Steve is co-founder and the Chairman of the Board for Meditation4Leadership. An active partner, practice area manager and office manager at a large international law firm, Steve observed that he could be more personally satisfied and professionally effective by applying the lessons learned from regular meditation practice. It was then only a small leap for him to wonder how much more effective an entire business, community or political organization could be if a critical mass of leaders in the organization meditated regularly. Steve has been facilitating workshops on meditation and leadership for several years and has recently authored a book, Leading From Within: A Guide to Maximizing Your Effectiveness Through Meditation, which links 13 key leadership traits with associated meditations. His goal is to enlighten people in understanding how incorporating mediation practices improves personal and organizational focus. Steve is thrilled by the value added by—and enthusiasm created with—the other co-founders and board members to bring the Meditation4Leadership vision into reality.
Marilyn Hailperin Chief Operating Officer & Secretary
Marilyn is new to meditation and can’t believe she waited this long to change her life. She became Chief Operating Officer of Meditation4Leadership after a successful 30+ year career as an executive and business development professional in the technology and healthcare industries and leadership roles with several non-profit/charitable organizations. She is a scientist by academic training (BS-University of Pennsylvania and MS- Jefferson University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences) and led the international research program at a rare disease advocacy group. It is there she witnessed directly the power of the mind to help heal the body. One of Marilyn’s goals is to convince her tense, alpha colleagues that the practice of meditation is a path for personal enlightenment and professional success. “If I can do it, so can they.”
Jay Shah Treasurer
Jay Shah, President of Star Advisory Services, LLC, a boutique consulting firm, has significant experience in fundraising, mergers & acquisitions, strategy development & execution, operations and finance. Over the past 30+ years, he has been involved with 30 plus successful acquisition / divestiture transactions with an aggregate purchase price of over $1 billion. He has worked in several industries, such as, healthcare, e-commerce, media / publishing, talent management, financial services, hospitality, apparel, asset management and not-for-profit.
Jay holds the Bachelor of Science in Accounting from New York University, and Masters of Business Administration from Columbia University. He won the New Jersey Tech Council “CFO Hall of Fame Award” in 2015 and won Smart CEO “Executive Management Award” in 2015. Mr. Shah is an Ex-Advisory Board Member for the CFO Alliance and for New Jersey Technology Council’s CFO Advisory Board.
Stefanie Levine Cohen Board Member
Stefanie is excited to bring to Meditation4Leadership her passion for helping people to connect to their inner truth and to one another. Stefanie is a writer, instructor and full-time volunteer focused on issues involving birth, death, afterlife and the human condition. Her work explores moments of transition in people’s lives and focuses particularly on the intersection between the psychological and the spiritual. Stefanie’s signature workshop, “Writing from the Heart,” helps writers at all levels explore their personal truth through authenticity and creative expression. Stefanie has studied religion, spirituality, meditation and intuition with numerous teachers including Sylvia Boorstein, Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, and James Van Praague. She earned bachelors and masters degrees in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from New York University School of Law. Stefanie’s writing has been published in a variety of literary journals and anthologies and can be viewed at www.stefanielevinecohen.com.
Thomas J. Drury, Jr. Board Member
Tom Drury is a seasoned CEO with broad experience in early stage information technology company settings and has been a partner in a regional venture capital firm. He currently serves in a CEO / Founder mentoring and coaching role with multiple early stage information technology businesses. In 2006, after several years of study, Tom became a practicing Buddhist, completing his refuge vows under the direction of Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche. Over the past twelve years he has become deeply immersed in Buddhist teachings on life and spirituality and has proactively sought out ways to communicate compassion and loving kindness to those in need of spiritual support, particularly within a health care setting. Tom actively participated as a hospice volunteer and completed two years of formal education as an Associate Clinical Chaplain. He also teaches introductory courses on Buddhist spirituality and meditation.
Lisa Jacobs Board Member and Chief Coaching Officer
The death of Lisa’s father fueled her search and ultimate passion for embracing meditation and mindfulness. “Yoga and meditation changed my life.” The moving meditation of yoga created space for her to open her heart and create deeper connections with others and inspire them to find their own personal path. Her commitment to deepen her mindfulness practice stems from her passionate embrace of courageous leadership; mindfulness connects us to the leader within. “We are constantly evolving and experiencing life’s transitions,” says Lisa. “Fierce courage allows us to bring an awareness to experience these everyday transitions and live a fulfilled and rich life.” Lisa Jacobs is a Mindfulness Facilitator/Coach and, as Chief Coaching Officer for Meditation4Leadership, facilitates our Coaching Team developing workshops on topics such as Vision & Goals, Courageous Leadership and Embracing Mindfulness as well as one-on-one leadership coaching. Lisa is a graduate of The George Washington University (BS in Business Administration) and NYU (Masters in Arts and Administration). She has an extensive background in credit analysis and finance, as well as corporate advertising. Lisa has served in leadership roles on several non-profit boards, including as previous president of Meditation4Leadership.
Elizbeth Mell Board Member
Elizabeth Mell has spent her career in professional services marketing and business development strategy. Before starting her own company, Mell Consulting, She served as the Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Montgomery McCracken. She has held positions at several other law firms, including Fox Rothschild, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney and Morgan Lewis. Her career path includes working at DuPont Legal and the Philadelphia Bar Association. Three times in her career she has taken on newly-created roles, introducing and pioneering new programs. Elizabeth began practicing meditation in 2011 through a biofeedback program at Jefferson University Hospital’s Headache Center.
Dedicated to empowering people through conscious awareness, Micheline Nader BSN, MPH, DESS, is a best-selling author, serial healthcare entrepreneur and President of Jesra Impact, which creates breakthrough content, education and networks. Jesra Impact is committed to empowering individuals through conscious awareness to turn their limitations into catalysts and transform their passion into purpose. Micheline credits her journey from loss to success to the process of conscious awareness — and provides guidance to help others achieve long-lasting emotional wellness beyond any trauma. Through her transformative process, she helps individuals uncover limiting patterns of behavior and embrace their true selves.
Scott Rosen Board Member
As a lifetime spiritual and holistic seeker and entrepreneur/business owner, Scott believes that Meditation4Leadership is a much-needed resource for people in all walks of life to improve their personal and professional effectiveness. Scott began seeking deeper spiritual meaning in his life in his early 20s, attending spiritual and holistic retreats at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY and others, and he became a big fan of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. (speaker and author of numerous mindfulness books). After 15 years in corporate leadership and HR roles with Fortune 500 companies, Scott started his own staffing business, The Rosen Group, which focuses exclusively on placing HR professionals in temporary and direct hire positions. For four years, Scott also operated his own holistic center in southern NJ called Transformations. Scott earned his Bachelor of Science in Business from Rider University.
Additional Team Members
Clayton Platt President
Towards the end of his 20+ year career as a team leader in banking and a senior consultant in wealth management with Citigroup, Clayton was introduced to George Kinder, the father of Financial Life Planning and a renowned Meditation teacher in Cambridge, MA. His work with the Kinder Institute marked the start of two decades of mindfulness practice that continues to this day. It also began a realignment in Clayton’s personal mission and priorities as he eventually left the corporate world and took on increasingly higher-level positions in not-for-profit fundraising. Following his work in the non-profit sector, Clayton transitioned into being a full-time teacher/trainer/coach. As part of several global training companies (BlessingWhite/GP Strategies and NeuroLeadership Institute), he has used his passion and talent for helping individuals reach their full potential at Fortune 100 companies. Under the tutelage of luminaries Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, Clayton has participated in the intensive two-year Mindfulness Meditation Teachers Certification program, and during the pandemic alone he has personally led over 50 virtual mindfulness classes. In his role as President of Meditation4Leadership, Clayton’s professional experience, deepest passions, and values are perfectly aligned. His commitment is to help Steve Cohen, the board, M4L staff, and community bring meditation more broadly into the workplace and, in so doing, help shape more mindful and effective leaders and organizations.
Lisa Gonzalez Chief Meditation Officer
Lisa leads the development of courses for Meditation4Leadership, enhances the high quality of instruction and outcomes, and recruits Meditation4Leadership’s roster of teachers. Prior to this, Lisa taught in a variety of roles. As a former schoolteacher, Lisa understands the importance of meditation and mindfulness within organizations. She studied yoga and meditation from renowned teacher, Jonny Kest, and is a “teacher of teachers” leading some of the most successful Teacher Trainings in the nation for Life Time Fitness. Lisa is a rare combination of experienced teacher, daily meditator and dynamic group program facilitator. “I believe a personal commitment to meditation and mindfulness enhances all the relationships in your life, giving you the tools to become a more effective leader,” says Lisa.
Renee Paravati Business Development Wellness Advocate
Renee is responsible for establishing and deepening business relationships by introducing Meditation4Leadership’s unique meditation program to organizations as a means of aiding in staff development and overall well being. She is committed to realizing our mission with each of our customers: to build leadership skills and enhance wellness by teaching meditation to business, nonprofit and community leaders, resulting in improved individual and organizational performance.