Daniel Rechtschaffen, Marriage and Family Therapist, is the author of The Way of Mindful Education and The Mindful Education Workbook. He is the founding director of Transformative Educational Leadership. He organizes the annual Mindfulness in Education Conference and Teacher Training at the Omega Institute. Daniel offers keynote speeches and mindfulness trainings at conferences, schools, communities, and businesses, such as University of Wisconsin Madison, Google, Esalen Institute, and schools around the globe. Daniel teaches mindfulness through music, sports, storytelling, games and other creative and engaging ways. He is inspired to utilize mindfulness to help us become more conscious, compassionate, and committed to taking care of this miraculous world we live in. He is the founding director of Mindful Education, a mindfulness-based social and emotional learning platform for educators.
Patricia Rockman is an associate professor with the University of Toronto, department of family and community medicine; cross appointed to psychiatry. She is the past chair of the Ontario College of Family Physicians Collaborative Mental Health Network. She is a medical psychotherapist and leads MBCT and MBSR groups. She also provides mentorship and trains clinicians to deliver MBCT and MBSR. She has been educating healthcare providers in stress reduction, CBT and mindfulness-based practices for over 20 years. She is a founder and the Director of Education and Clinical Services at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies and the developer of the MBCT Facilitation Certificate Program.
Patricia Rockman, MD CCFP FCFP, Executive Director of the Centre for Mindfulness Studies
Thaxter Williams has senior level experience in financial services and business management, including accounting, taxation and financial planning. He also has extensive knowledge of risk assessment and insurance, as well as investment products. Thaxter has consistently demonstrated abilities to simplify complex problems, meet demanding objectives and easily gain the confidence of both staff and clients. He earned his Master of Science in Taxation at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California, and holds a B.A. in Business Administration. He is the past president of the Longmont Twin Peaks Rotary, the Chair of the Longmont Downtown Development Authority, and also serves on the board of the Longmont Affordable Housing Corporation. Previously he was involved in the Longmont Chamber of Commerce, the St.Vrain Valley School District Leadership Program, and the Longmont Community Justice Partnership.
Thaxter Williams, CPA, MST, Longmont Downtown Development Association
Jessica Morey, MA is the Executive Director of iBme. She began practicing meditation at age 14 on teen retreats offered by the Insight Meditation Society (IMS). She returned every year for 6 years and then participated for 10 years in an IMS young adult mentoring group. Jessica has attended longer retreats (1-3 months) in Asia and the U.S., and is a founding board member and lead teacher for iBme teen retreats. Before joining iBme, Jessica worked in clean energy and climate policy and finance. She holds a BA in Environmental Engineering from Dartmouth and Masters degrees in Sustainable Development and International Affairs. Her published works range from the chapter ‘Ordinary Awakening’ in Blue Jean Buddha to Conflict Resolution of the Boruca Hydro-Energy Project: Renewable Energy Production in Costa Rica. Her experience of bringing mindfulness into her work and life was described in a 2012 Shambala Sun article ‘Dharma 2.0.’ More recently she wrote an article in the February 2014 Mindful Magazine, ‘Finding My Way,’about her experience learning and benefiting from mindfulness throughout her young adult years. She is an avid yoga practitioner and skier and loves dancing in any form.
Executive Director, iBme
Michelle Benedict is the Program Director of BeMindful, a Denver-based organization inspiring communities to engage in the practice of mindfulness. She brings years of classroom teaching experience, along with a strong background in sales, marketing, and management to the Rocky Mountain Mindfulness Center's advisory council. She incorporates mindful living into her personal and professional life, and advocates mindfulness and trauma-informed responsiveness for all sectors of our society. She earned a master’s degree in education from Lindenwood University and is currently resides in St. Louis, Mo. She has received training in several mindfulness and self-regulation programs and is certified in Mental Health First Aid for Youth.
In 2017, she presented “Rise Above with Mindfulness” at the TEDx Lindenwood event. Michelle has spent years giving lectures and enrichment workshops for children and adults, aimed at fostering a more connected and mindful world.
She is a proud parent of four young adults and spends her free time communing and camping in nature.
Janet’s passion for contemplative practice began at age 16 when she took her first course in Transcendental Meditation at a community center in Missouri. Her subsequent discovery of the profound healing available through yoga in her early 20’s and, 10 years later, mindfulness meditation, has fueled her commitment to offering these practices to others. A Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice, Certified MBSR teacher, trained MBSR Teacher Trainer, and a graduate from the University of Oxford’s Master’s in MBCT program, Janet has taught 35 MBSR & MBCT courses in the Four Corners region, including in the Durango Cancer Center and Telluride, CO. She offers presentations and workshops on mindfulness for wellness, cancer recovery, and Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness training to hospitals, cancer support organizations, schools and in the community.
Janet Curry, MA
Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness, Masters in MBCT from Oxford
Andres Gonzalez has been the Co-Founder and Marketing Director for the Holistic Life Foundation, Inc. in Baltimore, MD since 2001. For sixteen years, Andres has taught yoga to diverse populations throughout the world, including Baltimore City Public School students, drug treatment centers, mental crisis facilities, homeless shelters, wellness centers, colleges, private schools and other various venues throughout the nation and throughout the world. He has partnered with John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health and the Penn State’s Prevention Research Center on a Stress and Relaxation Study and is a published author in the Journal of Children’s Services. His work with the Holistic Life Foundation has been featured on Making a Differenceon the NBC Nightly News, CNN, and CBS, as well as O the Oprah Magazine, The Washington Post, Upworthy, Mindful Magazine, Yoga Journal, Shambala Sun, and many other publications. He is a certified Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, maintains a B.S. in Marketing from University of Maryland, College Park and an MBA from the University of Maryland, University College.
Co-founder and Marketing Director, Holistic Life Foundation
Janet Solyntjes, MA, Certified MBSR Teacher, a practitioner of mind-body disciplines since 1977, Janet completed a professional training in MBSR with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli in 2002 and is a Certified MBSR Teacher. She is on the faculty of the UMass Center for Mindfulness and leads silent retreats for MBSR teachers-in-training. Janet leads programs and retreats in the US and internationally and is a senior teacher in the Shambhala tradition. She taught extensively as an Adjunct Professor at Naropa University offering undergraduate and graduate courses in meditation.
Janet Solyntjes, MA
Center for Courageous Living Certified MBSR
Carmen Sample is a "Social Entrepreneur" - a social worker by trade that also builds successful and profitable businesses that expand on the social mission of her companies. Carmen received her Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Denver in 2008 after completing two undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She then went on to complete post-graduate education and clinical training at the Denver Family Institute and subsequently became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Addictions Counselor.
Carmen Sample founded Sample Supports in 2010 after spending 10 years working with people with developmental disabilities and mental health needs. Carmen's career in social work started by working extensively in direct care and case management with at-risk youth and adults with developmental disabilities. While completing her graduate program, Carmen managed a child placement agency in Boulder County for children and adolescents with developmental disabilities placed in the foster care system. Additionally, Carmen and Mark Sample were host home providers for over 4 years collectively, which provided an excellent opportunity to understand what is needed to effectively support the providers that care for people with disabilities in their homes.
Combining a sense of entrepreneurship with a social work background, Carmen started Sample Supports in 2010 which now provides comprehensive services to 500 individuals with disabilities within her three corporate offices throughout Colorado. Simultaneously, Carmen created Sample Therapy Services, an OBH-approved substance abuse treatment program in Boulder County primarily serving persons on parole and probation that still remains active today. Additionally, Carmen and Mark Sample started several other businesses that work in partnership with Sample Supports to provide employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities. In 2014 they debuted Crystal Joys, a retail jewelry store that now has three locations and an online store. Samples Restaurant opened in 2015, which is a full-service restaurant that has been featured on the food network and has won Colorado's Best Craft Beer Bar two years in a row. Samples Restaurant has also expanded into opening a catering company and a food truck. Finally, Gallery 1874 opened in 2016 and offers a beautiful event venue in a restored historic grange hall. Each business works with each other to provide supplemental services to individuals including employment opportunities, mental health support, and specialized substance abuse treatment.
Within her network of businesses, Carmen currently employs over 300 people and attributes her success to having a skilled team - a team that is mainly comprised of female leaders. Over 80% of her leadership team and top executive positions are filled by women. Empowering other skilled and talented female leaders is a cornerstone of how the companies were built and how the growth rate of the businesses have sustained for over 8 years and counting.
As a social work leader, Carmen has demonstrated that social service agencies can become successful profitable enterprises with long-term sustainability, independent of donations and non-profit red tape. Running socially conscious businesses is her passion that she describes and recounts with others in her popular online blog. Additionally, one of her favorite things is to remind social workers that they must not only advocate for the people they serve, but to also advocate for themselves. It is possible to do "good" in the world while also becoming experiencing personal success - her social empire proves just that.
Susan Woods, MSW, LICSW is a licensed Clinical Social Worker and was in psychotherapy practice for many years where in addition to her clinical practice she offered the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) programs. Since 2005, Susan has been a leading consultant and professional trainer in MBSR and MBCT and teaches at venues worldwide. She developed the MBSR and MBCT professional certification programs at the Mindfulness-Based Professional Training Institute, University of California San Diego, USA, is a senior MBSR/MBCT mentor and supervisor, and a professional advisor on mindfulness-based clinical trials. In addition, Susan was asked to consult with the Center for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto, Canada to assist them in building their MBSR professional training pathway. More recently, she was part of a strategic team at the Center for Mindfulness at UMass Medical School in Worcester, MA, USA that was tasked to do a review of the center’s MBSR programs. She has presented on the clinical application of mindfulness at numerous conferences. Susan is
the author of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy – Embodied Presence and Inquiry in Practice (2019)as well as chapters in edited books on the training of health professionals in mindfulness-based skills. She is currently working on a book on MBSR scheduled to be published in 2020.
Susan Woods, LCSW UCSD Medical School MBSR Mentor, Centre for Mindfulness Studies.
Philip Murphy is a founding principal of the Commonwealth Mindful Philanthropy Group, a philanthropic advisory firm that provides institutional advancement solutions for nonprofit organizations in the US and the UK, with an emphasis on serving organizations in the contemplative sector. Following a successful tenure as an independent music record label executive, Philip embarked on a career in the advancement field and has served in senior leadership positions at several research universities including the University of Southern California, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directed the $500 million Campaign for Students fundraising initiative. Philip earned a degree in social and behavioral sciences from Johns Hopkins and also hold a professional designation in authentic leadership from the Authentic Leadership Center at Naropa University. He is certified as a mindfulness facilitator by the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center. Philip currently serves on the board of directors of the Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley (Easthampton, MA) and the Hope House recovery home (Boston, MA), and is a former board member at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center. He resides in western Massachusetts with his wife Anne, and their four rescue greyhounds.
Mindful Commonwealth Philanthropy Group, iBme
David Treleaven, PhD, is a writer and educator working at the intersection of mindfulness and trauma. He is the author of the acclaimed new book Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness (W. W. Norton), and founder of the Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness (TSM) Community — a group committed to setting a standard of care within mindfulness-based practices, interventions, and programs.
Through workshops, keynotes, podcasts, and online education, David focuses on offering mindfulness providers with the knowledge and tools they require to meet the needs of those struggling with trauma. He is passionate about connecting his audience with on-the-ground experts, and is closely engaged with current empirical research to inform best practices.
David Treleaven, Ph.D. Author, Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness
Sam Himelstein, PhD is a Licensed Psychologist who’s worked in juvenile halls, chemical dependency settings, schools, outpatient hospitals, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, in community settings, and in private practice with teens, their families, and adults struggling with trauma, addiction, depression and anxiety, burnout, and general stress. A formerly incarcerated youth himself, Dr. Himelstein was privileged to change his life from a path of drugs, violence, crime, and self-destruction to that of healing and transformation. His mission is to help people become aware of the power of self-awareness and transformation, and train teens, parents, and professionals with similar interests.
Sam Himelstein, PhD.
Author, Trauma-Informed Mindfulness