Carlos Perez, ASLA, Project Manager/ Parks Planner – Perez Planning and Design
Carlos is one of the leading parks planners in the United States, known for his creativity, passion, and tireless focus on customer service. He and David have worked together for the past ten years on projects similar to Cape Coral.Carlos has led the development of Parks and Recreation Master Plans for over 20 communities including Washington DC, Buckhead (Atlanta), Palm Coast, Oviedo, and NorthPort. He is also a Board Member of Park Pride in Atlanta, one of the nation’s leading local park advocacy organizations.
Elisabeth Manley, Landscape Architect, Manley Design, LLCC.
Elisabeth Manley is a registered landscape architect with over seventeen years of experience in the design of parks, trails, and transportation-related projects throughout Florida. She is the principal of Manley Design, LLC, a landscape architecture and site planning firm located in Gainesville, Florida, that serves a variety of public and private clients. Elisabeth serves as a park and trails advocate as a board member and Florida Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects representative on the Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation. She has also been a member of the City of Gainesville’s Public Parks and Recreation Advisory Board since 2013. Elisabeth holds a Master in Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Florida with a thesis focus on ecological greenway planning.
Jay Exum, PhD, Wildlife Ecologist – Exum Associates
Jay received his Ph.D. in wildlife ecology from Auburn University in 1985, and began consulting in central Florida at that time. Dr. Exum has provided ecological expertise on issues including threatened and endangered species, wetlands ecology and mitigation, and municipal conservation planning. He has represented private businesses, local governments, public agencies, NGO’s and nonprofits to create conservation strategies, land acquisition programs, and comprehensive plans that assure protection of landscape linkages, and tracts of natural lands. He led the ecological practice for the planning and design firm of Glatting Jackson for 15 years and recently established Exum Associates with an objective to deliver strategies for natural resource conservation for public and private clients in the Southeast.
Ken Ballard, Recreation Facilities and Programs Planner – Ballard * King
Ken has over 25 years’ experience in recreation facility operation and planning. In his work with Ballard*King & Associates, Ken has personally been involved with over 300 recreation facility projects across the country, providing planning, feasibility and operations consulting. Ken is an accomplished speaker on a variety of topics regarding recreation facility planning. He has presented sessions for numerous state conferences, several NRPA Congresses and is a regular presenter for the Athletic Business Conference.
Neelay Bhatt, Vice-President, PROS Consulting INC.
Neelay’s career on three continents includes Disney, The Super Bowl, The Summer Olympics and Paralympics Games, besides several years of consulting, speaking and training. TEDx, the global platform for ideas, describes him as a business and communications visionary and his service on the Executive Committee of the National Recreation and Park Association’s Board of Director is committed to ensuring that ‘no child is left indoors’.
He is routinely invited to speak to and train executives, professionals, and students globally ranging from United States to China and from Europe to India. From Anchorage, Alaska to Allentown, Pennsylvania and from Charlotte to China, his approach focuses on innovating and partnering to serve an increasingly diverse audience and to create a guest experience of the highest quality. In addition, as the Vice President at PROS Consulting, he has led strategic planning, master planning, sports facility development, financial sustainability, customer service training, marketing and branding projects that are helping to shape a better vision for cities all over the world.
Neelay is an avid martial arts and tennis fan and shares a passion for the Olympic Games and ideals. He is married and has a young son who he hopes will grow up to know that true friends are not made on a computer but in a park, playground or a sports field.