Board Of Directors
Kelly Schwartz - Founder
“My greatest hope for Mind Oasis is that it makes meditation accessible for practitioners of every background. I know how much more content my life feels from engaging in these centuries-old practices and I am excited for some of the very best teachers to pass along their tips and tricks to living a happier and more-fulfilling life!”
Kelly Schwartz has been lovingly practicing yoga and meditation for seven years. Under the guidance of deeply devoted and masterful teachers, she has learned the ancient art and power of the contemplative traditions. Using humor, ferocity, and passion, Kelly offers sincere and straightforward instructions. Kelly has spent many hours, days, and weeks in retreat – including a month-long solo meditation retreat.
When she isn’t teaching, or practicing yoga and meditation, you can find her on an adventure rock climbing and hiking with her husband and dogs, Ruby Rose and Stella Bean. She received her Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University in 2014.
Jamie Francis - Board President
Jamie is a mind, body, and soul healer who uses guided meditation and hypnotherapy to help her clients heal from trauma. She is licensed as a Physical Therapist, and holds specialty certifications in neurological bodywork and several forms of hypnotherapy. Her mission is to help all of her clients to take full responsibility for their experience, to become fully empowered, and to recognize their own divinity.
Jamie is thrilled to be a part of Mind Oasis, as it's mission is closely connected to hers, and hopes to serve the community for many years to come.
Kristen Huff - Vice-President
Kristen Huff is Vice President, Assessment and Research at Curriculum Associates. Her work focuses on ensuring the coherence of assessment design, interpretation, use, and policy to advance equity and high-quality education for all students.
When she isn't out rocking the world by improving our education system, Kristen can be found practicing yoga asana, meditation, and reading books about caring for the soul and getting in touch with the divine feminine. Certified as a Reiki 2 practitioner, Kristen is a graduate of both Sarva Yoga Academy Teacher Training (200 hours) as well as the apt-named Sarva Graduate School for Seekers, where she spent one year immersed in Yogic/Buddhist studies. Kristen believes that the power to change the world begins with radical self knowledge and self love.
She lives in NYC with her most awesome cats Little Guy and Smokey, and has a gorgeous view of the Williamsburg bridge.
Vanessa Zakeya Bryant - Secretary
VZ treasures relationship as the vehicle for transformation. She lives in and holds a space in the hearth of being to invite you into deep connection with universal/individual inarguable truths and the journey to live it, fully. In integrity with her deep value for exploring sensuality, both through the palate of emotion and personality: she embodies authentic presence in connection with all there is... she is multifaceted in her passions for integrated pleasure, divine beauty, and wild nature.
VZ is delighted to offer her spectrums of self to Mind Oasis through a practice of relational meditation and upcoming immersions in embracing the self through NOTSOPsychotherapy & Nourishing Consciousness.
When not on Mind Oasis, the yoga mat, or traversing the evolving landscapes of philanthrapreneurialism -- you can find VZ with her familiar, Sir Alfie, galavanting waves of structure and flow in the fresh open air, earth and waters of Austin, TX or envisioning the next adventure.
Al Rudnitzki - Treasurer
"Most importantly, I have an interest in people, social justice, and working for a better world.
I have a bachelors degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, as well as a masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from that same institution. I spent 10 years teaching mathematics and computer science in West Bend, Wisconsin. For the last 30 years of my professional career, I was an IT professional for Northwestern Mutual Life, eventually raising to the level of Division Head. In retirement, I write a bi-weekly op-ed for a local daily newspaper while holding the position of Executive Vice-president for Rudnitzki & Associates — a nonprofit consulting firm.
My wife Joan and I have been married for 47 years and have three adult sons who we are very proud of. We have a great life on Big Cedar Lake in Wisconsin where we enjoy hosting our many friends including fellow Mind Oasis friends."
Denise Deniger - Senior Staff & Board Member
Certified Yoga Therapist * Certified iRest Yoga Nidra Teacher * Meditation Teacher * Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist in-Training * Co-founder of Inner Jewel Dharma
Through her own life and practice, Denise has developed a robust toolbelt of skills and practice. Her 20+ years of study spans a wide range of modalities, from Western anatomical models to Eastern esoteric practices. She is certified in multiple yoga asana methods and is a graduate of the Asian Classics Institute’s Advanced Buddhist Studies Course, focused onTibetan Buddhism, meditation and yoga.
Denise’s dive into meditation and yoga began in 1998 and her practice has been guided by her remarkable spiritual teachers, Lama Sumati Marut, Cindy Lee, and Richard Miller, PhD. She is motivated to share these practices in a practical, grounded way. Denise’s inspired, fiery, and clear-sighted presence invites students to see their own potential for more joy and power in their lives.
Kelly Ann Lindsey - Senior Staff & Board Member
Mind-Body Therapist, Meditation Teacher, Co-founder of Dakini Meditative
Kelly’s deep love for meditation began 20 years ago and her practice has been guided by many remarkable spiritual teachers. She feels passionate about helping to facilitate a meditative journey for others and sharing the practice of meditation in an informed and inspired way. Kelly’s warm, open-hearted presence invites students to more deeply explore their own path of awakening.
Stephan Samuel - Board Member
Joan Rudnitzki - Board Member
Joan has been accredited as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) since 1996. The CRFE accreditation is considered to be a premier designation in the fundraising and development fields. Joan has achieved and maintained this status by combining 30 years of philanthropic experience with formal education in business management in order to utilize the best practices from both fields.
Throughout her long career, Joan has worked with not-for-profit organizations in furthering their missions while ensuring the public trust. As a development executive, Joan has raised millions of philanthropic dollars for not-for-profits whose areas of focus include the environment, social service, higher education, and arts and culture.
When she lays down her “making the world a better place” cape, she takes up books, toys, and imaginative play with her grandbabies!
Joseph Schwartz - Board Member
Kinesiologist Joseph Schwartz, Founder of Movement Mantra, is the Developer of The 5 Primary Kinetic Chains, the Applied Anatomy Blog, Dynamic Neuromuscular Assessment Seminars, and The Spiral Engine of Locomotion™.
He is a kinesthetic visual learner whose exploration and study in the somatic field has led him on a 30+ year journey of finding joy being in the body. His passion is to give people a movement experience that creates a shift in perception. His inquisitive nature continually asks him to look deeper at why different practices have different physiological effects, such as how the tangible and the non-tangible interface with this vehicle we call the body.Joseph's meditation modality of choice is walking meditation complemented with sitting and lying.