IMS’s Board of Directors

Officers

President – Ed Hong
Vice President – Gus Block
Secretary-Treasurer – Tanya Rakpraja

Biographies

Salma Abdulla, CFA, CMT, is a stock portfolio manager at E. Magnus Oppenheim & Co., and is a member of the Market Technicians Association Board of Directors. She has attended numerous retreats at IMS (including the 2014 People of Color Retreat), the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC and Gaia House, and actively participates in Buddhist studies classes. A member of the New York Insight community, she is Treasurer of that center’s Board of Directors. She also serves on IMS’s Finance Committee.

Isabel Adon, LMSW, is a committed meditator with a decade of retreat experience at IMS. Born in the Dominican Republic and fluent in Spanish and English, she has worked for over 20 years as a therapist and administrator of psychiatric and clinical services for children and families in New York. She also lectures in social work, and consults on and volunteers for trauma-related programs. She currently serves as Chair of the Diversity Committee.

Guy Armstrong has practiced insight meditation for over 40 years, including training as a Buddhist monk in Thailand with Ajahn Buddhadasa. He began teaching in 1984 and has led retreats worldwide. He is an IMS guiding teacher and author of Emptiness: A Practical Guide for Meditators.

Gus Block has the good fortune to live close to IMS, giving him and his husband Bruce Lockhart greater opportunities to become engaged with the IMS community. He has a degree in mechanical engineering and since 2000 has worked for Nuvera Fuel Cells developing hydrogen fuel cells and refueling stations for automobiles. He also studied Philosophy and the History of Ideas at Brandeis University and was a Fulbright Scholar in Sri Lanka in 1994-95. He currently serves as Vice President of the IMS Board.

Rebecca Bradshaw is the guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley, MA. She leads vipassana retreats, including Spanish language courses, emphasizing embodied clarity and kindness. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, and also serves as an IMS guiding teacher.

David Ellner CPA, MBA, has 30 years’ experience in the entertainment industry, with a focus on Music, Television, and New Technologies. He is the CEO and Founder of Panna, a video cooking product featuring the best chefs in the USA. Prior to Panna, he was President of Digital for American Idol and EVP of Global Digital for Universal Music Group. David is an adjunct professor at New York University & University of Bologna, a board member of Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, and the father of two amazing children. He currently serves on the Board’s Development Committee.

Christina Feldman is an IMS guiding teacher, co-founder of Gaia House in England, and a core teacher of Bodhi College in Europe. Teaching meditation retreats since 1976, she has recently been involved in the dialogue between cognitive therapies and Buddhist practice. Christina’s latest book is Boundless Heart: The Buddha’s Path of Kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity.

Inger Forland became IMS’s Executive Director in June 2017, after serving at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health as Vice President, Marketing and Communications. Prior to that, she had almost 20 years in management, primarily in the publishing industry. Inger has been a dedicated meditator and a student of spiritual philosophy and practice for more than three decades, and is deeply committed to our diversity work.

Pamela Freeman, MSW, LCSW, works in private practice, supporting clients in addressing issues of domestic violence, sexual harassment and diversity. She has participated in IMS’s People of Color and other retreats, as well as undertaking Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leader and Dedicated Practitioner programs. She serves on the Board’s Diversity and Ethics Committees.

Joseph Goldstein has taught Buddhist meditation worldwide since 1974. A co-founder and guiding teacher of IMS, he also helped envision and establish BCBS and IMS’s Forest Refuge center. His books include Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening, One Dharma, Insight Meditation and others.

Ed Hong was an equity trader for 10 years and is currently a project manager and business systems analyst in the financial services industry. He participated in his first IMS retreat in 2007 and is an active member of New York Insight. He has also found great reward in service as a hospice volunteer, and currently serves as President of the IMS Board.

May Krukiel, MA, MEd, has worked within the not-for-profit world for more than 30 years. Her training in psychology and her long-standing commitment to social justice has led to a specialization in working with women survivors of sexual violence, and she is currently the Director of Victims Assistance Services in Westchester, NY. May has a deep interest in insight meditation practice, and enjoys weaving. She lives with her husband Russell and dog Aroon in CT.

Gina LaRoche MBA, is an organizational consultant, facilitator and executive coach, and co-founded Seven Stones Leadership Group. She is a visiting faculty member at Simmons School of Management, where she teaches and coaches in its executive education programs. A recent graduate of Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leader program, Gina has attended People of Color and other retreats at IMS since 2010. She currently serves on the Board’s Governance Committee.

Narayan Liebenson finds it a joy and a privilege to share the Buddha’s teachings with all who are interested. She serves as an IMS guiding teacher, and has been a guiding teacher of the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center since 1985. Her training includes over 35 years in the Theravada tradition, as well as ten years in Chan with the late Master Sheng-yen.

Kamala Masters is a co-founder of Vipassana Metta Foundation, and serves as an IMS guiding teacher. A meditator since 1977, she trained intensively in metta (lovingkindness) and vipassana (insight) with Sayadaw U Pandita and Anagarika Munindra. Continuing her practice with Sayadaw U Tejaniya, she encourages an open relaxed awareness that has precision and clarity.

Tanya Rakpraja has participated in numerous IMS retreats. Professionally, she is committed to bridging the areas of poverty reduction, finance and public policy. Most recently, she was a manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where she oversaw the large-scale purchases of securities backed by home mortgages to stimulate the US housing market and economy. Prior to this, she worked to reduce the impacts of poverty, both domestically and internationally. Tanya currently serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the IMS Board.

John Ryan is the director of the Vermont Agriculture Development Program, where he provides executive coaching on sustainability to food- and forestry-based businesses. He has performed feasibility studies, assessments and planning tasks for numerous sustainable housing and business development projects throughout New England. John has attended retreats at IMS since 1997, and serves on the Board’s Facilities Committee.

Sharon Salzberg, a co-founder of IMS and BCBS, has practiced meditation since 1971 and has been teaching worldwide since 1974. She is an IMS guiding teacher and author of Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection and other publications.

Greg Scharf has practiced with Western and Asian teachers in the Theravada tradition since 1992, and has been teaching residential retreats since 2007, including the annual Three-Month Retreat at IMS, where he is a core teacher.

Sara Shapouri, a committed IMS meditator, is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s School of Law and is currently enrolled in a PhD program for Counseling Psychology at Fordham University in New York. She has worked on policy reform in Bangladesh, Iran and Sierra Leone aimed at combating corruption, child sexual abuse and exploitation. She also enjoys editing art and music videos. She currently serves as Chair of the Governance Committee.

Kyle Taylor has been an IMS staffer for three years, and now serves in the Forest Refuge office and on the Board’s Facilities Committee. Before coming to IMS, he worked for 10 years with children in a variety of settings, from educational to recreational. He is currently in a Master’s degree program in School Guidance Counseling at Westfield State University.

DaRa Williams has practiced vipassana meditation for 25 years and serves as an IMS guiding teacher. She is also a certified coordinating trainer for Aboriginal Focusing Oriented Complex Trauma Therapy and maintains a private psychotherapy practice in the New York City area. “It is my experience that meditation and the Dharma are ideal for transforming suffering. Awareness, wisdom and a compassionate heart become the vehicle for transformation, connection and freedom.”

Carol Wilson, an IMS guiding teacher, has practiced insight meditation since 1971 with a variety of teachers, including Sayadaw U Pandita and Ashin U Tejaniya, as well as spending a year as a nun in Thailand. She has offered metta and vipassana retreats worldwide since 1986, including the annual IMS Three-Month course.

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