The David Lynch Foundation Staff
New York City
Bob Roth is one of the most experienced and sought-after meditation teachers in America. Over the past 40 years, Bob has taught Transcendental Meditation to many thousands of people and authored an authoritative book on the subject, fittingly entitled, Transcendental Meditation, which has been translated into 20 languages. Bob currently serves as the Executive Director of the David Lynch Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity which has brought meditation to over 500,000 inner-city youth in underserved schools in 35 countries, to veterans and their families who suffer from post-traumatic stress, and women and children who are survivors of domestic violence. Bob also directs the Center for Leadership Performance, another nonprofit, which is bringing meditation to Fortune 100 companies, government organizations, and nonprofit charities. 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, Wisdom2.0, and Summit.
Chief Philanthropy Officer
Ina considers herself fortunate for a career spanning corporate (Ogilvy and other agencies), government (MTA marketing to get people back on the subway) and non-profit. In over 20 non-profit years, she’s used her skills in service to people and issues she’s passionate about – arts, women’s rights, education, people in need. Highlights include City Center (including the original branding and fundraising for City Center Encores!), the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Sesame Workshop, American Ballet Theatre, Ms. Foundation, IFP, Paley Center, and The Actors Fund.
Due to a minimal need for sleep, Ina is also a long-time Board member of Parsons Dance, has handled special projects for Count-Me-In for Women’s Economic Independence, Women’s Media Center, School of American Ballet, and HB Studios and serves on Manhattan’s Community Board 5. She believes in TM, laughing often, and being part of the solution.
Aprajita (Raji) Kalra
Chief Financial and Administrative Officer
Raji is not your typical CFO/CAO. Aside from being responsible for finance, accounting, human resources, operations and IT functions (phew!), Raji maintains office morale through a constant supply of candy. She joined the Foundation in July 2012 with over 8 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, mainly in education at places such as KIPP and Harlem RBI, and over 4 years in management consulting, mostly at Accenture. She holds a BA from Columbia University, an MA from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies and an MBA from Columbia University Business School.
In her limited spare time, Raji is a career coach to Columbia MBA students who are interested in pursuing careers in the social sector. She also sits on three nonprofit boards: the Bronx River Alliance (where she serves as Treasurer), Justice For Our Neighbors, and MTIP for Kids.
Director of the Center for Leadership Performance
Mario Orsatti has been teaching the Transcendental Meditation technique since 1973. In addition to teaching TM to business professionals here in NYC, he has helped direct TM centers in Washington, DC, Boston, Berkeley, Denver, and Hong Kong. Mario’s work with the David Lynch Foundation has included helping direct projects that bring TM to individuals recovering from homelessness, PTSD, and to teenagers dealing with learning disorders.
Fredda L. Plesser
Executive Vice President
Fredda is the Executive Vice President for the David Lynch Foundation. After 15 years as a practicing attorney, Fredda entered the non-profit arena to focus on bringing services and relief to underserved communities. From 2003 until 2011, Fredda was Senior Vice President, Chair and Executive Director of the Michael Tyler Fisher Center for Education of the Intrepid Museum in Manhattan. For 3 years prior to joining the Intrepid, Ms. Plesser served as the Chancellor’s Chief Executive for the Office of Corporate Partnerships at the New York City Department of Education. As an attorney, Ms. Plesser was Associate General Counsel for the Securities Industry Association and Litigation Partner for Tenzer Greenblatt LLP, currently known as Blank Rome LLP. Ms. Plesser holds a BS from Cornell University and a JD from Fordham University School of Law.
Chief of Staff
From being a super hero with a zoo in his backyard to wanting to be an environmental lawyer, Sam has always been inclined to make a difference in the world. Sam became involved with DLF during his freshman year of college and has not left the Foundation since. Sam never thought he would end up at a not-for-profit establishment since he studied Business Management in college, but the great work DLF achieves steered his life in a direction of working for not "the man", but rather, “the most amazing group of super heroes" he could ask for.
The DLF Team
Director of Marketing and Communications
Austin is passionate about meditation and communication. Serving as the voice of reason, or whimsy, with great insight and due diligence, Austin leads responsibilities encompassed by writing, design, photography, marketing, and without fail, the first note of every DLF staff's Happy Birthday song. Austin holds an MBA, as well as a BA in Eastern Sciences and is a certified teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique.
Office, HR and Design Assistant
Lucy is the smiling face and happy spirit at the front desk, performing the roles of Office, HR and Design Assistant at DLF. She learned TM at 8 years old and is excited to share her profound respect for the grounded vision of possibilities meditation brings and for the DLF’s mission of helping others and creating a better world. In her spare time, Lucy enjoys creative activities including some freelance design and photographic work, cooking and international travel. She holds a degree in Digital Media Design with a minor in Photography from Marist College.
Director of Individual Giving and Stewardship
Marie has worked in the not-for-profit field since 1996 with experience in development, grant making, research and evaluation. Born and raised in NY, Marie holds a BA in Social Sciences. She is an avid baseball fan, enjoys cooking and especially enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews. Marie is proud to be part of the DLF team directing individual giving and stewardship.
Far from the usual, Becky is an absurdly non boring accountant. Enthused by all things numbers, organized, and green, Becky enjoys baking, running, and the occasional Friends episode (a.k.a marathon). In addition to her work at DLF, she continues to maintain the books for a small non-profit, StartingBloc. Becky holds a degree in Accounting and Finance from University of Maryland, and has two pets at home, if you include her husband.
In May of 2009, Puki received a life-changing phone call. On the other end of the line was David Lynch declaring, "Puki, you're going to become a Transcendental Meditation teacher and move to Los Angeles." Within 9 months Puki had graduated from Maharishi University with a degree in Communications and Media, completed her TM Teacher Training Course and moved to Los Angeles to start the first David Lynch Foundation “Quiet Time” program. She has spent the past 5 years teaching TM at several schools, organizations, and a rescue shelter for child victims of prostitution.
Rachel is a lead instructor for David Lynch Foundation's Women's Initiative. Additionally she has developed special projects for outreach and awareness including the launch of Meditation Creativity Peace screenings and a filmed interview series with students from the Family Justice Center. Before serving as a teacher for DLF, she was director of special events, following five years of event management and non-profit work in New York City. She holds a BA in Film and Media Studies and due to her range of interests and love of people she couldn’t imagine a more perfect outlet to engage with diverse populations and programs. She continues to enjoy creative opportunities in and outside of “work.”
Program Manager for the Center for Leadership Performance
Genevieve Kimberlin manages DLF's Center for Leadership Performance (CLP), bringing TM to the corporate world while helping to fund DLF's programs for at-risk adults and children. She brings 17 years of meditation experience, having taught over 200 people to meditate. Prior to being with DLF, she was a manager for the yoga apparel company, Lululemon Athletica and taught Vinyasa and Yin Yoga in Greenwich, CT. Kimberlin's passion for the yogic lifestyle led her to a 5-month intensive meditation course in Thailand to ultimately become a TM teacher. Kimberlin studied Ayurveda, Sanskrit, and Consciousness at Maharishi University of Management and holds a dual degree in Communications and Human Development from Boston College. On the side, Kimberlin has a passion for singing and a love of nature.
Executive Producer of DLF Live
In 2006, Erik learned about the magic of quinoa from the "special features" segment on David Lynch's Inland Empire DVD. He currently obsesses over music, film, art, and food. After years serving as Director of Programming for The Shedd in Oregon and as National Booking Director for Opus 3 Artists, Erik is thrilled to be Executive Producer of DLF Live, the charitable events production division of the David Lynch Foundation.
Director of Education
After a decade of classroom teaching around the world, Joanna is thrilled to call NYC and the David Lynch Foundation home. From teaching in the the jungles of India to a homeless shelter in Berkeley, from a series of excursions in the continent of Africa, to a midwest elementary school, Joanna's meditation practice has always travelled with her. As Director of Student Initiatives, Joanna is busy launching Quiet Time programs in NYC schools and teaching Transcendental Meditation courses at the DLF office– but always finds time to cheer on her Detroit Tigers.
Director of Institutional Giving
Nellie is a social justice activist at heart. At DLF, she is responsible for expanding and managing relationships with private and corporate foundations and grant-making institutions. She has worked in the non-profit sector for 15 years, dedicated to such issues as women’s empowerment, domestic violence and education. Most recently, Nellie served as Assistant Director of Institutional Giving at the Harlem Children’s Zone and has also worked at My Sisters’ Place, the United Nations and as an Adjunct Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Hunter College. Nellie holds a BA in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Augsburg College and an M.Phil in Ethnic and Racial Studies from Trinity College Dublin. Nellie is new to TM, and as the mother of three small children, she is finding it particularly helpful.
Born-and-raised in NYC, Velky was most recently the Controller at The Africa Center, located in uptown Manhattan. Prior to joining The Africa Center, she worked as Controller at Dance Theater Workshop in Chelsea. Velky has over 17 years of nonprofit experience and holds a degree in Accounting with a concentration in Business Administration from Baruch College.
Velky is extremely vibrant, detail-oriented and personable with tremendous client service orientation. With patience, candor and humor she has managed the finances of many NYC cultural organizations. During this time she has been able to link her career aspirations with her passion for the arts. Velky lives in the Bronx with her husband and two boys. On her spare time, she is running around, attending her son’s basketball, baseball and/or football games.
Executive Producer of DLF Live
Jessica Harris is the Executive Producer for the Foundation's live events and music division, DLF Live. She focuses on funding the Foundation's programs through events featuring the world's leading musicians, including Katy Perry, Sting, Duran Duran, Moby, Ringo Starr, Jack White, Dixie Chicks and Brendan Benson.
Jessica has more than a decade of experience in the music and event production industry working with non-profits and start-ups. She also produces Communion Presents’ New York residency, a London-based promotion and record label founded by Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons. Her events have been featured in Billboard, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, New York Times and more.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Jessica partnered with Donna Karan's Urban Zen, where she completed yoga teacher training to bring yoga, nutrition and meditation to at-risk populations. Through Urban Zen, she connected with the David Lynch Foundation to merge her passion for music, mediation and event production to create a difference for the greater good.
Director of DLF Los Angeles
Lynn Kaplan is Director of DLF LA and a lead teacher at New Village Charter High School and at Academia Semillas del Pueblo Xinaxcalmecac (Semillas for short), a public charter school of the Los Angeles Unified School District. She has taught TM for 39 years. Lynn has worked for the Mayor’s Council on Youth in St. Louis and was Director of Weaver High School’s TM Quiet Time program in Hartford, CT from 2006-2010, which produced recently published research on the positive impact TM has had on improving graduation rates. Lynn was also a classroom teacher for 10 years at MSAE in Fairfield, Iowa, and is a mother of three.
Alisha Zalkin is an award winning singer/songwriter who has penned songs for TV. You can find her performing all around town. Alisha is very grateful to be a part of the DLF LA team. Alisha has been involved with many non-profits starting with Children of The Night ( a safe house for child prostitutes) while she was a college student at U.C.L.A.. Following college she became involved with the Playing For Change Foundation and has performed at numerous conferences dedicated to responding to the needs of children who have been abused in some way. She has been meditating for over two years. Meditation has completely changed her life. She is extremely passionate about the work of the DLF, and truly enjoys working with students.
Peter graduated from The Albany Academy military academy and served in the US Navy in Vietnam on the USS Intrepid as a Photographic Intelligence Petty Officer. After earning a BFA degree in filmmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute, Peter worked for 30+ years in the television industry, editing and producing for all the major television networks and a variety of production companies such as Martha Stewart Living Television and The Discovery Channel.
In 1974, Peter completed his Transcendental Meditation teacher training in Vittel, France and has taught in TM Centers and for many DLF projects since. Currently, Peter is proud to bring healing and meditation to veterans and first-responders as a TM teacher at DLF.
Johnnie began TM when she was 5 years old. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Johnnie worked as a songwriter licensing original music to major networks, earning record deals in Japan, Italy and Switzerland. Johnnie also spent 9 years working for the Los Angeles Unified School District teaching English as a second language. Combining her love of TM with her experience in education and entertainment, Johnnie now works for the David Lynch Foundation teaching TM in the School Quiet Time Programs and assisting with the Foundation’s events. It is a joy for Johnnie to teach TM to children who are most in need.
Regional Director of Development and Expansion
Chris is a founding member of the David Lynch Foundation, present from its creation in July 2005. A 40-year practitioner and teacher of the Transcendental Meditation program, Chris works with his wife Julia to expand outreach and development opportunities for the Foundation in Chicago.
Regional Director of Development and Expansion
Julia graduated from Regis College with a degree in Biology and her passion is to help people in the field of health and wellness. She learned the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique in college, soon realized that TM is one of the most powerful tools to help pursue her passion and decided to become a TM teacher. Julia has been teaching TM for almost 40 years and through her work with the Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, she connected with business, government and policy makers to bring the prevention-based solutions of the TM Program to society. Julia is one of the founders of the David Lynch Foundation and is now focusing on Development and Expansion in Chicago and California.
Director of Media Production and Development
Since an early age, Adam was fascinated with the visual arts. Adam held summer jobs working for NBC News, ABC News, and Guggenheim Productions in Washington, DC, and holds a degree in Radio, TV, and Film from Northwestern University. Adam's deep interest in Transcendental Meditation led to nearly 30 years of advanced study and globe-trotting adventures teaching meditation. As a founding member of the David Lynch Foundation, Adam joined his love of visual media with his passion for "diving within." Adam's greatest joy is in meeting and interviewing people whose lives are being transformed through the work of the Foundation, and sharing these incredibly inspiring stories with the world.
Sam is passionate about documenting stories of transformation incited through the David Lynch Foundation's TM programs. Over the past 7 years, Sam has enjoyed traveling the world, from Europe, to Asia, South America, and all over North America, to meet an expansive variety of people with profound stories of change. Together with the DLF.TV team, Sam's aim is to provide videos that will inspire and raise funds necessary for DLF to provide TM for any person in the world in need. Sam is also an artist and creates masks and puppets for film and theatre.
Senior Editor and Technical Director
Ed built his first non-linear editing computer before he learned to walk. That's an exaggeration, but he does bring over 15 years of experience in video to DLF.TV. Ed ran his own production business while attending a high school that integrated the Transcendental Meditation technique into its curriculum. Ed has now been on the DLF team for almost 6 years, enjoying directing live multi-camera shoots for DLF concerts and events. Ed is proud to be producing videos that reveal real-life stories and inspire change in the communities reached by the Foundation.
Senior Editor and Story Producer
Louisa is a passionate storyteller. She studied Documentary Filmmaking at the New York Film Academy (NYFA) in New York City and graduated with Honors. At NYFA, her thesis film, 'Lifeline', attracted an independent producer, $10,000 in Kickstarter contributions, and subjects that ranged from an Oscar-winning writer and director team, to Harry Potter star, Daniel Radcliffe. Soon after graduating, she won a € 6,000 grant to represent the U.S. by making a film about sustainability in NYC, while being mentored by Oscar-winning director, Davis Guggenheim. Louisa taught film editing for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's "Art and Film" course in NYC. Her films 'Lifeline' and 'Families Like Mine' have been selected in film festivals worldwide.
Isaac (Ike) Winkler
Editor and Cameraman
In high school, two events would shape Ike's future in dramatic ways. The first was film photography: after 1 day of learning about cameras, exposure and darkroom techniques, Ike was hooked and has been fiddling with cameras ever since. The second was David Lynch: 8 months into drama class, the legendary film director made an unexpected visit to his high school. The class's group drama performance so inspired Mr. Lynch, (so the rumor goes), that he decided to offer TM to children across the country. Who knew that years later, Ike would be applying his twin passions in service of David Lynch Foundation Television.
Editor, Composer, DLF.TV Webmaster
Philip Rabalais is a devoted David Lynch fan who snuck his way on the DLF.TV team by first composing music for their videos, then slowly inserting himself into as many jobs (such as editing, doing sound on video shoots, managing the DLF.TV website), as he could. Philip is proud and happy to work for the David Lynch Foundation.
Graphic Designer & Animator
Before starting as intern for DLF.TV, Sam worked as a 3D artist in the San Francisco bay area. Sam grew up practicing Transcendental Meditation with his nuclear family, including his two triplet brothers. Wanting to reconnect with his meditation, Sam moved to Fairfield, Iowa, over 1 year ago. Since arriving, Sam has developed skills in editing and videography to help promote DLF's work and the TM technique. Passionate about the changes he has experienced through honing TM, it is now Sam's great desire to spread awareness about TM's benefits to other populations as well.