Industry Leaders Announced for Keynote “Power PLAYer Panel”

The US Play Coalition is proud
to announce the latest addition
to the keynote lineup for the
2018 Conference on the Value of Play: The Many Faces of Play

Some of the biggest names in the industry will come together for our kickoff keynote session – the “Power PLAYer Panel.”  Tackling the theme of “The Many Faces of Play” from research, health, accessibility, inclusion and museum perspectives, this is a discussion NOT to be missed!

Fran Mainella – Founder/Co-Chair of the US Play Coalition & Former Director of the National Park Service
Fran Mainella served as the 16th Director of the National Park Service from 2001 – 2006. She was the first woman to hold this key position. Prior to heading the National Park Service, Mainella served for twelve years as Director of Florida State Parks. She has also served as executive director of the Florida Recreation and Park Association and as president of both the National Recreation and Park Association and the National Association of State Park Directors. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at Clemson University Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management and the founder and co-chair of the US Play Coalition.

Erwin Tan, MD – Director of Thought Leadership – Health for AARP
Dr. Erwin Tan is a board-certified internist and geriatrician. He previously served as the director of Senior Corps at the Corporation for National and Community Service, where he oversaw the RSVP, Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs. From 2004 to 2010, he served as an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he was an attending physician in the Division of Geriatric Medicine. From 2003-2004, Dr. Tan was a White House Fellow serving as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Before coming to the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, he was a member of the Bio Terrorism Working Group at the Department of Public Health in San Francisco. Dr. Tan was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserves.

Sherril York, Ph.D. – Executive Director of the National Center on Accessibility
Dr. Sherril York is committed to the full inclusion of people with disabilities in parks, recreation and tourism.  York oversees NCA operations, the cooperative agreement between Indiana University and the National Park Service, collaborative partnerships and national initiatives.  York has over 30 years of experience in accessibility and disability in physical activity development, recreation activities, and adapted sports. She can often be found talking directly to practitioners in the field on methods to successfully include people with disabilities.  York has provided consultation to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Stature of Liberty and Ellis Island, Central Park Conservancy, Grand Canyon National Park and a number of exhibit design companies on accessible exhibits.  Currently, she serves on the program planning committee for the National Recreation and Park Association Congress.

Laura Huerta Migus – Executive Director, Association of Children’s Museums

Laura Huerta Migus is the executive director of the Association of Children’s Museums, an international membership organization dedicated to advancing the work of children’s museums and early learning in informal settings. She is a passionate advocate for  the powerful learning experiences and environments museums offer – especially for children and families that are traditionally marginalized in formal learning systems. Ms Huerta Migus, previously of the Association of Science-Technology Centers, Inc. (ASTC), brings more than a decade of experience in developing and implementing professional development experiences and international partnerships for creating culturally responsive and inclusive educational and organizational environments. Previous appointments include positions at the National MultiCultural Institute and the National Association for Bilingual Education.

The Conference on the VALUE of Play
The Play Conference, as it is commonly known, is an annual educational conference presented by the US Play Coalition. The latest research and practices in the field of play are presented at the conference, which brings together play researchers, park and recreation professionals, educators, health scientists, architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, business and community leaders, psychologists, physicians and parents from across the U.S. and beyond. The three day event includes keynote and featured speakers, round tables on critical issues and trends, research symposium for academics, educational sessions for practitioners, action and research grant opportunities, PLAYtalks and PLAYinstitutes, networking, EPIC play breaks and more.