Meet Our Staff
Mike Trepper, MSW
Mike possesses over a decade of professional experience and is known as a progressive leader in youth development, community organization and advocacy work. His practice of and commitment to ensuring that all young people grow up safe, healthy and with the opportunity to reach their full potential has been nationally recognized. Mike advises school districts, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Since 2000, Mike has conducted over 400 presentations, workshops and seminars at conferences for various groups. His work with young people and commitment to social justice was recognized in 2005 as he was awarded a Human Rights Award by the Tampa/Hillsborough County Human Rights Council.
From 2008 to 2011, Mike served as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay. In this role, he was responsible for positioning the agency to best fulfill its mission through advocacy work, program development, training ,community education, business plan implementation and fund-development.
In 2006, Mike created and served as the Executive Director of The Boys Initiative of Tampa Bay, a broad-based advocacy initiative to provide gender-specific best practices and approaches to working with boys and young men. His work was recognized nationally for innovative programs and training to equip adults and communities with the skills and resources to raise boys into healthy and productive men. From 2000 to 2006, Mike served as the Director of Programs for the National Conference for Community and Justice Tampa Bay region, where he designed and managed multicultural education and advocacy programs. His work included conducting school, community and workplace cultural competency/diversity training, providing conflict resolution and mediation on issues such as racism and prejudice, and serving as a senior staff member in the organization’s advocacy initiatives.
Mike holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan with concentration in Community Organizing and Management of Children, Youth and Family Services, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of Florida. Most recently, he completed a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership at the University of Tampa’s Sykes Business School. He serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of South Florida’s School of Social Work. He also is a nationally certified Advancing Youth Development trainer with the Academy for Educational Development’s National Training Institute for Community Youth Work.
Mike lives in Tampa, Florida, with his wife, Laine, and two sons, Alex and Kyle. He is an active Big Brother to 13 year-old Jermaine. Mike is an avid sports fan and enjoys coaching his boys in various sports. Mike can be reached at Mike@playsmart.org.
Programs Consultant / Regional Manager – Denver
In this role, Ellen supports PlaySmart’s youth development activities at the local and national level. Ellen provides leadership to PlaySmart’s Denver programs while also helping to facilitate activities for the organization throughout the country. She has been instrumental in the development of the PlaySmart Academy helping it to grow in content and cities where it is held.
Ellen has over 20 years coaching and playing experience in collegiate athletics. She coached at the Division I level both as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. In 2005, she transitioned from court coaching to a brand new arena, as branch manager for Wells Fargo Bank. Her coaching skills quickly transferred to the financial world and she became an Assistant Vice President in 2006. In addition to her duties with PlaySmart, Ellen is the supervisor of athletics for Denver Public Schools and oversees the sport programming for 33 middle schools and 11 high schools.
Ellen earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and philosophy from the University of Bridgeport where she led her team to its first ever NCCA tournament appearance and was the student-athlete of the year. Ellen also holds a master’s degree in sport management from East Stroudsburg University. Ellen can be reached at email@example.com
Regional Manager – Omaha
John leads PlaySmart’s efforts in Omaha by working with the local advisory board and national board member. He is a figurehead in the Omaha community and has furthered PlaySmart’s mission of working with at-risk kids and by helping to partner with mission similar organizations. He has received numerous awards for his community work and most recently helped PlaySmart land the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the United Way of the Midlands.
In addition to his PlaySmart duties, John is the East Regional Director for the Special Olympics, President of the Heartland Youth Football League and coach, board member at the Nothing but Net Foundation and the Playmakers Mentoring organization. John is also the Nebraska marketing director for USA Football. He loves coaching football and using sports as vehicle to teach life skills which is a perfect fit for PlaySmart! John can be reached at John@playsmart.org.
Regional Manager – Oklahoma City
Casi heads up PlaySmart’s programs and outreach in Oklahoma City. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Casi brings a vast experience in education and youth development to the organization. She holds an undergraduate degree in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. Casi taught high school students for seven years and is an avid volunteer with a variety youth centered organizations in the area. Casi can be reached at Casi@playsmart.org.
Regional Manager – New York
Liz coordinates PlaySmart’s summer and year-round programs in the New York area. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Health Education from Columbia University. Liz is a Certified Health Education Specialist and has worked with both adult and adolescent populations. Liz can be reached at Liz@playsmart.org.
Darlene coordinates PlaySmart’s office functions, accounting and marketing efforts. As a Tampa native, she has been active in many community organizations and is passionate about working with PlaySmart. She worked for 15 years in Ybor City, the cigar capital of the world. Darlene enjoys traveling, networking and marketing activities. Darlene can be reached at Darlene@playsmart.org.