Alexandra Dest founded Willow - Investments for Loving Change after 33 years in the finance industry, seeing that capital is a powerful tool but all too often misused to the detriment of lives and our planet. We can no longer afford this status quo; it is not sustainable. Now is the time for us to seize the power of capital and heart-centered leadership to make the changes we want to see in the world. Along with Assistant Vice-President Erika Allison, Executive Coach Pascal Renders and the rest of the team, Willow passionately brings Loving Change into the world through conscious investment management for individuals and organizations, and by coaching organizational leaders in heart-centered leadership. Heart-centered leaders create heart-centered companies that create a better world. We know any change must start within each of us. From our own commitment to heart-centered leadership, we encourage other leaders to find their power to do the same. investwithwillow.com
Shameeka Mattis, LMSW is a dedicated social change agent committed to equity and justice. A Brooklyn, NY native, she has over 15 years of experience in social welfare and justice reform. As a restorative justice practitioner, Shameeka worked with communities directly impacted by violence via Common Justice, a groundbreaking victim service and adult alternative to incarceration program based in reconciliation practices in NYC, where she was a founding member and leader for almost a decade. Prior to her tenure there, Shameeka served communities in Philadelphia through prison social work, reentry support and children welfare advocacy. She is a writer, blogger, consultant, educator, public speaker, and an anti-oppressive and trauma-informed trainer. Shameeka received her Bachelor of Arts (BA) from SUNY Binghamton and Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a licensed social worker and has received several honors, including the K2 REACH Second Chance Award and the NASW-NYC Emerging Leader Award. Currently, Shameeka works as a psychotherapist with NYC Affirmative Psychotherapy, primarily serving queer and gender expansive people of color, and is also a professor in the City and State Universities of NY (CUNY and SUNY).
For over 40 years Newell has been sought out as a meeting facilitator by community, business and government leaders for his creative and responsive approach, his capacity to facilitate productive conversations, and his depth of experience building cross-disciplinary collaborative programs. He has helped many large and small groups identify, plan and achieve their project goals in a wide diversity of complex and challenging situations including many strategic plans, leadership transitions and organizational change projects.
As an innovation facilitator Newell has designed and facilitated thousands of hours of meetings with a broad range of groups, usually on topics for which he had limited prior content knowledge. Meeting participants have included scientists, engineers, technicians, business leaders, bankers, college profs, librarians, school teachers, MDs and nurses, elected and appointed governmental officials, civil servants, union leaders, citizens/taxpayers, neighbors, parents, adolescents, teachers, clergy, homeless people, and even lawyers.
Newell received his facilitation training from the Institute for Generative Leadership, the Creative Education Foundation, and the NLP Center of New York. He is an active member and frequent trainer of coaches and facilitators at the International Association of Facilitators, Creative Problem Solving Institute, Mind Camp, and the Hudson- Mohawk Chapter of Association for Training & Development. He is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, focusing on the study of group behavior and change. For 26 years he was Director of Strategic Planning for New York State’s Office of Children and Family Services.
For more information about his offerings, check out his website or just Google his name.
Maria is a master teacher, facilitator and author. As a positive psychologist (Psy.D.) and international consultant, she focuses on the resilience of the human spirit when under pressure and/or during significant transition. Known for her wisdom, authenticity and rampant humor, Maria brings a depth of experience in leadership development and stress management for corporate and non‐profit professionals alike. Her work builds capacity and engagement around stressors such as conflicting goals, difficult conversations, unrealistic expectations and moments of failure — using such moments to leverage sustained positive shifts in perspective and ability. She is the author of two books: A Short Course in Happiness After Loss and Every Day Counts. www.mariasirois.com
BIO I am a Mexican psychologist who is passionate about human behavior at its best. Inspired by Martin Seligman’s work, I chose to take his Program at UPENN and I graduated with a Master’s of Applied Positive Psychology in May 2009. I have experience working as a therapist with children and families, victims of domestic violence and as a professor in Mexico and in the United States. My signature strengths are love of learning, creativity, curiosity, appreciation of beauty and excellence, as well as gratitude. Recently my family relocated from Connecticut to the southern Berkshires in Massachusetts. Here, we have found, wonderful loving and caring people.
JEn Salinetti Co-Owner and Operator, Woven Roots Farms
Jen Salinetti co-owns and operates Woven Roots Farm, a regenerative farm and CSA in present-day Tyringham, MA, that is celebrating 20 years of growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers using traditional, hand-scale farming practices. For over 15 years, Jen has offered workshops and courses that develop relationships to land, build skills of resilience, and promote regenerative growing practices at the farm, in the local school system, for the Northeast Organic Farming Association, and other regional organizations. She was recently selected as one of the Berkshires’ 25 most dedicated, influential, and creative people.
Toni Bergins, MEd, founder & creator of JourneyDance™ and the Embodied Transformations Method coaching program anchors her professional practice at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, where she has been on faculty and a Luminary Program Presenter for over 25 years. As an artistic alchemist and passionate catalyst, Toni has helped thousands of people break out of their boxes and move into new stories through embodied practice and emotional empowerment. Toni’s humor, wild expressiveness and authenticity make JourneyDance™ accessible to all, and she has trained over 800 JourneyDance™ Teachers internationally. Toni has led programs and trainings at Kripalu, Omega Institute, Esalen Institute, 1440 Multiversity, Open Center, Wanderlust, LoveLight, BlessFest, Unifier, and many teaching centers internationally, and has been featured in magazines, books, and podcasts. She has a popular live JourneyDance™ DVD, a clothing line, online courses and a private coaching practice. Her debut album of original songs called Never Too Late was released in 2019. www.journeydance.com
Andre Henry has a passion for making the invisible visible. In the summer of 2016, he began lugging a solid granite boulder around Los Angeles to show the weight of systemic racism on the black psyche. Months later, he walked around dressed for a funeral with the names of the victims of state violence written on his jacket; and in response to the police involved death of his mentally ill neighbor, J.R. Thomas, Andre founded an activist collective called “Something Disruptive” dedicated to creative, nonviolent direct action. Together, “Something Disruptive” convened a group of community leaders, students, clergy, and civilians from around Los Angeles County for a year-long vigil in protest of police brutality in the wake of J.R. Thomas’ death at the doors of the Pasadena Police Station called “A Subversive Liturgy.” Through this year-long action, the group raised financial support for J.R.’s family and local Black Lives Matter activists, as well as mobilized support for the Black Lives Matter Pasadena Freedom School serving the youth of Northwest Pasadena. Andre is a student of nonviolent struggle and social change, including studying leadership in nonviolent movements for social change through the Harvard Kennedy School. He specializes in using digital media to educate and mobilize audiences for racial justice and social progress. He has served as managing editor at RELEVANT Media Group and is currently a contributing editor for The Sider Center for Peace and Justice in Philadelphia, a Content Expert for the Fuller Leadership Platform, and a Research Assistant for the Innovation for Vocation Project. He has also earned theology degrees from both Southeastern University and Fuller Seminary.