St. Louis, Stephen oversees communications strategy across the organization, from major fundraising campaigns to media relations, marketing initiatives to digital and social media. Since joining Forest Park Forever in 2013, Stephen has led the introduction of a new brand ...

  • Lisa Schroeder

    President and Chief Executive Officer Parks and People Foundation View Bio

    Lisa Schroeder is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Parks & People Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, established over 30 years ago to revitalize Baltimore’s neighborhoods and unite the city through parks. Parks & People envisions a Baltimore where everyone is connected to nature, their community and each other, through ...

  • Julie Segner

    Associate Director of Development Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh View Bio

    Currently, Julie Segner resides in the Northside neighborhood of Pittsburgh with her husband and adopted pitbull, Ginger, and cat Lucy. As a native resident of Pittsburgh, Julie has deep ties to the growth of the city, as she has watched many of the neighborhoods move from bust back to boom ...

  • Doug Shearer

    Senior Planner Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Doug Shearer is a senior planner with the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation in Vancouver, BC, Canada. A landscape architect by training, he has two decades of experience in both the private and public sectors throughout Canada, including planning, public engagement, and site design work at a variety scales ...

  • Beth Shogren

    Executive Director Green Minneapolis View Bio

    Beth Shogren has focused her career in project management, and enjoyed creating effective teams and relationships that deliver dynamic projects or initiatives that improve the community.

    She began her career in project management when she joined Watershed Partners, a Minneapolis based owners representation firm. As partner, she managed projects for high ...

  • Mitchell J. Silver

    Commissioner New York City Department of Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Mitchell J. Silver became Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation in May 2014. Commissioner Silver is also the immediate past president of the American Planning Association (APA). He is an award-winning planner with almost 30 years of experience and he is internationally recognized for his ...

  • Roy Simon

    Senior Advisor, Urban Waters Program Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds View Bio

    Roy Simon is lead staff for the Urban Waters Federal Partnership as well as a special assistant for the federal drinking water programs. He has previously managed the the prevention programs for the sources of drinking water at 160,000 water systems -- the Source Water Protection and Underground Injection Control ...

  • Camille Spratling

    Executive Director Railroad Park Foundation View Bio

    Birmingham native and former Railroad Park Foundation board member Camille Spratling became the Foundation's Executive Director in 2010.  Ms. Spratling has a broad background with Birmingham-area entities, having worked for the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce, Children's Hospital and Birmingham-Southern College.

    Ms. Spratling graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Birmingham-Southern College ...

  • Mary Ellen Sprenkel

    President and CEO The Corps Network View Bio

    Mary Ellen Sprenkel has been a long-time champion for youth. Mary Ellen started at The Corps Network in March of 2008 as Director of Government Relations. She was promoted to Vice President of External Affairs in 2011 and then appointed Interim CEO in May of 2012, prior to being selected ...

  • Rachel Steel

    Education Director and Grants Manager The Greenway Foundation View Bio

    Rachel has over 10 years of experience connecting adults and children with the natural world. She has worked for organizations around the country to organize outreach activities, plan and lead environmental education activities, develop and implement youth programs, build a more diverse body of volunteers, and secure funding for outdoor ...

  • Michael Stevens

    President Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District View Bio

    Mr. Stevens is the President of the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District, an organization he founded in 2006. For the past eleven years he has worked to achieve the vision of a vibrant, mixed-use, transit-oriented community that is a regional waterfront destination for Washington, DC. The Capitol Riverfront BID provides ...

  • Allison Stevens

    Senior Writer and Editor The FrameWorks Institute View Bio

    Allison Stevens is senior writer/editor at the FrameWorks Institute, a think tank in Washington, DC, that advances the nonprofit sector’s communications capacity by framing the public discourse about social and scientific issues. In previous roles, she wrote and edited communications materials for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AARP, the National ...

  • Doreen Stoller

    President Hermann Park Conservancy View Bio
    Doreen Stoller, Executive Director of Hermann Park Conservancy, has successfully led the Conservancy’s efforts to improve and maintain Houston’s Hermann Park for more than nine years. Prior to entering the nonprofit world, Ms. Stoller spent fifteen years in marketing and strategic planning in the high-tech industry. Under her direction, the ...
  • Dave Sutherland

    Interpretive Naturalist City of Boulder Open Space & Mountain Parks View Bio
    Dave Sutherland is an interpretive specialist with a Bachelor’s in biology and a Master’s in interpretation. He has over 20 years experience as a field naturalist, educator, researcher and program administrator in both the United States and Latin America (Costa Rica, Honduras, and the Galapagos Islands). Dave has produced educational ...
  • Eric Tamulonis

    Partner OLIN View Bio
    Eric Tamulonis is a landscape architect and partner at OLIN in Philadelphia, a design firm known for the creation of distinguished landscapes worldwide. He serves on the board of the City Parks Alliance and is a member of World Urban Parks and the Pennsylvania Urban Park and Recreation Alliance. A ...
  • Melvin Tennant

    President and CEO Meet Minneapolis View Bio

    Melvin Tennant, CAE, is president and chief executive officer of Meet Minneapolis, Convention and Visitors Association. He became the organization’s second CEO in 2008. He previously served in similar capacities in Charlotte, NC, San Antonio, TX and Oakland, CA.

    Since joining Meet Minneapolis, Tennant has overseen convention sales and marketing ...

  • Susan Trautman

    Executive Director Great Rivers Greenway View Bio

    Susan K. Trautman, CPRP, is the Executive Director of Great Rivers Greenway, a regional parks and trails district covering 1,200 square miles (St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County) and serving a population of two million people. She has been instrumental in advancing the region’s vision of ...

  • Richard Ubbens

    Director of Parks City of Toronto - Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Division View Bio
    Richard Ubbens is the Director of Parks for the City of Toronto, Parks, Forestry & Recreation Division. He is a Registered Professional Forester with 30 years of experience in the parks and urban forestry sector. He is the former Director of Urban Forestry and City Forester. Richard is responsible for ...
  • Pam Veinotte

    Field Unit Superintendent Rouge National Urban Park, Canada View Bio

    Pam Veinotte is the Field Unit Superintendent of Rouge National Urban Park – Canada’s first national urban park located within the country’s largest and most diverse metropolitan area. Throughout her lengthy Parks Canada career, Pam has demonstrated a spirit of collaboration and inclusion, forging numerous partnerships between the public, private ...

  • Stacie West

    Director of Parks Projects NoMa Parks Foundation View Bio
    Stacie West, AICP, is the Director of Parks Projects at the NoMa Parks Foundation, where she manages a $50 million grant for planning, acquisition, design, and construction of a new system of parks in the rapidly-developing NoMa neighborhood of Washington, DC. West was formerly a community planner and a Capital ...
  • Christopher Williams

    Deputy Superintendent/Chief of Staff Seattle Parks & Recreation View Bio

    Christopher has devoted his professional life to public service and is recognized both for his leadership and his responsiveness to the public he serves. He served as Acting Superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation, from 2009 to 2014, he currently serves as the Deputy Superintendent/Chief of Staff for Seattle Parks ...

  • Athelgra Williams

    Racial Equity & Community Outreach Coordinator Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board View Bio

    Athelgra Williams is the racial equity and community outreach coordinator at the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.  She is excited to play a role in the journey of the #1 park system transforming how all communities access the parks, its programs and services.  The role she plays embodies the intersectionality ...

  • Jane Park Woo

    Deputy Director Too Small to Fail View Bio

    Jane Park Woo is the Deputy Director for Too Small to Fail. She recently served as an early childhood education consultant, working with nonprofits and media organizations to develop research-based programs for young children, families, and communities.

    Jane was previously the Associate Director of Content in the Education, Research, and Outreach department at Sesame ...

  • Leonard Zax

    President Hamilton Partnership for Paterson View Bio

    Leonard Zax is a lawyer and a city planner. As a partner in the law firm Latham & Watkins he took on a pro bono cause: creating a national park in his hometown of Paterson, N.J. Leonard wrote the legislation and testified before Congress to establish the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park.

    William ...

  • Kyung-Jin Zoh

    Director, Environmental Planning Institute Seoul National University View Bio

    Kyung-Jin Zoh who was born in Seoul, studied landscape architecture at Seoul National University and completed his Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a professor in the Graduate School of Environment Studies at Seoul National University as well as the Director of the ...

  • Derek Zwickey

    Regional Vice President Delaware North View Bio

    Derek Zwickey is Delaware North’s Regional Vice President for their Parks and Resorts Division. He oversees operations at twelve general stores in Yellowstone National Park, four lodging properties in West Yellowstone, Montana – the western gateway to Yellowstone National Park, two hotels in Whitefish, Montana near Glacier National Park and ...

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    Tour And Mobile Workshop Leaders

  • John Anfinson

    Superintendent, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area National Park Service View Bio

    John O. Anfinson became Superintendent of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area in August 2014. The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area is a unit of the National Park System that runs through the Twin Cities, Minnesota.

    John has been researching, writing and speaking about the upper Mississippi River ...

  • Kathleen Anglo

    Landscape Architect Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Kathleen Anglo is a licensed landscape architect in the City of Saint Paul Department of Parks and Recreation. The scope of her work spans design and implementation of small park redevelopments and playgrounds, large regional trail projects, regional park master plans, brownfield redevelopment, and the City of Saint Paul’s first ...

  • Becky Braun

    Asset Management Service Area Foreman Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio
    Becky Braun has worked for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board for over 20 years in the operations field. She has worked in every area of the Minneapolis Park system, but has spent the last ten years as a supervisor in the North and Northeast areas of the city. Becky’s ...
  • Kent Brevik

    Athletic Specialist Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Kent Brevik has spent the last 26 years with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. His career started as a Youth Program Specialist. After working with youth for 6 years in the Minneapolis parks, he transitioned into athletics, where he is currently an Athletic Specialist with the MPRB and has ...

  • Ann Calvert

    Principal Project Coordinator City of Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development View Bio
    Ann Calvert is a Principal Project Coordinator with the City of Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED). A life-long Minneapolis resident with a degree from the University of Minnesota School of Architecture, her over 40-year professional career at CPED and its predecessor agencies (the Minneapolis Community Development ...
  • Bruce Chamberlain

    Parks Fellow Minneapolis Parks Foundation View Bio

    Bruce Chamberlain is a nationally recognized urban designer with over 25 years of private, public and non-profit experience. He is the founding principal of LOAM, an urban strategies practice with a mission to propel implementation of complex city-building initiatives. In January 2015, he was named “Minneapolis Parks Fellow”, a seat ...

  • Sarah Chillo

    Aquatics Coordinator Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Sarah Chillo is an Aquatics enthusiast with over 20 years’ experience, including 16 years working the waters with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Sarah coordinates diverse Aquatic programs and leads the Lifeguard teams that operate at all the beaches, waterparks, and pools.

    A swimmer at heart, she runs the ...

  • Erica Chua

    Event Coordinator Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio
    Erica Chua has enjoyed a 15-year career in parks and recreation and has been with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board for the last three. As Event Coordinator for the MPRB, she helps coordinate the largest Fourth of July event in Minneapolis and assists in organizing the 250+ concert Music and Movies in the Parks ...
  • Rachel Coyle

    Urban Forester Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Rachel Coyle is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has worked for the City of Saint Paul’s Forestry section for ten years, and has been coordinating the Emerald Ash Borer Management Program for the last eight years. Rachel is an International Society of Arboriculture – Certified Arborist & ...

  • Rachel Crabb

    Water Resources Supervisor Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Rachael Crabb is in the 15th year of her water resources career and has been with the Minneapolis Park Board since 2005. As Water Resources Supervisor for the MPRB she coordinates water quality sampling activities in Minneapolis lakes, streams, beaches, storm water, and the Webber Natural Swimming Pool.

    She enjoys the many ...

  • Aaron Dysart

    City Artist in Residence Saint Paul View Bio

    Aaron Dysart is a sculptor whose objects and environmental interventions push ideas of propriety, gift giving, and reciprocity, while showcasing his love of material’s ability to carry content. A City Artist in Residence for Saint Paul, Aaron is also a current fellow in St. Paul Public Art’s - City Art ...

  • Jenna Fletcher

    Program Director The Trust for Public Land View Bio
    Jenna Fletcher is a Program Director for the Trust for Public Land which creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Jenna leads the Parks for People program in the Twin Cities, focused on ensuring that everyone enjoys close-to-home access to a park, ...
  • Kate Frye

    Special Events Coordinator - Harriet Island Saint Paul Parks and recreation View Bio

    Kate Frye is the Harriet Island Special Events Coordinator for the City of Saint Paul Department of Parks and Recreation. She has worked for the City of Saint Paul for 19 years in a variety of roles and has been the Harriet Island Special Events Coordinator for the past seven years.

    Kate is a Certified Festival ...

  • Don Ganje

    Landscape Architect (retired) City of Saint Paul View Bio

    Don Ganje, a registered landscape architect, retired from the City of Saint Paul with over 40 years of experience. Mr. Ganje was recognized as a Fellow in 2012 by the American Society of Landscape Architects for his outstanding design of public open spaces. Some of his notable projects include Mears ...

  • Anne Gardner

    Landscape Architect Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Anne Gardner is a Landscape Architect with a breadth of experience in private, public, and non-profit work in the field of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design. She currently works for the City of Saint Paul in the Design and Construction section of the Department of Parks and Recreation as a ...

  • Lindsey Geyer

    Archival Consultant Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board View Bio

    Lindsey Geyer has been working as an archival consultant with the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board for nearly three years. Having previously worked with the Children’s Literature Research Collections, and the Walker Art Center’s Library and Archives, Lindsey has a background with a broad range of archival needs and practices....

  • Stacy Gillings

    Citywide Special Events Coordinator Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Stacy Gillings is the Citywide Special Events Coordinator for the City of Saint Paul Department of Parks and Recreation. She has worked for the City of Saint Paul for 32 years in a variety of roles and has been the Citywide Special Events Coordinator for the past seven years. She ...

  • Timothy Griffin

    Placemaker Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul View Bio

    Tim Griffin is an urban designer, teacher, former Director of Urban Design at the Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Design Center. For over three decades he has played a leading role in community design and placemaking, focusing on waterfronts, transit corridors, ...

  • Brian Hall

    Recreation Facility Specialist II Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Brian Hall is currently a full-time Recreation Facility Specialist II for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board where he has been employed for 24 years. Born and raised in Northeast Minneapolis, Brian graduated from DeLaSalle High School and received a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota.

    Brian ...

  • Theresa Heyer

    Watershed Forester USDA Forest Service View Bio

    Theresa Heyer has worked for the USDA Forest Service since 1981 and has worked in watershed planning, environmental education, and public relations and outreach. Her work with the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom includes serving as the current chair of the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom Advisory Committee and an ecosteward. Teri ...

  • Marcia Holmberg

    Natural Resources Coordinator Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Marcia Holmberg is the Natural Resources Coordinator for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. As the Natural Resources Coordinator she and her Conservation Corps of Minnesota youth crews maintain the special natural areas throughout the park system. Marcia’s favorite park is Theodore Wirth with its diverse habitats of oak forest, ...

  • Marc Holtey

    Recreation Facility Specialist Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Marc Holtey has been employed full-time with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) for 17 years. His initial MPRB work experience was as a volunteer and part-time staff.Since then, he has served at several different park sites.

    Marc currently serves as a Recreation Facility Specialist at Kenwood Park. He ...

  • Ron Horwath

    Recreation Facilities Specialist Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Ron Horwath began working for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) in February 2016 as the Recreation Facilities Specialist at Morris Park. He previously worked at the City of Maplewood as the Aquatic Program Supervisor and Community Center Operations Manager.

    Ron has a B.S. in Physical Education and recently ...

  • Brett Hussong

    Landscape Architect Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio
    Brett Hussong is a Landscape Architect with the City of Saint Paul Department of Parks and Recreation. He has a background with agricultural and animal production from growing up on a rural farm. He sees urban farming and the design profession as avenues to promote healthy lifestyles and environmental stewardship ...
  • Greg Ingraham

    Consultant Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Greg Ingraham is a true renaissance man having worked as a city planner, parks and recreation director, landscape architect, public artist, and adjunct professor. Greg has helped to shape many of the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota's most beloved parks, open spaces, trails, and bikeways. He brings his knowledge of ...

  • Paul Jaeger

    Service Area Manager Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Paul Jaeger has worked for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) for over 30 years beginning as a teenager keeping track of the basketballs and serving popcorn at his neighborhood park. He is currently the Service Area Manager overseeing multiple year-round facilities in South Minneapolis.

    Paul has extensive programming experience ...

  • Mimi Kalb

    Director of Athletic Programs, Aquatics and Ice Arenas Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Mimi Kalb is the Director of Athletic Programs, Aquatics and Ice Arenas for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. She oversees citywide youth and adult athletic leagues, athletic facility permitting, citywide aquatics, recreation volunteers and indoor ice arenas. Mimi has worked with MPRB for fifteen years.

    Mimi is a CPRP ...

  • Melanie Kleiss

    Executive Director Lower Phalen Creek Project View Bio

    Melanie Kleiss is the Executive Director of the Lower Phalen Creek Project. Most recently she worked as a public interest environmental litigator, and co-owned and served as CEO of a mechanical engineering company. In the past she has also worked as a bird bander, water tester for the Chippewa River ...

  • Kathy Korum

    Deputy Director Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio
    Kathy Korum, M. Ed, CPRP, has worked in multiple operating divisions within the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department over a span of four decades and has served as the department’s Deputy Director for the last 8 years. Korum’s dedication to the educational value of parks and recreation has been ...
  • Gary Korum

    Operations Division Manager Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio
    Gary Korum, CPRP, has served as the Operations Division Manager for Saint Paul Parks and Recreation since 2010, after having held numerous titles within the Department’s golf course and maintenance work units since 1983.  As the Operations Division Manager, Gary oversees the Department’s Forestry, Grounds Maintenance, Building Maintenance, Building Trades, ...
  • Liz Kraus

    Powderhorn Recreation Center Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Liz Kraus migrated to Minneapolis from the east coast (of Wisconsin). Throughout her 22 years with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Liz has enjoyed her work in a variety of facilities, focusing on athletics and special events. Currently assigned to Powderhorn Park, she spends her days thinking creatively to ...

  • Meg Krueger

    Education Programs Manager Wilderness Inquiry View Bio

    Meg has over ten years of experience in education and a lifetime love for outdoor adventures; she has found a happy marriage of the two through her work at Wilderness Inquiry.

    Meg works with urban school districts across the U.S. to align classroom content with outdoor learning opportunities through Wilderness ...

  • Kate Lamers

    Landscape Architect Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Kate Lamers is a landscape architect with experience in urban redevelopment and park planning and design.  At the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) Kate is focusing on transforming the city around the Mississippi River.

    Kate has worked with numerous communities throughout the Midwest to transform underutilized waterfronts into public ...

  • Janette Law

    Director of Communications & Strategic Partnerships Minneapolis Parks Foundation View Bio

    Janette Law is the Director of Communications & Strategic Partnerships with the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. She grew up in the 1980s experiencing the Mississippi River from multiple vantage points: From a canoe and a rope swing out over the water, and by exploring the derelict remains of the Central Riverfront’s ...

  • Tyler McKean

    Program and Facility Manager Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio
    Tyler McKean is a certified parks and recreational professional who oversees the aquatics and winter sports programs for the City of Saint Paul. His career has focused on programming for youth and families with an emphasis on outdoor activities. 
  • Alice Messer

    Landscape Architect City of Saint Paul View Bio

    Alice Messer is a landscape architect for the City of Saint Paul. She manages the design and construction division that includes a team of 12 professional staff that are responsible for developing and implementing design and construction projects throughout our parks and recreation system.

    She is passionate about working collaboratively ...

  • Dana Murdoch

    Design Project Manager Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio
    Dana Murdoch is an architect and design project manager in the Planning Division of the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board focusing on building facilities, bringing more than 20 years of design and construction experience to Minneapolis parks. She is honored to be managing such a unique, iconic, and complex project ...
  • Bryan Murphy

    Landscape Architect Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Bryan Murphy is a landscape architect with nearly 18 years of public project experience. For the past 12 years, Bryan has been with the City of Saint Paul Department of Parks and Recreation providing design and construction of projects ranging from park master plans, play areas, trails, athletic fields, and ...

  • John Myles

    Coordinator, Streetreach Program Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    John Myles has had the pleasure of working with youth for 30 years plus, working for the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation for the past 20 years as Youth specialist, Behavior specialist, Gang Coordinator, and currently serves as the Coordinator for the MPRB Streetreach Program.

    He is pursuing his B.A.in Psychology ...

  • Jamie Neldner

    Assistant Director of Recreation Centers and Programs Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Jamie Neldner is the Assistant Director of Recreation Centers and Programs with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB). He has lived in Minneapolis since 1994 when he began his career with the MPRB as a Recreation Intern. His current duties include oversight of the 47 full-service neighborhood recreation center programs and ...

  • Colleen O'Dell

    Park Planner/Designer Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio
    Colleen O’Dell is a Park Planner/Designer who has worked in the Strategic Planning division of Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board since 2012. Her work focuses on community engagement, policy development, creative design, and graphic illustration of urban parks and public spaces. She also paddled around the St. Croix River working ...
  • Patricia Ohmans

    Director Frogtown Green View Bio

    Patricia Ohmans co-led the grass-roots neighborhood campaign to create Frogtown Park & Farm. Building on the success of that campaign, Ohmans now directs Frogtown Green, a environmental sustainability initiative in Saint Paul's most vibrantly diverse neighborhood. Frogtown Green volunteers manage six neighborhood greenspaces, including a community tree nursery, two pollinator ...

  • Matty O'Reilly

    Restaurateur Saint Paul and Minneapolis View Bio

    Matty O'Reilly is a successful restauranteur in the Twin Cities, spending most of his working career in the restaurant business. He currently owns and operates Republic, an award-winning craft beer bar and restaurant in Minneapolis and at MSP Airport, the Red River Kitchen food truck and catering business (along with ...

  • Bianca Paz

    Landscape Designer Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio
    Bianca studied Architecture in Ecuador followed by a specialization in City, Public Space and Culture in Barcelona, Spain. Her experience working in urban revitalization projects with private and public firms in Quito, Barcelona and Miami led her to her studies for a Masters in Landscape Architecture.  Since graduating from the ...
  • Tyler Pederson

    Landscape Architect and Design Project Manager Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Tyler Pederson is a Landscape Architect and Design Project Manager with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. He has been in the profession for 12 years, five of which have been at the MPRB.

    Tyler specializes in site design, master planning, and bike and pedestrian trail planning, including natural surface mountain ...

  • Iris Pahlberg Peterson

    Customer Service Team Lead Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Iris Pahlberg Peterson, Customer Service Team Lead, has a diverse professional background, including work in public education, private sector, and nine years at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Iris has created and facilitated numerous training programs tailored specifically for those who work in the field of parks and recreation. ...

  • Beth Pfeifer

    Design Project Manager Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Beth Pfeifer is a Design Project Manager at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Beth joined MPRB after working for 15 years in the design and real estate development industry. At MPRB Beth is responsible for managing capital improvement projects including design and construction of rehabilitation projects, new facilities, and ...

  • Debra Pilger

    Director of Environmental Management Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Deb Pilger is the Director of Environmental Management for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and has worked in a multitude of environmental and management roles during her 20 plus years at the MPRB. Most of her work has focused on park operations, with roles in park operations research, ...

  • Heidi Pope

    Director of Youth Development Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio
    Heidi Pope has worked in the youth development field for 30 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in human services and master’s degree in business. Heidi is currently Director, Youth Development, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, overseeing citywide children and youth programs and services. She has developed recreation, mentoring, outreach, ...
  • Philip Potyondy

    Sustainable Forestry Coordinator Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Philip Potyondy likes trees and people. He is a proud University of Minnesota graduate with both an MS & BS in Urban Forestry, an International Society of Arboriculture - Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist, Tree Care Industry Association - Certified Treecare Safety Professional, an avid Arborator, and a founding member of ...

  • MaryLynn Pulscher

    Environmental Education Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    MaryLynn Pulscher has worked for the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board for more than 20 years and oversees the MPRB’s Environmental Education (EE) programs, projects, sites, and events. EE encompasses year around naturalist programs serving all 49 recreation centers, the oldest public wildflower garden in the country, aquatic invasive species ...

  • Jennifer Ringold

    Deputy Superintendent Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Jennifer Ringold has enjoyed 17 years at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board in positions ranging from Park Community Planner to Deputy Superintendent. As the Deputy Superintendent, she leads the MPRB’s support services departments and projects across the organization, including developing naming policies and overseeing partnership agreements.

    She is a ...

  • Adam Robbins

    Environmental Coordinator Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Adam Robbins has twenty years of experience working on natural resources restoration projects within the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Adam has managed the Environmental Services program for the City of Saint Paul Department of Parks and Recreation for twelve years. The scope of Environmental Service’s work spans native plant community, ...

  • Jim Rock

    Program Director Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium at the University of Minnesota Duluth View Bio

    Jim Rock is the Program Director of the Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium at the University of Minnesota Duluth where he teaches ethno- and archaeoastronomy. Jim, a noted Dakota scientist and educator, also incorporates indigenous star knowledge in portable GeoDome planetarium presentations to many thousands who can see Earth from space ...

  • Michael Schroeder

    Assistant Superintendent of Planning Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Michael Schroeder is a landscape architect in the Planning Division of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. His past work ranges widely, including transportation design, development master planning, site design, and environmental remediation for projects across the US.

    At the Park Board, Michael leads the planning and development of city’s ...

  • Ben Shardlow

    Director of Urban Design Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District View Bio

    Ben Shardlow is an urban planner and designer focused on the public realm of Downtown Minneapolis. For the Minneapolis Downtown Council, he advocates for implementation of the public space goals in the 2025 Plan through infrastructure projects, redevelopments, and special projects.

    For the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District, he runs the ...

  • Ralph Sievert

    Director of Forestry Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Ralph Sievert is the Director of Forestry for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and has been working in the field of Urban Forestry for over 30 years…over 20 of those years have been spent as Director of Forestry overseeing the tree care operation of MPRB Forestry Department.

    He holds ...

  • Scott Smedburg

    Youth Specialist Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Scott “Marius” Smedberg is born and raised in Minneapolis. He is a Youth Specialist for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and has helped develop several language, culture, and literacy programs over the last fifteen years. A Co- Coordinator of the Village Parks Language and Leadership program since 2001, Marius also serves ...

  • Chris Stark

    Architect Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Chris is a licensed architect working for the City of Saint Paul’s Parks and Recreation Department. His perspective in design and architecture is grounded in a passion for global travel and the study of history and cultures as revealed through the built environment.

    Prior to working for the City of ...

  • Alan Starr

    Maintenance Foreman for Asset Management Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Alan Starr has enjoyed more than 26 years of service with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), starting his career as a seasonal maintenance worker and moving forward through promotions to his current position as Maintenance Foreman for Asset Management. Minneapolis parks have given Al a lifetime of great experiences, ...

  • Ellen Stewart

    Landscape Architect Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio
    Ellen’s circuitous path to parks and recreation included an undergraduate degree in psychology and sociology and work in social services prior to getting a master’s degree in landscape architecture. Her experience provides a unique perspective on the practice of planning and designing parks and open space with a focus on ...
  • Katrina Hartz Taylor

    Manager Sun Ray Library View Bio

    Katrina Hartz Taylor is the Manager of the Sun Ray Library where she provides an urban community with a variety of nature based learning opportunities. With over 15 years of experience at the Saint Paul Public Library, Katrina has had the joy of working with Saint Paul Parks and Recreation ...

  • Angie Tillges

    Fellow Great River Passage View Bio

    Angie is the Great River Passage Fellow. She is a public space artist and educator who is skilled at working with public institutions and community organizations on projects of social, artistic, and ecological importance. She leads projects that provide people the opportunity to make personal and lasting connections with public ...

  • Andy Trcka

    Commission Chair Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio

    As a native of St. Paul, employee of Minnesota’s Department of Transportation, and cyclist of 7000+ miles annually, Andy is acutely familiar with the roads of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Andy is an active member of two St. Paul bicycle clubs and is always excited to share the unique geography, history ...

  • Don Varney

    Landscape Architect City of Saint Paul View Bio

    Don Varney started his Landscape Architecture career with the City of Saint Paul in 1990, just as the City started a major Mississippi Riverfront improvement initiative. He has worked on nearly every riverfront project since then including the Harriet Island Public Dock, Harriet Island Renovation, the creation of two new riverfront parks, ...

  • Andrea Weber

    Project Manager Dakota County View Bio

    Andrea is a licensed landscape architect and worked as a Project Manager for MPRB from 2008-15. During this time she did projects throughout the city with an emphasis on Wirth Park. Projects in Wirth ranged from creek restoration to natural surface trails and boardwalks to two phases of Wirth Beach ...

  • Tricia Wehrle

    Volunteer Coordinator Saint Paul Parks and Recreation View Bio

    Tricia is the Volunteer Coordinator for Saint Paul Parks and Recreation’s Natural Resources Section. After three years working for the Fargo Park District as a Program Coordinator, she has returned to her home state of Minnesota to catalyze stewardship and community through education and service.

    The projects that Tricia oversees ...

  • Jeanne Whitehill

    East Phillips Recreation Center Director Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Jeanne Whitehill has spent the last 27 years of her career with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.  She is currently the Park Director for East Phillips Recreation Center and enjoys working with the community members to bring quality programs to the neighborhood.

    When she is not working she loves ...

  • Susan Wilkins

    Garden Curator, Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board View Bio

    Susan Wilkins has been busy for the last fourteen years caring for the 15-acre Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary in her role as Garden Curator. At the Wildflower Garden she has focused on working with staff and volunteers to expand nature-based education opportunities for youth and adults, cultivate ...