Estrus Tucker is an independent consultant and keynote speaker specializing in small and large group facilitation, designing and leading conversations and retreats across the country in support of personal, professional, and community renewal and transformation. Estrus is a seasoned Courage & Renewal Facilitator, and a practitioner of Social Change for Leadership Development and other models of civic engagement. For the past twelve years, he has served as President & CEO of Liberation Community, Inc., a social justice network, and Past President & Moderator of the Minority Leaders & Citizens Council. He has also served as President & CEO of the Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce and Vice President of United Way of Tarrant County. He is an ordained Elder in the Church of God in Christ, active in interfaith and ecumenical initiatives. His mission is to inspire courage and life giving values that promote community, nonviolence and justice. Estrus currently serves as the Center’s Board Chair.
Bonnie Allen is the Executive Director of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. With a long history in social justice law, Bonnie previously operated CHOOSE-CHANGE, a consulting practice focused on nonprofit organizational development, and served as Development Director at the Mississippi Center for Justice. Bonnie also was the President of the Center for Law and Renewal based at the Fetzer Institute where she helped launch a Leadership, Ethics, and Democracy Building Initiative at the University of Maryland School of Law. Bonnie has published numerous articles on the topics of community lawyering, leadership, and community renewal, and has extensive experience as a “leadership for justice“ trainer and facilitator for the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. She is an Associate Integral Coach, certified by Integral Coaching Canada.
Mark Bielang is superintendent of Portage Public Schools in Portage, Michigan. He was appointed to this position in July 2013. Prior to this post he served as superintendent of Paw Paw Public Schools (1995-2013). Additionally, he has served as a high school principal and assistant principal in three Michigan districts. Mark has served as president of both the Michigan Association of School Administrators (2005-06) and the American Association of School Administrators (2009-10). Prior to holding those positions he served on the Executive Board of each organization. Mark is vice-president of Habitat for Humanity – Van Buren County and has been actively involved in service organizations in each of the districts in which he has worked. The foundation of the Leadership Team at PPPS is built on the principles of Circles of Trust. He is working with the team in Portage to build a similar foundation. Mark lives in Paw Paw, Michigan, with his wife Pam. His three grown children are in service professions – medicine, education, and law enforcement.
Courtney Bourns lives in Rhode Island and is a senior program officer at the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, which is based in Boston, MA. In this role, she collaborates with her colleagues on the staff and board of the foundation to determine strategic and grantmaking priorities. She is currently helping to roll out the foundation’s grantmaking program focused on building a healthy and resilient food system across the six New England states. Previously, Courtney served as vice president of programs at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, director of organizational development at Conservation International and senior associate at the Interaction Institute for Social Change. Courtney brings to her role at the Kendall Foundation over fifteen years of experience in organizational development, conflict resolution and group facilitation, including leadership of large-scale change processes requiring the collaborative engagement of multiple stakeholders. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations with a focus on International Mediation and Negotiation from Brown University and a master’s degree in Theology and Ethics from Union Theological Seminary.
Deborah F. Ching, M.P.A., is principal of the Nonprofit Consulting Group, providing organizational development, training and leadership transition services to the nonprofit sector. Over her career, she has served as executive director and CEO of organizations providing health and human services, as well as philanthropic organizations. In addition to her consulting practice, she teaches nonprofit management in the Master in Public Administration program at California State University, Northridge. She has served on numerous boards, civic committees and commissions. Currently, she is on the board of the Cathay Bank Foundation, and a member of the Legal Services Trust Fund Commission of the California State Bar. She holds a B.A. from U.C. Los Angeles and an M.P.A. from the University of Southern California.
Ileana Jiménez has been a leader in the field of feminist and social justice education for nearly twenty years. In an effort to inspire teachers to bring women’s, gender, and queer studies to the K-12 classroom, she launched her blog, Feminist Teacher (feministteacher.com), in 2009; she is also the creator of the #HSfeminism and #K12feminism hashtags. Based in New York, Ileana teaches innovative courses on feminism and activism that have gained the attention of education and activist circles. In 2010, she was named one of the 30 Women Making History by the Women’s Media Center; later that year, she was named one of the 40 Feminists Under 40 by the Feminist Press. She is also the 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching, for which she traveled to Mexico City to create safe and inclusive schools for LGBT youth. In 2012, she appeared on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show to talk about teaching feminism to high school students and to advocate for safe schools. Sought after for her insight on education, she has written for Feministing, Gender Across Borders, the Huffington Post, Ms. Magazine, On the Issues, the Smith Alumnae Quarterly, and the Women’s Media Center. A frequently-asked speaker on feminism in schools, she travels nationally and globally to partner with educators in both secondary and higher education. She received her B.A. in English Literature at Smith College, and an M.A. in English Literature at Middlebury College.
Lois (Loie) Lenarz is a Family Medicine Physician and Medical Director of Clinician Professional Development at Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where her time is spent facilitating Circle of Trust retreats and leadership development for teams. She completed facilitator preparation through the Center for Courage & Renewal in 2010. She also is an Associate Clinical Professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Family Practice and Community Health. Loie received her undergraduate degree in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota, and her Medical Doctorate Degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School. Her residency in Family Medicine was completed at Fairview-St Mary’s Hospitals (now University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview).
Stephen Lewis is the President of the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE), which focuses on cultivating a new generation of Christian leaders. He has more than fifteen years of experience in corporate and nonprofit leadership, strategic planning, program development and group facilitation. Stephen is a Courage & Renewal Facilitator and an ordained minister. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in banking and finance from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Master of Divinity degree from Duke University.
Ken Saxon, President of Leading From Within in Santa Barbara, CA, has led organizations and facilitated groups for 25 years. Following an entrepreneurial business career, Ken put his skills to work in the nonprofit sector as a Board leader and facilitator. It was there that he was inspired to meet and work with many nonprofit leaders – dedicated people leading critical work in their communities. Yet he was shocked at how little was being invested in them. Ken co-founded Leading From Within to invest in and nurture California social sector leaders, who play such a critical role in the health of their communities. He co-facilitates Leading From Within’s Courage to Lead program for nonprofit executives, its Emerging Leaders Program for young social sector professionals, and its Heart of Philanthropy retreats for foundation professionals. Ken is a graduate of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and Princeton University, and he completed the Center for Courage & Renewal’s facilitator preparation program in 2007. He was awarded the 2012 Man of the Year Award by the Santa Barbara Foundation for his significant and positive impact on the community.
Janet Smith, PhD, M.Ed, is Associate Professor of Education and Director of the Education Institute at the University of Canberra in Australia, where she has taught Educational Leadership and Teacher Education for the past 22 years, and has occupied a wide range of leadership positions, including Associate Dean. Prior to her work in higher education, Janet was a public high school teacher for 16 years. In addition to her work at the university, Janet has also served on many boards and has worked as a consultant, focusing on leadership, spirituality, coaching, mentoring, professional learning and renewal. Janet was prepared as a Courage & Renewal facilitator in the US in 2007, and was the Center for Courage & Renewal’s first non-North American facilitator. Since then, she has pioneered and established C&R work throughout Australasia, and has assisted the Center to prepare 25 additional Australasian Courage & Renewal facilitators.
Terry Chadsey, M.S.T., (Ex-officio) is Executive Director of the Center. He has been a Courage & Renewal Facilitator since 2002 and on the staff of the Center since 2005. He has led scores of Courage & Renewal programs for teachers, school leaders and leaders of all kinds. He worked in public education for 32 years, teaching grades K through 8 in Chicago, Australia and Washington for 22 of those years. After leaving the classroom he provided leadership to school and district improvement efforts and coaching and professional development to districts and schools, principals and teachers. Terry holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Chicago. He is a founder of Sound Discipline, a lead trainer for the Positive Discipline Association. Terry lives in Seattle with his wife Jane Chadsey. They are in love with each other, their four young adult children and their three-year old grand daughter.