Wednesday Plenary

Maria Palma, Program Director, CHEF (Culinary Health Education for Families), The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio

After spending several years working in Japan, Ms. Palma trained at the Culinary Institute of America (San Antonio) and graduated with distinction. During her four years as Director of CHEF at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, Ms. Palma has overseen programming and operations, including the opening of their CHEF Teaching Kitchen. Her interests include community outreach, education, health and wellness, social justice, and food studies.

Prior to joining CHEF, Ms. Palma spent five years working with the San Antonio Food Bank’s Nutrition Health and Wellness Division. While there, she coordinated and led culinary nutrition education for a wide range of clients across the broader San Antonio area, including at-risk youth, cancer survivors, incarcerated individuals, senior citizens, women’s leadership organizations, children and adolescents, SNAP recipients, and food pantry patrons.

Thursday Keynote

Cindy Tyler, Principal/Owner, Terra Design Studios

Cindy Tyler has focused her landscape architectural career on the planning and design of teaching landscapes, using public gardens as her stage.  She was one of the founding partners of Marshall.Tyler.Rausch and, in 2006, created Terra Design Studios so that she could feed her passion to connect families to their green world.  She has master planned 48 public gardens in eighteen states.



Friday Keynote

Margaret Lamar, Chief Strategy Officer, Cibolo Nature Center & Farm

For over 25 years, Margaret has served as a national leader in designing programs that increase outdoor physical activity, mental health, and healthy lifestyles for children and families.
In her current role at Cibolo Nature Center & Farm, Margaret supports the Cibolo teams in building and executing strong programs that align with the best conservation and sustainability practices. Through education programs at the nature center and on the historic Herff Farm, children, families, landowners and community leaders learn to value and protect the treasured land, water and wildlife at the Cibolo and beyond.

Previously Margaret served as Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Children & Nature Network where she built initiatives in target communities across the U.S. to fuel the effort to connect children to nature.