PLA National Conference 2017


Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, PP, RTPI (hon.), FPIA (hon). 

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Mitchell Silver became Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks in May 2014. Commissioner Silver is also the immediate past president of the American Planning Association (APA) and is an award-winning planner with over 30 years of experience. He is internationally recognized for his leadership in the planning profession and his contributions to contemporary planning issues. He was the Dunlop Lecturer in Housing and Urbanization at Harvard University, and in 2014 he was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Planning Association.

As Parks Commissioner, Mitchell oversees management, planning and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of parkland, which includes parks, playgrounds, beaches, marinas, recreation centers, wilderness areas and other assets.

Mitchell received a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Hunter College in NYC.


Susan Alberti AC


For years, Susan (Sue) Alberti has had three main dreams. Three dreams she has been instrumental in assisting. Two are now reality; to see her beloved Bulldogs win a premiership and for women to play AFL. Only one remains —to find a cure for type 1 diabetes.

Among multiple roles, she is the Chairman of the Susan Alberti Medical Research Foundation and the Co-founder and Managing Director of the DANSU Group.

Susan is a passionate Western Bulldogs supporter, she joined the board in 2004. In 2012, Susan became Vice President of the Club. She held the role for 12 years, retiring on a high after the premiership win in 2016.

Susan’s passion for AFL extended to the newly formed Women’s AFL league, and her involvement helped to clear a path for women to be involved in the game. She is currently the national ambassador for the women’s league.



Bernard Salt

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Bernard Salt is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading social commentators by business, the media and the broader community.
Bernard heads The Demographics Group which provides specialist advice on demographic, consumer and social trends for business. Prior to that Bernard founded KPMG Demographics.

He writes two weekly columns for The Australian newspaper and is an adjunct professor at Curtin University Business School.  Bernard also holds a Master of Arts degree from Monash University.

Bernard Salt is one of the most in-demand speakers on the Australian corporate speaking circuit and has been so for more than a decade.
He is perhaps best known to the wider community for his penchant for identifying and tagging new tribes and social behaviours such as the ‘Seachange Shift’, the ‘Man Drought’, ‘PUMCINS’ (pronounced pumkins) and the ‘Goats Cheese Curtain’.  He was also responsible for popularising smashed avocados globally.

Bernard has popularised demographics through his books, columns and media appearances. His body of work is summarised in six popular best-selling books. Bernard appears regularly on radio and television programs and recently hosted a business television program "The Next Five Years" on SkyNews Business Channel 602.

He was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2017 Australia Day honours.


Richie Gibson

Richie Gibson served 12 years in the Australian Army winning numerous awards and accreditations for outstanding service. He has not only trained and motivated, but also inspired some of the Australia’s and the worlds best known sporting teams, athletes and even royalty.

He has written for almost every newspaper in the country, is a regular contributor on radio and is the author of the bestselling book Be You. Be Great. and is only months away from releasing his second book entitled, Selfless Leadership.



Anthony-Paul (AP) Diaz

Executive Officer, LA Recreation and Parks, USA

Anthony-Paul (AP) Diaz is the Executive Officer and Chief of Staff for the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks (RAP) and is responsible for helping to manage and oversee all day to day operations of the Department.

AP has over 18 years of professional experience and service to the City of Los Angeles. Prior to assuming his duties at RAP, he served as a City Attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office where he handled and litigated hundreds of matters in the Criminal Branch and as a specially assigned prosecutor in the City's Neighborhood Prosecutor Program.

AP also serves as an instructor at the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles Fire Department Leadership Academies teaching Adult Development Theory and Transformational Leadership and is a Judge Pro Tem for the Los Angeles Superior Court.

AP was born in Hollywood and grew up and went to school in Santa Monica. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Politics from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, Washington and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.

Mark Peters


Chief Executive Officer, Gold Coast 2018

Mark Peters serves as Chief Executive Officer of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation, a position he accepted after heading the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Bid Company.

His senior sporting administration roles include almost ten years as CEO of the Australian Sports Commission; President of the Australian Baseball Federation; and Executive member of International Baseball Federation.

Mark has long advocated for increased sport and physical fitness programs in schools and championed Australia’s profile on the international sporting stage, as a competitive nation and host destination for major sporting events.

His extensive portfolio of leadership and management experience covers tourism, events and sports organisational governance and structure.

Mark is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and graduate of Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program.