Advisory Board

Tessa Baden

Tessa Baden is a nature and play advocate who shares her personal transformation story to inspire reflection, connection and evolution in others. Tessa has spent 15 + years  journeying through public and private spaces exploring opportunities to ensure adults trust and honor children’s learning to occur in its most authentic form. Her personal mission is to advocate peace for all children and those who guide them in all spaces, always. Tessa is the mother to 2 strong, clever, and compelling souls. Her favorite place to be is outside camping, walking, hiking, but especially playing with loose parts in her backyard!

Jim Bassi

Jim Bassi is the Director of Strategic Partnership in North America for Vortex Aquatic Structures. Vortex specializes in innovative and interactive aquatic play solutions, designing and creating cutting-edge aquatic play features and structures that enhance the overall splashpad and water park. Before Vortex, Jim was with Kompan Playgrounds who is Europe’s largest commercial playground manufacturer. Both Vortex and Kompan design equipment with the top priority of positively impacting childhood/family development and community engagement.

 Jim has a Bachelor of Science from Utah Valley University and has extensive professional experience in the education and education technology sectors.

Dr. Jim Chadwell

Dr. Jim F. Chadwell is the Superintendent in Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD. During his 12-year tenure, the district has grown from 23 schools and 16,600 students to 31 campuses and a student enrollment of more than 23,000. Dr. Chadwell was born in Fort Worth and attended public schools Fort Worth and Birdville, graduating from Richland High School. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees all from Texas Christian University. Dr. Chadwell has earned many honors during his tenure, including being selected as 2023 Region 11 Superintendent of the Year, High School Principal of the Year by the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals and the Saginaw Citizen of the Year.

Jenny Eyer

Jenny Eyer graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from Abilene Christian University and earned her MPH with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health from the University of Texas School of Public Health. A native Texan, Jenny has spent her entire career focused on improving the lives of children and their families across the state, working to make Texas a great place to live, work, pray, and play.

Connie Lorick

Connie Lorick, MBA, is the Coordinator for the Frieda C Fox Foundation located in Studio City, California.  She is currently a member of the National Council for Family Philanthropy, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Exponent Philanthropy, and Southern California Grantmakers.  She has lived in Arlington for over 30 years with her husband and daughter and is a member of Women Inspiring Philanthropy, Arlington Cultural Tourism Committee, The Junior League of Arlington, and Girl Scout of Texas Oklahoma Plains Alumni Association.

Amanda McMickle

Amanda McMickle is the Vice President of Education at Cibolo Center for Conservation. Sitting on advisory boards such as the LiiNK Project and governing boards such as Families in Nature and International Play Association, she is able to support the work being done in spaces where nature, play, and schools intersect. Amanda is currently a doctoral candidate in the Dreeben’s School of Education’s Adult Education, Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at the University of the Incarnate Word.

Therese Miller

Professor Emeritus, Health and Exercise Science, Westminster College, Fulton, MO / Researched the Role of Activity Breaks on Student Academic Performance and Classroom Behavior / Runge Nature Center Volunteer, Yoga Instructor, and Refugee Educator

Carl Stroud

Mr. Stroud has 20 years of experience as a Landman in the oil & gas industry.  He is currently the Land Director for Basin Oil & Gas, LLC where he leads the Land Department.  Mr. Stroud graduated with a B.S. in Communications from Texas Christian University.  In addition to serving on the Advisory Board for LiiNK, he is also a member of the American Association of Professional Landmen, Fort Worth Association of Professional Landmen, ADAM Energy Fort Worth and Fort Worth Wildcatters.

Jill Wood

Jill Wood is founding director of Adventure Play at The Parish School, an outdoor, child-directed after school program in Houston Texas. It is one of only a handful of adventure playgrounds in the United States and the only one based at a school for children with speech and language delays. Jill is founder of Bayou City Play, a group of educators and therapists, who partner with organizations to improve play opportunities in the Houston metro area, and she provides training as a regional consultant for UK-based Pop-Up Adventure Play. She is mom to an amazing 10-year-old, who is the real expert on play in our household.