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2010 Speakers & Presenters

Keynote Speaker

Steve Coleman has forged community park partnerships across the District of Columbia, and he is a leader in the growing international urban parks movement, assisting urban park partnerships across the country and beyond. Beginning with the youth drive he co-founded 30 years ago to restore a forgotten stream valley park, Coleman has mobilized tens of thousands of people and raised millions of dollars to reclaim, restore, and revitalize once-forgotten parks. As Executive Director and President of Washington Parks & People, he leads the capital's 20-year-old alliance of public/private parks partnerships, managing partnerships for park restoration and park-based community health, job training, and education.

Coleman's work has won commendations from the Conservation Fund, the National Park Foundation, the National Congress for Community Economic Development, the National Park Service, the United States Park Police, and the President of the United States (Partnership Leadership Award). A trustee of the National Recreation and Park Association and the City Parks Alliance, he has been guest speaker at numerous regional, national, and international parks conferences. Coleman also serves as chair of Parks for Life: the International Urban Parks and Green Space Alliance.

Presenters: Harvey Ruvin

Harvey Ruvin has 35 years of public service that includes 20 years as a Miami-Dade County Commissioner. Throughout his career, he has proven to be a successful advocate for the environment. As a County Commissioner, Mr. Ruvin sponsored ordinances, referenda and projects that protected the environment, including a $90 million tax levy for the purchase and maintenance of endangered lands, the re-nourishment of Haulover Beach and the restoration and enhancement of Biscayne Bay.

Serving on numerous civic organizations and councils, Mr. Ruvin has made an impact on national and international levels. He was a delegate to the United Nations World Congress for a Sustainable Future, a member of President Carter's Council on Energy Efficiency and President Clinton's Sustainable Communities Task Force of the President's Council on Sustainable Development, and most recently, Mr. Ruvin is Chair of the Board of County Commissioners Task Force on Climate Change.

Jack Kardys

Jack Kardys ­is the Director of the accredited Miami-Dade Park & Recreation Department, the third largest park system in the country with 262 parks on 12,668 acres of land. It serves 2.5 million residents and 10 million visitors annually. Dedicating his career to public service, he has served the Department for more than 29 years. Daily, Miami-Dade Parks plays a vital role in developing a healthier, more comfortable and environmentally-conscious lifestyle in Miami-Dade County. Its facilities, programs and services have been recognized with the NRPA National Gold Medal Award and the 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award for excellence in management. The Parks and Open Space System Master Plan has established the blueprint for further improving the quality of life in Miami and transforming it into a more livable, loveable and sustainable place to live. Together with the collaboration of community partners, the plan will enhance the community's health, environment, social well-being, and its economic prosperity.

Kevin Caravati

Kevin Caravati is a Senior Research Scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), the applied research arm of the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has nearly 25 years of experience in environmental programs, working primarily in the Southeast. He received his B.S. degree in Geology from the University of Dayton, Ohio, and a M.S. in Geology-Hydrogeology track from the University of South Florida. He earned an MBA from the Stetson School of Business and Economics at Mercer University in Atlanta. He began work with GTRI in 2002.

The Red Fields to Green Fields project was initiated in Atlanta in July 2009 with the Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and has been expanded to include five additional cities in ­the US. Scientists, engineers, economists, policy makers, and a broad range of stakeholders are engaged on this national effort to address economic challenges and the potential opportunities.

Peter Neal Wood

Peter Neal Wood, MPA has served on the staff of the Health Foundation of South Florida in Miami, Florida since January 2001. Within his current position as Vice President of Programs and Community Investments, he is responsible for the development and management of all grantmaking programs and processes. He is the Chair of the Miami Dade County Health and the Built Environment Committee, a part of the Consortium for a Healthier Miami Dade. Peter also serves as on the Board of Directors and as Treasurer of Grantmakers in Aging.

For the seven years prior to joining the staff at the Foundation, Peter conducted research and provided public management consulting on a range of state health and social issues at the University of Washington's Institute for Public Policy and Management. Before his employment at the University of Washington, he earned a Masters in Public Policy and Administration from that University's Daniel J. Evans Schools of Public Affairs.

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