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 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.
elan Bailey - Secretary
elan Bailey is the founder and managing director of Thrive Co-Creative. A professional services agency that helps software companies attract great people and keep them engaged and growing as their business grows. elan designs, facilitates and coaches employee engagement initiatives to help companies unlock their people potential, breakthrough hidden barriers to success and meet their strategic goals with velocity and ease.
She’s an inspired catalyst with a big vision, broad and integrated business experience and a deep understanding of how to bring out the best in people. She has 10 years experience as a program developer, facilitator and coach of transformational learning and human development. And more than 20 years experience providing strategy, innovation, marketing communications and technology support to entrepreneurs and executives of start-ups, SMEs and not-for-profit organizations.
When not working, she enjoys dancing, hiking, cooking, lifelong learning and hanging out with her teenage son.
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 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 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 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.
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.
Tim Riley - Treasurer
Treasurer Tim Riley is a father of 5 children whom he homeschooled. He is a Financial Planner in Redding, CA with his Partner and spouse Allyne Riley. Tim brings deep roots in Non-profit finances, and in Human Development, to our foundation’s mission. Following ten years in Education and as a Chaplain, Tim’s professional practice for the last 25+ years has been as a Values Based Planner advising non-profit charities, businesses, and individuals. Tim’s talents include a remarkable blend of humanitarian service for youth and children as well as mindfully caring for the financial well-being of others.
Unconventional education and intentional development came to Tim naturally as a student, and throughout his life and career (Tim is now a student in the M.A. program at the Self Design Graduate Institute). His undergraduate degree program (B.S. Secondary Education) was a 4-year experiment in an alternative “Wholistic” program that was co-created by the founding Students/Faculty. Tim later completed a Masters of Divinity while Asst. V.P. for Student Affairs Administration of a private university with 1000+ students, designing “safety net” programs noted decades later in university publications for having empowered first year students to organize their own successful wellness and learner lifestyle.
With his MBA in Finance in 1991 in hand, Tim grew a start-up financial services company from 5 to 100 employees providing credit to entrepreneurs. Tim then advised corporate clients how to support a sustainable humane culture and implement Alternative Employee-Partner Benefits and Compensation strategies.
For Tim, all roads converge back to finances being consciously deployed unleashing human potential! In 1994 Tim left southern California intentionally sourcing a growing rural, outdoor oriented and progressive lifestyle friendly to traditional and non-traditional learning and living. And, where his human development avocation could be a vocation.
Tim has been licensed and ordained in traditional and in Post-Modern worldviews. He is an Adjunct Professor of Finance at National University. Tim has been recognized nationally at broker dealer HD Vest as a Top 100 Advisor ten plus years in a row, with licenses in Investment Management (series 6, 7, 63, RIA), Real Estate, Accounting, Insurance, and Income Taxation (EA). His most prized credential is Tim’s young son’s award: “Dad of the Year”.