Board of Directors

The SelfDesign Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors which determines the general policy of the foundation, makes laws for its governance, manages its investments, and directs the expenditure of funds.

anne adams

Anne Adams

Anne has worked with many Fortune 500 companies and educational institutions both nationally and internationally. She has designed and led transformation programs through seminars, courses and educational engagements for individuals, corporations, professional groups and educational institutions for more than 30years. She has been a teacher, school director, university instructor, manager in an international educational corporation, and a business consultant to both large and small corporations.

Anne has worked with senior leaders and their teams from companies as varied as IBM,Mars, Heinz, AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Procter & Gamble, The Rouse Company, EZ Communications, to government entities, e.g. the Pentagon, and non-profits, e.g. IONS, and schools throughout the United States and India.

Dr. Adams contributes her expertise to business and education transformation by integrating transformative practices, e.g. The World Café, a process in collaborative dialogue, Appreciative Inquiry, a framework for creating a learning organization, The Collaborative Way,integrating a company’s values, behaviors and culture, with Creating the Conditions for Individual,Cultural and Organizational Transformation, (ICOT) a systemic, integral approach for sustained transformation.

brandy mccray

Brandy McCray - Secretary

Brandy is a small business owner, a visionary, a researcher, a speaker, a landscape painter, a parent, a writer, and an educator.

Brandy grew up outside of Memphis to a family of entrepreneurs. As a teenager during summer and winter breaks, she floated between businesses working and saving for travel around the country and eventually the world.

She majored in English and Fine Art with a in Spanish during college, and assisted the curator for the art museum on campus. She thought her next step would be in the direction of galleries or museums, but a unique opportunity arose in the field of education. She began to work as a governess to a family with 9 children. While researching holistic education models, she found SelfDesign and the SelfDesign Graduate Institute. She started her journey with SDGI and it has changed how she relates to her children, her students, and how she tries to draw forth a student’s inner wisdom and sense of who they are while learning.

During her master’s thesis process, she brought the knowledge she gained during her time with SelfDesign into a public high school art classroom in Mississippi through an action research program. This action research process lead to the development of Personally Relevant Curriculum, a developmentally aware and open curricular model that can be used with a variety of subject matter to enhance the teacher’s ability to understand students and tie together student interests with standard curriculum.

She is in conversations currently with advocates of the arts and education in Mississippi to bring the knowledge and curriculum into classrooms across the state. Her passions for art, education, and business are beginning to synthesize into an offering she can bring to schools, teachers, and students. She hopes to continue to bring many of the transformative ideas she has learned exploring the world and collaborating with many different people into her local communities.

paul freedman

Paul Freedman - President of SDGI

Paul grew up in NYC and attended progressive schools in Manhattan. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1990 with a BA in Psychology. He has been an elementary classroom teacher in both public and independent schools for 24 years, and he helped to found the Salmonberry School in Eastsound, WA, where he continues to serve as Head of School and intermediate grades teacher. He earned his MA in Partnership Education from Goddard College in 2008. For five years he served as a Contributing Editor for Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice and has published many articles on holistic education. In 2011 he joined the SDGI faculty. In 2016, he helped to found the Holistic Education Initiative. He continues to write and enjoy public speaking. His recent talks have included a TEDx talk on Deep Learning and a Podcast interview for Meetings with Remarkable Educators.

He is deeply committed to holistic and humanistic forms of education and believes that all the bureaucracies of the modernist era, including mainstream education, are desperately clinging to outdated paradigms and structures. Our evolving human consciousness is in dire need of new models and counter-hegemonic visions. The Self Design Graduate Institute represents one such beacon of hope. Here learners are guided and mentored to cultivate their capacity to powerfully author their own journeys of discovery. SDGI has coalesced an incredible group of inspiring faculty members who are committed to realizing the transformative potential of intimate mentor-learner relationships, and SDGI provides the models and structures to bring these relationship-based learning journeys forward. He has been excited to be part of this organization, and looks forward to deepening his commitment to its growth and success. It is an honor to offer leadership to this caring learning community.

mitra martin

Mitra Martin

Mitra Martin is the co-founder of the Oxygen Tango learning ecosystem in Los Angeles. From 2008-2018 she reinvented the way social dance was taught to adults by prototyping learning pattern innovations that leverage the power of cohorts, peer-to-peer learning, and self-paced experiential learning. Her courses and learning formats are now being used in communities across the U.S. She has led over 2500 learning sessions, including for Google, Ford Theaters, and Cal Tech, and has taught and performed all over the country. Her approach to learning experience design is deeply informed by her Montessori roots where she was both a learner and a teacher, and by the thinking of Chet Bowers and the work of Robert Gilman.

Mitra is a branding expert with deep experience in using qualitative research to support insights-driven strategic marketing. She has developed insights and strategies for household-name Fortune 500 technology and retail brands; venerable LA-based cultural institutions; and entrepreneurial, mission-driven organizations. She is a seasoned and context-sensitive moderator, able to connect fluently with people of all kinds in focus groups, in-depth interviews, and ethnographies. Mitra draws on her background insights-driven strategic marketing to support brands aspiring to transform education. Mitra is a graduate of Princeton University with honors.

jon ouellette

Jon Ouellette

Jon Ouellette is a senior executive with more than 30 years’ experience in leading vibrant organizations, including the largest Canadian-owned insurance brokerage, and has experience in financial services, oil and gas engineering, and real estate sectors. His philosophy and methodology focus on increasing bottom line performance through exceptional employee engagement. He has a rare ability to create and lead teams to embrace change and powerfully deliver on a vision.

Jon’s leadership style is to assist progressive companies through developing superior management teams and engaging employees with appropriate systems, in particular, performance based compensation, collective creation of a vision and specialized communication protocols which fuel accountability, entrepreneurialism and productivity. He is known for his strategic insight that facilitates the highest and best contributions from the team members he works with both in the for profit and non-profit sectors.

Jon is currently on the Board for Enterprise For Good, a self-funding Social Enterprise, supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and lives in Calgary, Alberta.

linda inlay

Linda Inlay

Linda is an educator at Our Lady of Sorrows School in Wahiawa, Hawaii, where she collaborated with the founders of the Ho`āla Educational Philosophy, a combination of Adlerian principles and Carl Roger’s self-actualization theory. Ho`āla in Hawaiian means, “awakening of the self,” and the philosophy emphasizes the core values of responsibility, respect, resourcefulness, and responsiveness in this awakening process. Later, Linda entered the California public school system and served for eighteen years as principal of River School in Napa County, where she introduced the Ho`āla educational philosophy. During her tenure, River School received two California Distinguished School Awards, the Promising Practices Award and National School of Character Award, and the California School Board Association’s Golden Bell Award. Founder of the the Ho’āla Foundation for Education, a nonprofit dedicated to sharing Ho’āla with families and schools.

renee poindexter

Renée Poindexter - Chair

Renee Poindexter is the founder of Living the Potential Network, a collaborative of social entrepreneurs interested in designing authentic learning environments. She is a former high school English teacher who discovered the significance of learning in the world of business—over 25 years in a variety of industries—including technology, healthcare, financial services, construction, advertising and public relations, executive search, coaching, and consulting. An accomplished trainer, facilitator, success coach, and organizational consultant, Renee has worked with non-profit organizations, schools, and businesses to facilitate the positive changes needed to fulfill the organizational vision. Her background in continuous improvement has assisted her in designing programs to inspire people to lead with their heads and hearts connected.
Renee is Chair of the SelfDesign Foundation in the United States. She has served as an Advisory Board member with Univera, Inc. and currently with Village Home Education Resource Center.

terry cochran

Terry Cochran

Vice-President, Finance

Terry brings a variety of IT and business skills to SelfDesign. As a website designer, his sites include one of the earliest and longest-lasting ones on the World Wide Web. A life-long learner, he enjoys mastering new technology capabilities and helping his clients make the best use of them. After earning a B.A. at the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. at Eastern Michigan University, Terry worked for many years as a financial executive with a large nonprofit health care data research firm. He has also been a small business owner, a financial consultant, and a sales rep. In addition, he has served on the board of directors or advisory board of three different alternative schools over the years. He learned recently, in fact, that one of them is still using the business systems that he implemented 25 years ago. He hopes to help SelfDesign build both a web presence and back-office systems that are used for 25 years into the future.