Sonja’s life work is about making connections – making connections between what happens locally to what happens globally, between vision and action, between people whose synergy creates collective good. She is drawn to projects that are in transition, either starting up or moving to a new level. Her work for socially conscious endeavors has led Sonja from reducing street violence through community engagement in Salinas, CA to organizing the largest peace movement in Chicago, IL during the onset of the Iraq war. She has created innovative, wraparound workforce development programs for youth and adults in Monterey County, CA, introduced secondary school students to careers in environmental protection in Benin, West Africa, and built cross-sector collaborations for improving urban environments throughout the United States. She has furthered her desire to create holistic global health as an advisor for Environmental Cleanup Coalition and the Love of Life Institute in Santa Cruz, CA. She provides leadership coaching, facilitates executive & board work sessions and focus groups, raises funds, designs experiences & events, and acts as a “brain-for-hire” for just about anything that is exciting.
I am a true lover of the natural world, since my childhood it was nature that was my most sacred and revered haven. When I attended College my passion for exploring nature resulted in my studying Recreation Resources Management. Following completion of my degree, my professional work was dedicated to sharing my passion of nature with children. It consisted of instructing for the Outward Bound School, Yosemite Institute and Maui Undersea Adventures Inc. on Maui, HI. I am also an American Montessori Society Certified Lower Elementary Teacher. Currently, I work as the Director of Environmental Education for White Rock Montessori School in Dallas, TX and volunteer with the National Audubon Society as a Texas Master Naturalist. Having worked in the Environmental and Outdoor Education for over twenty years, I have a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to share with the Environmental Cleanup Coalition. I look forward to being an essential contributor to the ECC Board, sharing my desire to manifest our mission of educating about the importance of cleaning our watersheds and oceans of man made pollution.
is the founder of The Mountain School and has worked at the school since its inception. Katharine, born and raised in New York City, is the owner of the property upon which the school is located. She designed and facilitated the building of the green school building, farm and gardens. Her teaching duties include the Second and Third Grade Program. Katharine obtained her Waldorf teaching credential from The Rudolf Steiner College Teacher Training in San Francisco in 2000, and is credentialed to teach Waldorf Education Kindergarten through 8th grade. She has taught school since 1997 when she began teaching kindergarten at The San Francisco Waldorf School. She has taught Kindergarten for a total of three years at The San Francisco Waldorf School from 1997-1999 and at The Santa Cruz Waldorf School in 2000 and 2002. When Katharine moved back to The Wood River Valley with 7her daughter India in 2000 she started a non-profit organization called The Friends of the Earth Festival Co. which offered after-school programs and seasonal festivals throughout the valley during the years of 2000-2007. She also taught as a substitute at The Santa Cruz Waldorf School throughout the elementary school grades in the years of 2003-2005. Katharine is also a certified perma-culturalist. Katharine’s daughter India attended Waldorf School for her preschool, kindergarten and 1st grade years. She is currently attending Stanford University.
Corrina McFarlane has served on the 1000 Hummingbird Council since its founding by Ohlone Native American Indian elders in 2008; a cross-creed women’s council for the waters of the earth. For the 2012 Hummingbird international women’s gathering for the water, Corrina orchestrated (necessarily beautiful) hummingbird humanure installation, replacing chemical porta-potties, mentored by Hamish Skermer of Natural Event and Joseph Jenkins of Humanure Handbook (who together went into Haiti; ‘Give Love’, to teach humanure principles). For hummingbird women gathering-for-the-water, humanure technology meant that the gathering would ultimately generate nutrients, rather than accumulate contaminants.
Among Corrina’s powerful oceanic affinities may be counted; sustained singing to/with the water from shoreline caves, singing to her grandchildren in their amniotic fluid, and swimming with wild dolphins.
In the early 1990s Corrina re-located from the British Isles to California Central Coast, volunteered for Bioneers and Ecologocal Farming Conference, served on the Sustainable Cotton Project and cold-called the brand new Maggie’s Organic Cotton products into the U.S, marketplace. Organic cotton led her to spectacular linen-like hemp, and thus on to steering committee for 4 annual Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expos (plus a one-off in San Francisco).
Corrina is a rite of passage practitioner including for birthing, dying, and betrothal; life transitions little and big. With experience also in Restorative Justice and Conflict Resolution, Corrina originally trained with Save the Children(UK) as a hospital play specialist (therapeutic play for pediatric in-patients). It has been her great good fortune also to work with Lakota on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, to plant several monumental Peace Poles, one of which was for the unforgettable inception of WomenRise for Global Peace.
Carrie L’Esperance is the author of The Ancient Cookfire/Seasonal Detox Diet; a well known book that ignited the lucrative detox movement, and assists people to become better stewards of the Earth through self-healing. After serving for ten years as coordinator for the Noe-Beaver Community Garden in San Francisco, Carrie was certified in Permaculture design by Bill Mollison in 1998, and by 1999 had established Yellowood Nature Reserve and Retreat in Northern California based upon working with natural systems rather than against them. Ms. L’Esperance offers consulting services for Permaculture Design, as well as tours, workshops and retreats at Yellowood. Carrie’s second book will be released in 2014. carrielesperance.com
Sunil Bhaskaran, a former engineer for many years, became very interested in Brain Science as a vehicle for helping business owners and corporate professionals enhance their focus, creativity, confidence and performance…to work smarter, not harder.
Mentor, Coach, Author & Speaker…
Having owned and run several businesses himself, Sunil speaks, trains and mentors from his own real-life experiences. Sunil began coaching and training people in 1989; and he has been in high demand as a mentor, private coach and keynote speaker for more than 20 years. His “Brain Performance Program” has made a profound difference in the bottom-line of thousands of business people worldwide. Additionally, Sunil has designed leadership, diversity, and accountability trainings for the corporate world at companies like Cisco, Comerica Bank, Compass Cares, to name a few.
Born and raised in Singapore, Sunil came to the US to study. He has degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Irvine; and he worked as an engineer and an engineering manager for nine years. Sunil also had his own successful personal development radio show on KSCO, Santa Cruz: “Let’s Talk Relationships” and was a radio personality, contributing his wit and humor to an ongoing weekly show. His first book, “The Forgiving Universe” (www.ForgivingUniverse.com) has been published and is available on Amazon. Sunil lives in the Santa Cruz area with his wife, Glenda.