George Painter | Executive Director
George has over 45 years of successful leadership in YMCA Camping. Before coming to the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA Camp Speers, he was the executive director of YMCA Camp Chingachgook on Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains for 26 years and YMCA Camp Wa Wa Segowea in the Berkshires for 4 years. During his career, he grew programs, revenues, and the positive reputation of YMCA Camping, serving over 225,000 children in safe, healthy, and life-changing experiences. He created site master plans for these camps and managed the investment of nearly $8 million in facility renovations and new construction. George is a Certified Camp Director and Accreditation Trainer with the American Camp Association, and a certified Organizational Leader with Y-USA. He is a graduate of Syracuse University and the National Outdoor Leadership School.
In the last 22 years, George established and directed the North American Camp Maintenance and Food Service Conferences, and the Adirondack Training Institute, educating and inspiring over 2,500 camping industry professionals across the country.
Heather Shafi MD, FAAP | Medical Director
Heather has been involved with Dragonfly Forest since 2007 when she started out as a counselor. She has been part of the Green and Blue Unit as well as Arts and Crafts Program Director. This experience helped motivate her to become a pediatrician and throughout her training she continued to volunteer at Dragonfly Forest as part of the Medical Staff. She has since become a board certified pediatrician and became Medical Director in 2015.
Heather currently resides in Cedar Grove, NJ with her husband and son and practices in Northern New Jersey. She is passionate about her beliefs in camp helping to improve self esteem. creativity, and independence in all children. She has seen Dragonfly Forest do wonders for their campers with chronic medical conditions and hopes to always be part of the Dragonfly Family.
Mark Manning | Development Director
Mark started working for summer camps in 2007 at Makemie Woods in Virginia. He has been fortunate enough to work or volunteer for camps ever summer since! He volunteered with Camp Kesem at UVA for 4 years and ultimately served as chapter director in 2011. After graduating from U.Va. in 2011, he moved to Lake Tahoe, California for the best winter alternative to summer camp: kids ski & snowboard school. He spent two years as a full-time snowboard instructor with Northstar California.
After ski season ended, he spent 2012 at day camps in Anchorage, Tuntutuliak, and Chevak, Alaska with Campfire USA Alaska Council before volunteering as a camp advisor with Camp Kesem at University of Richmond and Southern Utah University in 2012. After another ski season, he worked as a program director with Camp Kesem and supported 11 Camp Kesem chapters in the northwest region from 2013-2015.
He's called Virginia, California, and Alaska home, however Mark is excited to settle into his new home in Philadelphia to work as Dragonfly Forest's inaugural development director! Moving forward, he hopes to foster a community where our supporters feel authentically engaged as part of the Dragonfly Forest family. Ultimately, he hopes to help Dragonfly Forest expand so it can serve more children with medical and developmental needs.
Finally, Mark can't wait to be a counselor at Dragonfly Forest for the first time in 2016! See you at camp!