John Boswell, CFC Ambassador for the LGBTQI Community
John is passionate about enhancing life for LGBTQI people and connections with those outside the community. He is president of Rainbow Advocacy and spearheading programs to deepen compassionate action in Los Angeles and around the world. John started out in public radio and broadcast television, producing media programs for a wide range of businesses and socially-oriented organizations. He has worked actively in international non-profit efforts and is developing compassion-building programs with CFC for the global LGBTQI community.
Paul Brooks, CFC Ambassador for the Business Sector
Paul enjoys discussing spiritual evolution and building a Compassionate World through Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurship. Lead by intuition and a drive to "think outside the box," Paul enjoys meeting with entrepreneurs who are bringing their unique gifts to the community. Paul has both the CFP® and CIMA® designations and uses his 20 years of experience in retirement and financial planning to support those individuals and work toward creating a purpose driven, sustainable, conscious economy.
Sande Hart, CFC Ambassador for the Women and Girls Sector
Sande Hart is a mother of 2 and lives in Southern California. She is Chief Compassion Officer of Compassionate California, President of the women's global interfaith organization SARAH and author and workshop facilitator. In nearly 15 years of women's community building, it's clear that healing our communities with resilience and a regenerative spirit is our biological and innate imperative and women are showing up in unprecedented ways to make that happen. The Charter for Compassion's women's initiative holds the vision to provide a unique space and a voice to those women and their efforts.
Sande's been involved with the Charter for Compassion since 2013.
Louisa Hext, CFC Ambassador for the Peace and Restorative Jusice Sectors
Louisa is the North American coordinator for the traveling exhibition, The F Word: Stories of Forgiveness (a program of The Forgiveness Project, a UK-based nonprofit). The exhibit uses story-telling to explore ideas around forgiveness and reconciliation and how they can be used to create healing in people’s lives. Louisa is the Co-Founder of #CompassionConvos, which challenges bias through compassionate action. She has extensive experience as an advocate in human and civil rights. Louisa is a skilled and experienced mediator, consultant and coach. She serves as the ambassador for Charter for Compassion's (CFC) Peace and Restorative Justice sectors.
Mimi Hicklin, Coordinator
Mimi Hicklin graduated from Washington State University with a B.A. in English literature and a B.A. in Spanish, before moving to Oregon where she earned her Master’s degree in English with an emphasis on 20th century American poetry from Portland State University. Today, Mimi lives in the Seattle area with her husband and stepson, and loves being CFC's Coordinator – putting her writing, editing, outreach, and organizational skills to work for a cause that she feels passionate about.
Vanessa Hurst, Consultant for Community Growth
Vanessa F. Hurst is Compassion Officer at Intent & Action. She consults with organizations to identify and strengthen compassion cultures and create sustainable, collaborative environments. As a community builder, she facilitates the strengthening of relationships with current stakeholders and the growing of community membership. Vanessa is author of Engaging Compassion Through Intent and Action and A Constellation of Connections: Contemplative Relationships. She holds a master’s degree in Natural Health. In her practice as an intuitive coach, she assists clients in transformation through the integration of mindfulness practices and compassion.
Barbara Kaufmann, CFC Ambassador for the Arts Sector, writer and contributor to the Voices Education Project
Barbara Kaufmann, “One Wordsmith” discovered a long time ago, the power in words, images and "story” to change the world. Told with art, music, words, photos, images, film, "story" can grab the human heart, squeeze it, burst it open and send a corona of inspired-creative-human-brilliance shimmering through mass consciousness, the world and the Universe itself. A single image can reverberate round the globe and startle humanity awake. Founder of “Words and Violence” Program about bullying in all its forms on this planet, and writer for Voices Education Project, Charter for Compassion, a Huffington Post contributor, poet, artist, scriptwriter and filmmaker—Barbara “writes to simply change the world.” Her ministry and life’s work is dedicated to “establishing a more humane narrative on this planet.”
Mary Ella Keblusek, volunteer events coordinator, project management and editor
Mary Ella enjoys working with nonprofit organizations across the globe to help make them more effective. She started out in systems design and consulting for enterprise businesses, completing her corporate career as an executive for an international human resources consulting firm. During the past decade, Mary Ella has worked with and managed development, education and social justice nonprofits in US, UK, Switzerland, India, Canada, and the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Since earning a Master of International Service in 2009 at American University, Mary Ella has focused her efforts on organizations like the Charter for Compassion which use a values-based approach to address the world’s most challenging issues.
Thea LaGrou, Ambassador for Film and Media Arts
Thea is a cultural creative who is driven by curiosity, imagination and a vision for positive change in the world. As Founding Director at Compathos Foundation she works at the intersection of the arts and creativity, peace and compassion, and social transformation by producing and sharing conscious media that educates and inspires. Cynthia facilitates teams of social change artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers, and technologists in the co-creation of meaningful media experiences from around the world, while working to provide strategic insight and integral solutions for content producers, mission-driven organizations, and networked movements. Cynthia is an author, speaker and event producer who is passionate about bringing people together to unearth their collective stories and inspire meaningful action around the common good. She is working with the Charter to produce community engagement resources and a Media Coalition for Peace and Compassion.
Andrea LeBlanc, CFC Ambassador for Peace and Non-Violence Sector and annotated bibliographies section
Andrea LeBlanc lost her husband, Robert G. LeBlanc, Professor Emeritus of Geography, on UA#175 when it was flown into the second WTC tower. Together Bob and Andrea parented 5 children and have nine grandchildren. Andrea is a retired veterinarian, having practiced small animal medicine and surgery for 37 years. The family created the Robert G. LeBlanc Memorial Scholarship at the University of New Hampshire which is awarded to undergraduate students for study abroad.
[Since joining 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows] "I have realized that there is a vast global community of wise and compassionate people who all understand the wisdom and power of nonviolence. I believe that the stories of these peacemakers must be told and told again until they become as ubiquitous as all the stories of hatred and violence and war. I belong to that community and I want to tell their stories."
Isaiah Maldonado, volunteer graphic designer
Isaiah Maldonado is a graphic designer and constant learner with a knack for modern design. He is a Chicago native, Fort Worth transplant. With more than 13 years of graphic design experience, Isaiah hopes to help the Charter communicate the unifying message of compassion — one he believes the world is longing for. He is currently the head of creative design for Game Clash, a gaming technology startup, and manages a full-time creative freelance business. His first love is music and he is the lead singer of a budding shoegaze band.
Lizzie Maldonado, volunteer marketing and graphic designer
Lizzie currently leads social media for RadioShack Corporation and offers her marketing experience to further the reach of the Charter's message. She holds a degree in journalism and is a storyteller by both trade and curse. Her previous work includes four years at a B2B marketing agency, a summer tour of KERA 90.1/KXT 91.7 Public Radio (NPR affiliate) in Dallas, and, in a former life, a journalist for radio and print. She is a new mom and coping Chicago transplant to Fort Worth.
Olivia McIvor, course development and conference planning
Known as a ‘people champion’ since early in her career, Olivia was told she would never be successful if she continued to “wear her heart on her sleeve”; today this proclamation has become her trademark. She has spent three decades as an Organization Development specialist supporting cultures to promote connection, compassion and community in business. Olivia is a leadership facilitator, speaker and author of three best-selling books: The Business of Kindness; Four Generations-One Workplace; and Turning Compassion into Action. Olivia lives in Vancouver, Canada and serves as a board director on The Kindness Foundation of Canada. Her passion for training and facilitating dialogues for positive change comes into action as an education coordinator with CEI and in the development of the Introduction to the Charter on-line course and other Charter projects.
Yvette Newton, CFC Ambassador for Social Services Sector
With a deep commitment to public service and child advocacy, Yvette Newton has been a competent social worker in the field of child protective services for the past 24 years. She is an instrumental leader, recognized amongst colleagues and peers, for the conceptualization of projects and events that benefit the community. During her tenure at the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), she has fostered numerous professional relationships with local leaders, organizations, and the media.
Subsequent to the 2012 elementary school massacre in Sandy Hook, CT, Yvette attended a conference on "Compassion in the Community." Unknowingly, the conference, talks from leaders of all disciplines, and the humble warriors at the WCSU's Center for Compassion, Creativity, and Innovation, served as a catalyst for her current volunteer work and passion.
Threading compassion for the benefit of the collective good, is in concert with Yvette's work and lifestyle. Her goal is to host Compassion Games in her community, "catalyzing compassionate action through the spirit of competitive altruism." Yvette currently serves as Lead Volunteer of the Social Services sector for the Charter for Compassion.
Charles Phillips, UN Representative
Charles Phillips has a 20+ year background serving in faculty and senior leadership roles for multiple global non-profit community-based organizations. He has an accomplished history of designing and delivering higher education programs, focused on service, community development and non-profit leadership that improve and enhance learning. Charles has particular success in integrating universal instructional design theories and service-learning pedagogies into curricula, engaging students in meaningful volunteer service and community partnerships that contribute to lasting positive social change.
Reed Price, advisor
Reed Price is Chief Catalyst of @rveep, a soup-to-nuts cross-media content consultancy that helps organizations tell their stories in text, image and video. A former national journalist, Reed also has extensive professional experience in entertainment programming and social media. He admires the music of Leonard Cohen, the art of Wassily Kandinsky and the reflections of Henri Fredric Amiel. Reed works on helping CFC on preparing materials to promote the work of the Charter, helps with website coordination, and oversees the speakers list for Maestro.
Marie Roker-Jones, Co-Founder and Host of #CompassionConvos
Marie Roker-Jones is Founder of Raising Great Men-Life skills for boys to mind up, not man up and co-founder of #CompassionConvos-challenging bias through compassionate action. Marie has over 15 years of experience in program development, community building, coaching and career development. Marie is a NAMA certified Anger Management Specialist, a certified Intrinsic coach and Youth Mental Health First Aider, working with kids and teens to be "smart with their hearts".
Don Rooks, CFC Ambassador for Business Sector
Don works with Business Partners to make sure their Charter website description and contact information are accurate, as well as communicating with Business Partners about Charter activities. His business experience includes human resources management and consulting, as well as several years in real estate. Don lives in the Los Angeles area where he enjoys biking and running at the beach.
Nancy Rushlow Bray, CEI Education Advisor
Nancy is an enthusiastic and compassionate champion for the human spirit and contributes her success to her insatiable appetite to engage. Recognizing each person’s inherent worth and appreciating their individuality is her trademark. Nancy is an Emmy award-winning producer and recipient of several Clio Awards for excellence in advertising. She excels in her ability to combine business prowess and the creative experience. She began her career producing visual effects for the acclaimed PBS series Cosmos and continued on as the executive producer/producer for academy-award winner, Robert Blalack, (Star Wars) also becoming the studio’s vice-president of operations & business development. She has produced for such notable companies as Praxis Films, 20th Century Fox, and ABC as well as advertisers such as Coca-cola, Kodak, Panasonic, Chevrolet, and Toyota. Nancy lives in Orange County, CA.
Isabel Saez, lead student volunteer
Isabel Saez is based in the Seattle, Washington area and has just graduated high school. She will be attending the University of Arizona-Tucson. Isabel has been at the heart of helping train new student volunteers about the ins and outs of our website, teaching them how to post articles and do basic page design. Isabel learns new ways to become a compassionate person everyday!
Salmaan Sana, Healthcare Sector European
Salmaan Sana has a background in being very active in several NGOs, leadership, social media, inspirational events and medicine. Due to him missing something in his medical education, very early on in his studies he became highly active in international student associations and had created a few foundations. One of them had to do with what he believes that which can really change healthcare, namely "Compassion for Care". Together with a few medical students he initiated a movement in finding ways of cultivating compassion in the current healthcare system. Currently he is running his own company bridging the offline and online worlds, president of Compassion for Care, an active member of a team organizing a Healthcare Leadership summerschool.
Nabella Shunnarah, CFC Ambassador for Religion, Spirituality, Interfaith Sector
Nabella is a retired ESL tutor, college English instructor and writer. Her writing includes numerous articles in local magazines and newspapers as well as a romantic comedy screenplay about a Palestinian family living in Chicago. One of her “compassion” goals is to bridge the gap of understanding between the American public and the Palestinian people. For that purpose, she coordinated several local seminars on the Middle East at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Montevallo. She, along with the Birmingham steering committee, founded the Alabama Charter for Compassion which initiated book study groups on the Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life and is conducting the monthly “Path to Compassion Speakers’ Series” featuring local community leaders. As a member of Unity of Birmingham she has hosted spiritual gatherings centered on non-duality, facilitated by a former minister of Unity. Her own spiritual growth is at the center of her life, studying the works of Eckhart Tolle and Adyashanti, and defines her interest in putting consciousness raising at the core of any compassion work. Her main goal in partnering with CFC is to form a coalition of interfaith councils, Unity churches and spiritual centers to engage in dialogue to support each other in promoting compassion projects. She has three children and three grandchildren and lives in Birmingham, Alabama.
Donna Stone-Reed, CFC Ambassador for Religion, Spirituality Interfaith Sector
Donna believes that for people and cultures to transform requires them to look within. As an experienced personal and spiritual development seminar leader and workshop facilitator, she offers opportunities for people to go on a journey of inner self-discovery by way of an intellect that is synchronized with their heart fields. She believes that it is from this place that we find inherent compassion for self and others. Donna is certified in archetypal patterning and HeartMath facilitation. She is a seasoned leader and educator, having worked in numerous roles and capacities for multi-national corporations, universities, small businesses, professional associations, and churches. Whether in the role of university director, corporate program manager for management development or speaker at an Organization Development conference, Donna’s greatest fulfillment has come from guiding others on ways to find their wholeness and to grow. She has recently authored a book that champions a more compassionate approach to cultural change in organizations and provides members with processes for self-discovery through a synchronized heart field. Donna lived much of her adult life in the Bay Area of California, working in Silicon Valley, but now resides in Huntsville, Alabama. She holds a PhD and master’s in business, with a focus on personal and group change and transformation.
Julia Travers, volunteer writer/editor
Julia Travers is a writer, artist, and teacher (explore her work here). She focuses on creative and non-fiction writing, art education, and community volunteering. She lives with her wonderful husband and two cats in Charlottesville, Virginia and is excited to be involved with the Charter for Compassion.
Marilyn Turkovich, director
Marilyn Turkovich started with the Charter for Compassion in 2013 as the education director and since that time has moved into a number of different roles with CFC. Marilyn's background has been primarily in higher education and most specifically in directing teacher training programs for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, and chairing Columbia College-Chicago's master's program in multicultural and global education. She has done a considerable amount of curriculum writing through the years, much of it related to international and cultural topics. She worked with Independent Broadcasting Associates on a series for airing on National Public Radio, BBC and the Australian Broadcasting organizations. There was a period of time in the 1990s when she worked in organizational development and specialized in instructional design work, strategic planning and leadership development. She also wrote and developed training on race and social justice initiatives.
Lesa Walker, CFC Ambassador for Education Sector and lead volunteer for Compassion Games and Relays
Lesa Walker is based in Austin, Texas. She has over 30 years of experience as a public health physician working to ensure quality of care for children with disabilities and their families. Now, while continuing part-time work as a medical consultant, she devotes herself to engaging people in the practice of “3D” compassion (caring for others, self, and the Earth). She serves as an Education Program Associate for the Charter (developing partnerships; writing articles for in the Charter newsletters and website; facilitating conference calls; and contributing to the Charter Community Tool Box and organizational planning). She is Founder and Leader of Compassionate Austin, part of the Charter’s Compassionate Communities Campaign. She is on the Leadership Team of the Compassion Games International and created the Compassion Relays (part of the Compassion Games). Also, she has created the free Compassion Today! mobile app. Prior to her work with the Charter, she created the Idea4Idea website and the Olymp-i-a Challenge to motivate people to generate daily positive ideas and actions for peace, green-living, and health. These early efforts guided her to the Charter and inspire her commitment to the practice of “3D” compassion.
Charlene Williams, Membership Coordinator
I am 71 and retired. I am up early every day and off to the pool 5 days a week. I was an office manager/office accountant. My 91 year old mother lives with me and I assist her. Her mind and sense of humor are in great shape her body not so much. I take her to the senior center 4 days a week for friendship and lunch, once I bring her home I stay in so this volunteer opportunity fits my schedule perfectly. I have done various volunteer work over the years and always get more than I give.
Kate Trnka, CFC Ambassador for Environment Sector and Global Read Program Coordinator
Kate Trnka is a writer, educator, small business owner and facilitator of Compassionate Integrity Training. She is the founder of The Sacred Earth Institute and operates Alternatives Holistic Health & Wellness Center in Appleton, WI. Kate is currently serving as the Lead Ambassador for the Environment Sector of the Charter for Compassion and is heading the Charter’s Global Read Program. She has her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Education and is now enjoying semi-retirement after her 26-year career as a public school teacher. Kate is the author of many poems and had her first book published several years ago. She is nearing the completion of her Doctorate in Ecopsychology and is excited to be bringing her mindful reconnecting-with-nature activity card deck this fall.