Board of Directors

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David Lynch
David Lynch, founder and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace, is an award-winning director, writer and producer. His work includes Eraserhead, Elephant Man, Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, Straight Story, Mulholland Drive and INLAND EMPIRE.

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Bob Roth
Bob Roth is one of the most experienced and sought-after meditation leaders in America. Over the past 45 years, Bob has taught Transcendental Meditation to many thousands of people, and is the author of the 2018 New York Times bestseller, “Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation.” As CEO of the David Lynch Foundation Bob has helped bring meditation to more than a million students in underserved schools in 35 countries, to military veterans and their families who suffer from post-traumatic stress, and to women and children who are survivors of domestic violence. Bob also directs the Center for Health & Wellness, which is bringing meditation to companies, government organizations, and nonprofit organizations. Bob is the host of the SiriusXM radio show, “Success Without Stress” and has spoken about meditation to industry leaders at such gatherings as Google Zeitgeist, Aspen Ideas Festival, Aspen Brain Conference, Wisdom2.0, and Summit.

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Steve Abrams
Steve Abrams became the owner and CEO of Magnolia Bakery in December 2006, after the Abrams’ family acquired the company.

Since acquiring the brand’s original location on Bleecker Street in New York City, Steve has thoughtfully expanded the business to locations worldwide creating an internationally renowned bakery brand.

Steve’s entrepreneurial spirit started many years ago with the creation of Fountainhead Construction, a leading high-end contractor in New York City. His clients were the who’s who of entertainment, media, sports, fashion, retail and restaurants. Steve has also been involved in the restaurant business as an investor, owner and operator for more than 20 years. He has owned a number of food establishments, including Wildlife, Flowers, It’s a Wrap and The Red Cat, and Soup-to-Nuts, a global restaurant consulting company.

Prior to being in the restaurant and construction business, Steve was a commercial real estate broker and owned and operated real estate throughout New York City.

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Mark Axelowitz
Mark is Managing Director at UBS Private Wealth Management and has been providing investment advice to ultra - high net-worth individuals, family offices and foundations since 1987. He is a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®), a designation earned through the Wharton School of Business. He was selected as one of the “Top Ten Outstanding Brokers of the Year” by Registered Rep magazine and as one of Barron’s “Top Advisors of America.” Mark is an officer on the board of the Boys & Girls Harbor, he has co-chaired the Harbor Investment Conference since 2006 and is also a dedicated member of the Robin Hood Foundation. Mark is a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild, is married with three children and resides in Manhattan and Bridgehampton, NY.

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Jill Black
Jill Black Zalben joined Black Equities Group in 2004. She is involved with the operations and management of her family's real estate portfolio. Jill is also a Director of the Stanley and Joyce Black Family Foundation. She is on the board of several philanthropic organizations such as Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors, Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, The David Lynch Foundation, Temple of the Arts, University Kidney Research Organization, and UCLA Luskin School of Public Policy. Jill is a supporter of Tel Aviv University, Jaffe Foundation and other organizations in Israel. Her involvement with The People Concern, Union Rescue Mission, Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation and ADL has helped break the cycle of chronic homelessness, poverty, and social inequities. Jill believes that the most impactful way to give back is to become a mentor. A young person needs the support and encouragement of a mentor to gain personal growth, development, as well as social and economic opportunities.

Jill participates in Southern California Grantmakers and Council on Foundations. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Public Communications from The American University in Washington, D.C.

Jill has two children: Zach and Torie Zalben. She shares her life with her significant other, Marvin Caesar.

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Steven Chanin
Steven Chanin is a retired finance executive with wide-ranging experience in a variety of industries, including information technology, multi-media, film production, and philanthropic investment. As the President and CEO of Chanin Consulting Services he developed trust operations systems for securities lending, trading, and tracking for such clients as Citi, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase Manhattan, and First Interstate. As Director of Finance for the Ford Foundation, he participated in the management of a $3 billion investment portfolio. Subsequently he trained options traders and developed new and successful options strategies which lead to the creation of a private options based hedge fund. He served on the faculty of Syracuse University's School of Management, where he taught MBA courses in finance and portfolio theory. Steven is currently President of the Chanin Family Foundation, which focuses on supporting scientific research in health and medicine, working with such institutions as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NYC and Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology in Israel. He grew up in New York City where his family was responsible for the architecture and construction of a number of landmark buildings and Broadway theaters. An avid skier, tennis player, and golfer, Steven has been a TM teacher for over 25 years.

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David Ford
Mr. Ford is a Founding Partner and Co-Portfolio Manager of Latigo Partners, L.P.. Prior to forming Latigo Partners, L.P. in 2005, Mr Ford was a Principal and Portfolio Manager at Satellite Asset Management. Mr. Ford joined Satellite in 2002 from Och Ziff Capital Management and was in charge of all credit and distressed related investments at the firm. At Och Ziff, Mr. Ford was responsible for the launch of the distressed component of the firm's fixed income business in 2000. From 1994-1999 Mr. Ford was the Portfolio Manager of ING Barings' North American proprietary distressed securities and merger arbitrage portfolios. He holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Connecticut and received an MBA from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, where he has been a frequent guest lecturer on distressed investing.

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John Gardner
John Gardner has spent his 20+ year career as a serial entrepreneur and business leader in financial services. He looks for opportunities to improve the financial lives of millions through solutions that are at the intersection of world-class digital customer experience, enabling technologies, innovative business models and best-in-class products in regulated industries.

Currently, he is the General Manager for Invest, Advice, and Insurance businesses at SoFi. Previously he was a co-founder of LearnVest, Inc which was a subscription-based financial planning service that provided simple, affordable and dynamic financial plans to the masses. The company was acquired by Northwestern Mutual in 2015. John was a Founding Partner in Cabezon Capital Management, a Global Macro Hedge fund focused on investing in Emerging Markets. He started his career at SEI Investments, a publicly-traded Asset Management firm, where he held a variety of equity research, product management, and strategy roles.

John has been a Board Member of the New York Pops, which is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, for the past 5 years. He is the head of the board nominating committee and member of the Finance committee. He is also an Angel Investor and Advisor to several fintech companies.

John is married to Kathryn O’Connor and has two children Jack (4 ½) and Cole (2 ¾). He graduated from Lehigh University with a BS in Marketing & Finance and a Minor in Philosophy.

John was taught Transcendental Meditation by Bob Roth 5 years ago and is an avid practitioner.

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Steve Israel
Former Congressman Steve Israel left Capitol Hill – unindicted and undefeated – to pursue a career as a writer. In addition to writing two critically acclaimed satires of Washington, he heads the non-partisan Cornell University Institute of Politics and Global Affairs in New York City.

Israel was a Member of Congress for sixteen years. He left in 2017, having served as House Democrats chief political strategist between 2011-2015 as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. President Bill Clinton called him “one of the most thoughtful Members of Congress.” Which, Israel states, isn’t really saying much at all.

Israel is a regular political commentator on MSNBC. His insights appear regularly in the New York Times, The Atlantic Magazine, as well as The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. He was profiled on HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and appeared on CBS’ Sixty Minutes.

Israel and his wife live in Oyster Bay Cove, Long Island, not far from the home of Theodore Roosevelt, who also wrote a few decent books.

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Bob Jones
Bob is the CIO and Chairman of System Two Advisors, where he focuses on design and implementation of the investment process. Prior to founding System Two, he founded the Global Quantitative Equity Group at Goldman Sachs Asset Management in 1989, which he ran until his retirement from GS as a partner in 2010. Prior to joining GSAM, Bob was a quantitative analyst at Brignoli Models, Lehman Brothers, and in the Global Investment Research department at Goldman Sachs.

He graduated with a BA in American Civilization from Brown University in 1978, and an MBA in Finance from the University of Michigan in 1980. Bob has written many articles on investing for major publications, including The Financial Analysts Journal, The Journal of Investing, and The Journal of Portfolio Management. He has also contributed chapters to many books, including Modern Investment Management: An Equilibrium Approach. Mr. Jones is on the Investment Advisory Board at the University of Michigan, and is a member and Past President of the Society of Quantitative Analysts (SQA)

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Shruti Joshi
Shruti Joshi is a Co-Founder and CEO of Compell’d, a consumer business that helps people experience more of the things that matter to them by transforming the way people keep track of, do and share the recommendations, experiences and content they discover from anywhere.

As an entrepreneur and former marketing executive with a track record of driving growth across multiple B2B and B2C businesses across large, startup, mid-sized firms and turnaround brands, Shruti advises and sits on several start-up and mid-sized company boards. She has successfully led go-to-market, P&L businesses and new product innovation and has expert knowledge in brand building, digital marketing, marketing analytics, and growing recurring revenue businesses.

In her former role, as a Partner at Altman Vilandrie & Company (AV&Co.), Shruti created, built and led the Marketing ROI Practice dedicated to improving marketing returns for Fortune 500 brands, through a combination of proprietary analytics SaaS and consulting solutions. Prior to joining AV&Co., Shruti was an executive at Verizon Communications, where she was responsible for driving new acquisition growth for Consumer FiOS and Core network products, by developing product marketing strategies and optimizing $750M+ digital, awareness and direct response media campaigns. Shruti also has a consulting background in product innovation and development, where she helped global brands develop new products.

Shruti holds an M.B.A from Columbia Business School and a B.S. in Business from the University of Southern California.

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Nigol Koulajian
Nigol Koulajian is the founder and CIO of Quest Partners, a NYC-based quantitative hedge fund with $1.4 billion in assets under management. Quest manages assets for some of the world’s largest pensions. Prior to starting Quest, Nigol was the head trader for Carmel Capital, a risk-arbitrage hedge fund and head of asset allocation at Weston Capital, a fund of hedge funds. He started his career with Andersen Consulting. Mr. Koulajian earned an MBA in finance from Columbia Business School and a BS in electrical engineering from Notre Dame. He has been running a personal foundation dedicated to supporting the practices of yoga and meditation since 2002.  He was on the board of the Omega Institute for four years.

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Jennifer Leahy
Jennifer Leahy has spent most of her life in the real estate industry. Most recently, she helped start the Douglas Elliman office in Greenwich, CT and is currently the top producing real estate agent for Elliman in Fairfield County. She also serves as a Planning and Zoning Commissioner in Darien, CT. Jennifer spent about seven years in education and holds a Masters in Special and General Elementary Education from Bank Street College of Education. During the time she volunteered for Teachers Across Borders, founded Cambodia's Children Education Fund (a non-profit that provided scholarships to highly impoverished and orphaned children in Cambodia), and taught at Eagle Hill School in Greenwich, CT. Jennifer holds her undergraduate degree from Fordham University in Theater and Religious Studies. She is passionate about bringing TM to veterans, women, children, and students in every school in America. Jennifer resides in Connecticut with her two young children and dog.

Arthur Bud Liebler

Arthur “Bud” Liebler
Mr. Liebler has spent over 40 years in the Public Relations/ Marketing / Communications business, including over 20 years at Chrysler and DaimlerChrysler Corporation where he was Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications until 2001. Previous to Chrysler, Bud worked at Ford Motor Company, Ross Roy Advertising and Stratacomm Public Relations. He is a former national chairman of the American Advertising Federation, President of the Michigan Advertising Industry Alliance and Adcraft Club of Detroit, and serves on the boards of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Public Television, Michigan Opera Theatre and Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Jane Ottenberg

Jane Ottenberg
Jane Ottenberg was one of the pioneers in the fast-growing trend of content marketing. In the early ’80s, she co-founded with her husband The Magazine Group, which later became TMG Custom Media. The firm produced 360 degree content marketing campaigns for large brands and non-profits, including magazines, websites, social media, videos and analytics. The company was sold in 2012.

Jane received the John Caldwell Award from the Custom Content Council for lifetime achievement in content marketing. She was also named one of the 21 Most Intriguing People in Media by min, the trade publishing group for broadcast, print and online media. Jane served on the board of the Custom Content Council as well on the boards of Maret School, a K-12 independent school in Washington, DC, and the Alzheimer’s Association of Metropolitan Washington.

Jane and her husband Richard Creighton, who also served on the DLF board, reside in Chevy Chase, MD and New York and have four children. They have been practicing TM for seven years.

Susan Molinari

Susan Molinari
Susan Molinari has a wide-ranging background resulting from her multi-disciplined service in the Leadership of the United States Congress, as Vice President of Google’s Public Affairs for the Americas, as leader of multiple offices for international public affairs and lobbying giant Omnicom, and as a respected media communicator on multiple networks, including among others CBS, Fox, PBS and CNN.

Susan is presently a member of New York City based Protiviti Consulting’s Advisory Board, Washington DC based APCO Worldwide International Advisory Board, and member of the boards of Harvard University Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School, the Trilateral Commission, American Action Network and the David Lynch Foundation.

Having been elected from a New York City-based district five times to Congress, Susan was quickly elevated by House Republicans who twice elected her as one of just eight Members to serve in the Leadership of the first GOP Majority in 40 years.

In Congress, she developed a strong record of bipartisanship and effectiveness on issues ranging from transportation and the budget, to child abuse and human rights.

As Google’s Vice President for the Unites States, Mexico, Latin America and Canada, she managed teams that monitored and interacted with both Democratic and Republican U.S. Administrations, federal departments and agencies, both sides of the political aisle and both sides of the U.S. Capitol, as well as state and foreign capitals.

In addition to her work with Omnicom and in the media, Susan has worked with corporate America as member of the Board of Protective Life, on the Toyota North America Diversity Board, as chair of the corporate social responsibility Century Council, and at the global law firm Bracewell and Giuliani.

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Joanna Plafsky
Joanna Plafsky is an established international film producer and distributor. She was Co-Founder of Nu Image Films (now Millennium Films), which went on to become a highly successful film production and distribution company. Joanna began her career as Founder and President of Radiance Films International, an international sales and film distribution company. She sold hundreds of films throughout the world and had a strong presence at the Cannes, Milan, and other international film festivals. More recently, Joanna co-produced the documentary Saving the Disposable Ones with David Lynch Foundation Television. She was also Executive Producer of the award-winning documentary My Reincarnation. A graduate from the University of California at Berkeley, Joanna earned a Master’s Degree in Film from Boston University. Joanna’s passion is producing films that uplift the human spirit and make the world a better place to live.

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Christina Schwefel
Christina M Capodilupo Schwefel, Ph.D., Ed.M, is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University where she received her doctorate in 2009. Christina’s clinical and research interests focus on body image and eating disorders; specifically how these issues manifest for women in marginalized groups. She has received eating disorder treatment certifications from the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy in New York City and has completed advanced training in cognitive behavioral treatment for binge eating and bulimia. She has recently published several papers that explore the body image and eating issues among African American and Black women. Christina also studies subtle forms of discrimination and their impact on mental health and has extensive publications and presentations in this area. Most recently she developed a scale that measures subtle experiences of sexism and has edited a book that explores microaggression theory, recently published this fall.

Christina has rigorously studied contemporary psychoanalytic theory, completing her internship and postdoctoral work at the Karen Horney Clinic in New York City, where she served on the Internship Selection Committee and worked in private practice for several years before moving to Connecticut. Christina currently owns several boutique barre fitness studios, where she combines her love of research, health and wellness, and positive psychology. She continues to expand the company, opening a new location in Chestnut Hill, MA this spring and hopes to bring several new consumer products to market in 2019. Christina lives in Greenwich, CT with her husband, Harry, four children, and their dog, Cisco.

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Orin Snyder
Orin Snyder is a Partner and Member of the Executive Committee at Gibson Dunn and is one of the nation's leading trial lawyers and litigators. The prestigious Chambers USA named Mr. Snyder one of the nation's six best trial lawyers in the category of "Litigation: Business Trial Lawyers." Another commentator called him "the deadliest lawyer in tech." A former Federal Prosecutor, Orin is a Member of Gibson Dunn's Executive Committee, a senior litigation partner in the New York office Co-Chair of the Media, Entertainment and Technology Group.

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Bruce Wilpon
Bruce N. Wilpon is a Partner of Sterling Equities, actively involved in the management of Sterling.VC and its investments. Prior to joining Sterling, Bruce was community manager at Lerer Hippeau Ventures in New York. In addition to serving on the board of the David Lynch Foundation, he is also a board member of Playwrights Horizons, a writer's theater dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American playwrights, composers and lyricists, and to the production of their new work, and the Judy & Fred Wilpon Family Foundation. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University and successfully completed extensive graduate work at University of Chicago and at Columbia University in the field of classical Japanese literature.

Bruce speaks Japanese, French, and Italian and is proud husband to Yuki Ikeda and father to their daughter Sia, cats Mogadishu and Lima, and dog Reggie.

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