Playworks SoCal Announces Leadership Changes

  1. Updates

Existing Executive Director Stepping Down, Associate Director Named Interim Executive Director

LaVal Brewer has announced that he is stepping down from his role as Executive Director of Playworks Southern California. Effective February 11, 2019, LaVal will begin serving as the Director of Business Development and Partnerships at OneOC in Orange County, CA. He is looking forward to continuing to support Playworks Southern California and other regionally based nonprofit organizations. We wish him well and are grateful for his service to the organization, along with his ongoing support, as he has agreed to consult as needed. Michelle Serrano, current Associate Director, will assume the role of interim Executive Director while the Board of Directors identifies new leadership.

In her tenth year with Playworks, Michelle has a background in psychology and ethnic studies and a passion for youth development and community service. It was the ability to serve her community and make a positive impact that initially drew her to Playworks. After four years of working at the Playworks Silicon Valley office as both a program coordinator and a program manager, she took the opportunity to relocate and help bring more opportunities for safe and meaningful play to children in Southern California.

In the past six years, Michelle has grown the program and impact in Southern California while also supporting and leading efforts to launch the Playworks program in Portland, Detroit, and Salt Lake City. She loves being part of an organization that focuses on the importance of PLAY in a child’s life and the impact it can have both inside the classroom and out. Michelle is looking forward to the continued growth of Playworks and helping to expand the program to reach more kids and more playgrounds.

“Michelle has been dedicated to Playworks for the past 10 years, successfully growing our programs and impact, including in her current role of Associate Director. We have great confidence in her ability to lead the Agency’s important and impactful work as we conduct our search for the new leadership,” says Bransby Whitton, Board Chair.

Contact Us

About Playworks Southern California:

Playworks is the leading nonprofit leveraging the power of play to transform children’s physical and emotional health. Playworks currently serves more than 160 schools and reaches more than 99,465 students directly and through professional training services in Southern California. Playworks partners with elementary schools, districts, and after-school programs to integrate physical activity and social-emotional learning skill-building during recess. The goal is to create a safe and welcoming place for every kid on the playground so students feel included, are active and develop valuable social and emotional skills needed to thrive in the classroom and beyond. Playworks is building a play movement to change school culture and shape tomorrow’s citizens. For more information, visit Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. View Playworks Southern California’s 2017-2018 impact report here.




More Updates

August 24, 2021

Playworks Founder Jill Vialet Publishes ‘Why Play Works’ ›

Play brings out the best in every kid. Over the course of 25 years since Jill Vialet founded Playworks, she and her colleagues, as well as researchers and play experts, have demonstrated precisely how and why play works to help kids learn and grow in the most positive and healthy ways. Jill gathered stories from people…

March 25, 2021

Top 6 Games to Play Physically Distant with No Equipment ›

As more and more schools transition back to in-person learning, we know educators are looking for games that are physically-distant and don’t require equipment. The need for play is more important than ever due to the isolation that our kids have endured during COVID-19. Play encourages creativity, flexibility, teamwork, and other critical social skills. We’ve…

March 12, 2021

Playworks: One Year Later ›

One year ago… All of our partner schools closed their buildings and our work serving kids in schools risked coming to a halt. We knew our mission had to continue. We remained committed to providing opportunities for joy and connection through play for kids in a COVID safe way, regardless if their school was virtual,…