We are so glad to meet you!
Our team of staff members, volunteer board members and senior consultants is spread across the country in Delaware, Massachusetts, Washington State, Oregon and Florida. To achieve our vision of creating connected communities that support active living and that advance opportunities for all people through walkable streets and livable cities, we:
- provide technical assistance directly to communities
- develop and broadly disseminate educational tools and materials
- conduct capacity-building and professional-development training on best practices in walkability/livability
- engage students and interns in learning opportunities
WALC Institute team members are passionate about helping communities become more walkable and livable. Our team includes:
Lisa Portelli, Board President
Based in Orlando, Florida
Lisa is a Program Director at the Winter Park Health Foundation, where she oversees the Foundation’s community health focus area and has led WPHF’s entry into policy-based work, including recent efforts to train local practitioners on Health Impact Assessments to increase their use in Central Florida. Lisa also is an adjunct instructor at the University of Central Florida, teaching “Planning Healthy Communities” in the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning program. Lisa has taught her classes to conduct Rapid HIAs and has overseen students' work as they have conducted a Rapid HIA for a planning process taking place in an historically underserved local community.
Dr. Andrew Dannenberg, Board Member
Based in Seattle, Washington
Andy Dannenberg is nationally renowned for helping bring the Health Impact Assessment into the livability movement and leading the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in promoting the HIA. Andy is co-editor of Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-being, and Sustainability with Howard Frumkin and Richard J. Jackson. Andy also is a consultant to and former team leader of the Healthy Community Design Initiative at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta. For the past decade, his research and teaching have focused on examining the health aspects of planning and designing our built environment. He has a particular interest in the use of a health impact assessment as a tool to inform community planners about the health consequences of their decisions. He previously served as director of the Division of Applied Public Health Training at the CDC. Andy is also an affiliate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences and in the Department of Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he teaches courses on healthy community design and on health impact assessment. In addition to his earlier CDC work, Andy served as the preventive medicine residency director and as an injury prevention epidemiologist on the faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health in Baltimore. He was also a cardiovascular epidemiologist at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. Andy earned his MD at Stanford University and an MPH from Johns Hopkins University and completed a family medicine residency at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Kelly Morphy, Board Member
Based in Winter Garden, Florida
Kelly helps neighborhoods and towns become healthier, better connected, more accessible and more sustainable through meaningful civic engagement and better built environments. To change policies and practices that affect the built environment, Kelly and her colleagues provide technical assistance directly to as many as 80 communities per year. Kelly has worked recently to advance walkability in Monett and St. Louis, Missouri; Lawrence, Kansas; New Ulm, Minnesota; Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico; Oskaloosa, Marion, Mason City, Cedar Falls and Iowa City, Iowa; Morrow, Georgia; the South Bay Beach Cities of southern California; Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Alabama; Detroit, Michigan; Hot Springs, Arkansas; Helena, Montana; and Bellingham, Washington. Through its education program, the Institute also reaches thousands of people throughout the country with educational presentations, free guidance documents, best practices and illustrative graphics. Kelly recently has presented on the topic of walkability, Complete Streets, age-friendly communities and civic engagement at the Pro Walk Pro Bike national conference; the Florida Chronic Disease Prevention Coalition’s annual statewide summit; the Broward County [Florida] Safe Streets Summit; the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.; and the Northern Iowa Area Community College President’s Club. Kelly also serves as co-chair of the Everybody Walk Collaborative’s Local Action Workgroup. Kelly’s public service prior to joining the WALC Institute included community engagement for an urban-design firm’s national practice; public outreach for an air-pollution-control district in California; and business development for a shelter for homeless and runaway teenagers in Guam. She cut her teeth professionally in the newsroom of a Gannett-owned daily newspaper. Kelly grew up in Guam, where she competed for nine years as a member of the Guam Women’s National Soccer Team. She and her husband have three children and live in Central Florida, where Kelly also volunteers as president of the not-for-profit Safe Streets West Orange coalition.
Robert Ping, Executive Director
Based in Portland, Oregon
A self-described ‘bikeaholic’ and a passionate transportation advocate, Robert has focused nearly his entire career on getting people more active, especially children and youth, and especially on bicycles. Robert has become well-known throughout the country for his work in developing Safe Routes to School programs and policies. He helps communities and advocates to improve the built environment and increase safety, social equity, and physical activity through bicycling and walking. Robert has provided on-site technical assistance and facilitation for pedestrian-and-bicycling initiatives in over 24 communities for the WALC Institute, and previously for dozens of other communities. Robert also has developed a series of 11 fact sheets with AARP, and has presented for the National Association of Realtors, the Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place national conference in Pittsburgh, PA, the Oregon Safe Routes to School annual conference and the New Partners for Smart Growth Tour in Denver, CO, among many, many others. Robert also has more than two decades of experience managing non-profit organizations and programs, with experience in Complete Streets, Smart Growth, Social Equity, policy change at the state, regional, and local levels, program development, technical assistance, public speaking and community organizing. From 2003 through 2013, Robert focused on Safe Routes to School, becoming a national leading expert in this growing movement to get kids active and improve the built environment. Robert was a Safe Routes to School National Partnership staff expert, was appointed by Congress to the federal Safe Routes to School Task Force and has provided technical assistance to states, regions and cities throughout the U.S. Robert managed the Bicycle Transportation Alliance’s bicycle education program reaching hundreds of youth classes and nearly 40,000 students around Oregon, and was the founding manager of Portland, Oregon’s successful citywide Safe Routes to School program. Robert’s experience also includes community organizing and serving on many national, state and local advisory committees. He founded the national Active Transportation Diversity Task Force and spearheaded the RWJF-funded “Making Public Schools Diverse and Walkable” framing paper with PolicyLink and ChangeLab Solutions.
Sally Lovell, Finance Manager and Ex-Officio Board Member
Based in Port Townsend, Washington
Sally is an avid walker, whose passion for wandering in the great outdoors equals her passion for bookkeeping. For the last ten years, Sally has been the treasurer of several nonprofit organizations in Washington state including the Food Co-op of Port Townsend and the Green Building Guild. Since arriving in Washington twenty years ago, her interest in sustainability issues have led her to volunteer for organizations involved in green building, organic food systems, and renewable energy and smart transportation. She came to the WALC Institute with more than 25 years of experience in bookkeeping and financial management. Not only a keeper of financial records, Sally also brings experience in managing small organizations, human-resource requirements and providing administrative support to organization leadership. Sally loves her flexible schedule, which makes it easy for her to stay active through bicycling and walking. Sally also enjoys occasionally hiking the mountain trails near her home on the Olympic Peninsula.
Amy Carver, Project and Marketing Coordinator
Based in Merritt Island, Florida
Amy Carver has 15 years experience in business development for nonprofit organizations including as executive director of a North Carolina-based children's charity. She also spent four years in the travel planning industry before learning about the walkability movement.
A Ted Talks video and WALC Institute job posting changed the course of her life forever as she embarked on a journey to return to the basics not only for herself, but for her children.
In her spare time you will find her and her family roaming around the greatest trap ever set by a mouse...Walt Disney World.
The WALC Institute team is always interested to hear how we can help communities in their efforts to become more walkable and livable. To share your thoughts or let us know how we can help your community, please contact us.