Our teachers design programs that fit the culture of an organization and leadership traits targeted for development. They also lead programs focused on personal wellness.
Lisa Gonzalez, Chief Meditation Officer has been teaching in a variety of roles for over 15 years. As a former school teacher, Lisa understands the importance and relevance of meditation and mindfulness within organizations. She has studied yoga and meditation from world renowned yoga teacher Jonny Kest and holds a 500HR RYT Certificate. She is also a Master Trainer leading one of the most successful yoga teacher trainings in the nation. In December 2018, Lisa deepened her commitment to meditation completing her first 10-day Vipassana course. As Chief Meditation Officer for Meditation4Leadership, Lisa develops programs, recruits and trains M4L teachers and leads meditation and mindfulness programs for organizations of all sizes from 10-500 participants.
Dan Edelston is a TEDx Speaker, Certified Yoga Instructor, and holds a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. He has spent the last 10+ years assisting his clients in improving their lives through an innovative health and wellness approach with a special focus on mediation. He believes anyone can live a happier and more peaceful life as long as they are willing to do the work, step into the unknown and learn to open their hearts.
April Fort has been teaching yoga and meditation for over 13 years and been practicing for over 20. She has three boys who have all been doing yoga since before they were born. Yoga and meditation are her passion; she is a true believer that it is for everyone. April still loves French fries and pizza on occasion, with her tofu and broccoli. She enjoys a margarita too, with salt, and doesn’t believe your yoga and meditation practice should keep you from the things that you like, love, that make you feel good. It should make those things better! The biggest thing she has taken from her practice and teaching is to stay in the moment. To embrace the little things that are fleeting, even common: a newborn’s smile, a good dessert, or even dirty children who deny being dirty.
Karin Otto, ERYT has been studying and practicing Yoga and Meditation for over ten years. As a Registered Yoga Teacher with the National Yoga Alliance, Karin holds a Yoga Teacher Certification from the Lourdes Institute of Wholistic Health and has continued her training with Erich Schiffman and Joan White. She also completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance Performance/ Choreography and Dance Movement Therapy from Goucher College. Karin’s interest in movement, art and the yogic path are reflected in energetic, inspiring classes which emphasize healing, transformation, openness and gratitude. Karin loves sharing her passion for this sacred practice, and guiding students towards wholeness, joy and compassion both on and off the mat.
Naomi Nicholls was born and raised in Canterbury, England. She now lives in and works out of North Carolina. Since 1988, Naomi’s interest in health and fitness led her to commit to a career in those areas. She has a passion for movement, a group fitness certification and experience teaching classes on leadership in both England and the US. Her love of movement and personal spirituality came together in 2016, when she committed to meditation and yoga and, after 500 plus hours of training, became a Yoga Master Trainer, also facilitating meditation training for teachers across the US & Canada. Her 21 years of dance mixed with a love for art, live jazz and music allows her to connect with a multitude of people. She enjoys people and celebrating diversity and bringing people together in community.
Clayton Platt had his first opportunity to exercise his teaching muscles in Cali, Colombia one year out of college, as he taught English as a Second Language to executives of US multinational companies for two years. He later coached financial advisers on behalf of the Kinder Institute of Financial Life Planning, and earned the Registered Life Planner through Kinder. More recently, Clayton coached the Friends Central Girls High School Squash team for three years, while working full time as a corporate trainer and executive coach for BlessingWhite/GP Strategies and the NeuroLeadership Institute (NLI). Through NLI, Clayton earned a certificate in the Foundations of NeuroLeadership, recognizing his study and deep understanding of the principles of neuroscience as they apply to Learning and Development. In January of 2019, Clayton was accepted into the very selective and intensive two-year Mindfulness Meditation Teachers Certification Program run by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach and accredited by the Awareness Training Institute and the Greater Good Science Center at UC-Berkeley. In March 2020, Clayton established an online virtual sangha and he was led over 50 free mindfulness classes since that time.
Alex Schimmel has been teaching yoga, meditation and mindful living for 10 years. He has studied with and learned from Jonny Kest and other nationally recognized yoga teachers. Through his own life experiences, Alex has seen how these practices help him in little ways like becoming a better athlete and in big ways like recovering from major surgery. He believes that learning to direct your attention and focus will create a more optimistic and effective mindset. His teaching style is infused with ancient wisdom, delivered in an authentic, relatable way. Alex teaches breath centered classes that help you unlock your deepest passions and potential.
Jean Wilbert currently lives in Argyle Texas with her supportive, loving husband and their dog. She has three grown children, 2 granddaughters. She was a hairdresser for 30 years and going through a divorce brought her to yoga. In 2007, she received her 200 hour certification from Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, Arizona. Her first job in Texas was Life Time Fitness. She loved teaching so much in 2012, retired from hair and started teaching full time for Life Time Fitness and many different studios in the area. Quickly following her passion she received her 500 hour certification for a Yoga Therapist in 2013. In 2017 she received her certification for Yoga for Cancer, to teach to those who are survivors or currently in treatment and received in 2018 a Certification on Trauma Yoga. In addition in 2019 received a certification for Sound Therapy. She incorporates crystal singing bowls, and chimes in her yoga classes.
Lisa Jacobs, Chief Coaching Officer is a Mindfulness Facilitator and Coach. She blends her 25 years in finance, advertising and owning her own business with mindfulness and coaching teachings. She is a Certified Workplace Mindfulness Facilitator and completed CTI’s Accredited Coach Training Program. Lisa is certified to administer the Emotional Quotient Inventory Assessment (EQI 2.0 and EQ 360) of emotional intelligence. She is passionate about courageous leadership and believes mindfulness connects us to the leader within. She holds a 200HR RYT Teaching Certificate and completed Baptiste Level 1 and Art of Assisting. Her journey of yoga, meditation and self-inquiry drives her longing to create space for greater self-awareness, deeper connections, shifting perspectives and untapped potential, both personally and professionally.
Melissa Severance is an executive and leadership coach with over 15 years of innovative human resource experience. Melissa started her career in accounting at a Big 4 public accounting firm and then pivoted into human resource leadership for a fast-growing entrepreneurial consulting firm. Her expertise includes professional development, training, learning and talent acquisition leadership, strategies and execution. Melissa coaches individual executives, entrepreneurs, and emerging leaders. She inspires, motivates and sparks action in her clients resulting in transformation and achievement of goals and big dreams. She is passionate about helping others improve their professional and personal leadership abilities. Melissa practices daily meditation and yoga that inspire and inform her coaching practice.
Lisa Specter is a certified Leadership Coach, partnering with M4L clients seeking Integrated Leadership Coaching. She is passionate about helping people perform their best, achieve their goals and feel more empowered. Lisa spent 20 years as a Human Resources leader within diverse Fortune 500 organizations before establishing her own private coaching and HR consultancy. She is credentialed as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coaching Federation and is certified to administer the Emotional Quotient Inventory Assessment (EQi 2.0 and EQ 360) of emotional intelligence. In 2016 Lisa completed a 200 hour yoga leadership training and incorporates meditation techniques into her coaching engagements to raise awareness and unlock potential. She has supported hundreds of individuals at all organization levels seeking coaching support as they elevate their leadership skills.
Brenda Vallieu has over 19 years’ experience in corporate learning and development, primarily in leadership development and coaching. Through customized coaching and training programs, she best sums up her work as, ‘I help leaders focus on their inner game, so they can bring their best selves to the outer game.’ Brenda’s journey into corporate L&D began while working at a NYC-based healthcare company, when she was asked to spearhead the company’s first training department. Since then, Brenda has served in management roles for two global organizations, Foot Locker, Inc., and Tiffany & Co. Sharing mindfulness and meditation practices with her clients contribute greatly to how she helps leaders create the right internal conditions to thrive in the modern world. Brenda credits mindfulness in helping her through some of her own most challenging times, like her father’s cancer diagnosis, a move from NYC to Florida to care for her mom, and the (difficult) decision to leave corporate and go out on her own in 2016. She jokes that she was once a “closet meditator” before mindfulness became “okay” to talk about at work. She’s thrilled that times are changing.
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