Our Advisors


Brandi Mack is a holistic health educator, therapeutic massage therapist, and permaculture designer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Service Management and received a certification from Starhawk’s Earth Activist Training. Brandi is motivated to work in community, particularly with young people and is the co-founder of the Butterfly Movement, committed to Reframing, Reconnecting, Regenerating and Reactivating, women and girls as they Rebuild their personal and land ecology all over the planet.
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Penny Livingston-Stark (Co-Director, Regenerative Design Institute)Penny Livingston-Stark is internationally recognized as a prominent permaculture teacher, designer, and speaker. Penny has been teaching internationally and working professionally in the land management, regenerative design, and permaculture development field for 25 years and has extensive experience in all phases of ecologically sound design and construction as well as the use of natural non-toxic building materials.
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Trathen Heckman (Co-Founder, Daily Acts Organization)Trathen Heckman is the founder of Daily Acts, publisher of Ripples Journal and a backyard farmer. Trathen inspires, educates and collaborates with communities, business and municipal leaders to harness the power of nature and inspired action to restore the health of our lives and communities. He lives in the Petaluma River Watershed where he grows food, medicine and wonder while working to compost apathy and lack.
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Leslie Meehan (Threshold FoundationCompassion Games): Leslie Meehan is a leadership consultant and co-creator of collaborative networks committed to community healing and transformation. She has over 25 years experience in strategic planning, intuitive process, systems architecture, management, and peer facilitation in business and non-profits. Leslie is passionate about the power of whole-systems collaborative networks in our social evolution.
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Carl Anthony (co-director, Breakthrough Communities): Carl Anthony, architect, author and urban / suburban / regional design strategist, is co-founder of the Breakthrough Communities Project. He has served as Acting Director of the Community and Resource Development Unit at the Ford Foundation, responsible for the Foundation’s world wide programs in fields of Environment and Development, and Community Development.  He directed the Foundation’s Sustainable Metropolitan Communities Initiative and the Regional Equity Demonstration in the United States. Carl funded the national Conversation on Regional Equity (CORE), a dialogue of national policy analysts and advocates for new metropolitan racial justice strategies. He was Founder and, for 12 years Executive Director, of the Urban Habitat Program in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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Kevin Bayuk (Worker-owner, Lift EconomyUrban Permaculture Institute): Kevin Bayuk’s roots are in entrepreneurship, having spent nearly a decade starting and growing technology companies, and activating projects and organizations that regenerate healthy ecosystems and socially just and joyful environments. Kevin also serves as the Senior Financial Fellow at Project Drawdown developing the business case to address climate change through existing practices and technologies. He frequently teaches classes, workshops, does public speaking, facilitates meetings, plans events and provides one on one mentoring as a founding partner of the Urban Permaculture Institute San Francisco. Kevin has helped design and start food security gardens and public learning experiences intent on reminding people that we,too, are nature.
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Nahal Ghoghaie (Bay Area Program Coordinator, The Environmental Justice Coalition for Water)Nahal Ghoghaie is the Bay Area Program Lead for The Environmental Justice Coalition for Water (EJCW), as well as the Policy Chair for the Bay Area’s Resilient Communities Initiative Coalition (RCI). She holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis on Tribal Leadership in Watershed Management and Climate Change Adaptation. Nahal leads EJCW’s work as the Bay Area Proposition 1 Disadvantaged Community Involvement Program administrator, and serves as an Advisory Committee member for the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority.
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Pandora Thomas (Permaculture Educator, Co-Founder & Director, Black Permaculture Network)Pandora Thomas is a passionate global citizen who works as a caregiver for her mother and globally as a teacher, writer, designer, and speaker with over 25 years of experience. Pandora’s work emphasizes the benefits of applying ecological principles to social design.  She is currently a designer, teacher, and facilitator at several permaculture and ecological design schools and programs.
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Starhawk (Author & Founder, Earth Activist Training): Starhawk is one of the most respected voices in modern earth-based spirituality.  She is the author or coauthor of twelve books, including The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess, long considered the essential text for the Neo-Pagan movement, and the now-classic ecotopian novel The Fifth Sacred Thing, now in development for film and television.
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Howard Cohen (Music and Events Producer, Rightside Solutions)
Howard is a seasoned Executive Producer, artist manager and business development professional with three decades of experience working with clients and professionals in the music and technology industries. Currently, he is working with thought leaders Holly Ruxin and David Cooper at Montcalm, changing the money conversation for investors and founders by empowering vitality. He is passionate about social and environmental justice, planet based living, bridging the indigenous and modern fostering balance and right relationship in the world.
Previously, he was part of the management team behind Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead and the creation of the band, Dead and Company.
 

Ryan Rising (Permaculture Action Network): Ryan Rising is a community organizer and permaculture educator based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, and co-founder of the Permaculture Action Network. Ryan focuses on creating community access to land for local food growing and regenerative living – connecting people to take direct action and transition to a resilient way of life; and social permaculture – the ways we make decisions, build resilience, resolve conflicts, and organize in community. Ryan has taught numerous courses and workshops, including the Elemental Alchemy Permaculture Intensive before Symbiosis Gathering in 2013, the recent Permaculture Action Course in Santa Barbara, and a month-long Gaia Education certified Eco-Village Design training in Nicaragua.
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Rafael Jesús González, born in the bicultural/bilingual setting of El Paso, Texas/Juárez, Chihuahua, attended the University of Texas El Paso, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, & the University of Oregon. Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing & Literature, he has taught at the University of Oregon, Western State College of Colorado, Central Washington State University, the University of Texas at El Paso, and Laney College, Oakland (where he founded the Mexican and Latin American Studies Dept.). He was Poet in Residence at the Oakland Museum of California and the Oakland Public Library under the Poets & Writers “Writers on Site” award in 1996. He served as contributing editor for The Montserrat Review and received the Annual Dragonfly Press Award for Literary Achievement in 2002. In June 2007, he was honored for excellence in poetry at the 20th World Congress of Poets, Montgomery, Alabama.
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Konda Mason (Co-Director/CEO, Impact Hub Oakland): Konda honed her business leadership skills as a Grammy winning artist manager in London, an Academy Award nominated film producer in Hollywood, and an Off Broadway hit theater producer in New York…just to name a few. Additionally, Konda leads ecotourism trips to the Amazon rainforest and is a facilitator trainer for The Pachamama Alliance.  She is a partner in Earthseed Consulting, LLC, where she is producing/directing the web series “Green Street Loft”, a program aimed at deepening the connection of the African American community with land, place and the sustainability movement. She was a co-host for the Shift Network’s 2012 Season of Sustainability and is a Certified Permaculture Designer. A human equity advocate, prolific urban gardener, and social entrepreneur, Konda’s work is driven by the vision of realizing in her lifetime a genuinely just and sustainable world.
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Jada Imani is an MC, dancer, poet, and co-founder of Tatu Vision Collective. She sees art as a vessel for healing and evolution. Jada Imani is a member of Youth Speaks, and a frequent collaborator with Hip-Hop for Change, Negus World, Sistar Cypher, Ashby Flea Market, and other groups/individuals who actively help unite our community.
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