Daniel Nakamura

Daniel is the co-founder of Let’s Play America and owns Booth-o-Rama Photobooths, which serves the Washington Metro Region. Daniel loves to document kids in action and promotes play through his photography. 

Joann Robertson

Joann represents the playground inspection and repair firm on Long Island, NY.  Joann frequently contributes photos and safety-related articles to numerous publications. Joann attended Springfield College and graduated with degrees in Outdoor Recreation and Environmental Science. She writes a blog found here!

Emily Schreiner

Emily worked as an intern for LPA during the summer of 2019 and has been assisting periodically since then. She holds a Master’s degree in public health from The George Washington University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. Emily currently lives in Virginia and works for the National Association of County and City Health Officials. She is passionate about public health, health equity, community resilience, and improving health outcomes through lifestyle and mental health.

Cherwanda Oliver

Cherwanda is a mother of three wonderful daughters and has resided in Takoma Park Maryland for 34 years. She has been a community volunteer with Let’s Play America since 2010 and acquired the name “The Mud Pie Lady” for her playful antics??  She is also involved in several other local community committees and organizations.

Louise Bensen

Louise has an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood and Human Development and a Masters in Educational Psychology with a specialty in Early Childhood. Her career has included preschool teacher, School Psychologist, Clinical Supervisor and Special Education Director in a day treatment program for children, and an English as a Second Language Teacher in China and Spain. Louise has observed the power of play to support social skills, emotional healing, learning and healthy development.

Jen Byrne

After graduating from the University of Maryland with a BA in advertising design, Jen has designed for national museums, Fortune 500 companies, and international non-profits for the last 25 years. In 2005, she founded her graphics company Live.Create.Play. LLC®. In 2013, Jen formed Little Main Street Playhouses, LLC®  a playhouse/art activity product company. Her special gift is in helping others express their unique vision to be seen and make their mark in the world—adults and children alike! 

Dave Flanigan

Ever since he was a little kid, Dave loved to play! Whether it was hanging upside down on a playground, riding his bike or wading in the stream at the local park, being outside was his favorite thing to do. Dave is a graduate of SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, NY.

Over the last 20 years, Dave has been a leader in the nonprofit and public sectors focusing on developing, directing and evaluating national and local programs. 

Dr. Stuart Brown
Honorary Advisor

Stuart Brown, MD is the founder of the National Institute for Play, where he speaks, consults and educates organizations, corporations, universities, and public policy makers about the importance of play in our lives and the unexpected, serious consequences that occur when play is neglected. His background in psychiatry, the evolution of human and animal play, as well as his clinical research into the causes and prevention of violence, have shown him that authentic play is a state of being which can be accessed and used by everyone, and that play is as important to humans as vitamins or sleep.

Dr. Donna Graham
Honorary Advisor

Dr. Donna Graham is Nu State’s 2nd Vice President for Leadership Development. She has served on the State level as President, First Vice President, chair of World Fellowship and Technology Committee. 

Donna retired as a teacher from the District of Columbia Public Schools in June 2009.  During her tenure, she also held positions as America’s Choice Coordinator and Assistant Principal. Among her many accomplishments, she is most proud of being the District of Columbia Teacher of the Year (1995.)

Dr. Marcy Guddemi
Honorary Advisor

Dr. Marcy Guddemi is widely recognized as an expert in early childhood education, learning though play, and developmental assessment.  As former CEO/Executive Director of Gesell Institute of Child Development on the Yale campus, Dr. Guddemi passionately led the Institute from 2007-2015 in its mission of promoting the principles of child development in all decision-making for young children worldwide.  

Dr. Guddemi is the Treasurer for Defending the Early Years (DEY).  She also is an active member of International Play Association (IPA) and an officer in the American Association for the Child’s Right to Play (IPA/USA).