Playworks is thrilled to welcome five new members to our National Board of Directors.
Each brings a unique set of talents and perspective that will support Playworks’ mission. The individuals who joined the Playworks Board in December 2022 and January 2023 are:
Vice President, External Affairs
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Leslie oversees the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT effort, as well as the areas of policy reform and advocacy, strategic communications, leadership development, equity and inclusion, organizational effectiveness and national partnerships. Leslie brings more than 15 years of results-driven executive experience in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining the Foundation, Leslie worked as a vice president for AARP, the nation’s largest nonpartisan nonprofit devoted to serving adults aged 50 and older. Leslie has also served as executive director for the White House Council for Community Solutions, where she led efforts to develop cross-sector, community-based strategies to address the needs of disconnected youth. She holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of New Orleans.
Director of Education
California Community Foundation
Val Cuevas leads early childhood education and transitional kindergarten through 12 grade partnership opportunities for California Community Foundation. With expertise in educational equity, state legislative policy and K-12 governance, she previously led Education grantmaking strategy at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF). Additionally, Val previously served as President of the West Contra Costa Unified Board of Education, a middle-sized, urban Bay area school district serving approximately 30,000 children, seventy-five percent of whom are English learners, low-income and/or foster youth students. Val is a proud product of California’s public education system and a staunch advocate for kids. She holds dual bachelor’s degrees in political science and sociology from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in educational psychology, administration and counseling from California State University, Long Beach.
Senior Director of Education
The Boston Foundation
Antoniya Marinova is Senior Director of Education at the Boston Foundation, where she leads the Foundation’s early childhood and education strategies, including K-12 and postsecondary initiatives, strategic partnerships, and grantmaking. In 2022, she also temporarily served as the interim executive director of the Boston Opportunity Agenda, the City’s principal cradle-to-career public-private partnership and a core Boston Foundation partner. Antoniya joined the Foundation seven years ago from Harvard University’s Center for Education Policy Research, where she led a multi-state study on Common Core implementation as well as multiple Strategic Data Project research projects. Previously, she was also a research analyst at Mathematica Policy Research and a research associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, where her work focused on regional policy and economic issues. Antoniya has a BA in economics from Mount Holyoke College and an MPP in social and urban policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.
AVP Strategy and Growth
Kanika Pasricha is AVP of Strategy at Sun Life Financial (Canada). She orchestrates strategic planning and leads strategy projects across Sun Life’s businesses . Previously, as Senior Director of Corporate Strategy at Rogers Communications, Kanika led her team on go-to-market and innovation-focused projects. Prior to this role, Kanika has held roles as a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group (in Toronto) and as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company (in New York). Kanika volunteers as an alumni interviewer for Princeton University, and as an admissions committee member and young alumni mentor for the Summer Science Program. Additionally, she is a co-leader of a Womens’ Circle for Stanford Graduate School of Business alumnae. She holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University.
Susan Stone has more than 30 years’ experience in business management and marketing. Based in Los Angeles, Susan has been with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) for 13 years, and in her current role as Director of Firmwide Nonprofit Marketing and Sponsorships, she leads the firms national nonprofit investment and sponsorship strategy, working closely with team members to ensure nonprofit investments are aligned with the firms Purpose and Inclusion Strategy, build brand in the community, and provide opportunities to forge relationships with new and existing buyers. Previously she served as Director and Marketing Leader for PwC’s Southwest market and spent 8 years as the Director of Marketing and Business Development at the national law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. Susan has served on Playworks’ Southern California regional board for several years so brings regional perspective to the National Board.
Here’s what the new board members said about this appointment:
“As a member of the Playworks National Board of Directors, I am excited to contribute my public education knowledge and sector expertise in support of the numerous Playworks partners and staff working hard every day to meet the needs of our communities. I look forward to contributing to the organization’s progress on making play access and experiences equitable and enjoyable for every child, especially children of color. ” – Val Cuevas
“Play has a valuable place in every person’s life. I’ve proudly served on the Playworks Southern California Regional Advisory Board for 9 years. In that time, I’ve witnessed and felt the power of play impacting kids and adults alike. I’m joining the Playworks National Board of Directors now so I can help the organization expand its important work across the country.” – Susan Stone
View the full list of current Board of Directors