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"It is a happy talent to know how to play."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

BOARD

REBECCA SWANGER

President of the Board

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Rebecca is an occupational therapist at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, NJ where she has worked since 2018. She works with patients of all ages, helping them regain their independence after illness or injury. During her time at the hospital Rebecca has developed a new appreciation for the value of play for people of all ages to promote healthy and independent living.

Rebecca has experience working with children in a variety of capacities from child care to early education to outpatient pediatric occupational therapy. It was through these experiences that Rebecca first developed her love and appreciation of play. As an occupational therapist, Rebecca believes that it is necessary to make play accessible to all individuals of all ages and abilities to promote healthy living and education.

RICHARD ROARK

Vice President of the Board

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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.

SUSAN BEST

Treasurer and Secretary of the Board

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Susan was a traffic engineer for more than 30 years before becoming the Executive Director of the Engineer’s Club in Philadelphia. 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 Philadelphia Region Future City Competition, National Society of Professional Engineers, Institute of Transportation Engineers, West Philadelphia Alliance for Children, and the Garden Court Condominium Association Board.

BETSY CAESAR

Member of the Board

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Betsy, former president of Playcare, Inc., playground designer and playground safety expert, believes that all play and learning settings should be “safe, healthy and supportive of the growth process.” She maintains that a good playground design is “a space where children can explore themselves and their world with as few rules and as little adult interventions as possible.”

Betsy has designed over two hundred outdoor playgrounds and has been involved with over seventy-five safety projects. She has spoken at conferences, conducted workshops, published articles, and produced videos concerning playground safety. She has served on the advisory group of the Pennsylvania Academy of Pediatrics - Early Childhood Education Linkage System (ECELS), and in 1997 and in 2001 she was given their Award of Excellence.

NANDO MICALE, FAIA AICP PP

Member of the Board

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An architect and urban planner/designer, Nando believes that activation of public space across age and abilities is central to good urbanism.

Nando has a career that spans 35+ years and a 25-year academic career at the University of Pennsylvania. Some notable collaborations include the Civic Vision for the Central Delaware River, Minneapolis’ Upper Mississippi Master Plan, Omaha By Design Urban Design Framework, and the revitalization of disadvantaged neighborhoods across 23 states and DC.

Leading LRK Inc.’s Philadelphia practice, Nando is currently working in Memphis on the design and implementation of a six-phase, mixed-income neighborhood centered around a new public park. “After hours” he is co-leading Penn’s Urban Design Studio and works with Philadelphia’s Community Design Collaborative, Design Advocacy Group, and sits on the ULI Small Impact Development Council.

STEPHANIE RIVERA FENNIRI, MS, MPA

Member of the Board

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Stephanie Rivera Fenniri is a doctoral student and Fontaine Fellow studying City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design. Stephanie’s research focuses on the migration of Latinx immigrants from the Global South to the U.S. and how Latinx immigrants are creating positive economic, cultural, political, and social impacts in U.S. cities. Prior to her doctoral studies, Stephanie worked for more than ten years as a nonprofit professional and social impact strategist and founder of RK Impact, a global social impact consultancy based in Philadelphia and has experience managing more than $40 million in grant funding and providing oversight for federal, state, and private grants.

Stephanie holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice and a Master of Public Administration in International Administration and Development from the University of Texas at Arlington. Stephanie is a 2022 Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Awards Finalist, 2021 AL DÍA 40 under Forty Honoree, and in 2019 was the recipient of the University of Pennsylvania's Excellence in Social Impact Award. Stephanie has lived in Philadelphia since 2018 and loves enjoying Philadelphia’s parks and green spaces.