Jeff Charno, Chair
Jeff Charno, Chair, founded The Relaxation Company in 1985, and released more than 500 recordings of music for relaxation, meditation and healing over 25 years. He also launched Ellipsis Arts, which released book and CD sets exploring traditional and experimental music from around the globe and was recognized by Billboard as the top world music label in 1995. Both record labels were sold in 2010 and Jeff acts as a consultant concerning ongoing business. Jeff is currently launching Mindbody Sessions, to deliver mindfulness and guided meditation audio programs via a streaming web site and mobile apps. Jeff has a graduate certificate from JFK University in integral theory. He has been a student of the Diamond Approach since 2010. He is practicing meditation in the Mahamudra tradition as taught by Dan Brown.
Jill Berman, Vice Chair
Jill Berman, Vice Chair, served in the NYC school system in positions ranging from high school social studies teacher to the supervisor/administrator of an alternative high school. More recently she worked with the Bank Street College of Education Leadership Center as a Facilitator/ Consultant. As an Advisor in the college’s Principals Institute Jill facilitated the professional growth of aspiring school leaders. Holding an Ed. D. from Teachers College in Educational Administration, she is a past president of the National Council of Administrative Women in Education and of its NYC chapter. She also was on the Allocations Committee of the New York Women’s Foundation. Jill has been a Diamond Approach student since 2000.
Cory Greenberg, Treasurer
Cory Greenberg, Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair, is a financial and management consultant to small businesses and serves as part-time CFO to one of those businesses. He has been Treasurer and partner in several movie theaters in the New York metropolitan area, and was the CFO of a small publicly traded natural foods company. Cory is on the advisory board of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at UMASS Medical Center, is President and a founding board member of the Cooperative Capital Fund of New England, and was Loan Committee Chairperson, Treasurer and board member of the Cooperative Fund of New England for 17 years. Cory has been a student of the Diamond Approach since 2003.
Hadley Perry, Secretary
Hadley Perry is a community activist and non-profit administrator who has worked with many small, progressive organizations. She was an event planner for 15 years for groups such as Adult Literacy Media Alliance, Center for Anti-Violence Education, and New York Women in Film & Television. She served as executive director of Dyke TV, a video collective that taught video making and editing and produced a magazine-format TV show. She ran a three-year panel discussion series for the NYC LGBT Community Center and managed the East Coast satellite office of National Center for Lesbian Rights. Hadley has also written grants and copyedited white papers and books for such organizations as Global Rights; Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law & Development; and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. Since 2004 she has been the intake coordinator for Association of Lesbian & Gay Affirmative Psychotherapists. She also has a sideline business as a clutter counselor. Hadley has been a Diamond Approach student since 2008.
Don Shaw, Buildings and Grounds Committee Chair
Don Shaw, Buildings and Grounds Committee Chair, has for twenty years been the owner and principal of Donald Shaw Interiors, Inc., an international residential design firm based in New York City. A serious pianist, he was a semi-finalist at the first Van Cliburn Amateur Competition in Fort Worth and shared the first prize at the Northeastern Classical Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs in 2002. Don graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in theatre and attended the Mannes College of Music in New York City. He has been a Diamond Approach student since 2005.
Jane Bronson, Diamond Approach Teacher Representatives Chair
Jane Bronson, Diamond Approach Teacher Representative, is a Diamond Approach teacher and a student of the Ridhwan School since 1992. She is part of the Diamond Approach Retreat Group 5 (DHR5) teaching team and has individual students in NYC and Canandaigua, NY where she also leads a Diamond Approach Book Group. Jane has a degree in physics representing her fascination with understanding reality. In discovering the Diamond Approach, she found a pathway for satisfying that love. She has also worked in the fields of project management and interior design and has an ongoing appreciation of visual design. She is the mother of two daughters and lives in southern Connecticut.
Laura Wells, Governance Committee Chair
Laura Wells is a Marketing & Communications Consultant for nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to relocating to California, Laura led communications efforts at mental health research nonprofits, first as the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation and then as the Director of Public Affairs at the Lieber Institute for Brain Development at Johns Hopkins. With an International MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management, Laura earlier worked in brand management for Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. and abroad, including almost seven years in France. She is fluent in French and German and speaks some Spanish. Laura has been a Diamond Approach student since 2008.
Josie Sentner, Resource Development Committee Chair
Josie Sentner, Resource Development Committee Chair, has been a principal and executive in the financial field in private equity, buyouts and venture capital. Most recently she has been active in microfinance, working with international networks that provide services to very poor women in Latin America, Africa and Asia. She has served on a number of not for profit boards and is currently a board member of Fonkoze, the largest microfinance institution in Haiti, AccessAfricaNOW, and member of the President’s Council of Accion International. She has been a Diamond Approach student since 2001.
Jorge S. Arango
Jorge S. Arango has been an interior design writer, editor and stylist for over fifteen years. He has co-authored two design books and writes regularly for Luxe, Elle Decor, Robb Report, Interiors and other design magazines. His interests in art and design led to board work with the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, a national first-responder organization for artists who suffer career-threatening emergencies, which he chaired from 2004-2006. He continues to consult with CERF on marketing and re-branding issues. He also serves on the Ridhwan School’s Outreach Steering Committee, Editorial Committee and Communications Council. Jorge has been a student of the Diamond Approach since 2004.
Mary has over twenty-five years experience as an attorney in the consumer goods and financial services industries. Her expertise is in the areas of information governance, data protection/privacy and technology transactions. Mary lives with her wife, Kay and their precious four-legged Samantha in the heart of Greenwich Village. Mary has been in the Diamond Approach (DANY) since 2010.
Adam Fuller is the former Executive Chef, Assistant Director and Executive Director of Guest House, and now serves as the Program Manager and member of the finance and resource development committees. He is one of the founding Board Members of Guest House, where he helped establish and teach the Meditation in the World program in 2009. Before beginning work at Guest House, Adam was an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University, teaching writing, media history, and first amendment law. He lives near Seattle with his wife and two children.
Picture and bio coming soon!
Parvati Grais, Diamond Approach Teacher Representative, is a Diamond Approach teacher and student of the Ridhwan School since 1998. She works with individual students in Amherst, Ma and in Diamond Approach Retreat Group 5 (DHR5). Parvati has worked as a teacher, cofounder and director of an independent school, educational therapist, guidance counselor, and psychotherapist. As an original member of The Abode, a Sufi Community, Parvati guided individual and group meditation/inquiry retreats.
Margaret Hixon, member of RD Committee, is a former management consultant specializing in consumer marketing and strategic positioning, with domestic and international clients in a broad range of industries. She has an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Margaret has been active as a volunteer in many non-profits in her community including serving as president and chair of the budget committee of the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest, member of the advisory committee of Concord Family Service, chair of the religious education committee of First Parish in Concord. She has been a Diamond Approach student since 2012 and is a member of Emerald Mountain, Boston1/2, and DHR 1/2.
Diane Ingram is a Professional Certified Coach, with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Human Development. She speaks and coaches on topics of empowerment, leadership and personal development. She is a former instructor in a college level coach certification program and past President of the New York City chapter of World Runners, which produced races and raised money toward their mission of ending hunger in the world. Diane has authored 5 books, hosts her own radio show and produced and hosted her own cable television show. Diane has been a student of the Diamond Approach since 2010.
Laurie Leonard served as Guest House’s board chair from 2010 to 2014. Laurie was for ten years the President and General Manager of an NBC-affiliated television station that won many national awards for its news, programming and marketing. She has an MBA with honors from the Harvard Business School. Laurie has served on the board of directors of many organizations, including a bank, a library, a chamber of commerce, a tourism bureau, and a crisis hotline. She was Vice-President of Public Relations for United Way in Wisconsin and served as Treasurer of a large co-op building in New York City. Currently a licensed social worker specializing in death, dying, and bereavement, Laurie has been a Diamond Approach student since 2000.
Marlene Reisman is vice president of human resources at Verisk Analytics. She is responsible for Verisk’s talent acquisition, development, rewards, recognition, and benefits programs. In leading talent development, Marlene helped initiate The Verisk Leadership Institute, whose mission is to promote leadership excellence across the enterprise. With a professional human resources team, she has enhanced the company’s performance management and feedback programs, implemented a career path framework, and increased emphasis on developing strategic skills and inspiring staff to fulfill their potential. Marlene also leads the team selecting Verisk’s citizens of the year; incorporates values into human resources policies, practices, and programs; and ensures compliance with employment law in jurisdictions around the world. Earlier in her career, Marlene was the employment manager for Warner Communications. She holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in human resources management from the New School. She has been a Diamond Approach student for 18 years, an instructor in the New School’s human resources graduate program and holds a certification in coaching from the Hudson Institute.
David Schulz heads the New York office of Levine, Sullivan Koch & Schulz, L.L.P., a national media law firm representing news and entertainment organizations in defamation, privacy, newsgathering, access, intellectual property and related First Amendment matters. An adjunct professor of media law at Columbia Law School, David has been defending the rights of journalists and news organizations for nearly 30 years. David is a Trustee of Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois and has served on the boards of several public and private organizations, including the Hudson Valley Greenway Conservancy and the New York Committee on Open Government. He has been a Diamond Approach student since 2001.