With an educational background in anthropology, Abby comes to Mindful following sales support work in the legal services industry. She loves to travel and learn new things—especially cultures and languages. She lives in Chicago and enjoys spending time with her two cats (despite their bad behavior). At work and at home, she likes to work with new technologies and discover how they can be better utilized.
What Is Mindful?
Mindful Communications is a Public Benefit Corporation. We are dedicated to sharing the gifts of mindfulness through content, training, courses, and directories—helping people enjoy better health, foster more caring relationships, and cultivate a more compassionate society.
Mindful is the voice of the emerging mindfulness community. We work to provide insight, information, and inspiration to help us all live more mindfully.
From corporate training through LifeXT by Mindful, our flagship Mindful magazine, mindful.org, online learning, our conferences and collaborations, our activities support people seeking to learn more as well as leaders working to bring genuine mindfulness practices into the mainstream.
We offer courses, corporate training, personal stories, news-you-can-use, practical advice, directories, and insights that speak to anyone from novice meditators looking for guidance to corporate managers exploring new ways to cultivate workplace engagement and fulfillment. Our audience learns from leaders in the field about effective techniques for mindful living, and the science that points to its benefits.
We’re All Mindful
We all have an innate ability to be present, composed, and thoughtful as we face the challenges of our busy lives. That’s the ground of mindfulness. With some guidance and training, mindfulness can develop into a way of living that brings greater focus and effectiveness as well as kindness and caring in everything we do. Both science and experience demonstrate how being mindful brings positive benefits for our health, happiness, work, and relationships.
Mindfulness and Social Innovation—How You Can Help
We see mindfulness as a unique and profound approach to social change, and our work as a social innovation initiative. Mindfulness is entering the mainstream and it presents an historic opportunity to transform society. It is accessible and everyone can benefit from its potential for promoting individual wellness, healthy relationships, and a more mindful and caring world.
Mindful seeks to help connect the emergent elements in the mindfulness community, from the heroic efforts of the leaders in the field to all those new to mindfulness who seek to learn more. We work to meet people wherever they are – at home, at work, at school or at leisure. Individuals will benefit as mindfulness practices become more a part of everyday life, and generate even greater benefit to society as the underlying values of kindness and compassion permeate our culture.
Who We Are
As a CEO, CFO, investor, advisor, and active board member, Alan’s industry focus has included marketing data and analytics, media, music and entertainment, and health and wellness. He has also spent time working in private equity, family enterprises, and nonprofits. He has developed an expertise in fast-changing growth markets, instilling focus and strategic direction, effective communication, integrity, and fun.
Hailing from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Alissa comes to Mindful with an educational background in journalism and a professional background in technology marketing. She brings a diverse skillset and unique perspective to the Mindful marketing team. In her spare time, Alissa can be found baking, reading, or out on the hiking trails with her rescue dog Loki.
Amanda has an eclectic background, with graduate degrees in both political science and criminology. She has worked as a freelance editor, writer, and has over a decade of experience teaching both high school students and undergrads. She has worked for a variety of nonprofits, typically in areas of security and conflict resolution, and is a second-generation Buddhist who has been practicing mindfulness and meditation since childhood.
Amber has honed her skills as an editor in many contexts, from academia to entrepreneur development to creative writing. During her yoga-filled teenage years she encountered mindfulness, a journey she’s grateful to continue as part of the Mindful team. She enjoys vegan cooking and omnivorous reading, and her favorite place to meditate is outside, surrounded by living green things.
Cat-whisperer, aspiring Level 2 Epicurious home chef, poutine-enthusiast, and recovering plant fanatic—these are just some of the values Audhora holds near to her heart. Born in one of the most dynamic cities in the world—Dhaka, Bangladesh—she moved to Halifax and found a home away from home in Canada’s ocean playground. Her career has spanned across working in insurance to working in group homes. Her mantra in life is “Embrace the glorious mess that you are.”
Ava is a writer and digital content creator who draws on a diverse background in her role as an associate editor. Her education is in journalism and her work experience ranges from commercial fishing to serving, but no matter what she’s doing, she brings her adventurous spirit and passion for storytelling. On the weekends, you can find her exploring the great outdoors of Nova Scotia (ideally near the ocean), doing yoga, or reading.
A longtime professional writer, editor, and trainer specializing in applications of mindfulness and awareness to everyday life, Barry is editor of The Mindfulness Revolution and served as developmental editor for Congressman Tim Ryan’s books, A Mindful Nation and The Real Food Revolution. From 2008 to 2012, he wrote for the “Mindful Society” department of Shambhala Sun magazine. He is also coauthor of The Rules of Victory, an extended commentary on Sun Tzu’s Art of War.
Brenda Jacobsen is an accomplished business leader in the health, wellness, and healthcare spaces, with deep expertise in scaling, multi-state business operations, and M&A. The former CEO of Lakeside Medical Centers and Life Cross Training, Brenda’s career has focused on improving the health and wellness of workforces globally, focusing first on physical wellness and now on well-being. Brenda and her husband, Steffen, raise their children, chickens, and bees in a suburb north of Chicago.
Bryan Welch is a veteran media executive, writer, rancher, and entrepreneur with unique expertise in businesses that improve the world. He’s the former CEO of Ogden Publications (Mother Earth News, Utne Reader), B The Change Media (B Magazine), and Foster Care Technologies. Bryan has served on the boards of the Magazine Publishers Association, the Social Venture Network, Down Home Ranch Foundation, and several other nonprofits. He and his wife, Carolyn, raise organic, grass-fed cattle, sheep, and goats on their farm in Kansas.
Born and raised in Florida, Chelsea began her career in the fast-paced industry of entertainment with companies like Universal Studios, Disney, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, DreamWorks, and Nickelodeon. Having the opportunity to travel the world with her career, as of 2017 she is an American transplant in Halifax. She is the backbone of all things advertising at Mindful, where she lets her creativity and out-of-the-box thinking take on new heights.
Born and raised in the Bahamas, Deandrea brings her warm and joyous personality to Mindful. She is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, passionate about enhancing the lives of people and improving her workplace environment. Deandrea is enthusiastic, self-driven, and detail-oriented in her role as administrative assistant.
Drew is a culinary and cultural enthusiast who has experience working in energy efficiency, festival logistics, and marketing management. He firmly believes in the importance of talking about mental health and practicing self-care, as he formerly worked as a university peer supporter. With roots on the south shore of Nova Scotia, if he isn’t traveling to Lunenburg or Cape Breton to watch live music or cook, he is listening to a John Prine vinyl and cleaning the kitchen. Drew loves to try new recipes, hear new stories, and learn historical facts about languages and culture.
As app developer and technologist at Mindful team, Garang is focused on working with, improving all in-house tech tools and solutions. Garang joined the Mindful team with over three years of experience working with web apps. Prior to joining the team, he worked as Junior Data Scientist at the University of Guelph before moving on to a sustainability consulting firm as Web Developer. In his spare time, Garang volunteers with Masakhane as an NLP developer.
Heather is a seasoned editor with a proven track record for growing audiences, creating digital products, and building strategic partnerships. She started her career as a health editor for Rodale, honing her service journalism and digital management skills. She’s since been hired by top brands, like Men’s Health, Prevention, Fitness, and Self, to create engaging content. She balances her career with a healthy dose of family life and a few weekends a month fronting an indie folk/barnrock band.
Jessica joined Mindful in 2012 as one of its founding team members. She brings a wealth of experience to her position as art director, including almost 15 years designing for print publications. Trained in graphic design, English literature, and journalism, Jessica was born into a family where meditation was practiced on a daily basis. Mindfulness has infused every aspect of her life, and she considers her work at Mindful to be a natural extension of her lifelong mindfulness practice.
Julia joined Mindful in 2017 to help expand business development and partnership efforts. She brings skills from an eclectic career journey, which has included journalism, international development, administration at a meditation retreat centre, and development of government grant programs. Mindfulness practice has been a central part of her life since childhood, and she has been teaching meditation for the past decade.
With a background in journalism, Kylee has honed her storytelling and digital content skills in several roles. She worked as a copywriter, public relations coordinator, copy editor, and social media coordinator in the Montreal area before joining Mindful. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, doing yoga, reading, and exploring Nova Scotia.
Larry has a consulting practice that offers advisory services for digital media and content licensing. From 2012-2018, Larry served as Corporate VP, Content Licensing at the Meredith Corporation. Larry was previously GM at EatingWell Media Group, responsible for all website functions, advertising, content, and brand licensing. Prior to that Larry was SVP for The National Gardening Association and served as Publisher of National Gardening magazine. Larry lives in his dream state Vermont and enjoys spending his time outdoors.
Joining Mindful in 2016, Leslie brings a diverse marketing background specializing in inbound marketing, audience growth, and user experience. Leslie began her mindfulness journey as a varsity athlete. Through strengthening the mind-body connection, she learned to stay focused on the present moment and perform at a high level in competitive situations. When she’s not working on the latest marketing campaigns you can find her enjoying family life with her two young children, practicing yoga, and cheering on her favorite sports teams.
With a passion for health and wellness, Lydia brings her creative, enthusiastic, friendly, and detail-oriented personality to Mindful. She has recently graduated from Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) in the office administration program alongside her diploma in business computing which she attained in Uganda, her country of origin. She is an entrepreneur, loves to crochet, garden, and most of all, spend time with her children Ephraim and Liora.
Maggie joined Mindful in the summer of 2021 to support the production of online events. Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, Maggie’s background ranges from traveling internationally as an executive assistant to producing large mindfulness-centered residential events in the US and Canada to running her own business as a virtual assistant. Mindfulness practice has been a central part of Maggie’s life since childhood, so she’s especially happy to be working at Mindful. In her spare time, she can be found writing, gardening, exploring new trails with her dog, and hanging out with dear friends and family.
MJ has many years’ experience in business development and digital ventures. She has had a successful sales career working for a variety of organizations—from large corporations to medium and small non-profits. She has held positions with Vermont PBS, Meredith Corporation, National Gardening Association, and The New England Journal of Medicine. She ran and then sold her own digital venture, Girl Zone, which focused on healthy lifestyle for teen women. MJ lives in Vermont and enjoys hiking, skiing, yoga, and kayaking. She is on the board of KidsGardening.org and on her local city’s Energy Committee. MJ has firsthand experience on how mindfulness can help deal with everyday stresses and enhance overall well-being and is very pleased to be part of the Mindful team.
Michael’s first foray into the world of business IT can be traced back to the day after his parents bought an Apple II Plus with pfs:FILE on four floppy drives. Full of 10-year-old enthusiasm, no one told him that making an electronic filing system for his family’s carpet cleaning business wasn’t a game… so he just assumed it was. After a detour that involved law school, he eventually earned an MCIT degree from the University of Pennsylvania and managed information systems at Penn and then the University of Miami for almost 20 years. When he grows up he plans on being a DJ.
A Chicagoland native, Monica first began exploring mindfulness techniques while working in the demanding environment of management consulting. After a brief sabbatical teaching cooking classes at a recreational culinary school in Chicago, she brought her diverse talents to LifeXT by Mindful as the director of client relations. Monica is a former Fulbright recipient, amateur artist, pigeon fancier, and culinary enthusiast who can usually be found making a mess in her kitchen (cocktail in hand).
Nate is a writer, philosopher, and entrepreneur. Prior to his role as a founding partner at Mindful, Nate was the cofounder of the corporate mindfulness training company LifeXT. In addition, he is the coauthor of the New York Times Bestseller Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing and the forthcoming book The 80/80 Marriage (Penguin Random House). Nate has previously worked as an assistant professor of political science and philosophy at Pepperdine University. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in philosophy from Stanford University, and a PhD in political philosophy from Princeton University.
With an educational background in biology and previous experience as an academic writer, Oyinda has always shown a great affinity for wellness and well-being, an interest she has brought to her role as an associate editor at Mindful. Adept at various forms of digital content creation, Oyinda has the ability to use various mediums to highlight an issue. As a breakfast enthusiast with her head in the clouds, you can find her either at brunch or thinking about brunch.
Paige has been working in the print design world for many years and is thrilled to be continuing that adventure at Mindful. She is passionate about bright color and bringing joy to others in any way she can. If she’s not designing, she is probably buried in a new craft project, sending happy mail, or doing a puzzle.
Sharon has supported many initiatives in the mindfulness field over the past 10 years. She worked with the British Association of Mindfulness-Based Approaches, the Bangor University Centre for Mindfulness, and the UK Mindfulness Network. Now she holds the position of CEO at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and has been working with Zindel Segal to build and manage ACCESS MBCT. Sharon established the Mindful Directory to support the mindfulness community by building a global register of teachers, events, and organizations in the mindfulness field.
Before joining the Mindful team, Spencer worked as an independent designer and brand consultant with clients across North America in the not-for-profit and arts sectors. Having honed his skills in print shops across Canada, Spencer brings his passion for print design to every aspect of his life, hosting events in his free time just so he can design the poster. He also speaks French and is a black-light enthusiast.
Stephanie Domet is Mindful’s managing editor. A writer, editor, and sometimes-podcaster she lives in Halifax, where she cooks, gardens, and sews her own clothes. She’s the author of two novels, Homing and Fallsy Downsies, with a third in the works.
Zina Mercil is a coach, therapist, presenter, and writer. She specializes in increasing personal awareness, growth, and performance, while decreasing burnout and health consequences. Zina is fascinated with facilitating mindfulness approaches, and the mind/body connection, and has a MA in Somatic Counseling Psychology and BA in Neuroscience. She has presented at several conferences, including Stanford’s MedX and works with two national nonprofits, Vital Hearts Resiliency Training Initiative and the Project Athena Foundation.
LifeXT by Mindful offers individuals the unique opportunity to work one-on-one with a certified coach. Our coaches guide you through a mindfulness-based program designed to build resilience, focus, and overall performance at work and in life. LifeXT by Mindful coaches offer customized instruction, support, and accountability, all designed to meet you where you are and help support your well-being.
Some of Our Coaches
Board of Advisors
Susan Bauer-Wu, Ph.D., R.N.
Mind and Life Institute
Jeffrey Brantley, M.D.
Duke Integrative Medicine
Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D.
Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Rich Fernandez, Ph.D.
Founded by Richard J. Davidson, PhD, this world-renowned research center, located within the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is dedicated to creating a world in which healthy qualities of mind flourish. A global leader in the emerging field of contemplative neuroscience, the Center conducts rigorous scientific study of healthy qualities of mind in pursuit of research findings that could help relieve human suffering and increase happiness.
MARC was created to bring to a renowned mental health research institution the ancient art of mindful awareness, in a scientifically supported and rigorous form.
The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University is striving to create a community of scholars and researchers who will advance our knowledge of the human capacity for compassion and altruism.
The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society works to integrate contemplative awareness into contemporary life in order to help create a more just, compassionate, reflective, and sustainable society.
The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School has pioneered the integration of mindfulness meditation and other mindfulness-based approaches into mainstream medicine and healthcare.
The Garrison Institute is a not-for-profit, non-sectarian organization that explores the intersection of contemplation and engaged action in the world.
The Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.