You are here: Home / Born at Google. Based on brain science. / Staff & Board

Staff & Board

Marc Lesser, CEO

Marc Lesser

Marc Lesser

Marc Lesser is the CEO, founder and board member of SIYLI.org and author of Know Yourself, Forget Yourself. Marc is a long-term Zen student and teacher and has also authored Less: Accomplishing More By Doing Less, and Z.B.A. Zen of Business Administration; How Zen Practice Can Transform Your Work and Your Life, published by New World Library.

He is founder and CEO of ZBA Associates LLC, a company providing executive coaching, consulting, and keynote speaking services to businesses and non-profits. Clients include Google, Twitter, The City of San Francisco, Stanford, and Global Fund for Women.

He was the founder and former CEO of Brush Dance, a publisher of greeting cards, calendars and gift items, with spiritual themes and artwork. He spent 15 years taking Brush Dance from an idea in his garage to a multi-million dollar publishing company, with distribution throughout the U.S. and the world.

He facilitates retreats for CEO’s, business leaders, and management teams. He has been co-leading Company Time retreats for business leaders for the past 10 years.

He was a resident of the San Francisco Zen Center for 10 years and was former director of Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. He received his M.B.A. degree from New York University and his Undergraduate degree in psychology from Rutgers University. He is a long-term member of Social Venture Network.

Meg Levie, Program Development Director

Meg Levie

After many years of residential and monastic practice at the San Francisco Zen Center, Meg Levie felt called to find ways to make awareness practices more accessible to the wider world. Since 2008 she has taught classes and retreats on integrating mindfulness into work and life at Genentech, Twitter, and other organizations.

As a professionally certified coach, she has worked with entrepreneurs, CEOs, and founders of nonprofits, as well as executive-level leaders from Zynga and Google. She loves working with leaders who have a strong desire to develop greater self-awareness and help create workplaces that support true human development. She graduated from Stanford University with honors, then completed a master’s degree in English literature at the University of Texas at Austin before leaving a doctoral program there to follow her heart’s calling of studying Zen.

Carrie Staller, Business Development Director

carrie headshot

Carrie Staller

Carrie Staller is a a woman of many hats which is why we love having her as our Director of Business Development at SIYLI.  She is a graduate of Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco with an MBA in sustainable management.  Carrie is energized by supporting people to be healthier through movement and enjoys teaching yoga in Kaiser Permanente’s employee wellness program.  Carrie is passionate about food access and food education and is the Development Director of the CA-based non-profit, Common Vision.org that facilitates a relationship between children and their food.  Carrie is also a trained life coach and loves finding out what is really important to people.  Prior to coming to Search inside Yourself, Carrie worked in the sustainability office of Coca-Cola and and ran her own sustainability-focused sales and marketing company with clients such as Safeway, General Mills, New Belgium Brewing, Hershey’s and many others.  She is passionate about networking and has spoken on the main stage of the LOHAS Conference about the Art of Networking.  With her diverse background, education, many hats, and her unbridled enthusiasm, she brings a refreshing perspective to any table. Please invite her to yours.

Kelly Boys, Director of SIYLI Expand

Kelly Boys

Kelly Boys

Kelly Boys is our Director of SIYLI Expand, which focuses on teacher training certification for the Search Inside Yourself program. She comes to us from the Integrative Restoration Institute, where she was the Director of Operations and an iRest® teacher trainer. She has experience working in the leadership development field with organizations such as the Tom Peters Company.

She graduated from university in British Columbia, Canada with a BA in Intercultural Religious Studies. She is a certified hatha yoga and certified iRest® Yoga Nidra teacher. She has taught meditation to US veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries, as well as to women in prisons, cancer survivors, and those with substance abuse addictions. She has most recently taught meditation at San Quentin State Prison with incarcerated veterans.

Kelly loves to play with creative ways to train people to teach profound, transformative practices in a simple, engaged manner that is fun and inspiring. She is excited to be a part of SIYLI’s vision to train wise, compassionate leaders worldwide!

Cara Carrillo, Program Manager

Cara Carrillo

Cara Carrillo

Cara joins SIYLI with over ten years of program coordination and outreach experience in the non-profit field. Her passion for social justice and to contributing to creating a more compassionate world has been what has guided her work. She brings many skills – managing day-to-day functions of an office and/or project, while simultaneously contributing to the creation of organizational strategy, and building deep relationships with a diverse constituency, while delivering results.

Just prior to joining SIYLI, she served as Program Coordinator for the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink. She wore multiple hats, coordinating all aspects of the Institute, in order to effectively carry out the work of building and sustaining communities of opportunities where all Americans have the tools needed to succeed.

Cara graduated from Mills College with a BA in Anthropology/Sociology. Music, photography, dogs, and nature hikes are a few of her favorite things.

Lindsey Kugel, Program Coordinator

Lindsey Kugel

Lindsey Kugel

Lindsey Kugel joins SIYLI with a background working with start-up companies and non-profits. She has served in the business world as a strategic partnership director for a marketing firm and as a consultant for cleantech companies. She is a founding board member of the Israel Green Building Council, and has been involved in online green building initiatives. Lindsey is driven to promote the success of firms and organizations with sustainable missions.

Lindsey has had an on-going mindfulness practice for 15 years, and most recently was lucky enough to take Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting in preparation for the birth of her son, her most inspiring mindfulness teacher.

In the course of her MBA work at Presidio Graduate School, Lindsey has developed strong faculty with leadership and emotional intelligence tools. Her aim is to utilize these tools, her business background and love for practice to enable sustainable change in the workplace. She is grateful to be part of the SIYLI team.

Kathleen Pedersen, Program Coordinator

Kathleen Pedersen

Kathleen Pedersen

With a passion for compassion, Kathleen is thrilled to join SIYLI as the program coordinator for Public Programs. She believes that mindfulness and emotional intelligence can transform the workplace, and it is her mission to share these gifts, making the world a little brighter one person at a time. As a certified coach, she is keen on building relationships and connecting people to their inner wisdom. In addition to these skills, she brings strong experience in process improvement and event management to her work with SIYLI’s public programs and corporate clients.

Before finding a home at SIYLI, Kathleen worked for Yahoo!, Facebook and Viator. She also earned an MBA at HEC Paris. Along the way, she lived in Switzerland, France and Ireland, indulging her love for travel and exploring other cultures. When she’s not on the road, she is probably volunteering with kittens, playing the ukulele or hiking around the Bay Area.

Peter Bonanno, Project Assistant

Peter Bonanno

Peter Bonanno

Peter is a social entrepreneur, learning designer, and longtime practitioner of mindfulness and Tai Chi. Motivated by passions for learning, mindfulness, and innovation, he has founded and worked at multiple socially-minded startups.

At New Schools for Phoenix, commended by the US Dept of Education as an innovative approach to improving education quality, he designed school leader training and conducted strategic planning. At mindfulness in education program MindUP, he designed teacher training curriculum and innovative new school outreach methods. To better understand the role of business having a social impact, Peter joined social entrepreneurship field leader Ashoka through a young entrepreneurs fellowship program with a 1% acceptance rate. Peter has taught and spoken on mindfulness at businesses, schools, and nonprofits, as well as a TEDx event where he was rated the audience’s favorite speaker.

Peter holds degrees from Dartmouth College and Harvard University, with a background in learning psychology and social entrepreneurship.

Rick Echler, Program Coordinator

Rick Echler

Rick Echler

As Program Coordinator for SIYLI Direct, Rick blends his project management experience and his passion for personal growth and development with his desire to support the cultivation of emotional intelligence, peak performance and mindful leadership with SIYLI’s corporate partners.

An Architectural Designer for several years and most recently serving as Project Manager for the Integrative Restoration Institute, Rick brings his implementation experience along with his love of learning and problem solving to the SIYLI team.

Rick is a long-time meditator, mentor, and certified iRest Yoga Nidra teacher. He has taught iRest Yoga Nidra to populations including veterans and the homeless and has worked extensively with individuals suffering from anxiety & depression and substance abuse issues. Rick is also currently completing a hatha yoga teacher certification.

Caro Hart, Program Manager

Caro Hart

Caro is a Leadership Consultant with expertise in team facilitation, content design and communication strategies.

Caro was a founding member of Axialent, a consulting firm that helps organizations fulfill their purpose developing conscious leaders, teams and cultures. As VP, she led the areas of product development, marketing and communications, internal culture change and community initiatives, and training and certification of consultants and staff. During her time at Axialent she created a back-office in Buenos Aires that provided services in executive assistance, project management, human resources and IT help desk to 140 consultants across the globe. As a consultant, she facilitated company-wide strategic planning processes and leadership team meetings, creating a context for productive discussions, alignment and collaboration.

Before Axialent, Caro was Program Director at different non-profit organizations. Among her endeavors, she led the modernization plan for the Buenos Aires City Children’s Rights Council financed by the Inter-American Development Bank, she managed a consulting program in strategy, marketing and finance for important social institutions, and facilitated an organizational diagnostics for Amnesty Argentina.

She started her professional career at Fundación Iniciativa, a non-profit organization that promoted youth leadership and social involvement in Argentina. Caro designed and led Leadership Camps for more than 1,800 teenagers a year across the country.

Bret Shimizu, Program Coordinator, Expand

Bret Shimizu

Bret has fallen in love twice. The first was soccer, which took him on a journey around the world and culminated at Stanford University. The second, meditation, he discovered while working at a private equity firm in San Francisco. Within six months of the discovery, he found himself on an organic farm in Marin working the land and practicing Zen meditation. That experience changed his life.

As the Program Coordinator for SIYLI Expand, he is inspired by the opportunity to support others to practice mindfulness and find happiness. He also feels grateful because he is able to spend his days doing something that he loves.

 

Board of Directors

Chade-Meng Tan, Founder and Chairman of the Board

Chade-Meng Tan

Chade-Meng Tan

Chade-Meng Tan (Meng) is founder and chairman of the board of SIYLI. He is also Google’s Jolly Good Fellow (which nobody can deny). Meng was one of Google’s earliest engineers. Among many other things, he helped build Google’s first mobile search service, and headed the team that kept a vigilant eye on Google’s search quality. His current job description is, “Enlighten minds, open hearts, create world peace”.

Outside of Google, Meng is the Founder and (Jolly Good) President of the Tan Teo Charitable Foundation, a small foundation dedicated to promoting peace, liberty and enlightenment in the world. He is a founding patron of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE). He is also a founding patron of the World Peace Festival, and adviser to a number of technology start-ups.

Meng earned his MS in Computer Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He went to Santa Barbara mainly for the beach, but didn’t mind the graduate degree either. He considers himself a Buddhist “on most weekdays, especially Mondays”. He is an avid meditator, because meditation facilitates in him inner peace and happiness “without doing real work.” Meng occasionally finds himself featured on newspapers. He was featured on the front page of the New York Times and delivered a TED talk at the United Nations. He has met three United States Presidents, Obama, Clinton and Carter. The Dalai Lama gave him a hug for his 40th birthday. His personal motto is, “Life is too important to be taken seriously”.

Meng hopes to see every workplace in the world become a drinking fountain for happiness and enlightenment. When Meng grows up, he wants to save the world, and have lots of fun and laughter doing it. He feels if something is no laughing matter, it is probably not worth doing.

Richard Davidson, Board Member

Richie Davidson

Richie Davidson

Richard J. Davidson is the William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, and Founder and Chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He has published more than 320 articles, many chapters and reviews and edited 14 books. Author (with Sharon Begley) of The Emotional Life of Your Brain published by Penguin in 2012.

Richie is the recipient of a NIMH Research Scientist Award, a MERIT Award from NIMH, and the William James Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society.  He is Past-President of the Society for Research in Psychopathology and of the Society for Psychophysiological Research. He was the year 2000 recipient of the most distinguished award for science given by the American Psychological Association – the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2006 and was given the Paul D. MacLean Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Research in Psychosomatic Medicine in 2011. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Board at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences from 2011-2017 and as Chair of the Psychology section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science from 2011-2013.

Dr. Philippe Goldin

Philippe Goldin, Board Member

Dr. Philippe Goldin, is founder and board member of SIYLI, and serves in the role of researcher and advisor on the science of mindfulness and emotional intelligence. He completed his Ph.D. in Psychology at Rutgers University and completed his Clinical Psychology Internship at the UC San Diego/ San Diego VA consortium. He is currently a research scientist in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University. His clinical research focuses on: a) functional neuroimaging investigations of cognitive affective mechanisms in both healthy adults and in individuals with various forms of psychopathology; b) the effect of mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy on neural substrates of emotional reactivity, emotion regulation, and attention regulation, and; c) the effect of child-parent mindfulness meditation training on anxiety, compassion, and quality of family interactions.

Arianna Huffington, Board Member

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington is the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of fourteen books. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In 2012, the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. In 2013, she was named to the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. In 2006, and again in 2011, she was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union. She serves on several boards, including EL PAÍS, PRISA, the Center for Public Integrity, and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Her 14th book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder will be published by Crown in March 2014.

Marc Lesser, Board Member

Marc Lesser

Marc Lesser

Marc Lesser is the CEO, founder and board member of SIYLI.org and author of Know Yourself, Forget Yourself. Marc is a long-term Zen student and teacher and has also authored Less: Accomplishing More By Doing Less, and Z.B.A. Zen of Business Administration; How Zen Practice Can Transform Your Work and Your Life, published by New World Library.

He is founder and CEO of ZBA Associates LLC, a company providing executive coaching, consulting, and keynote speaking services to businesses and non-profits. Clients include Google, Twitter, The City of San Francisco, Stanford, and Global Fund for Women.

He was the founder and former CEO of Brush Dance, a publisher of greeting cards, calendars and gift items, with spiritual themes and artwork. He spent 15 years taking Brush Dance from an idea in his garage to a multi-million dollar publishing company, with distribution throughout the U.S. and the world.

He facilitates retreats for CEO’s, business leaders, and management teams. He has been co-leading Company Time retreats for business leaders for the past 10 years.

He was a resident of the San Francisco Zen Center for 10 years and was former director of Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. He received his M.B.A. degree from New York University and his Undergraduate degree in psychology from Rutgers University. He is a long-term member of Social Venture Network.

Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey, Board Member

Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey

Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey is the first Polynesian Explorer and female Fellow in the history of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY. She’s an internationally recognized expert in the emergent field of cultural intelligence.

Lindsey is an advisor to world leaders and global institutions serving on such boards as the Tibet Fund for his Holiness the Dali Lama and the United Nations Ambassadors’ Islands First.

Her keen insights and first-hand accounts from around the world have made her keynote addresses an inspiring call to action. A sought after speaker in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Pacific, her audiences include Oxford University, Harvard University, TED, YPO/WPO, the American Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian.

In 2010, Elizabeth received the Visionary Award from the United Nations for her contributions in intercultural engagement and understanding.

In 2004, she was named “Woman of the Year” in Hawai’i.

Lindsey is also an award-winning filmmaker whose documentary, Then There Were None, which chronicles the near extinction of native Hawaiians, has received numerous awards including the prestigious CINE Eagle.

Rand Rosenberg, Board Member

Rand Rosenberg

Rand Rosenberg

Rand Rosenberg most recently held the position of Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development at PG&E Corporation. Prior to his work at PG&E, Rand spent several years in the field of investment banking.  In addition to being a partner of Montgomery Securities he held senior positions at Goldman Sachs and Salomon Brothers where he was a Managing Director and Head of Global Telecommunications Investment Banking. He also served as Head of Corporate Development at the Pacific Telesis Group. Rand received his BA from Whitman College and MBA from the University of Chicago.  Rand currently serves on several non profit boards including ecoAmerica, Wildaid, and Whitman College.

Contact Us

We’d love to hear from you.
Click here to get in touch.

Stay Connected

Be the first to hear our SIYLI updates, including new course dates and trainings:







* Email
* First Name

Read the Book

Search Inside Yourself Book

Video Gallery

Video Image