Board of Directors

Laura Whitney
President & Co-Chair

Laura has served The Ojai Foundation in many capacities since 2000 including as a youth leader, program manager, guest teacher, and interim Executive Director. She holds a master's degree from the University of Southern California in Film and Anthropology and is co-owner of Sage Mountain Films, a documentary film production company she runs with her husband Jim Whitney. She is a carrier of council, a ceremonial guide, and an activist/philanthropist committed to restoring our relationship with land and water both locally and globally. She has served as President since 2008.

Over 16 years ago, I celebrated my 40th birthday high on a mesa in New Mexico during a Vision Fast ceremony guided by Roshi Joan Halifax. I was marking my birthday as well as a move with my family from Los Angeles to Ojai. I came down from the mountain with a vision: to create a center for celebrating life - nature, community, ceremony, children. When I shared my vision, Joan replied, “Why don’t you just go to The Ojai Foundation?!”  There began a life-long love affair and commitment to the land and work of TOF. I have worn many hats over the years…always in service to bringing forth a more connected, just, and meaning-filled world. I am overflowing with gratitude for all I have received in return for what I have given…and, god willing, will continue to give until the end of my days.

 
 
Jeannette Rothweiler
Co-chair & Secretary

Jeanette is a licensed psychotherapist (MFT) with master’s degrees in Counseling Psychology from The California Institute of Integral Studies (1992) and in Depth Psychology and Mythology from Pacifica Graduate Institute (2010). She has worked in hospice and on an interdisciplinary team of health practitioners at The Integrative Medical Clinic of Santa Rosa. She presently has a private practice in Ojai. Additionally, she leads international pilgrimages to Greece through her organization Anima Mundi Journeys. She is the mother of two wonderful children/twins. 

I moved from Hawaii to Ojai five years ago where I tended an organic farm on Kauai and was passionately involved in island environmental issues. I wanted to connect to the land and community in my new home and found at The Ojai Foundation a reflection of my own values of communication, cooperation, and service. I found it to be a place where I could listen deeply to myself, others, nature, and learn from the beautiful wisdom traditions that have been shared on this land. Working and connecting through the practice of council has been very fulfilling and continues to influence my life in all realms.

 

Stephen MacIntosh
Treasurer

Stephen, a Financial Advisor with Crowell, Weedon & Co, provides a high-touch financial services practice for individuals, families and businesses. Stephen is well-versed in sustainable investing, otherwise known as "ESG Investing” (Environment, Society and Governance) and helps his clients establish investment portfolios that are aligned with their core values. He enjoys helping not-for-profit endowments and foundations develop and implement investment policies that are aligned with their vision and long-term goals. Prior to his work at Crowell Weedon, Stephen was a Principal with the KPS Consulting Group, comprised of industry leaders in sustainability, social responsibility and public affairs.

Stephen has actively volunteered throughout his career, enjoying his current posts as treasurer and board member of The Ojai Foundation and commissioner on the City of Santa Barbara’s Harbor Commission. Recognized as a community leader, he has served on numerous boards of directors, commissions and committees in the non-profit and public sectors. Stephen holds a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from UC San Diego and a master’s degree from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Stephen and his wife Kerry, an emergency room nurse, live in Santa Barbara, CA with their two children.

Vaikko Allen

Vaikko is an environmental scientist working at the intersection of technology, regulation, and finance to put sustainable water management techniques into practice in urban environments. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Southern Maine with a concentration in Water Resources. He is an LEED Accredited Professional, a Certified Profession in Stormwater Quality, and has also invented several stormwater management systems. Vaikko currently lives with his family in Ojai, where he enjoys running and biking through the mountains, surfing the world class breaks nearby, and quality time on his yoga mat.

Ojai began calling me away from Los Angeles in 2008, shortly after my son was born. The natural abundance of the valley, the more contemplative pace of life, and the richness of the community felt in some ways reminiscent of my youth in Maine and seemed to be an ideal place to raise a family. Once I moved here full time in 2010, I was immediately drawn to The Ojai Foundation, as an indispensable spiritual and cultural beacon for the local community and a crossroads for a global community of healers, teachers, and mystics. I see The Ojai Foundation’s approach to land stewardship as an important model of sustainability and resilience that I have been honored to help hone.

 

Margaret Tarmy

Margaret holds a master’s degree in Conflict Transformation from the SIT Graduate Institute. She has been active in a variety of community-building initiatives including Transition Town work in Putney, VT and a food co-op initiative in Ojai, CA. She is passionate about the positive impact that dialogue and connection can have on people, and is in the process of being trained up to be a council carrier. A mother and grandmother, she cares deeply about the way people engage with each other and with the earth, water and air that sustain life.

I lived for many years in a small town in southeastern Vermont and experienced the way circle practices, as part of intentional community-building, strengthened and deepened connections throughout the community. When I moved to Ojai, I sought out The Ojai Foundation because I wanted more: more council practice, more experience, more community on this path. Being a member of the Board of Directors of The Ojai Foundation and helping TOF chart its course is extremely rewarding.

David Winett

It was after September 11, 2001 and the finalization of a divorce, that a friend told me about a New Year celebration different from anything I had known before. Three days of vegetarian food, yoga, a sweat lodge, and a group process called “council” seemed well-suited to the somber place I was in. So, December 30, 2001, was the first time I experienced the energy, compassion, and love for The Ojai Foundation.  At that time, I was a prison warden in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and realized the possible intersection of council and the field of corrections. Over the years I, along with an incredible team of people from TOF, have developed a program idea that has blossomed into a vibrant prison project. 

David has served on The Ojai Foundation Board of Directors since 2015 and wants to see TOF expand its influence and teachings to many other populations. Over the years, he has completed Nature of Council and Council Trainings, and has provided assistance in prison program development. He holds a masters degree from California State University in Public Administration and bachelor degrees in political science and geography from University of California, Los Angeles. He lives in Eugene, Oregon and Kona, Hawaii, and also travels extensively throughout the world. He’s a cyclist and a blues harmonica player.

David Bryan

David was born in New York City and moved to Los Angeles in 1989. In 1995, he co-founded New Roads School, a progressive college preparatory school dedicated to offering independent education to students from families who might not otherwise afford it. Under his leadership, New Roads grew from a small middle school to a K through 12 school with nearly 700 students on four campuses in Los Angeles and Santa Monica. In 2013, David began teaching in the Economics Department at UC Santa Cruz. In addition to teaching, he consults with schools and non-profits, is completing a book on education, and has involved himself in local civic life. David and his wife, Shelly Graham, currently live in the Santa Cruz mountains where he remains eager for the next adventure.

Early in the year 1989, I had recently returned to Southern California. A meandering conversation with an acquaintance, Jack Zimmerman, ended with his casual invitation: “I am involved with a place in Ojai where we do this thing called council...you might find it interesting...” I said yes. A month or so later I went to The Ojai Foundation for a Council Training workshop. Nearly 28 years later, I continue to return to the Foundation, sometimes with students for a program with their school, sometimes with adults in ceremony of one sort or another, and sometimes alone--simply to walk and wander and ponder and breathe and feel welcomed by this land. Recently, when I was asked to consider joining the board on the chance that some of what I may have learned over the years might serve, I paused. A chance to give back to my beautiful and wise old friend, this place, this land, that has given me so very much? I said yes.

 

Paul Cummins
Member Emeritus