CLEMSON – The US Play Coalition housed in the Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department in the College of Health, Education, and Human Development, has named Carly Summers as its first executive director. She will work closely with the US Play Coalition Co-Chairs and founders Fran Mainella and Dr. Brett Wright to continue to build the success and presence of the Coalition regionally, nationally, and internationally.
“We are so thrilled to have Carly as our first ever Executive Director of the US Play Coalition. She has the skills, personality, and drive to advance the Value of Play in all of our lives,” shares Fran Mainella, Co-Chair of the US Play Coalition, Visiting Scholar at Clemson University, and 16th Director of the National Park Service.
Summers has worked for the Coalition as its Administrator since August of 2012. She played a major role in the success of the 2013 Conference on the Value of Play which attracted over 300 participants and 70 plus educational sessions. Since her hire, she has contributed to the growth of the US Play Coalition network, which now has over 1,800 individuals. Her inner knowledge of the Coalition along with her personal commitment to the Value of Play make her a valuable asset to the program, and she will begin immediately with planning the 2014 Conference on the Value of Play and supporting other Coalition initiatives.
“I believe the last eight months have prepared me well, and I look forward to continuing a close working relationship with Director Mainella and Dr. Wright. I hope you will all celebrate with me by going out to play today, tomorrow, and the next day,” said Summers.
Summers earned a Bachelor of Science with Distinction from the Calhoun Honors College and a Master of Science in wildlife and fisheries biology from Clemson University. In addition to her formal education, Summers has participated in numerous leadership and character building activities including raising a service dog for Canine Companions for Independence, completing two National Outdoor Leadership School courses, and serving as a camp counselor for Eagle’s Nest Camp in Pisgah, North Carolina. She balances communication, technical, and leadership skills with a playful spirit that will enable her to help the Coalition move forward.
The US Play Coalition is a partnership to promote the Value of Play throughout life. Its initiatives include an annual Conference on the Value of Play, Certificate of Completion programs in Play Facilitation and Playground Maintenance, monthly newsletter correspondence, and upcoming publication of Action Position Papers, the creation of a Speakers Bureau, and Play Ambassadors. The 2014 Conference on the Value of Play will take place February 15-19 at the Madren Center at Clemson University. Learn more and become involved at the US Play Coalition website: http://usplaycoalition.clemson.edu/.