Meet the Team

Advisory members
John Rice
Anishinabe Nation Elder
John is actively engaged with the Early Psychosis Program at CMHA, working with many first nations in the region through the Enaahtig Mental Health Outreach Program. Through his life’s work, John Rice has been a leader in community wellness for over 30 years. This leadership was honoured in 2016 as the recipient of the CAMH - Chapin A’sin Elder Vern Harper Award for Excellence in the Provision of Culturally-Based Practice.
Elisha Goldstein Ph.D.
Best-selling Author, Founder Center for Mindful Living, Psychologist
Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is co-founder of The Centre for Mindful Living and the creator of the six-month online program A Course in Mindful Living. His books are available in 12 languages and include Uncovering Happiness, The Now Effect, Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler and A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook with a foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Barry Boyce
Founding Editor, Mindful magazine and mindful.org
Barry Boyce is founding editor of Mindful, a print and digital magazine focusing on applying mindfulness to everyday life and a mindfulness practitioner and teacher for more than 40 years. He is editor of The Mindfulness Revolution; coauthor of The Rules of Victory, a commentary on Sun Tzu’s Art of War; and development editor for U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan’s book A Mindful Nation.
Mabinti Dennis MSW, RSW
Diversity & Inclusion
Mabinti Dennis has been studying Buddhism and practicing mindfulness meditation through the Shambhala Meditation tradition for over 30 years. She is a trained Meditation Instructor.
Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw
Wisdom Traditions & Contemplative Practice
Dekyi-Lee Oldershaw is the co-director and faculty of the Applied Mindfulness Meditation Certificate Program at the University of Toronto. Dekyi-Lee developed the Transformative Mindfulness Methods protocol for inquiry and intervention and for 20 years has been training practitioners internationally.
Zindel Segal PhD
Mental Health
Zindel Segal PhD. is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology in Mood Disorders at the University of Toronto – Scarborough. His study of mindfulness meditation and antidepressant medication has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CNN Health Online and the New York Times.
Thupten Jinpa PhD
Contemplative Research & Practice
Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D., is a former monk and has been educated in classical Tibetan tradition and also holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge University, where he also worked as a research fellow.
Patricia Rockman MD, CCFP, FCFP
Healthcare
Patricia Rockman MD, CCFP, FCFP is a physician with a focused practice in mental health. She is the co-founder and director of education and clinical services at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies (CMS) in Toronto. She is also an associate professor at the University of Toronto, Department of Family and Community Medicine cross appointed to Psychiatry.
Valerie Brown JD, MA, PCC
International retreat leader, writer, speaker, accredited leadership coach
Valerie Brown JD, MA, PCC, is an international retreat leader, writer, speaker, accredited leadership coach, and Principal of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, specializing in application and integration of mindfulness and leadership.
Advisory council
Jay Vidyarthi MSc
Design Strategy
Jay has served as the Design Thinking Chair for A Mindful Society for over 7 years. He is an award-winning experience designer and researcher who guides teams through a human-centered approach to creating meaningful products, systems, and services.
Elli Weisbaum MES PhD. (can.)
Research
Elli Weisbaum, MES, PhD. (can.) is a Toronto based mindfulness practitioner and teacher, who attended her first retreat at the age of ten. She holds a Master's degree focused on bringing mindfulness into education. In 2016 she began pursuing a PhD. at the University of Toronto.
M. Lee Freedman MD
Family & Parenting
M. Lee Freedman, MD, CM, FRCP(C) is a Toronto-based child, adolescent and family psychiatrist with over 30 years experience working with children, adolescents, parents and families.
Theo Koffler
Education
Author, public speaker and teacher of mindfulness, Theo is the founder of Mindfulness Without Borders, a registered non-profit and leading provider of evidenced-based programs on social-emotional intelligence and secular mindfulness to youth, educators, health and corporate professionals.
Michele Chaban MSW/RSW PhD
Community
Michele Chaban MSW, RSW (Toronto), PhD. ( Wales) began integrating mindfulness and mindfulness meditation into oncology and end of life care over 30 years ago, before mindfulness and mindfulness meditation was as well known as it is today.
Michele Milan MA
Conference Director
Michele Milan has spent 20 years in leadership development designing and delivering leadership and governance programs for governments, corporations and organizations around the world.
Community support and administration
Jasna Todorovic
Web Developer
Jasna has spent 10 years working in the software world, and has become more deeply embedded in the mindfulness and Buddhism world over the past 5. She joined A Mindful Society in 2018.
Debra Kirbyson
Professional Development & Volunteer Coordinator
Leveraging her expertise as a professional Executive Assistant, Debra plays an invaluable role in support of A Mindful Society. Combined with her professional background in Human Resources, Marketing and Public Relations, she possesses a wealth of workplace knowledge from her time in both the Health Care and Financial Services sectors.
Kim Truong
Administrative & Website Coordinator
Kim attended her first mindfulness retreat at a very young age and co-organized her first mindfulness retreat for young adults in 2014. She has since organized annual retreats and facilitates ongoing mindfulness sessions for young people in the GTA.
Kandis James
Digital Communication & Marketing Manager
Kandis has been working in the field of digital marketing since 2011. During this time Kandis had the opportunity to live in Thailand for more than 5 years, working as the digital marketing manager for a global addiction rehab facility and learning first hand about mindfulness and meditation in the temples of Chiang Mai.
Jay Vidyarthi MSc
Design Strategy
Jay has served as the Design Thinking Chair for A Mindful Society for over 7 years. He is an award-winning experience designer and researcher who guides teams through a human-centered approach to creating meaningful products, systems, and services.
Marie Masse
Operations Manager
Marie has spent 20 years in the Media and TV industry as an executive producer and VP. After completing her Mindfulness studies at the University of Toronto, she joined A Mindful Society team in 2017.
Michael Apollo RP
Founder & Conference Chair
Michael Apollo RP is President and Founder of Mindful Gateway and A Mindful Society. His work in organizations, academia, and building award winning technologies has introduced millions of people worldwide to the research and practice of mindfulness.
Michele Milan MA
Conference Director
Michele Milan has spent 20 years in leadership development designing and delivering leadership and governance programs for governments, corporations and organizations around the world.
We are a community
Conference attendee trying out the Muse Technology at AMS 2017
Group dialogue before the conference opening at AMS 2019
Monastics lead a walking meditation through Toronto at AMS 2017
Giving gratitude during a breakout session at AMS 2018
Dr. Dan Siegel and John Rice conversing after the closing remarks at AMS 2017
Dr. James Doty and conference attendees after the keynote at AMS 2018
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