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Chris Conard: Forty Under 40

Congratulations to Chris Conard, executive director at Playworks Utah. He was named one of Utah Business’ 2018 Forty Under 40 honorees.


Chris Conard, Playworks Utah - Utah Business 2018 Forty Under 40

It was 10 years ago in Oakland, California, that Chris Conard started his career as a coach for Playworks, a nonprofit focused on providing children with safe, healthy play. In 2010, he launched Playworks Utah, taking initiative although he had no established network in the state. That year, Playworks Utah had five school partners and reached 2,500 children—today, Playworks partners with 62 schools and reaches 33,000 children.

“I witnessed first-hand the power that safe and healthy play has in building stronger relationships, empowering youth to get active, and to effectively teach values of resilience, grit, curiosity, empathy and perseverance,” says Conard. “These are all traits that I strongly believe lead to success in adulthood, and I became passionate about cultivating these values in our nation’s kids. These non-cognitive skills are strongly linked to adult success, yet are under-taught in our current education system, and I wanted to move forward on a path that allowed me to be a part of that change.”

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: In addition to the work he does with Playworks Utah, Conard is a Rotary member, a board member for Voices for Utah Children, and is involved with Action for Healthy Kids.