Vacirca is President of Lastingnest inc, an award winning Green General Contracting Company and father of a son Vito (8), and a daughter Vanda (3). When he's not changing the world one project at a time, Vacirca likes to ride his bike in the woods with his kids, play Ultimate Frisbee and help coach the Ballard High School Ultimate Team.
Artful, experienced and pervasive actor Jeremy Ray Valdez has brought his passion and dedication to nearly forty television and film roles in the last decade. Valdez, recipient of the 2010 Imagen Award for Best Supporting Actor in La Mission, opposite Benjamin Bratt, just completed four feature film projects of which will be premiering in 2013. In addition, he’s taking his skills behind the scenes having just produced on his first feature, “Dreamer” and has several other projects in development. Valdez who was born in New Mexico and attended school in Arizona, came to Los Angeles and began working almost immediately. His first bookings were national commercials for brands such as Coca Cola, McDonalds, Six Flags, Verizon and Toys R Us. He continued to hone his acting skills, landing his first network television role on Family Law. Since then, Valdez has had recurring roles on hit TV shows including ER, Veronica Mars, Medical Investigation, American Family and guest starring roles on 24, CSI: NY, JAG, The Shield, CSI: Miami, Without a Trace, The Closer and Longmire, to name a few. The fox.com web series ‘The Rookie’, a spin-off of ‘24’, starred Valdez as a young Jack Bauer for three seasons and he starred in directors, Carlos Avila’s ‘Junkyard Saints’, which was presented on the Emmy award-winning PBS series, Independent Lens. Valdez has also starred in HBO's critically acclaimed TV Movie, Walkout, directed by Edward James Olmos as well as Alan Ball’s dark comedic drama pilot, All Signs of Death. On the big screen, Jeremy Ray Valdez is drawn to roles and brings life to stories that influence and inspire conversations such as Sundance Film Festival features La Mission in 2010 and All She Can in 2011. La Mission garnered opening night honors for the Sundance Film Festival and San Francisco International Film Festival, respectively. 2012 was a busy year of production for Valdez who just completed four feature films, Blaze You Out, Dreamer, H.O.M.E. and Mission Park, all of which will premiere in 2013. Valdez’s talents extend beyond film and television and are showcased in his musical abilities. He was raised in a family of musicians and began studying music at the age of 10. Jeremy studied at the Musician's Institute and currently plays guitar for various artists in and around Los Angeles. He is also an active charity volunteer, Valdez is involved with Autism Speaks, The National Hispanic Foundation For The Arts, GLADD and was picked by Michelle Obama to take part with her in her Read Across America campaign. Valdez currently resides in Los Angeles.
Valerie Mason's love affair with beauty products began while she was still playing dress-up in her mother’s shoes and make-up. Over the years she had been made to feel like a beauty queen through its magical, transforming powers, but things got serious when she realized these products were more than just perfect colors and shades. While in college, Valerie had the life changing opportunity to research at M.I.T. in cosmetic surfactants (surface chemical reactions). She learned that we’re more than just what we eat. What we put onto our largest organ, the skin, has lasting consequences to our health and wellbeing; especially since 80% of what we apply topically is absorbed into the skin. After graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering, she decided to delve even deeper into skin care, so she returned to school for her esthetics-skin care license, a wonderful and eye-opening experience. Instead of running to a dermatologist who would prescribe creams and ointments filled with parabens and other toxic chemicals, Valerie learned about organic and naturally based skin care products that are just as effective, but without the harmful toxins. This “hands-on” experience combined with her Chemical Engineering background forms her foundation of knowledge. Eden Organix gives back by creating human capital. This is done through scholarships, by supporting jobs for women who have fallen on hard times and by donating 10% of our profits to causes that help the environment, women and children. The purpose is known as 'Drive Beauty,' and it is Valerie's my passion. Her philosophy is simple, if you can help people first, you can help the environment.
Lia Valerio is the co-founder of Malia Designs, a Fair Trade handbag and accessories company, created to increase economic opportunity for marginalized women and to fight human trafficking in Cambodia. Starting with Valerio's trip to South East Asia after her service in the Peace Corps in 2000, Lia and her partner both independently recognized the need for women to have a secure and safe source of income. After completing her Master's degree at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs in 2004, Valerio's and her partner began the process of developing Malia Designs, which aims to create a business where everyone – from producers to customers – can benefit from their efforts to bring beautifully designed and carefully crafted handbags and accessories to American markets.
Mark Vallianatos is Policy Director of The Urban and Environmental Policy Institute (UEPI) and an Adjunct Professor at Occidental College, where he currently teaches the Environmental Stewards class. Mark is co-author of The Next Los Angeles: the Struggle for a Livable City and a number of publications on food access, transportation, and goods movement. He is also co-chair of the College's Sustainability Committee. He has worked at UEPI since 2001. Before moving to the Los Angeles region and joining the Institute, he worked on international trade and environmental issues in Washington, D.C. Mark received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Virginia and University of Virginia school of Law.
John Valverde is the Director of Workforce Development at the Osborne Association, which provides men and women with criminal records comprehensive career development training to prepare them to enter and advance in the green economy. The Green Career Center seeks to embody making a difference by helping people in the re-purposing of their lives and advocating for opportunities for them to contribute to their families, communities and the environment. John’s commitment to social, economic and environmental justice; education; cognitive/behavioral development and breaking the cycle of illness, poverty, drugs, crime and incarceration led him to be selected as a Marano Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Workforce Strategies Initiative, and a member of Green for All’s national Green Pathways to Re-entry Community of Practice. At the core of John’s work his commitment to developing good green local business and connecting those business owners to a solid, skilled workforce.
Sarah van Gelder is co-founder and executive editor of YES! magazine, a national media organization that fuses powerful ideas and practical actions for a more just and sustainable world. Sarah leads the development of issue themes ranging from resilient communities, to climate justice, to sustainable happiness. She heads up the non-profit’s newest initiative: YES! Takes on the News, which offers a solution-oriented take on the daily headlines at www.yesmagazine.org.
Corrine L. Van Hook manages communications, outreach, and supports fundraising efforts at Bay Localize. She helps coordinate and support key programs like Communities for Resilience and Green Your City as well as program development and strategic planning. Corrine's passion for social justice stems from youth and education, disadvantaged populations and people of color, and equitable opportunity. As a former IDEAL Scholar, she witnessed and continues to witness the compelling impact of investing in youth and disenfranchised communities so that leadership can reflect the real diversity it seeks to serve. She has developed her talents working with the Rockwood Leadership Institute, Greater New Beginnings Youth Services, and through contracting with various organizations. Corrine holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. She hopes to learn, educate, and urge communities to be more proactive in functioning within their environment so we can create and maintain sustainable futures.
Jodie Van Horn is an organizer for the Freedom from Oil Campaign with Rainforest Action Network, a coalition that is working to free America of its oil addiction. Jodie also coordinates PlugIn Bay Area, an initiative aimed at promoting the commercialization of plugin hybrid vehicles to demonstrate that a demand exists for ultra fuel efficient transportation alternatives.
Van Jones is president and co-founder of Rebuild the Dream, a pioneering initiative to restore good jobs and economic opportunity. Van has a 15-year track record as a successful, innovative and award-winning social entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of three, thriving nonprofit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green For All. He is the author of a New York Times best seller, The Green Collar Economy, the definitive book on green jobs. The World Economic Forum named Van a Young Global Leader in 2005. In 2008, Fast Company magazine said he had one of the 12 most creative minds on Earth. TIME magazine named Van a global environmental hero in 2008; it named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009. A Yale-educated attorney, Van worked as the green jobs advisor to the Obama White House in 2009. There, he helped run the inter-agency process that oversaw $80 billion in green recovery spending. During the 2010-11 academic year, Van taught environmental policy and politics at Princeton University. Today, he serves on the boards of several prestigious organizations, including the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and American Progress Action Fund. A globally-recognized pioneer in human rights and the clean energy economy, Van is one of America's leading champions of smart solutions to create pathways out of poverty and rebuild America's middle class. The Clean-Energy Economy Van is the founder of Green For All, the national organization working to get green jobs to disadvantaged communities. He was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act, which George W. Bush signed into law in 2007. The Act was the first piece of federal legislation to codify the term "green jobs." Under the Obama administration, it has resulted in $500 million for green job training nationally. Human Rights While best known for his promotion of green jobs, Van has been hard at work for nearly two decades, fashioning solutions to some of urban America's toughest problems. In addition to Green For All, he is the co-founder of two social justice organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change. Awards & Honors Van's work has earned him many awards and honors, including:
- Van was named by TIME Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009.
- Van was designated by the World Economic Forum as a "Young Global Leader."
- Van is a recipient of the international Ashoka Fellowship.
- Van was one of Essence Magazine's 25 most inspiring African Americans in 2008. Last year, Ebony Magazine named him one of the Power 150.
Van Schagen is Grist.orgs Seattle editor and has been writing about art, music and entertainment for the environmental news website since 2004.
Van Waning is an Environmental Engineer for the Urban Management and Brownfield Redevelopment (UMBR) group, which evaluates, remediates and provides for the redevelopment of properties for City projects and develops and implements programs in support of the City's wastereduction and recycling initiatives. Prior to her work at the Department of Environment, Van Waning worked as an environmental consultant in the private sector for several years. Van Waning holds a Bachelors of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Masters in Environmental Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Katrina vanden Heuvel is Editor and Publisher of The Nation. She is a frequent commentator on American and international politics on ABC, MSNBC, CNN and PBS. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Foreign Policy magazine and The Boston Globe. She writes a weekly web column for The Washington Post. Her blog "Editor's Cut" appears at thenation.com. She is the author of The Change I Believe In: Fighting for Progress in The Age of Obama (Nation Books, 2011). She is also the editor of Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recoverand co-editor of Taking Back America--And Taking Down The Radical Right.
Vanessa King, M.S., C.N.S. is a yogi, surfer, nutritionist and professor. She combines her experiences in mindfulness practices with her education in nutrition to create community-oriented health promotion programs that cleanse, nourish and empower.King is DC's AcroYoga expert, a long time yoga teacher and practitioner and thai yoga massage practicioner.
Marco came to the US as a Fulbright scholar in mathematics and economics at the UC Berkeley. After a stint in the financial industry, Marco worked as visual artist and obtained a MFA focusing on the intersection between public art and ecology. He later worked for Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. LLC (“GMO”), managing investment equity portfolios primarily on behalf of large foundations and endowments. Marco left the finance industry and pursued a Permaculture design certificate. He has since been instrumental in the formation and development of the Slow Money Northern California chapter. Marco also serves on the Slow Money national steering committee. In the second half of 2012 Marco led the design and launch of the Soil Trust, a Slow Money philanthropic revolving fund investing in small food and farming enterprises around the county. Marco is currently developing an Economics for Transition curriculum for engaged citizens and activists.
Krista Vardabash is the former Executive Director of the International Reciprocal Trade Association (wwwIRTA.com) and is now the U.S. liaison for GETS Plus, LLC (www.getsplus.com), a leading system for community currencies. In her role as IRTA executive director for seven years, Krista championed the inclusion of complementary currency networks and organizations into IRTA membership and provided leadership developing IRTA's complementary currency, the UC (Universal Currency). Krista is committed to serving the purpose of GETS Plus by playing a pivotal role in the stewardship of a culture that supports sustainable, mutuallyowned, creditclearing networks. Krista has spoken at international barter conferences on the subject of ethics and standards; she has been interviewed and quoted in various media such as NPR, BBC, Entrepreneur, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal as well as numerous local publications. Krista also helped to found and manage Amigas Sin Fronteras, a community microlending program through her church that supported families and small businesses in TuxtlaGutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico.
As an organizer for Beyond Coal, I help grow a vibrant movement of progressive activists to take on the power of dirty coal and bring real clean energy to LA. We have organized thousands of activists to engage in the climate movement. In LA's low income, underserved neighborhoods, we have partnered with community groups to bring good union jobs in energy efficiency and weatherization programs. In April 2013, LA city council passed an amendment to their power contract with IPP (Utah) effectively setting a divestment process that begins in 2020 to 2025. This, along with the divestment from NGS (Arizona) by 2015, has positioned LA as a leader on carbon emission reduction. Coupled with California's leadership on climate and our opportunity to work with allies in the labor, immigration reform, environmental justice, faith and youth movements, our local movement is growing and challenging the power of the fossil fuel industry.
Aura Vasquez, a native of Columbia, is an Organizing Representative with the Sierra Club of Los Angeles. An advocate for environmental issues, Aura helped organize the "Forward on Climate" rally which drew thousands of supporters. Working alongside Mayor Villaraigosa, Vice-President Al Gore, Sierra Club Executive Director Mike Brune, and philanthropist/businessman Tom Stay, Aura is proud of their efforts that will make LA coal free in 2025, one of only five cities in the world to do so. Aura serves on the Executive Board of the Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council and the United Nations Women LA- Chapter Board. Aura was previously a Political Advisor in New York City Congressman Eliot Engel’s office. At the United Way, Aura lobbied for education programs and managed the Dropout Prevention Program. Aura received a degree in Political Science and Multi-cultural Journalism from City University New York- Lehman.
Vaughan is the regional coordinator for Global Exchanges Freedom from Oil Campaign.
Kat Vaughan traveled to Guatemala for the first time in 1998 and immediately experienced a burden for the plight of the Guatemalan Mayan women and children. Seeing the beautiful artisan work of the Mayans, Kat spent time researching and getting to know various women groups. Eventually, Kat met an existing group of Mayan women artisans in the Guatemalan Highlands, established by American woman with a passion for beading and empowering Mayan women through economic development. Kat founded Globally Minded to support artisans in Guatemala through fair trade. Globally Minded designs hip beaded, fair trade and eco-fashion jewelry produced by artisans in Guatemala. In addition, Kat founded Globally Minded Works, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, supporting education and charitable projects in Guatemala. Kat has an M.B.A. in Strategic Leadership.
In 2006, Daniel Velez founded Greater Goods, a store in Washington, D.C., that sells products that help consumers live a greener life or products that provide an ecofriendly alternative for everyday items. When Daniel created this store, he was thinking about Iraq, energy independence, and global warming, and realized that living more sustainably is about the choices we make around engineering and technology. It's also about how we as humans use our living and work spaces. Since most people on the planet live in cities, that's where energy, water, and waste technologies should be applied. Most of the buildings in major metropolitan areas will not be rebuilt any time soon, so we need to improve what we already have. Daniel wanted to find the kinds of goods and services that would help him improve his home so he could have less of an impact on the environment without sacrificing toilet paper. Not finding such a place, he decided to open one.
Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez are the co-founders of Back to the Roots, an urban mushroom farm in Oakland, California, growing gourmet mushrooms and mushroom kits sustainably on 100% recycled coffee grounds. Offers in hand, they were headed into the corporate world during their last semester at UC Berkeley in 2009 when they came across this idea in class a few months before graduation, fell in love with the waste-to-food model and decided to forego careers in investment banking and consulting to become full-time urban mushroom farmers! Back to the Roots diverted over 1 million pounds of coffee ground waste from Peet’s Coffee in 2011, has grown its team to 31 people, and now sells its Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Gardens at more than 1,500 retailers nationwide, including Whole Foods and Home Depot. Back to the Roots has been recognized in Forbes’ 30 Under 30, BusinessWeek’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25, and CNN’s 10 Next Gen Entrepreneurs. Alejandroand Nikhil are working to build a movement that can connect everyone with their food again—green thumb or not!.
Carol Venolia is an architect and educator who has been involved with ecological building for more than 30 years. Named a Green Design Trailblazer by Natural Home Magazine, she has designed numerous context-responsive homes of straw, earth, and “good wood” and consulted on schools, healing centers, and eco-villages. In addition to her architectural practice, Carol directs the EcoDwelling program at New College of California and writes the “Design for Life” column for Natural Home Magazine. Her design work has been featured in The Natural House Catalog, Earth to Spirit, The Healthy House, and Environ Magazine, and she travels widely to lecture and teach. Carol has written two books: Healing Environments: Your Guide to Indoor Well-Beingand Natural Remodeling for the Not-So-Green House (with Kelly Lerner).
Sylvia Ventura is an accomplished business executive and a social entrepreneur. She specializes in early stage strategy, marketing and development. Sylvia is both an investor, and a skillful entrepreneur, having founded two agencies and a clean-tech venture that was recently acquired. Early in her career she worked as a marketing executive for pharmaceutical, and consumer health companies. She is the founder of One Block Off the Grid (1BOG), the nation’s first and largest group purchasing organization for residential solar energy. Sylvia is a French native and holds a BA in Business Administration from CNAM, Paris. She has spent the past two years as Executive-in-Residence with Hub Ventures where she advises on business modeling, evaluation, validation, brand development, positioning and strategy. She is an Advisor with several companies in the program. She currently serves as the Development Director for Hub Bay Area and SOCAP. She is also working on the Women Impact Project, an ambitious venture whose mission is to increase the number of female founders and investors in social enterprise.
Since her 9th grade year, Lenie has worked with elementary kids in her school’s annual Earth Day carnival, teaching them how to live a sustainable life. She was also involved in the Green Ambassadors program, a learning lab project of Environmental Charter High School, where she learned about reducing her carbon footprint, sustainability, and the problems/solutions in our environment. This year, she volunteered to restore a few miles of trails that were completely devastated on the Pacific Crest Trail with a few other students. And, this summer was very significant for Lenie because she was chosen to be a member of The Nature Conservancy’s LEAF program (Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future), where she went to the Island of Santa Cruz for a month to research a variety of things with scientists. Overall, Lenie’s range in environmental outreach experience has shaped her to absolutely love and enjoy all of the things she does and has influenced her to want to pursue a career dealing with environmental involvement in the future.
Vetter is the Field Manager for Vesta Home Performance Retrofitting, a fullservice home performance contracting company in Seattle. Vetter previously owned a green remodeling company for ten years and currently serves as the Vice President of Home Performance Washington.
Nannette Vides grew up in San Francisco, where she studied ballet from the age of 5, and later worked with various multi-cultural dance troupes. She has been teaching Zumba for the past five years, and helping make movement fun and accessible for people across the Bay Area. Nannette says, " Zumba is all about expression and moving with the flavor you were born with. Anyone can do it. Plus, its a great way to get fit, burn calories, and best of all really smile!"
John Viera was appointed director, Sustainable Business Strategies for Ford Motor Company in January, 2007. Mr. Viera is responsible for developing global sustainable business plans, reporting externally on the company's environmental and social performance, and leading the company's engagement and partnerships with non-government organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders. In January 2009, Mr. Viera assumed the responsibilities of the company's environmental policies, consistent with his current title of Director, Sustainability and Environmental Policy. Viera has held several positions within Ford Motor Company during his 25 year tenure before being named to his current position. For the first seven years of his career, he worked in the company's Heavy Truck Division. In 1992, Viera was responsible for the Truck Product Planning organization that lead Company efforts in the development of natural gas-fueled pickup trucks. In 1994, Viera led the efforts of the Truck Computer Aided Design organization. In 1997, Viera was appointed manager, Plant Engineering Vehicle Team, Explorer and Mountaineer programs. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, Viera was responsible for all on-site engineering personnel for Explorer plants in Louisville, St. Louis, Missouri, and Valencia, Venezuela. He returned to Michigan in 1999 to become the chief engineer for the Ranger Compact Pickup and Electric Ranger, including current and future model programs. In 2002, Viera took on the company's mid-term cost reduction initiative, building a team which delivered $1.2 billion of savings in eighteen months, beating his assigned target by over a year. In 2003, Viera became chief engineer for the Expedition and Navigator Full Size SUVs, with full responsibility for current and future model programs. Viera is an active member of the Product Development arm of the Ford African Ancestry Network (FAAN), with a focus on mentoring and counseling, and speaking at workshops. Mr. Viera currently serves on the advisory board at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. On the personal front, Viera is an active member of the St. Andrew's Church Men's Club, focusing on fund raising activities for Youth Clubs and Senior Homes in the Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area. A native of Chicago, Viera attended the University of Michigan, receiving his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1984 as well as a Masters in Business Administration in 1992. He resides near Ann Arbor, Michigan with his wife of 20 years, Karen, and their three children, JJ (18), Allison (16) and Kenny (13).
Hernando Villa is a Colombian healer and environmental consultant. He has been working with various indigenous groups in South America including the Camsra, Kogis, Sionas, Kofanes and the Emberas. His work has included environmental projects, plant medicine, music and ancient wisdom keeping. Hernando Villa is a Board Member of the Council for Environmental Affairs in the State of Risaralda, Colombia. He founded an NGO in Pereira in the Colombian state of Risaralda called Raices (roots in Spanish). Raices leads humanitarian and social projects. In urban Pereira they plant 100 organic gardens a year, provide educational leadership projects using permaculture to urban youth and teach the youth the indigenous ways of prayer. Raices advocates as a platform for indigenous tribes of Colombia to teach their wisdom and actively be involved through their prayers in local politics and environmental law making. Hernando Villa is also partnering with Kiahkeya, a production company designated to preserving indigenous wisdom in the United States.Hernando offers his music and purification within different environments, such as prayer circles, workshops, tribal elder facilitation, indigenous preservation projects and youth leadership. His prayers are focused around the sweat lodge, pipe ceremonies and the continuity of herbal remedy wisdom and Earth teachings.
A food educator and passionate locavore, Itbi has taught in FRESHFARM Markets' FoodPrints program at Watkins Elementary School since 2010 and helped develop a series of standards-aligned, open source, kitchen- and garden-based public school lessons for 1st and 3rd graders. She has been a guest cooking instructor at the Lederer Youth Garden and led bilingual lessons on canning for the Padres Latinos/Linkages to Learning program. She does seasonal cooking demos at 14th & U, Bloomingdale and Columbia Heights farmers markets. She was Mobile Market Manager for the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture in 2011. She writes for various publications including Acres USA. She serves on the board of Slow Food DC.
DJ Cavem Moetavation is more than a deejay, this Denver, Colorado native, hails from the historic Five Points and has been a long time community activist. At age 26, Ietef Hotep Vita is DJ C.A.V.E.M. (Communicating Awareness Victoriously Educating the Masses) Moetavation, an internationally known HipHop artist, writer/producer, deejay, HipHop Yogi, Afro-Latin percussionist, father, midwife, and environmental and youth advocate. He is an Eco-Cultivator/Educator, sharing his knowledge with various age groups in organic gardening, veganism, wholistic health, sustainability, conscious consumption, and HipHop culture. He is a recording activist whose fourth album "The Teacher's Lounge" released July 2010. The single, "Wheat Grass", speaks on youth and sustainability and placed him second in Green For All’s, 2010 Dream Reborn art contest. His latest project marries eco-consciousness and true HIP HOP - Higher Inner Peace, Helping Other People, it is entitled “The Produce Section - The Harvest” and releases September 29, 2012.
Kris Voelker is a singer, songwriter, performer and visionary. Her music has touched the hearts and souls of audiences nationwide. Kris believes there is a great need for music that supports higher consciousness and personal empowerment. Kris music creates a space that allows you to open up to your greatest potential and to dream the dreams of your inner self. It is filled with hope and inspiration and her lyrics and melodies linger with you long after the performance has ended.
David began his career as a remodeling contractor very interested in “green building” and participated as an active member of the Northwest Ecobuilding Guild. When the economy slowed down, he decided to specialize in the energy efficiency field as a weatherization contractor and founded Home Performance, Inc. in the fall of 2008. For the last two and a half years he has been managing Home Performance Inc. What started as a two-man operation on a shoestring now has 6 employees. HPI currently completes about 170 weatherization projects per year, 60% in the low-income weatherization field and 30% in the private sector. ging them to stick with it.” And their dedication has paid off. Munay Rumi’s sales have increased exponentially – nearly 600 times – since they started just four years ago. They have benefited from technical and design training over the past two years by PJT’s Sales Coordinator and jewelry designer, Peggy Eng. These trainings have built a cohesive collection and developed a signature style. purveyor of hope in the guise of a successful, triple bottom line business.
Kathi von Koerber is a dancer, healer and filmmaker from Germany and South Africa. She has spent time with elders from Bushmen tribes in southern Africa, the Tuareg in the Sahara, Gabonese Eboga priestess Bernadette Riebenot, Lakota, Navajo and Cherokee in the United States, Xawante and Fulnio in Brazil, and the Camsra and Kogi in Colombia. Kathi has taught dance and performed internationally for the last 15 years. She has designated her life to the preservation of indigenous wisdom and advocating rituals as a key element in human evolution and initiation into adulthood.Kathi founded the company Kiahkeya (www.kiahkeya.com) in 2004 with the aim to inform and disseminate art, creativity and spirituality for the purpose of cross cultural and environmental equality and tolerance. Various film projects include: the Bushmen tribe of Southern Africa; Footsteps in Africa (www.footstepsafrica.com); the music, dance and survival skills of the Tamashek Nomads of the Sahara; and an environmental Butoh dance film shot on the Alaskan ice caps. She is currently producing a film on the mystical powers of water called Moving Waters. Kiahkeya also produces intercultural workshops including dance, plant medicine healing modalities, earth prayers of different traditions, leadership wilderness training and sustainable living and farming. All Kiahkeya projects support the environment and its inhabitants.Kathi honors the voice of the grandmother and supports the prayer of the woman and her ancient voices, through the tools and means of praying with the elements, the earth, its food, the fire and its transformation, the water and its purifying power, and the air through which we walk our dance of life.