Meghan Talarowski

Founder, Director, President of the Board

Meghan believes that play environments in the United States can, and should, be better.

She has degrees in architecture and landscape architecture, over a decade of experience in the design field and is a certified playground safety inspector. She is currently researching how the design of play environments impacts the physical health and social behavior of children in the United States and abroad.

She has presented her research at conferences held by The Association for the Study of Play and the US Play Coalition, as well as the American Society of Landscape Architects online learning series. She was a winner in the 2016 international Play Space design competition, a winner in the 2016 Kaboom Play Everywhere Challenge, and a finalist for two projects in the 2015 Knight Cities Challenge.

She is a co-author of Transects, the 100 year history of the Landscape Architecture Department of the School of Design of the University of Pennsylvania, published in 2013. She has been published in Landscape Architecture Magazine, Context: The Journal of AIA Philadelphia, GRID Magazine, the Atlantic, Curbed and PlanPhilly.

KATE ZMICH

Vice President of the Board

Kate is passionate about holding play as a key value for healthy, happy communities. 

Kate is the Director of Programs and Fun at Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse, where she has been working in various roles since February 2011. In her current position, Kate is a play advocate; she builds on knowledge and intuition about play and provides accessible and replicable play opportunities to support families and communities in building and maintaining cultures of play.

Kate has experience with community design-build project volunteering with Public Workshop, and in early childhood classrooms as an assistant and lead preschool teacher at the Wellesley College Child Study Center and the Brookline Children's Center. She studied how children learn through play at Wellesley College and the University of Delaware.

SUSAN BEST

Secretary of the Board

Susan was a traffic engineer for more than 30 years before becoming the Executive Director of the Engineer’s Club in Philadephia. In her role, Susan developed and maintained program, organizational and financial plans; established public awareness, community support and interest in engineering; publicized activities and programs; and managed professional development and educational programs.

She retired in 2014 and now focuses on her volunteer efforts as a member of numerous boards and organizations, such as the Future Cities Competition, National Society of Professional Engineers, Institute of Transportation Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, West Philadelphia Alliance for Children, Boy Scouts of America and the Garden Court Condominium Association Board.

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rebecca swanger

Treasurer of the Board

Rebecca is currently receiving her Master’s of Occupational Therapy at University of the Sciences in West Philadelphia. She is excited about graduating in January 2019. 

Rebecca has extensive child care experience and has been working at an outpatient pediatric occupational therapy clinic in Philadelphia for several years. 

Through her past work experience and her education, Rebecca has gained an extensive knowledge of child development and believes strongly in the importance of play for healthy physical, psychological and social-emotional development.

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richard roark

Member of the Board

Richard believes that to achieve a truly equitable society, the expression of our cities should be rooted in the human experience and our relationship to the earth.

Richard is a partner at OLIN, a landscape architecture and urban planning firm, which he joined in 2001. He has managed some of the studio's most complex projects, such as the U.S. Embassy in London and Dilworth Plaza, as well as competition entries for Rebuild by Design and Living Cities.

He is an active participant in public design advocacy and has been recognized as an outstanding volunteer by Philadelphia's Community Design Collaborative.