Staff and Leadership | Playworks

Playworks for every kid

Staff and Leadership

Ellen McCarty
Executive Director

The opportunity to play with rubber balls, to engage donors to create transformational moments for children and schools in Georgia, and to work for an organization with a proven track record were a few of the compelling reasons Ellen McCarty joined Playworks Georgia as executive director.

Ellen has over 20 years in nonprofit executive leadership roles, including executive director of The Center for Children and Young Adults in Cobb County; executive director of Jerusalem House in Atlanta; President and CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Georgia and Alabama; and vice-president and interim CEO of Prevent Blindness Georgia, all of which have provided a rich framework and a myriad of experiences. She serves as an instructor for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits/Nonprofit University, Foundation Center – Atlanta and has consulted with nonprofits on topics ranging from best practice boards, fundraising, program development, and other related topics.

She is passionate about the work of the nonprofit sector and believes that Peter Drucker’s quote “nonprofits’ purpose is to change lives” should be the rallying call for all nonprofit organizations.  

In her spare time, Ellen enjoys exercising, concerts, chasing her golden retriever, hanging out with friends and travel. She also enjoys her role as the mother of a young adult and watching her son evolve and find his place in the world. If she could learn to beat him at four square, she would be completely content and fulfilled.

Four words that describe Ellen: creative, strategic, passionate, and resolute

Adam Goslin
Program Director

Adam began at Playworks in 2008 as a coach in Washington D.C. In 2009, he became a program manager in Los Angeles, CA, supporting the launch of Playworks in that region. After leaving Playworks, Adam obtained his Master's in Sociological Research from the University of Manchester, England. He is currently working on his MBA from Indiana University. Adam has also been a teacher in New Orleans and worked as a district data analyst with KIPP Metro Atlanta. In his most recent position with Points of Light, he managed their education and opportunity youth programs nationwide.

Adam is excited to be returning to Playworks for the opportunity to grow our students, coaches, and region thought the Metro Atlanta area and the state of Georgia.

Four words that describe Adam: loyal, compassionate, thoughtful, and engaged.

Abigail Russell
Development Manager

Abby is excited to be a part of the Playworks family! Growing up in Atlanta, she has spent most of her life outside playing, volunteering, or with her nose in a book. She has had the opportunity to work in small and large nonprofits locally and internationally. Whenever possible, she has found ways to unite and leverage partnerships for community growth, whether building youth educational programs, creating volunteer opportunities, or finding innovative solutions to fundraise for specific initiatives. She is passionate about empowering youth and communities with the opportunity to grow through play. When she's not working you will find her reading, baking, traveling, trying new food, and volunteering.

Four words that describe Abby: creative, curious, passionate, and strategic.

Danyel Crutcher
Program Manager

Danyel, known as Crutch in the Playworks world, joins the Georgia team after serving as both an AmeriCorps member and program coordinator in New York/New Jersey and Georgia. After her journey of being a Fighting Illini at the University of Illinois, she began her professional basketball career in Europe before jumping into Playworks. Prior to joining the organization, her passion for youth developed from coaching basketball at various levels. While serving as a New York/New Jersey program coordinator, Crutch participated in Georgia’s Recess Rollout to introduce Playworks to Metro Atlanta stakeholders. Because of this experience, she decided that she wanted to spread the power of play to Georgia and continue dominating on the kickball field. She subsequently moved to Georgia to be part of the 2014 launch team. Crutch is overwhelmed with excitement to see Playworks expansion across Georgia and the smiles that her coaches will bring to multiple school communities. Although Crutch’s primary role won’t be on the playground, she still plans to secretly dominate in Roshambo Relay!

Four words that describe Coach Crutch: passionate, high energy, dedicated, and fun.

Shakira Rahman
Program Manager

As a former learning coach to inner city elementary and middle school students in Baltimore city, Shakira brings several years of experience to the game. She furthered her experience by working as a middle school girls’ facilitator in south Baltimore where she encouraged both healthy eating and lifestyles through games, lessons, and field trips. Shakira joined the Playworks Georgia team in 2015 after seeing the power of play firsthand while working alongside a head coach to ensure safe and fun play during the school day. She furthered her passion for helping and understanding youth while she continued her education at Clark Atlanta University, where she holds a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration. Shakira is serious about foursquare and loves a great game of kickball and double-dutch.

Amanda Grover
Engagement Specialist

Amanda joined the Playworks Georgia team as an intern a few months after the Playworks Georgia launch, and it didn't take long to realize she was in the right place. She decided to turn a love for volunteerism into a career in the nonprofit sector. She discovered her passion for human service and youth development while volunteering at a vision clinic for underserved adults and children. She enjoys the versatility of supporting the program, development, and operations teams in reaching regional and national aims. A proud Panther, Amanda has a BS in Public Policy from Georgia State University. She lives by The Lorax motto: “unless”. Amanda loves living in Atlanta and winning hula hooping contests on the playground.

Four words that describe Amanda: friendly, driven, creative, and compassionate.

Kendra Mosley
Site Coordinator

Coach Mo is excited for her third year with Playworks Georgia as a site coordinator. For the past two years she has served as an AmeriCorps coach bringing safe and healthy play to KIPP WAYS Academy. Additionally, she has been a part of performing arts programs which have helped further evolve her “let’s do it!” attitude. Coach Mo first discovered her passion for youth development when she began instructing youth in theatre. She witnessed the positive impact that having fun and being active has on youths' mental and physical development. She also discovered the power of imagination and how important it is for youth to get out and explore. In her spare time, she enjoys finding deals on groupon, acting, watching Netflix, and making do-it-yourself home decor.

Four words that describe Coach Mo: energetic, flexible, passionate, and friendly.

Janelle Averill
Southeast Account Manager

Janelle graduated with her degree in Education in 2009, but quickly fell in love with the idea of spending her days on the playground teaching the power of play through wall ball and foursquare. Janelle was a Playworks program coordinator for 3 years, both in our Maryland and North Carolina regions. Janelle then became a program manager, mentoring her program coordinators and maintaining strong school partnerships for 5 years. During her time as a program manager, Janelle became a certified training where she was able to support Playworks on a larger scale traveling all over the country to deliver professional development workshops to a variety of school settings. Janelle most recently was the Playworks North Carolina program director where she supported the implementation of a new pilot program Playworks created and expanded Playworks NC into two new school districts. Janelle is beginning her 9th year with Playworks and is looking forward to her new role as the Southeast account manager and getting the opportunity to spread Playworks Pro into new territories. When Janelle is not playing on the playground, you can find her in the kitchen cooking, doing hot yoga, or cheering on her favorite sports teams!

Noelle Davis
Volunteer and Development Coordinator

A Nashville native, Noelle spent her time following her family to Tennessee games, getting coaxed into going to concerts, and spending her summers working as a camp counselor or museum docent. She received her BS from Tennessee Tech, before taking a gap year to travel the country. This past May, she completed her MA in American history at Louisiana State University. While at LSU, Noelle worked for the school’s Office of Diversity as a graduate assistant in the LSU Women’s Center. It is there that she discovered a passion for serving her community. Noelle is excited to explore Atlanta and begin her journey with Playworks.

Four words that describe Noelle: compassionate, adventurous, engaged, and organized.