Carin WInterCarin Winter – CEO

Carin Winter founded Mission Be, Mindful Education in 2014. In the past two years, Carin and Mission Be have brought their mindfulness program to 52 schools in New York and California, measurably reducing stress and improving performance and self-regulation for over 40,000 students and 1,000 teachers. Carin is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) with a master’s degree graduating Summa Cum Laude from Adelphi University. She has extensive clinical experience working with youth in schools, foster care and the juvenile justice system. Carin maintained a private counseling and healing practice for over a decade and spent nine years as a social worker at Islip Public Schools in New York specializing in substance abuse.


Carin founded Embrace Yoga Center in New York in 2007 where she directed a team teaching yoga, mindfulness, children’s yoga, movement and dance until 2014. In 2015, she was appointed to the advisory board of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Social Movement in Sandy Hook, CT.  She is also an advisory member to Sam Beard’s organization GIFT, Global Investment Foundation for Tomorrow, with a goal to bring mindfulness to millions of people around the world. In her free time Carin can be found meditating, gardening, riding her bike and practicing yoga.



Alissa B SchwartzAlissa Schwartz – Secretary

Alissa Schwartz, LCSW, CHP is a licensed clinical psychotherapist and a certified hypnotherapist. Ms. Schwartz is the co-founder of the Center for Soulful Living, a holistic health and wellness psychotherapy practice in Commack, NY. Alissa’s passion & life’s work has been to help men & women of all ages find deeper meaning & purpose in their lives.  Alissa has spent the last 20 years dedicated to helping children find their voice, serves proudly on the board and believes fully in Mission Be’s goal to bring mindfulness practices to others around the globe.


Mike Dempsey – Vice President

Mike Dempsey is a founding Board member for the WTC United Family Group, which is now known as The September 11 Education Trust. Mike coordinates programs such as the Oklahoma City/September 11th Family Exchange which is a mutual peer support program, which unites the September 11th community with the members of the Oklahoma City bombing community held each year in April and September. Throughout each portion of the exchange, peer support activities are held to promote healing and connection, and include support groups, panel discussions and visits to respective memorials and commemorative ceremonies. Mike was also a member of the Coalition of 9/11 Families from 2003-2006.

Mike Dempsey has been a director at KPMG for the past 5 years in the Operations Risk service line specializing in operational risk, enterprise risk, and third party risk management. Mike joined KPMG from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond where he was the lead examiner and team leader for Large Bank Supervision based in Charlotte and a member of the inter-agency Basel Qualification Team. Prior to the Fed, Mike was regional head of Operational Risk and global head of business continuity at Hypo Real Estate Group based in Munich, Germany and Depfa Bank based in Dublin, Ireland from 2007-2009.

Mike holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Nova Southeastern University.

Monica Iken

Monica Iken – Treasurer

Monica Iken is the founder and chair of the board of September’s Mission. Ms. Iken lost her husband Michael, a bond broker on the 84th floor of Tower Two, in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and channeled her grief into establishing September’s Mission soon after September 11. In January 2002, New York Governor George Pataki appointed Ms. Iken to the advisory board of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. In this capacity, Ms. Iken has met regularly with civic, business, political and family leaders to help establish a proper process for honoring the lives that were lost on September 11. In addition, Ms. Iken has sought out the advice and support of families and groups around the world, including Oklahoma City and Hiroshima, who have undergone a similar memorial process. As one of the leading voices for the relatives of the victims killed on September 11, Ms. Iken has been a frequent speaker at civic alliance meetings, regional planning gatherings and other symposiums dedicated to the memorial process. In addition, Ms. Iken has been featured in prominent news media outlets. Iken was born, raised and currently resides in Manhattan with her husband and has 2 girls 3 & 5. She graduated with a degree in education and sociology from Hunter College in 1995 and was an Elementary School Teacher for several years in the New York public school system prior to founding September’s Mission. She is also a Board member of the National September 11th Memorial & Museum.

Monica is the CEO of September’s Mission, our fiscal sponsor.

Dr. Laura B. Tanyi Asher - Mission BeRev. Dr. Laura B. Tanyi Asher

Rev. Dr. Laura B. Tanyi Asher, Founder of Medicine and Ministry Seeds of Love Foundation, has a vast history of compassionate work in the DC/MD/VA area, throughout the United States and around the world. Dr. Asher works in trauma settings, disasters areas, and with those living in rural and poor environments. In addition to providing basic primary health care, Dr. Asher teaches women and children mindfulness techniques to better cope with trauma, empowerment strategies and user friendly principles of peaceful and compassionate living. Dr. Asher applies these strategies to aid homeless pregnant women and battered children.

Barry MargerumBarry Leigh Margerum

Barry Margerum has over 30 years of executive and board of director level business experience in California high technology companies. As the Chief Strategy Officer of Plantronics and a long-term mindfulness practitioner, he introduced Search Inside Yourself (SIY), a mindfulness-based emotional intelligence for leaders program, to Plantronics in June 2012.  Mr. Margerum became a certified SIY teacher in 2015 and currently teaches mindfulness classes to executives and workers around the world.

Mr. Margerum holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Princeton University and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University.



Founding Members




Jim Flanagan – Founding Treasurer

Jim Flanagan is the Vice President of PricewaterhouseCoopers Financial Services practice. Prior to July 2016, Jim was the US Leader of the  since January 1, 2006. This includes the Banking and Capital markets, Insurance, and Asset Management sectors. In this role, Jim is actively involved with the PwC global Financial Services leadership team as well as the US firm s Audit Leadership team. In these capacities, Jim is involved with developing trends in the Financial Services and broader marketplace. He has extensive involvement with PwC s strategic initiatives and has significant interaction with our major accounts, our national office, and the issues and challenges our clients and engagement teams face.

Jim’s experiences during his 29 years with the firm have included 16 years in the Transaction Services practice (M&A business). Prior to assuming his current role, Jim was the US leader of PwC s Transaction Services practice, from 2001 to 2005, having previously managed the Midwest and Southwest TS practices. Jim was involved in the Transactions Services practice from inception in 1989, including a seven-year assignment in Cleveland to start and develop this practice.

Jim is a member of the AICPA and the State Societies of Ohio and New York. Jim is a Board member of The Ronald McDonald house of New York. He has also been actively involved in Junior Achievement over many years. Jim received his Bachelor of Arts degree from CW. Post in 1982, and joined PwC upon graduation. He has also attended the Leadership in Professional Services Firms Program at Harvard.




Louis Medina – Founding Vice President 

Louis Medina has worked with community-based not-for-profits for over 40 years.  Lou started out as a career counselor.  During that time he attended Adelphi University where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Welfare.  He was then employed as Program Director for a group home for boys in Riverhead, NY and later became the Executive Director for the Three Village Boys and Girls Club for 12 years.  Lou attended Stony Brook University where he received his Master of Social Work Degree and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. The Institute for Not-for-Profit Management Middle Management Program for Youth Service Organizations, as well as attending Clemson University’s Executive Leadership Program.  Lou was appointed to the Suffolk County Hispanic Advisory Board in 2004 by Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy.  Lou  conducted a community wide assessment of gang activity in Central Islip, where he developed a series of workshops for the youth, parents and community.  He has also conducted numerous workshops on gangs throughout Suffolk County.  In July 2006 Lou was appointed by County Executive Steve Levy as the Executive Director of the Suffolk County Youth Bureau, a position which he held until March 2012. In 2007 Lou was appointed to serve as a member of the Independent Review Board by Commissioner Gladys Carrion from the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and held that position until March 2012.  Lou was elected President of the Association of NY State Youth Bureau’s in 2011.  Lou is currently a trainer at the Suffolk County Board of Elections.  Lou continues to volunteer at not-for-profit community based organizations where he mentors and presents on issues relating to gang prevention, violence prevention and anti-bullying programs.