Policy Forum: All In For Parks Speakers | Cal Parks

Policy Forum: All In For Parks Speakers


Senator Mike McGuire (SD-2) 

Senator Mike McGuire is a lifelong Californian. His family farmed the Golden State’s rich soils for decades and he was raised by two incredibly strong women, his mom and grandma. Mike and his mom struggled growing up. He’s been working full-time since he was 16, helping put himself through college. Mike is the third highest ranking member of the Senate and the youngest Assistant Majority Leader in decades. He’s been a champion for our kids and public schools. He went to the mat and won against President Trump on offshore oil drilling, led the charge in the legislature on wildfires, and is a leading voice in holding PG&E accountable. And no one has been more successful at securing resources to combat homelessness and build affordable housing in rural California. Mike and his wife Erika, an elementary school principal, call Sonoma County home with their lazy pug, Gertrude. 

Assemblymember Ash Kalra (CA-27)

Assemblymember Ash Kalra (CA-27) 

Assemblymember Ash Kalra was first elected to the California Legislature in 2016, representing the 27th District, which encompasses approximately half of San Jose and includes all of downtown. In 2018, he was re-elected to his second term. Assemblymember Kalra has established himself as a leader on issues ranging from criminal justice reform to the environment, as well as health care sustainability, housing affordability, growing our transportation infrastructure, and expanding economic opportunity to all Californians. He is the first Indian-American to serve in the California Legislature in state history. 


Director Armando Quintero, California Department of Parks and Recreation 

Armando Quintero was named director of the California Department of Parks and Recreation in August 2020. An experienced parks professional with expertise in park operations, outdoor education, equity and access, and diversity and inclusion in hiring and retention, Quintero is an environmental scientist by training. Since 2015, he has been executive director of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute at the University of California, Merced, where he was also director of development from 2008 to 2014. He has also served as a member of the California Water Commission since 2014. 


Jay Chamberlin, Chief of Natural Resources Division, California State Parks 

Jay Chamberlin is the chief of California State Parks’ Natural Resources Division, where he leads a team of professional scientists and land managers responsible for the department’s resource protection and management policies, programs, and budgets. He has been in this position since 2010. Prior to his work with State Parks, Jay led an ecosystem restoration program for the Department of Water Resources and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Natural Resources Agency. He holds a BA from UC Berkeley and an MS from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. 


Sharon Danks, Founder and CEO, Green Schoolyards America 

Environmental city planner, Sharon Danks (MLA-MCP), is Founder and CEO of Green Schoolyards America, a nonprofit based in Berkeley, California. Since 1999, her professional work and passion have focused on transforming asphalt-covered school grounds into park-like green spaces that improve children’s well-being, learning, and play while contributing to the ecological health and resilience of our cities. She is working toward a future where all children will have access to the natural world in the places they already visit on a daily basis at school. Sharon is also a co-founder of the International School Grounds Alliance, the author of the book Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation, and an Ashoka Fellow. Sharon is the Coordinator of the National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative which Green Schoolyards America co-founded in June 2020 with Ten Strands, The Lawrence Hall of Science, and San Mateo County Office of Education


Robert Doyle, General Manager, East Bay Regional Park District 

Robert Doyle is a seasoned veteran of the parks and open space field with a career spanning 45 years. He currently serves as General Manager of the East Bay Regional Park District, the largest local park agency in the United States. EBRPD has 1,000 employees serving a diverse population of users in an urban interface setting, with 22 million visitors per year to its 73 parks and 1,250 miles of trails on over 135,000 acres of open space in Alameda and Contra Costa counties with 8 lakes, 10 interpretive centers, 55 miles of SF Bay shoreline and 3 State Parks. 


Josh Fryday, California Chief Service Officer, CaliforniaVolunteers 

Josh Fryday was appointed California's Chief Service Officer by Governor Newsom to lead service, volunteer and civic engagement efforts throughout California. Fryday is a military veteran and the former Mayor of Novato, his hometown. He also served as President of Golden State Opportunity (GSO), leading on the expansion and implementation of the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and other programs to provide financial security to millions of low-income working people in California. Prior to GSO, he served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for NextGen Climate, a leading national organization focused on climate change and clean energy. Fryday served in the military as an Officer in the United States Navy (‘09-‘13) as a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG). He was stationed in the Office of Military Commissions, working on the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detainee cases, and testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the closing of Guantanamo. He also served overseas in Yokosuka, Japan, where he augmented the Navy’s 7th Fleet’s Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief efforts during ‘Operation Tomodachi’ following the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. Fryday is married to Mollye Fryday, a public school teacher, and they have three energetic young boys, Shay, Calvin and Tam. 


Vianey Moreno, Lead Naturalist, Community Nature Connection 

Vianey’s first role that unfolds her work in environmental justice started with co-founding an environmental club in her high school with some of her closest friends with the help of a grassroots organization, Pacoima Beautiful. Vianey has a background of mentoring as a Program Assistant in Young Warriors Youth Mentoring Program at Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural, with programming and event planning while working alongside youth of color in using the arts, entrepreneurship, ancestral teachings, and wisdom, as tools for self-empowerment, healing, and economic equity. Vianey's journey with Community Nature Connection (CNC) started in 2016 as a participant in the Naturalist Explorers (NE) program. After graduation, Vianey became a lead for the NE program; allowing her to apply her youth mentoring work to the next cohort while also expanding as a passionate outdoor educator.  Vianey is engaged in policies and bills that ensure the accessibility of green sustainable spaces for park-poor and food desert communities.  


Marnin Robbins, Interpretive Program Manager, California State Parks North Coast Redwoods District 

Marnin Robbins is the interpretive program manager for the North Coast Redwoods District of California State Parks. His team conveys the story of the tallest trees on Earth, and the people who have lived among them since time immemorial. He has worked in the interpretive field for 26 years, and has spent his career helping diverse audiences connect with, and safeguard, parks and other outdoor spaces. He holds an MS in Natural Resources Planning and Interpretation (Humboldt State University, 2005). 


Darry Sragow, Senior Counsel, Dentons 

Darry Sragow is Senior Counsel at Dentons law firm, where he counsels clients on issues including education, energy, the environment, health care, insurance, media and technology, and transportation. Sragow is a former California Deputy Insurance Commissioner, Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the California State Board of Equalization, and in Washington served on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs and former Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana. For nine years Sragow served as the chief campaign strategist for the California Assembly Democratic caucus. He has also managed campaigns for the U.S. Senate in California and for governor in California and Washington State. Sragow has served on a number of non-profit boards, currently including the California State Parks Foundation, Constitutional Rights Foundation and University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School. 


Dr. Emily Young, Executive Director, The Nonprofit Institute in the University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences 

Dr. Emily Young is Executive Director of The Nonprofit Institute in the University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences. She also serves on the boards of California State Parks Foundation, Environmental Grantmakers Association, and the International Community Foundation. She has spent over 20 years in various positions in philanthropy and higher education. Before the University of San Diego, she served as Vice President of Community Impact at The San Diego Foundation, where she built its Environment Program with grant making initiatives around climate change, conservation and outdoor access, and clean air/water protection. She also managed initiatives on civic engagement, youth development, and neighborhood revitalization.