Staff and Leadership | Playworks

Playworks for every kid

Staff and Leadership

Colleen Harvey
Executive Director

Colleen Harvey has been a strong believer in the power of Playworks for nearly 10 years. In 2006, she started with Playworks Maryland as a program coordinator for one year and a program manager the next year. She then moved to the San Francisco office to continue her role of supporting program coordinators in schools throughout the SF Bay Area.

She launched programming in the fall of 2011 as Playworks Illinois’ program director. That year Playworks served six schools in Chicago and has grown to serve over 20,000 kids statewide through direct service programs and professional development workshops.

Colleen has seen the transformational change Playworks can have on a community and is thrilled in her current role to see continued growth and positive change at schools throughout the state of Illinois. When she’s not on the foursquare court, you can find Colleen at the farmers’ market, walking her two puggles, and running on the 606.

Louis Marquis
Program Director

A Wisconsin native and life-long Packer fan, Louis spent three years with Playworks working for schools in the greater Los Angeles area. He started off with Playworks as an AmeriCorps coach on the playground—drawing on years of experience working in outdoor leadership settings as well as classrooms—before becoming a program manager. Wanting to be closer to family, Coach Lou made the move to Chicago, where he served as a national trainer for Playworks. Today, as program director for Playworks Illinois, he is thrilled to be working with an amazing team to spread the power of play. Louis greatly enjoys singing and dancing and does both badly, most frequently at weddings—of which there are many, thanks to his large family.

Lee Ann Eiland
Development Manager

A Chicago native, Lee Ann has recently joined the Playworks Illinois staff as the Development Manager.  She will support all facets of Chicago’s foundation and corporate partnerships as well as individual donor fundraising efforts.  Having worked in development at social service, medical and educational instuitions throughout the city, Lee Ann settled at Playworks because working with children holds a special place in her heart.  She hopes to bring home Playworks' team building and conflict resolution skills to resolve disputes between her children.  Lee Ann enjoys reading, playing with her two kids and retail therapy.

Debbie Serota
Program Manager

Debbie Serota has worked for Playworks since 2008 as a program coordinator first in San Francisco and then in Chicago. After three years on the playground, Debbie transitioned into the program manager role. Originally from Chicago, Debbie is excited to be a part of the much anticipated return of recess to Chicago Public Schools. Besides play, Debbie's other passion is traveling. She dreams of one day rolling out the Playworks program in distant lands. 

James Barenbaum
Account Manager

Jamie joins Playworks with 25 years of professional sales and management experience. Jamie earned his degree in Business Administration from Robert Morris University graduating Summa Cum Laude. Jamie is married to his wife Kelly, an elementary school reading specialist and has two children, Caitlin, a High School freshman and Carter, a fourth grader. He spends most of his time as a volunteer coach for travel softball, basketball and football. Jamie enjoys spending time with his family, playing softball and basketball, and watching Chicago sports. His favorite playground game is kickball.