Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Following are members of our Board in alphabetical order by last name.
Bob Blackstone is a founder and coordinator of the Sacramento IONS Community Group (SacIONS), and a founding member of the Institute’s original Stewardship Council and subsequent Member Council. His many graduate degrees include Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Theology from Princeton Seminary, Masters and PhD in Political Science from USC, with a double major in Asian Studies.
Johnny Calvert, Chief Financial Officer / Treasurer
Johnny Calvert has 25 years public accounting experience with nonprofit organizations, closely-held businesses, high net worth individuals, estates and trusts. Certified Public Accountant (inactive in California since 2008).
Richard Cohn founded Beyond Words Publishing in 1983. He has worked with many first-time authors and projects like “The Secret” and “Hidden Messages in Water”, establishing a reputation for producing inspiring, high-quality books that can help make a difference in the lives of millions of readers.
Harriett Crosby was a mountaineering instructor at the Colorado Outward Bound School and taught at the Aspen Community School, Putney School in Vermont and Colorado Rocky Mountain School. She attended Pitzer College and received their distinguished alumni award. Harriett has a Master’s degree in Psychology from Temple University and trained as a Jungian psychoanalyst at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich, Switzerland. In 1982, she cofounded ISAR, the Institute for Soviet American Relations which helped build civil society in the Soviet Union, by supporting grassroots environmental groups for 25 years until Putin came to power. During the the Clinton Administration, she worked in the White House Office of Environmental Policy and President's Council on Sustainable Development. Currently she manages Fox Haven Farm and Ecological Retreat and Learning Center in Maryland and serves on the Boards of Friends of the Earth and Second Chance Wildlife Center, as well as IONS.
Mica Estrada, Immediate Past Chair
Mica Estrada, PhD, received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Harvard University and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Institute of Health and Aging at the University of California, San Francisco. Her area of expertise is social influence, including the study of forgiveness, intergroup relations, kindness, and integrative education. She leads several federally funded studies on underrepresented minority student persistence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers and is Director of Climate Education Partners, which provides learning opportunities to city leaders about climate change. Her work contributes towards creating diverse and creative solutions to the pressing challenges of our day.
Elizabeth "Liz" Huntington, Secretary
Liz Huntington is a marketing executive with over 25 years of leadership experience at national and international brands geared toward renewable energy, health and wellness. Her community involvement also spans 25 years, with volunteering and non-profit board participation at Saybrook Graduate School, the Institute for Health and Healing at California Pacific Medical Center, Restore Hetch Hetchy, San Anselmo Open Space Committee, and most recently IONS. She is currently the Director of Marketing at the San Francisco Theological Seminary.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Gordon
Betsy Gordon, was introduced to IONS through the “Meeting of the Elder” conference sponsored by IONS and held at the Fetzer Foundation conference center in Michigan. She has studied with Angeles Arrien, Stanislav Grof, and Ralph Metzner. A certified Grof Breathworker, she has been active in the field of transpersonal psychology, which involved participation in conferences in Prague, Killarney and the Soviet Union.
Jim Jensen is the co-founder and managing partner of Mara Gateway Associates, L. P., a privately owned real estate investment company. He is also co-managing partner of Stronghurst, LLC, which provides advisory and financial services to emerging growth companies. He and his wife, Jeri, reside in Bellevue, Washington.
Azim Khamisa, Vice Chair
Azim Khamisa is an inspiration. Hailed by dignitaries such as the Dalai Llama, Bill Clinton and Al Gore, Azim delivers his inspirational message to a world in desperate need of forgiveness, peace and hope. Following the murder of his only son Tariq in 1995 through a senseless, gang-related incident, Azim chose the path of forgiveness and compassion rather than revenge, and this amazing choice led to the establishment of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF) and the subsequent forgiveness movement which has reached millions. A renowned international speaker, Azim has spoken to audiences of adults, juveniles and children, ranging from small schools, to large corporations, to audiences into the thousands, including – on the occasion of a rally in Washington DC in 1996 – a crowd of 300,000. A recipient of 60 prestigious regional, national and international awards, Azim’s focus remains on his vision of a peaceful, non-violent world where adults and children alike make empowering choices. Azim has authored three books including the award-winning From Murder to Forgiveness, and the Random House book The Secrets of the Bulletproof Spirit, coauthored with Jillian Quinn.
Claire Lachance, Chief Executive Officer
Claire Lachance is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IONS. Prior to joining IONS, Lachance was founder and president of Inspiration Quest where she delivered comprehensive management consulting, facilitation, training and coaching services to hundreds of organizations, social entrepreneurs and independent professionals. Prior to the launch of her consulting business, Lachance held several leadership positions of increasing responsibility at Pacific Bell and MetLife. She earned a MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University.
Stacey Lawson, is co-founder of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at U. of California at Berkeley. An active investor in technology/ sustainable development and social enterprise, she is also executive chair of Chelsey, Henry Inc., sits on the board of CDS, Social Fusion, Dragonfly Media and the Organic School Project. She is currently writing a book “The Inner Master: A Path to Mastering the Self and the World.”
Calvin Lehew is a pilot, real estate developer, lifelong visionary, “imagineer” and former owner of “The Factory At Franklin,” an eclectic shopping and learning center. He has been President of the Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, co-founder of the Downtown Franklin Association, President of the Natchez Trace Parkway Association just to name a few. He served on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowship and is an animal rights supporter and leader in his community. He is also a motivational speaker and author of Manifesting Dreams and Flying High. He lives with his wife and dog, Rusty, in Franklin, Tennessee.
Monica Pal is the Chief Marketing Officer, Aerospike, Inc. Engineer, entrepreneur, creative and strategic thinker, Monica has over two decades of experience in engineering & technology marketing in communications and collaboration, security and middleware at big companies, startups and open source companies. ‘I was an engineer for ten years, starting in Apple’s pioneering collaboration products team where we shipped the first unified messaging and secure email system’ At enCommerce, a web security startup, Monica was in charge of product and corporate marketing from early days to a successful acquisition by Entrust, where she ran corporate communications. Next, she co-founded LignUp, a voice-over-IP app server company, ran marketing and oversaw engineering.
Michael Potts is managing partner of Advance Wave Partners, an investment partnership supporting teams and innovations that strengthen authentic bonds between buyers and sellers. Previously, Michael was CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute, an energy "think-and-do-tank" dedicated to speed our shift to a new energy economy, and American Fundware, maker of financial software for non-profit organizations.
Paulina Temple-Yampolsky received her B.A. in Psychology from UCLA in 2011, with an emphasis on the interconnectedness of the brain and body. She studied Health Psychology, Social Psychology, Motivation Psychology, Learning Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Psychology of Interpersonal Relationships, amongst others. During her time at UCLA, Paulina also served as an independent Research Assistant, investigating topics such as the relationship between anxiety and learning capacity, and the roles of meditation and stress in extended human capacities. Graduating at the top of her class, Paulina now dedicates her life to helping others overcome mental, physical, and spiritual challenges.
Cassandra Vieten, President
Cassandra Vieten, PhD, is President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and a scientist at the Mind-Body Medicine Research Group at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute. Dr. Vieten, a licensed clinical psychologist, has been with IONS since 2001, previously serving as its Executive Director of Research.
Claudia Welss is an advisor to IONS Innovation lab, is cofounder and Chair of the Invest in Yourself program at Nexus Global Youth Summit , and is on the steering committee of the Global Coherence Initiative, the Gaiafield Project Council, and the Foundation for Conscious Evolution board. Projects are at the nexus of consciousness, technology, human-earth energetics, and social change. She’s a partner in an R&D company using a globally patented laser system to generate new types of coherent waveforms. Claudia’s been part of IONS since 1995 when Willis Harman invited her to join a 5-year inquiry while she was director of the University of California, Berkeley Center for Executive Development, building strategic learning programs and pioneering sustainability curriculum for global business.
George Zimmer is the Founder of The Men's Wearhouse, Inc. He opened the first Men's Wearhouse in 1973 in Houston. The company now operates over 650 stores with $1.3 billion in sales. Under Zimmer's leadership, the company has become the largest retailer of men's tailored suit and dress casual clothing in the U.S. and Canada and has been included in Fortune's "The 100 Best Companies to Work For" list since 1999.