Youth: Grew up in the beach communities of Orange County, CA; competitive swimmer, animal lover, volunteered at the community park house; family camping vacations across the US, Canada and Mexico.
Teens: competitive swimmer; played on boy's water polo team and swam on boy's swim team in high school; won "Most Valuable Player" on boys' water polo team; was on cheerleading squad; served as high school class senator; taught swimming lessons and worked as a lifeguard; competed in the Junior Olympics swimming meet.
College: Attended UCSB (BA in Political Science with high honors) swam competitively and played water polo on National Champion team; worked in the school Science Library; taught swimming lessons and lifeguarded on summer breaks and waitressed at the iconic Harbor House Cafe in Dana Point; volunteered at local animal shelters leading educational events and outreach.
Adventure: Traveled Europe, studied French and lived as a foreign exchange student in Paris; visited every country in Western Europe; traveled to Brazil, Hawaii, Mexico.
Grad School: Master's in International Relations (graduated number one in my class) traveled to Morocco for 3-month summer trip, studied Arabic; worked as academic assistant for the Department of the Navy. Worked as volunteer education coordinator for local animal rescue sanctuary.
Morocco: Served two years as a PeaceCorps volunteer English Teacher in remote parts of Morocco, becoming fluent in Arabic and French; developed and taught cross-cultural training skills for in-coming Americans. Spent an additional year and a half teaching at the American Language Center in Tangier Morocco. Worked to educate on animal care and welfare issues and rescued street animals.
Proctor & Gamble -Morocco: Worked as a Brand Manager for P&G in Casablanca, handling accounts for household products and successfully introducing the American way of doing business. Consulted in business writing, pronunciation skills and presentation skills workshops for non-English speakers.
International Education: Upon return to US, worked in several different capacities including:
- Director of Teacher Education for UCI Extension
- Grant writer and administrator for State of California's K-12 teachers
- Consultant and curriculum developer for UCI Extension
- Director of English Language Center of the Pacific at Irvine Valley College
- Teaching English to Vietnamese immigrants through Catholic Charities
- English instructor for Rancho Santiago College
- Public Relations Manager and Business Instructor for Golden Gate University
- Student Activities Coordinator at University of California Irvine (UCI)
- English Lecturer in Humanities Department at UCI
- UCI Extension Instructor in Business Writing and Presentation Skills
- Teacher Trainer for overseas English instructors (UCI)
- Consultant and trainer for incoming instructors at UCI Extension
- Public Relations Manager for Golden Gate University
- Lecturer for Cal State Fullerton, Rancho Santiago College and others
Corporate Training, Speaking and Consulting: While working in international education, created consulting company "Global Learning" to design and deliver high-performance training and consulting in the areas of communication, relational skills, presentation skills, leadership skills, cross-cultural communication, business writing and positive performance. Companies include:
- Baxter Healthcare International
- Viking Components
Health and Wellness: Always passionate about anything to do with the water, I have spent most of my life as a competitive, swimmer, long-distance ocean swimmer, surfer, lifeguard, swimming instructor, etc. I learned to surf as an adult and love to spend any free time in the ocean...but all those years of swimming took a toll on my body, but luckily in the late 1990's, I turned to yoga to successfully heal severe, chronic shoulder tendinitis, and I went on for several certifications in yoga, health and nutrition:
- Certificate of Yoga Studies (UCI Extension)
- YogaFit (Redondo Beach, CA)
- Advanced Yoga Teacher Training (Sacred Movement, Santa Monica)
- Certified Personal Trainer (American Council on Exercise, ACE)
- Certified Weight & Lifestyle Management Consultant (American Council on Exercise, ACE)
- Certified Nutritional Consultant (Stonebridge College)
Yoga, Nutrition and Healing: After leaving the university to focus on new career in health and wellness and to put my passions of yoga + surfing together, I created Yoga for Surfers, the first of its kind surf-specific yoga 5-DVD series (still a top seller today!) and am recognized as the pioneer of the global surf/yoga movement.
My annual Yoga for Surfers® Teacher Training Programs are held in San Clemente and Australia, and Yoga for Surfers workshops have been held around the world, including Australia and Israel, where we conducted a yoga/surf day between Israelis and Palestinians as a peace-making and good-will outreach.
With a passion toward natural health and beauty, I created several natural health products including Fat-Burning Fiber and Youth Serum.
I have also taught classes, workshops, private events, consulting and speaking engagements for the following:
- Yoga Path (Irvine, CA)
- Yoga Works (various locations, Orange County)
- Equinox Fitness (Santa Monica)
- Lotus 7 Yoga (Santa Margarita)
- Ritual Yoga Arts (Laguna Beach)
- Better Living Yoga (Aliso Viejo)
- The Ritz-Carlton (Dana Point)
- The Islands Hotel (Newport Beach)
- The Montage Hotel (Laguna Beach)
- We Care Spa (Desert Hot Springs)
- Fortune 50 Magazine
- Rimrock Capital
- Boost Mobile
- Surf Diva
- Hotel Cinco (Punta Mita, Mexico)
Partnerships and Sponsors:
- Surf Diva
- Degree 33 Surfboards
- Arnette Sunglasses
- Manduka yoga mats and supplies
- Carushka yoga clothing
- Oregon Chai Tea
- All-Girls Surf Contest (Australia)
Entertainment and Media: For the past decade, I've been featured in national media, TV and radio and have written hundreds of articles for health and fitness magazines. Some appearances include:
- Television host and wellness expert for America Now (Emmy-nominated, syndicated daily 30-minute show aired nationally on broadcast TV) with more than 100 TV appearances over 3 years on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox
- Featured wellness expert for the ABC Radio Network, with more than 500 radio shows over 8 years
- Features writer and columnist for Clean Eating Magazine with dozens of published articles
- Advisory Board Member for Clean Eating Magazine
- Contributing editor and features writer for Oxygen magazine
- Health and fitness editor and features writer for Surf Life for Women Magazine
- Heath and fitness editor and features writer for Damsel Magazine and Lemonade Magazine
- Health, fitness, yoga and nutrition articles published in dozens of major magazines including: Self, Oxygen, Shape, Muscle & Fitness Hers, Men's Journal, Outside, Surfer, Surfing, TransWorld Surf, Yoga Journal, Yoga International, ABC News, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Orange County Register, USA Today, Life& Style Weekly, In Touch, plus several international publications
- Published widely on leading lifestyle blogs including Shape.com, ABCNews, SheKnows, eHow.com and several others.
Consulting, Coaching and Public Speaking: With over 25 years of professional teaching, training, coaching, consulting and public speaking, I bring my trademark positive energy and inspiration to companies large and small, near and far, equipping their teams to be positive, productive and profitable.
My corporate workshops and trainings provide an ocean of inspiration that improves performance and results in highly confident, effective, healthy, happy and influential leaders that are Living Swell® both in and out of the boardroom.
I also offer small business lifestyle design including marketing and media consulting to bring your own vision to life.
Animal Welfare and Advocacy: A lifelong passion of mine has been to alleviate the suffering of animals. Never having lived without dogs or cats at any time of my life, I am deeply compelled to work in education, outreach and advocacy to use my skills and talents to improve the lot of these innocent beings.
For many years I volunteered at local animal shelters, fostered, adopted and educated....and in 2005, my husband David and I created Compassion for All.org a non-profit organization dedicated to education, outreach and advocacy for animals, because..."every life is precious."
Over the past decade, we have helped rescue hundreds of animals in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, worked to eradicate ignorance in the community in terms of treatment of animals; partnered with several dozen trusted animal rescue groups including Best Friends, New Beginnings for Animals and many others for life-saving work getting desperate animals off the streets and out of hi-kill shelters and into loving homes.
We have been instrumental in the Wings of Rescue airlifts of California animals and also have worked side-by-side dedicated medical professionals caring for pets and people in Tijuana, Mexico. My goal as an animal welfare advocate is to change views, change laws, and change lives for the better.
Spirituality: My faith gives my life meaning and purpose. We are created to know and love God, to love others, to share our God-given gifts and talents and to be a blessing to others. My faith gives me a foundation from which to soar, striving to be a shining example of God's goodness and light in the world. "To set the mind on Spirit is life and peace" (Romans 8:6)
Looking Ahead... One of my sayings is "The Best is Yet to Come," and I believe I am just getting started! Every experience we have been through is the best thing that could have happened to us, because it has propelled us to where we are today.
My passion, mission and vision is to continue to offer hope, help and healing to those who need encouragement -- whether to people or animals. My quest for TRUTH is what compels me to continue to learn, grow, attempt new things -- to drop any limitations and launch myself on every wave.
Living Swell® is the evolution of all that has come before -- and a perfect phrase for what I believe we are called to do in this precious and fleeting life on Earth.
P.S. When people say, "Wow -- how could you do so much?" I answer, "How could you not?" You only have one precious life and one precious body, and now is the time to make the most of your one precious body and one precious life.