Richard Louv is a journalist and author of eight books about the connections between family, nature and community. He is best known for his seventh book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, which investigates the relationship of children and the natural world in current and historical contexts. Louv is also the founding chairman of the Children & Nature Network at, an organization helping build the movement to connect today's children and future generations to the natural world. Louv has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Times of London, and other major publications. He has appeared on many national TV shows, including NBC's Today Show and Nightly News, CBS Evening News, ABC's Good Morning America, and NPR's Morning Edition, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation. Louv was also an advisor to the Ford Foundation's Leadership for a Changing World award program. He serves on the board of directors of ecoAmerica, the editorial board of Ecopsychology, and is a member of the Citistates Group. He has appeared before the Domestic Policy Council in the White House as well as at major governmental and professional conferences, nationally and internationally, most recently as keynote speaker at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference.
Jeff Speck, AICP, CNU-A, LEED-AP, Hon ASLA
Speck & Associates, LLC
Jeff Speck is a city planner and architectural designer who, through writing, lectures, and built work, advocates internationally for smart growth and sustainable design. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, he oversaw the Mayors' Institute on City Design and created the Governors' Institute on Community Design, a federal program that helps state governors fight suburban sprawl. Prior to joining the Endowment, Mr. Speck spent ten years as Director of Town Planning at Duany Plater-Zyberk and Co., a leading practitioner of the New Urbanism, where he led or managed more than forty of the firm's projects. He is the co-author of Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream as well as The Smart Growth Manual. He serves as a Contributing Editor to Metropolis Magazine, and on the Sustainability Task Force of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. His new book, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time, is now available in print, digital, and audio format.
Nico Rizzo, PhD
School of Public Health, Loma Linda University
Dr. Rizzo is an assistant professor completing a postdoctoral research fellowship with the AHS. He obtained a Masters of Science degree from the Justus Liebig Universität in Gießen, Germany and a PhD in Medicine from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. He was a recipient of the European Union Socrates/Erasmus Scholarship for studies conducted at Karolinska Institutet previous to his PhD studies. His doctoral research focused on the associations between physical activity, cardio respiratory fitness and metabolic risk factors. His work was done in collaboration with the European Youth Heart Study (EYHS) whose main aim is to study the nature, strength and interactions between personal, environmental and lifestyles influences on CVD risk in European children of differing age, sex, culture and ethnicity.
Bryan Oshiro, MD
School of Medicine, Loma Linda University
Lambert Lumey, PhD, MD
Kiti Freier-Randall, PhD
School of Medicine, Loma Linda University
Dr. Kiti Freier-Randall is a Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Psychologist with an extensive background working with high-risk infant and youth populations for over 20 years. As a consultant for Children's Network and First Five San Bernardino, She works with the San Bernardino County SART centers, Desert Mountain SELPA and San Bernardino County Preschools in California. She holds an academic appointment in the Departments of Pediatrics and Public Health at Loma Linda University & Children's Hospital in California and at Andrews University in Michigan.
Dr. Freier-Randall obtained her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science. She completed an internship and fellowship in High Risk Pediatrics at Henry Ford Hospital and Northwestern University. She has had a considerable academic career with professorship positions at the University of Miami, Brown University, Andrews University and Loma Linda University. She has been an investigator on several NIH, Federal, State, and Private Foundation grants.
Daniel Handysides, DrPH, CHES, CHG
School of Public Health, Loma Linda University
Dr. Daniel Handysides is a fourth generation Adventist who was born to missionary parents in Lesotho, Southern Africa. He moved to Toronto, Canada at age 7 and completed high school there. He attended Andrews University obtaining a BS in Zoology. It was at Andrews that he met his beautiful wife, Sandra. After Andrews University, Daniel spent 12 months living and working with the Miskito Indians in the rainforests of northeastern Nicaragua. Returning to the U.S.A., he completed both an MPH in Environmental Public Health, and a DrPH in Health Education at Loma Linda University. Currently he is holding dual appointments at both LLU-SPH and the United Arab Emirates University: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. At both universities he holds an assistant professor appointment. He has a passion for helping the under served and disadvantaged.
Gary Hopkins, MD, DrPH, CHES
Gary L. Hopkins, MD, DrPH, MPH is currently an associate research professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he is also associate director of the Institute for Prevention of Addictions, Director of the Center for Prevention Research and Director of the Center for Media Impact Research. He is also on the faculty of the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University. Gary holds doctorates both in Medicine and Public Health and a Master of Public Health Degree with an emphasis in International Health. He has extensive experience in international research. His current research includes a study designed to measure the impact of the Internet on families in the Pacific Northwest and also how drugs are impacting the lives of youth in North Idaho with an emphasis on methamphetamine use. Gary presented his research findings in approximately 65 countries where he works with communities and governmental agencies to design effective programs to prevent high-risk behaviors among adolescents.
Mark Friis, AICP, LEED-AP
Creator of the Inland Empire Biking Alliance. Mr. Mark E. Friis serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Rodgers Consulting Inc. Mr. Friis has been involved in a number of community and professional activities, including serving on the boards of the Frederick Chamber of Commerce, the Maryland State Builders Association, the Montgomery County Chamber, and the Black Rock Center for the Arts. He has been an Independent Director of Sandy Spring BanCorp Inc. and also its subsidiary Sandy Spring Bank, Inc since September 1, 2005. He is a 1992 graduate of Leadership Montgomery, a 1996 graduate of Leadership Frederick, and 1999 graduate of Leadership Maryland. Mr. Friis holds a BA in Urban Studies from the University of Maryland and a Master's Degree from Hood College in Public Affairs.
Azusa Pacific University
Forty five year old Christian Okoye hails from Rancho Cucamonga, California. He was originally from Enugu, Nigeria and came to the United States to attend college. He was educated at Azusa Pacific University where he earned his bachelor's degree in athletic training and physical education. After completing his studies, he joined the NFL and played professional football for the Kansas City Chiefs. Shortly after he retired, he founded the Christian Okoye Foundation, a charity organization whose primary mission is to help kids find their passion for sports and use this to enhance their educational and personal goals. This organization is involved in hosting free athletic clinics handled by well-known professional athletes for at-risk and underprivileged youth. Okoye also owns a health and fitness business involved in the trade of protein powders and multivitamins. His other hobbies include jogging, lifting weights, golf, movies and travel.
Institute for Urban Design
Mr. Stepner has more than thirty-five years of experience in leading, managing, and participating in comprehensive planning programs and the development of public policy. During his 27-year tenure with the City of San Diego, from 1971 to 1997, he was responsible for myriad projects and programs, including the city’s general plan and growth management efforts and the preparation of community plans for both older and newly developing communities. His diverse experience includes advising other cities in addition to the education of people wishing to learn more about cities, city planning, and urban design. He was director of Land Use and Housing for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation from August 2001 to August 2003 and serves as professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the NewSchool of Architecture & Design and as adjunct faculty at Woodbury University in San Diego and University of California San Diego. In addition, he serves on the faculty of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as a member of the Advisory Board of the Academy for Neuroscience and Architecture, and as a member of the Advisory Board of the Active Living, Planning, and Environmental Study.
Andrew Dannenberg, MD, MPH
University of Washington
Affiliate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and in the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he teaches courses on healthy community design and on health impact assessment. He is also a consultant to and formerly Team Leader of the Healthy Community Design Initiative in the National Center for Environmental Health, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. For the past decade, his research and teaching has focused on examining the health aspects of community design including land use, transportation, urban planning, and other issues related to the built environment.
Dale Kunkel, PhD
University of Arizona
Professor of Communication at the University of Arizona; spent more than 20 years studying children and media issues; former Congressional Science Fellow and has testified as an expert witness at numerous hearings before the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and Federal Communications Commission; his research has examined such topics as children’s educational programming, media and sexual socialization, the effects of televised violence, and most recently the issue of food marketing to children and its contribution to childhood obesity. He was recently named a Fellow of the Morris Udall Center for Public Policy Studies and also received the International Communication Association’s Outstanding Public Policy Research Award in 2007.
Ernie Medina, DrPH
Beaver Medical Group, MedPlay Technologies
Dr. Medina is a preventive care specialist who has spent the last 13 years working at Beaver Medical Group in Redlands, CA helping patients of all ages overcome lifestyle-related diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. In light of the growing pediatric obesity epidemic, Dr. Medina and MedPlay Technologies are collaborating with California State University of San Bernardino to conduct research on the effectiveness and viability of "exertainment" as a tool in the fight of this epidemic. Dr. Medina is also the originator and co-founder of MedPlay Technologies LLC, a first-of-a-kind center combining the latest in exergaming equipment and professional programming for total wellness in the family. He recently incorporated exergaming into MedPlay's Family FitZone class, a pediatric and family weight management class.
Ellen Ann Wartella, PhD
Ellen Wartella is the Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-thani Professor of Communication and professor of psychology, human development and social policy, and medical social sciences at Northwestern University. She is Director of the Center on Media and Human Development and chair of the Department of Communication Studies. She is a leading scholar of the role of media in children’s development and serves on a variety of national and international boards and committees on children’s issues. She is co-principal investigator on two National Science Foundation grants: a three year multi-site grant entitled “Media Characters: the Unhidden Persuaders in Food Marketing to Children (2013-2016)” and a five year multi-site grant entitled “Collaborative Research: Using Educational DVDs to Enhance Young Children’s STEM Education (2013-2018).”
Dr. Wartella currently serves on the Board of the World Summit Foundation and the Public Good Projects. She is a Trustee of Sesame Workshop and serves on the PBS Kids Advisory Board. She is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. She is a past member of the Board on Children, Youth and Families at the National Academy of Sciences and served on the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine’s Study on Food Marketing and the Diets of Children and Youth (2006); she chaired the Committee on Examination of Front of Pack Nutrition Rating Systems and Symbols (2010-2011) at the Institute of Medicine; she was a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Accelerating Progress on Obesity Research (2010-2012) and the Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity (2012-2013). She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Research in Child Development and is past president of the International Communication Association.
Vidhya Krishnamurthy, PhD
School of Medicine, Loma Linda University
Arezou Salamat, OTD, MOT, OTR/L
School of Allied Health, Loma Linda University