James R. Doty, MD, James Doty, MD, is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at Stanford University and the Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education as Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of CA, Irvine and medical school at Tulane University. He trained in neurosurgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and completed fellowships in pediatric neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia (CHOP) and in neuroelectrophysiology focused on the use of evoked potentials to assess the integrity of neurological function. His more recent research interests have focused on the development of technologies using focused beams of radiation in conjunction with robotics and image-guidance techniques to treat solid tumors and other pathologies in the brain and spinal cord. He spent 9 years on active duty service in the U.S. Army Medical Corp.
As Director of CCARE, Dr. Doty has collaborated on a number of research projects focused on compassion and altruism including the use of neuro-economic models to assess altruism, use of the CCARE developed compassion cultivation training in individuals and its effect, assessment of compassionate and altruistic judgment utilizing implanted brain electrodes and the use of optogenetic techniques to assess nurturing pathways in rodents. Presently, he is developing collaborative research projects to assess the effect of compassion training on immunologic and other physiologic determinates of health, the use of mentoring as a method of instilling compassion in students and the use of compassion training to decrease pain.
Dr. Doty is also an inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist having given support to a number of charitable organizations including Children as the Peacemakers, Global Healing and Family & Children Services. These charities support a variety of programs throughout the world including those for HIV/AIDS support, blood banks, medical care in third world countries and peace initiatives. Additionally, he has endowed chairs at major universities including Stanford University and his alma mater, Tulane University. He is on the Board of Directors of a number of non-profit foundations including the University of Southern California Brain and Creativity Institute, the Friends of New Orleans (FONO) and the Dalai Lama Foundation of which he is Chairman. He is also on the International Advisory Board of the Council for the Parliament of the World’s Religions.
Daniel Rechtschaffen, Marriage and Family Therapist, is the author of The Way of Mindful Education: Cultivating Well- Being in Teachers and Students. He founded the Mindful Education Institute and the Omega Mindfulness in Education conference. He leads mindfulness in education trainings and conferences at institutions such as the Omega Institute, Esalen, and California Institute of Integral Studies. He has helped create curriculum for organizations such as Mindfulness Without Borders, Mindful Schools, and The Mindful Mothering Project. Daniel leads mindfulness trainings for schools and communities around the world, such as the South Burlington School District, The Paideia School in Atlanta, and Phucket International Academy in Thailand. He has had amazing results teaching mindfulness to high-school basketball and baseball teams. Daniel also has a private psychotherapy practice in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Fred Luskin, Ph.D., is the director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects, an ongoing series of workshops and research projects that investigate the effectiveness of his forgiveness methods on a variety of populations. The forgiveness project has successfully explored forgiveness therapy with people who suffered from the violence in Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone as well as the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. In addition his work has been successfully applied and researched in corporate, medical, legal and religious settings. He currently also serves as a Senior Consultant in Health Promotion at Stanford University and is a Professor at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. He presents lectures, workshops, seminars and trainings on the importance, health benefits and training of forgiveness, stress management and emotional competence throughout the United States. He offers presentations and classes that range from one hour to ongoing weekly trainings. He is the author of Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness (HarperSanFrancisco, 2001) and Stress Free for Good: Ten Proven Life Skills for Health and Happiness(HarperSanFrancisco, 2005), with Kenneth Pelletier, Ph.D. Dr. Luskin holds a Ph.D. in Counseling and Health Psychology from Stanford University.
Kunal Sood, MA, MSc, Kunal Sood, MA, MSc is Co-Principal Investigator, Global Health Sciences at University of California, San Francisco; and Director atIndia Forge. Kunal is a global health scientist and researcher with a special focus on global mental health using positive psychology. His career has focused mainly on the healthcare and wellness sectors for the past decade. He’s served in management and executive roles at two multinational companies in India and the US. He brings a rare combination of deep insight and practical business sense with the ability to mobilize financial and human resources. He has considerable hands-on experience working with underserved populations and is an advocate for human rights and social action initiatives, with an unwavering commitment to making a positive difference in the emerging fields of global health and positive psychology.
His specialties include positive psychology, global health, transpersonal and integral psychology, palliative care counseling, obesity treatment and prevention, design management, and strategic branding and marketing.
Kunal was previously Guest Chef at LoveSpring, Friend at TEDxSF, Student at Kellogg School of Management, Designer at Startup Weekend, Visiting Scholar at Partners in Urban Knowledge Action and Research, Graduate Student in Counseling Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies, Intern (Institute for Health and Healing) at California Pacific Medical Center, Clinical Associate at Chennai Kaliappa Hospital, Executive Education at Indian School of Business, Master Trainer & Membership Sales Consultant at Town Sports International, and Wellcoach at Wellcoaches Corporation.
Kunal earned his B.B.A in Design Management at the Parsons School of Design in 2004. He earned his MA in Counseling Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies in 2010. He earned his MSc in Global Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco in 2011. He is currently finishing up his MBA in Marketing, General Management, Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University — Kellogg School of Management.
Don McPherson, for more than 20 years, has used the power and appeal of sport to address complex social issues. McPherson has paralleled a highly decorated football career with cutting-edge work on vital and contemporary issues that impact the lives of every American. With testimony before the US Congress, appearances on national news, the Oprah Winfrey show and lectures across North America, McPherson has reached more than 1 million people.
Don was a two sport high school All-American athlete (football, track). He attended Syracuse University and was a unanimous All-America quarterback and captain. He is also a veteran of the NFL and Canadian Football League. At Syracuse, Don McPherson, led the NCAA and won more than 18 national “player of the year” awards. He was runner up f for the Heisman Trophy and was enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame. Don’s played for the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Oilers, as well as, the Canadian Football League’s.
He remained active in the off-season in his service to the community which now spans three decades. Don has delivered school and community based program s addressing issues such as drunk driving, alcohol and substance abuse, bullying, youth leadership and mentoring.
Upon retiring from pro football in 1994, he joined Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society as national director of Athletes in Service to America, an AmeriCorps funded program. While there, Don turned his focus to the issue of “men’s violence against women.” He became Director of Sport in Society’s Mentors in Violence Prevention Program (MVP) emerging as a national leader and advocate for the prevention of sexual and domestic violence. Don joined forces with Liz Claiborne, Inc. in 1996 to create a series of public service announcements targeted to reach the predominately male “sports” audience. Don has conducted workshops and lectures for more than 200 college campuses, community, national sports and violence prevention organizations.
Don has twice testified before the United States Congress and has worked with US Departments of Education and Defense and, the Pentagon on issues of sexual violence in education and the military, respectively. He has has been featured in O Magazine. In 2002 he founded the Sports Leadership Institute at Adelphi University, for which he served as executive director. Don McPherson has worked as a college football analyst for ESPN, BET and NBC. He currently is on the advisory committee for the National Football Foundation and the board for the Ms. Foundation for Women.
Don will be advising the team on fundraising and the business aspects of the project.
Dr. Anthony Pantaleno was awarded the NASP 2013 School Psychologist of the Year and is practicing School Psychologist of 34 years in the Elwood School District in East Northport, Long Island. His professional interests include the development of peer helping models, the assessment and treatment of personality disorders, the application of mindfulness and psychology practices to treatment protocols, and the preservation of the field of School Psychology.
As a School Psychology practitioner of thirty-four years, Dr. Pantaleno has been a lifetime advocate for social-emotional learning and the critical importance of how this facet of educational practice supports the academic and career goals of all children. Anthony was the founding member of Natural Helpers Program in Elwood in 1978, a peer helping model which trains nominated peer helpers in facilitative listening and crisis intervention skills. He went on to build the Natural Helpers of Long Island, a coalition of twelve Long Island high schools which modeled the philosophy and practice of peer helping, ran monthly advisor meetings for participating schools, and coordinated an annual NHLI conference.
After seventeen years of Natural Helpers work, Dr. Pantaleno moved on to bring a second major peer helping initiative to his district. Operation Respect began as a major outreach by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary Fame, and was designed to be transplanted locally around the theme of the program theme song “Don’t Laugh At Me”. Anthony began to recruit middle and high school disabled and non-disabled youth, and chartered monthly social outings. An annual event was also launched where secondary school youth were trained to deliver a lessons to second and fourth graders. In recent years, Anthony teamed with the Mentoring Partnership of Long Island (MPLI) and created teams of underclassmen paired with upperclass men mentors. Teams met weekly for one school year and developed that special bond of trust, support, and caring that characterizes all mentoring relationships.
Anthony was the recipient of the 2011 NYASP Leadership in School Psychology Award, the 2008 SCPA Psychologist of the Year, and the the 2007 NYASP Practitioner of the Year award. He was most recently awarded the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) “School Psychologist of the Year” award.Dr. Pantaleno maintains a private practice in Commack, Long Island.
Toni will be advising us on various aspects of mindful education and assisting us with a “Mindful Day”.
Brian Volk is an intellectual property lawyer and managing partner of his law firm. Brian graduated from Trinity College with a degree in chemistry. While working as a chemist at a pharmaceutical company, he attended the Maurice Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. Brian’s law practice focuses on obtaining patents, trademarks and copyrights for small companies and startups.
Brian grew up in Islip and now lives in Sayville with his wife, Kelly, and two children, Gavin and Elisabeth.
Jay Rifenbary, a Saratoga Springs, NY resident, is president of Rifenbary Training & Development, and author of the International Best-Seller, “No Excuse! – Incorporating Core Values, Accountability and Balance into Your Life and Career”, awarded “Book of the Year” by the North American Book Dealers Exchange and his new release, “True to Your Core – Common Sense Values for Living Life to its Fullest”
Jay is a professional speaker, trainer and consultant; and for the last 20 years has provided his expertise in the areas of personal development, leadership, and communication training to organizations, associations and schools across North America, Europe and Asia.
Jay received his Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, with a concentration in Nuclear Physics.
From being a former qualified Airborne/Ranger, Military Commander, Sales Professional, Corporate Manager and Entrepreneur, Jay brings a unique background of interpersonal skills and business experience to each of his training and speaking engagements.
Within his community, Jay is a member of the Saratoga Springs City School District Board of Education, a member of the 20th Congressional District Service Academy Selection Committee, a member of the board of directors for Patriot Hills of NY, and a columnist for the Saratogian newspaper.
He and his wife, Noni, have two children Nicole 29 and Jared 25. Jack Canfield, Best Selling Author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul”, said of “No Excuse!” that, Jay has given the world a most generous gift. Anyone who applies the “No Excuse!” philosophy can create the life they want and make a difference.
Jay will be assisting us with networking, communications and publishing.
Cliff Brenner is an ordained interfaith minister whose passion is to help raise the consciousness of humanity towards inner peace. He has been working to bring awareness to healing racial, cultural, and religious prejudices which have plagued mankind. He is a spiritual teacher, counselor and adviser and has helped many in recovery from alcohol and drug addictions. He is also a long-time student and teacher of a Course In Miracles and is certified as a facilitator in Attitudinal Healing. Cliff has studied in Ghana, West Africa and was initiated as a Oneness Blessing Giver in 2010 at the Oneness University in India. Recently Cliff has been lecturing on the higher states of human consciousness and is currently writing a book about the power of acceptance, humility, and forgiveness.
Cliff is on the advisory team for the purposes of fundraising.
Danny Paradise has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga since May 1976 and teaching publicly (and occasionally privately) worldwide since 1979. He teaches all levels of students and teachers and was in one of the earliest groups of westerners to learn all the classical sequences of Ashtanga Yoga.
His first teachers were David Williams & Nancy Gilgoff. David was the first western Ashtanga adept. Danny began teaching with David Williams in 1979 and was asked to assist him at that time.
Danny introduces the forms to beginning students, experienced/advanced practitioners and teachers. Many people he has taught are now themselves teaching and have their own schools. He’s also introduced the Ashtanga forms to many people who were Yoga teachers in other traditions and styles.
He’s taught numerous well known artists, musicians, dancers, sports champions and studied with K. Patabbhi Jois in 1978 in Hawaii and 1980 in Hawaii in the USA. This included K.P. Jois’s first advanced series public classes in 1980 which were in Maui, Hawaii.
Danny is also a musician, songwriter and performer. He has produced two CDs and a music/Yoga DVD
He’s also studied and practiced with numerous teachers of other Yoga forms as well as various martial arts including Karate, Kung Fu and Tai Chi.
Danny will be advising the mindful music committee.
Partial Client List: from the MIT Media Lab to the Apple Company to the the Band U2 and the Rolling Stones, EMI Records, WOMAD (Peter Gabriel).
David is a brilliant educational advisor.
Rabbi Jacob Benzaquen was born in England and descends from a line of Spanish, Sephardic congregational rabbis working for the welfare of the Jewish people for more than three generations. He graduated from Yeshiva University, the Kol Yaakov Torah Center and New York University where he earned a B.A., First Rabbinic Degree in Talmudic Law, Rabbinic Ordination and M.A. degrees, respectively. Currently, Jacob serves as the Rabbi at the Kings Park Jewish Center. He is also the founder of Ethical Kosher and EGreen Consulting Ltd, a ﬁrm dedicated to helping businesses go green and increase proﬁtability.
Jacob is available to the parents and administrators to share about the benefits of mindful education. He is also going to assist with the environmental educational aspects of the program.
Jeff Reynolds, An experienced, dynamic and committed public health professional, Dr. Jeffrey L. Reynolds is the Executive Director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD). LICADD provides screening, brief intervention, referrals, relapse prevention and anger management. Under Dr. Reynolds’ leadership, LICADD has pioneered the launch of “Too Good for Drugs, an evidence-based K-12 substance abuse prevention program in several schools, initiated a new mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents and re-branded its Employee Assistance Program, now called “Open Arms EAP.”Dr. Reynolds worked for the Long Island Association for AIDS Care for 19 years, finished his tenure as Vice President for Public Affairs. In 1997, he co-founded BiasHELP of Long Island, an organization dedicated to assisting victims of hate crimes. He also secured federal, state and local grants and launched a wide array of crime victim services and school-based violence prevention.
Dr. Reynolds currently serves as Chair of the Suffolk County Heroin/Opiate Epidemic Advisory Panel, is on the Executive Committee of the Nassau County Heroin Prevention Task Force and serves on Suffolk County’s Welfare-to-Work Commission, the Suffolk County’s Sober Home Oversight Board and remains the longest serving member of the NYS AIDS Advisory Council. He has served as a consultant and grant reviewer for SAMHSA and is a presenter at NHHS conferences. He has authored more than 200 news and op-ed articles. Dr. Reynolds was named one of the “50 most influential Long Islanders” in 2010-12 by the Long Island Press.
Dr. Reynolds holds a Bachelors degree in psychology from Dowling College (1988), a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) with a specialization in health administration from Long Island University (1997) and a doctorate from Stony Brook University’s School of Social Welfare (2007). He remains an Assistant Clinical Professor at Stony Brook, a Certified Anger Management Professional, a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP) and a U.S. Department of Transportation-qualified SAP.
Jeff is advising the business end of the project and the NFP aspects.
Joree Rosenblatt has a Master’s in Counseling Psychology and has done extensive training in mindfulness. She speaks at numerous conferences on the cultivation and implementation of a mindfulness practices, as well as writes for several websites, including Huffington Post and Dot Complicated. Joree teaches her original mindfulness curriculum in corporate and educational settings, and also offers individual mindfulness sessions, group classes, trainings and workshops. In addition to being the school counselor at Seven Hills School, a K-8 independent private school in Walnut Creek, CA, she also facilitates in-class mindfulness instruction to all the students.
Jori is advising our Mindful Parenting Workshops.
Gary Malkin is a seven time Emmy® award-winning composer, producer, performer and public speaker dedicated to making a difference in the world by creating music-driven media and experiences that inspire the heart and catalyze individual and societal healing. As a keynote presenter, he is passionate about the vital role music, media, and the arts can play during these extraordinary times of change as an innovative tool to enhance our humanity, deepen our sense of meaning in our lives, and cultivate greater emotional/social intelligence in an increasingly complex and distracted world.
As a composer for numerous award-winning television and film projects for nearly thirty years – as well as an Immersive Strategist/Artistic Director for conferences worldwide, Gary is known for participating in globally acclaimed projects that support environmental sustainability, spiritual tolerance, children’s health and welfare, cancer research, and cross-cultural healing. He just received Hollywood Music in Media Award’s Best Soundtrack Award (with music partner, Dan Alvarez) in the Indie Feature Documentary category, for his work on the groundbreaking film, Thrive: What on Earth Will It Take? He is the co-creator (with Michael Stillwater) of Graceful Passages: A Companion For Living and Dying, released by his media company, Wisdom of the World, which offers aesthetic ways to help face life transitions with greater mindfulness.
In 2011, he co-authored a CD/Book called Safe in the Arms of Love: Deepening the Essential Bond with Your Baby, which received an award for Best Contribution to the Field by APPPAH, an International organization focusing on Pre and Peri Natal Psychology. He has just released a new genre called
WisdomFilmsTM – Media for Human Being, short-format films for stress reduction and heart/mind integration In 2008, the CEO commissioned Gary and curator of TED, Chris Anderson, to create the theme music for the global broadcast phenomenon, Pangea Day. He also has served as Artistic Director for the Quest for Global Healing Conferences in Bali, Indonesia, (which featured Archbishop Desmond Tutu, among other Nobel Laureates) and was asked to present on the healing power of music on the stage of the Great Hall of China during the Beijing Olympics. An in-demand public speaker at places such as Google, Harvard’s Conference on Spirituality and Health, Scripps Clinic, Kaiser Permanente, and The Institute for Functional Medicine. He was featured on the national PBS Series, Healing Quest, the Huffington Post, promoting a greater understanding of the power of music and the arts as an essential resource for inspiration, emotional intelligence, enhanced creativity and life/balance integration.
Gary will be helping create and advise our mindful music committee, our Mindful CD, digital application and videos.
Cheryl Kurash, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist, maintains a private practice of psychotherapy and mindfulness training in Stony Brook. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine and has served as Coordinator of Mindfulness Programs at the Counseling and Psychological Services, Stony Brook University; Assistant Director of Counseling for Training at SBU; and Associate Professor of Psychology at SUNY/Empire State College.
Over the past 30 years, Cheryl’s commitment to bringing mindfulness training to the university community led her to develop a wide range of educational and clinical programs for students, staff and faculty at SBU and St. Joseph’s College. Her interest in the integration of psychotherapy and mindfulness guides her own clinical work as well as her educational offerings for health care professionals. In 2010 she completed the Teacher Development Intensive Training in MBSR through the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and recently the Integrated Study and Practice Program at Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Cheryl’s study of contemplative practices includes yoga, Tibetan Buddhist (Shambhala) and Vipassana meditation, and East/West psychology with John Welwood, Ph.D. In 1987, she journeyed, under the guidance of Swami Rama of the Himalayan Institute to Gangotri and Gomuk, India, the source of the Ganges River.
Cheryl is an active member of the Mindfulness Meditation NY Collaborative
Richard C. Scheinberg received his undergraduate degree in psychology and sociology in 1975 from the State University of New York at New Paltz and his master’s degree in social work in 1981 from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. He is currently a licensed clinical social worker in the state of New York and a Board Certified Diplomate in clinical social work by the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work. Scheinberg served as an executive board member of the Suffolk County chapter of the Society of Clinical Social Work from 1984 to 1995. Because of his work with graduate students in the 1990s, Scheinberg was recognized as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the New York University School of Social Work in January 2000.
As Mr. Scheinberg has evolved spiritually, he has chosen to devote more time and energy to professional development that is directly associated overall mind-body health. These experiences include ancient and modern forms of meditation.
Richard will be advising us on the therapeutic aspects of the program, as well as, advising us on the business end of the project.
Mikey Siegel is a robotics engineer turned consciousness hacker. He envisions a present and future where technology supports psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being. Where our devices not only connect us to information, but also connect us to ourselves and each other, acting as a catalyst for individual and collective awakening. He is currently founder of BioFluent Technologies, Consciousness Hacking, and the Transformative Technology Conference. He received an MS from the MIT Media Lab.
David Rand After founding, operating, and selling a small enterprise to a publicly traded company, David began a career that would take his humanitarian vision and executive leadership to ever-increasing levels of influence. He led mental health counseling and training programs for therapists and teachers, directed national programs to help micro-entrepreneurs, and served as executive of an international institute focused on advancing and promoting empathy and compassion throughout society. David is a strategic executive who has built a reputation and achieved exemplary results based on his natural ability to bring exceptional people together around topics of ethical decision-making, empethic leadership, and promoting the values and science of compassion and altruism. Having earned an advanced degree in psychology and devoting years of leadership in service to others, David is currently Director of the School for Professional Development and Extended Studies at Naropa University.
Daniel Kottke has been emmersed in the world of mindfulness since the early 1970’s when he became a close friend of Steve Jobs at Reed College in 1972, which led to a
4-month pilgrimage for the two friends to India in 1974. From there, Dan Kottke practically created tech in Silicon Valley, with his two friends Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak by helping build the first Apple-I computer in Steve’s garage in 1976. Kottke worked for Apple 1976-1984 as an early member of the Mac design team. From 1984-2008 Dan was involved in: Lucidity Research, EcheLON, General Magic, SleepTrace, Silicon Gaming, Vertical Networks, CubeRoot, Blinkenlabs, Fastmovie.tv.
Kottke earned his JD in 1998 and produced/hosted the cable tv show The Next Step 2005-2012. He was Gen’l. Partner for Cobb Mtn Partners 2010-14. Kottke is now in the marketplace for smarthome products, where he is now working on a stealth startup aimed at multi-tenant and senior/eldercare market sectors. He has begun working on a memoir about his friendship with Steve Jobs prior to Apple
Emmie Thomas is a social entrepreneur and the CEO and Co-Founder of Knowji, Inc. Knowji is an innovative education technology company that makes vocabulary apps that have been featured by Apple, and has helped countless students improve their vocabulary effortlessly. Emmie is the co-inventor of Knowji’s learning algorithm, which is based on scientifically proven learning methodologies.
Emmie is passionate about education, and loves learning and design. She feels strongly that we must love what we do. For her, a big part of that means doing something that makes a difference in another person’s life.
She is advising Mission Be in our digital application development.