Ezra is an entrepreneur, author, educator, and speaker. He is passionate about the concept of reducing stress in both our personal and professional lives by building strong relationships through effective communication and leadership development. Ezra is the CEO and a member of The Holland Group, a national workforce and leadership training company, and an Adjunct Faculty in the School of Business at Endicott College. He appears frequently in the media as an expert on leadership and communication.
Over the years, Ezra has worked extensively in Europe. He spoke at the International Play Association in Berlin, and led leadership training events and workshops in Berlin, Munich, Ruben (with speillandschaft stadt), Inssbruck (Austria), Brixon (Italy), and was a visiting faculty member at the prestigious adult learning center, Akademie Remscheid, in Koln, Germany.
Dr. Bill Michaelis, PhD
Bill is Professor Emeritus, former Graduate Coordinator, and former Chair of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at San Francisco State University. For over 25 years he was also on the faculty of Marian Wright Edelman Institute for Children Youth and Families and taught a behavioral, social science course on Developmental Play Processes that touched many folks working with children and youth. He is the owner-director of Children-Together.com, an international play event and leadership training organization. Over the past 40 years Bill has presented over 2,000 fun-filled, thought-provoking workshops, events, and keynote speeches around the World to clientele as diverse as Paramount Pictures and the government of Austria. He has presented keynote addresses at annual association conferences in 27 different states and workshops for many more. He has presented to just about every type of organization that serves children and youth, including schools, human service and recreation organizations, non-profit, public and corporate childcare agencies, and the widest range of professional conferences. His extensive event work includes a 10,000 person family play festival in the Olympic Park in Munich, Germany.
He has written, taught, and consulted extensively in the area of play and its applications to creativity, learning development, self-esteem, and healthy living for all age groups. He was an early pioneer, lead trainer, and board member of the original New Games Foundation. He is author of "Fantasy Play Creativity and Mental Health" and Learning Through Noncompetitive Play Activities, and was a contributor to The New Games Book and More New Games(which he also coedited). He has also produced or co-produced six training DVDs on youth development and play leadership.
Bill received both his Master's and Doctoral degrees in Education and Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley, emphasizing Play and Human Development and Multicultural Education. He currently lives in Pacifica, California with his wife, Dinah, and has two grown kids, Paige and Jason, who have playful families of their own.