ABOUT OUR TEAM
Our Organizational Structure
Mindfulness First is a worker self-directed non-profit with a sociocratic structure, meaning our organizational culture values all voices.
Worker self-direction not only makes us more productive, but makes our team members from around the globe feel empowered and valued. Our diverse staff, board, and volunteers believe that all voices are valuable, that representation matters, and those values fuel our goal to help make mindfulness skills available to all people. The sociocratic training we received from Sociocracy For All, keeps us transparent, efficient and happy; there’s no closed doors or “Case of the Mondays” at Mindfulness First. It’s truly an amazing place to work!
See our presentation on Mindfulness and Sociocracy from the International Sociocracy Conference and visit The Sustainable Economies Law Center to learn more about the Worker Self-Direction training we received.
hours of volunteer service donated over the past 5 years*
years of combined mindfulness training experience
*As determined by internal Mindfulness First reporting.
Since May of 2014, Mindfulness First has been a Fiscally Sponsored Project of the Technical Assistance Partnership of Arizona, TAP//AZ.
Founder & Executive DirECTOR
Sunny created Mindfulness First after experiencing a stress-related breakdown and illnesses from which she used mindfulness to recover and completely transform her life. Sunny is conventionally qualified with a Bachelor's Degree, 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training and Mindful Schools Fundamentals/Curriculum Training: with a prior career in PR. She is passionate about nurturing critical thinking in others and creating equitable and collaborative work environments; all by-products of mindful living. Sunny has a strong 20 year marriage, and two unstoppable, awesome kids.
Co-Founder & DirECTOR of Admin
Kimberly Co-Founded Mindfulness First and has helped manage the organization since it’s inception. Kimberly attended the CA College of Arts and completed a Bachelors of Fine Arts at ASU. Kimberly also received her Bachelor of Science from the American Institute of Holistic Theology. In partnership with her Mother, Kimberly has run “Imagine Angels Everywhere, LP” since 2006. Her organization gives back by creating art and donating a portion of their profits to charities that work with women, children, animals and the environment. She lives in Cave Creek, AZ with her family.
Emmanuelle Giumelli has been working in Flagstaff, AZ for 13 years, in schools, as a mindfulness based mental health therapist. Her certifications as a mindfulness educator are extensive. She has been a mindfulness consultant and educator since 2012 in schools and her community. She is the author of the children’s book See, Hear, Feel: Mindfulness for Children One Moment at a Time (Wisdom Publications, 2018). Emmanuelle’s work is sustained by a dedicated mindfulness practice and mindful living in Northern Arizona with her husband Tom two children Raphael and Delphine.
Jyoti, born in Lusaka, Zambia, received her bachelor’s of science in Therapeutic Recreation from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is a Certified Yoga Instructor and has twice completed Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program training. She has taught yoga to children in schools as well as seniors in a retirement facility and continues to teach yoga, including Vinyasa Flow. Jyoti has also fund-raised for two organizations of which she has served as president: Scottsdale Health Council and Human Services Professionals.
Instructor & Program Dir.
Megan began her own practice of mindfulness following her transition in to mommyhood in 2009. Megan discovered the transformative effects of mindfulness in her life as it provided a foundation for well-being and an entry point to “being” with and enjoying her child. Megan has received her Mindfulness Fundamentals and Mindful Educator Essentials training from Mindful Schools. She has served as an adjunct psychology instructor for Maricopa County Community Colleges since 2008 and is also a faculty associate for Arizona State University. She has been married for 14 years and has one son and a puppy.
Jessica, a certified yoga instructor and elementary school teacher, discovered the benefits mindfulness through her own difficult times. The dramatic benefits have helped her navigate life’s struggles and allowed her to be more present in her life. Her mission to share the healing benefits of yoga and mindfulness lead her to found the Rooted Community Yoga Project in 2015. RCYP strives to make yoga more accessible to all people including individuals with disabilities, the homeless, veterans, inmates, and more. RCYP has helped over 30 NPOs by spreading awareness and donating class proceeds. Jessica lives in Gilbert with her loving husband Chris and their 4 kids.
Bio Coming Soon!
Lucy, born and raised in Peru, started practicing mindfulness shortly after becoming a new mother. Learning to slow down and be present with her daughter, brought a deeper sense of joy and calm to her life. In her past, Lucy taught English as a Second Language (ESL) and Spanish to first graders. Her appreciation for mindfulness and love for teaching children brought her to pursue becoming a Kids Yoga Teacher, which she completed in 2016. Lucy believes that all children deserve to have access to Mindfulness techniques. In 2018 Lucy completed a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training program and began teaching yoga to adults. Lucy is also part of the Rooted Community Yoga Project, where she brings her love for yoga and mindfulness to children and adults throughout the Phoenix metro area.
Cheryl has practiced meditation for more than 20 years and is a graduate of UCLA’s Intensive Mindfulness Practice Program, as well as a graduate of Mindful Schools Teacher Certification. She has also gone through MBSR and MBSC trainings. She has taught since 2014, leading sitting groups, class series and creative meditation retreats. She has collaborated with the non-profit community bringing mindfulness training and art projects to at-risk youth. Cheryl is a life-long learner who loves neuroscience and is passionate about keeping up with the latest research pertaining to mindfulness, art for healing and meditation. Cheryl is also a visual artist and is interested in the intersection of the arts and mindfulness as a form of meditation, healing and personal growth.
Our Board of Directors
HAYFA ALSABAGH MARENGO
Hayfa is a strategic marketing and advertising visionary with 14 years of dynamic experience. Beginning college at 15, she holds two masters degrees, and is the first woman in her family to complete college. To help heal from the toxic stress of her former career with the Federal Government and the lingering effects of her own childhood trauma, she began incorporating mindfulness into her life. She’s now an advocate for all things mindfulness and well being, as well as a successful business owner, published author, agile project manager, and social media influencer. As an Arab American with a profound love for diversity and exploring the unknown, she’s constantly traveling to new places while juggling projects with her husband of 14 years, and their two precious fur kids.
STEPHANIE LUZ CORDEL
Stephanie has incorporated mindfulness in her life for several years. She is a certified meditation teacher with over 300-hours of professional training including completion of the Mindfulness Curriculum Training from Mindful Schools. With a degree in Child Development, Stephanie’s professional experience focuses on mental health among children and adolescents. She’s a Huff Post contributor, founder of All Voices Consulting, and works as a collaborative consultant supporting leaders and organizations to enhance their social impact. Given her background in research she directs the research initiatives for our organization, to evaluates the effectiveness of our programs in the community, and is the primary strategic consultant to the organization.
Barbara is an accomplished business leader in the building materials industry, with over 30 years of proven success. Her vast experience ranges from an entry level position to CFO/Ownership interest in the multi-million dollar operation. Her personal contributions, work performance, and responsibilities across all aspects of the business, have been integral to company growth. In 2011, she coordinated the closure of the core company and continues to play an active role in the maintenance of final company activity for the land subsidiary. Her philanthropic involvement in activities supporting the Susan G. Komen over the past 11 years, has resulted in up to $50,000 through both annual event coordination and individual contributions.
Raj Sheelvant has more than 20 years of progressive personal experience practicing meditation and yoga. Raj has been in the field of technology and IT, spending the past 15 years with Intel Corp as a Software Program Manager. At Intel, he also facilitates and teaches a successful 10 week course on mindful meditation. Practicing mindfulness has helped him develop focus, manage stress, and dramatically increase productivity. He is looking to develop a community of mindful meditation practitioners in Arizona to sustain and continue to improve his own practice.
Lauren is currently a School Psychologist in the Mesa School District with more than 12 years of experience. She’s integrated mindfulness into her life for the past 15 years and completed the Mindful Schools Educator training in 2015. When incorporated into classrooms and modeled by teachers, she believes that mindfulness and SEL skills with the support of trauma informed practices, are the key to prevention. She has 5 years of experience training schools in Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). Lauren loves to read, volunteer, and take road trips with her dog.
Sandy is passionate about inspiring others to enrich their lives through mindfulness practices and meditation. She holds a Master’s degree in Education and Library Science from the University of Minnesota and where she taught middle school in Minneapolis. She is a certified Life Coach with the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts and a recent graduate of the S.E.E.D (Simple, Easy Every Day) Meditation Teacher Certification Program with the McLean Meditation Institute. She has over 25 years in sales and marketing experience for corporations and non-profit organizations.
Diane Pruitt, Founder, President and CEO of a peaceful space inc earned a B.A. degree in Urban and Environmental Studies from Case Western Reserve University and a Master’s degree from the University of Dayton. After more than 20 years in corporate America in marketing and business development, Diane decided to pursue her passion for peaceful living through design. She has always been drawn to the holistic connection between the interior environment and our moods and behavior. Intrigued by the potential in that connection, Diane created “a peaceful space inc”, a design consultancy focused on creating interiors conducive to mindfulness and contemplative practice. Diane is a practicing yogi and often refers to herself as a” Serenity Architect” and entrepreneur.