Michael Halicki serves as the executive director for Park Pride, the Atlanta-based nonprofit that engages communities to activate the power of parks. Working with nearly 150 Friends of the Park groups, the nonprofit provides leadership, services, and funding to help communities realize their dreams for neighborhood parks that support healthy people, strong neighborhoods, vibrant business districts, a robust economy and a healthy environment. Under his leadership, Park Pride has received 4-star designation by Charity Navigator’s 4-Star Designation and Guidestar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency for several years running. Michael manages staff and programs, supports the board, and leads/oversees advocacy, fundraising, public relations, and program development efforts. He was named as one of “50 Influential Nonprofit Leaders” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2016 and 2017. He was recently selected as one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s 2019 Notable Georgians and included in The Atlanta 500 (2019 and 2020), Atlanta Magazine’s list of Atlanta’s most influential leaders.
Dr. Na’Taki Osborne Jelks is the Co-Founder and Board Chairperson of the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA), a community-based organization of residents in West Atlanta communities who are overburdened with environmental stressors but are often underrepresented at environmental decision-making tables. In her role with WAWA, Jelks leads efforts to advance environmental justice, community-centered watershed restoration, equitable development, and resilience on Atlanta’s Westside. She also oversees the organization’s efforts to provide equitable access to place-based, culturally relevant environmental education and connections to nature for all Atlanta residents regardless of race, class, or geography.
Judy Yi is the Director of Outreach & Marketing for Trees Atlanta, a nonprofit organization that protects and improves Atlanta’s urban forest. Judy collaborates with community groups, municipal staff and elected officials, businesses, schools, and nonprofit organizations on urban canopy issues that impact our local communities. Trees Atlanta seeks to listen and learn, as well as lead, by working with communities through many modes of communication, connection, and collaboration. Currently her major projects include advocating for a more effective rewrite of the tree protection ordinance in the City of Atlanta and launching the One Million Trees Initiative across metro Atlanta.