Co-Director and Board Member
Rose Feerick grew up in a family that emphasized kindness, ethics, integrity and generosity. As a young adult, she decided to live simply and work with women who were homeless. About the same time, she received the unexpected gift of a financial portfolio. The paradox of that moment awakened questions related to wealth, spiritual wisdom and social justice. Rose has been offering retreats related to money and Christian spirituality since 2003. She has a BA from Georgetown University and an MDiv from the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University. She lives in Redwood City, California with her two teenage sons who share her love of music and conversation about stuff that matters.
Co-Director and Board Member
Steven Bonsey, Co-Director, is a student of contemplative Christianity in Cynthia Bourgeault’s Wisdom Schools. He has worked as an Episcopal priest in parish, campus and retreat ministries. He was co-founder of the Leadership Development Initiative in Massachusetts which trains faith-based teams in contemplative spiritual practice, community-building, and collaborative action. He served as Canon Pastor of the Cathedral Church of St Paul, Boston, where he supported the creation of innovative ministries such as The Crossing worship community and MANNA street ministry. Born on Molokai in Hawaii, he was educated at Iolani School, Harvard College and Yale Divinity School. He lives in Cambridge, MA and Alexandria, LA. He is married to Elisabeth Keller; they have four children.
Communications Coordinator and Administrative Support
A descendent of German Jewish immigrants, I lived my early years in Israel and came to the US when I was seven. My community activism began at the age of 9, volunteering with disabled children and going to demonstrations was key to my learning and core to what has sustained me. I sought non-traditional education including studies in Kenya and Tanzania through Friends World College – a school based on international independent field study. My 16 year marriage with Douglas, a Sotho /Tswana South African exile gifted me with 2 children and tremendous joy. With an AA in Early Childhood Education and a MA in Human Development (specialization in Parent/Community Work) from Pacific Oaks College, I worked in non-profit organizations with children, parents and teachers for over 40 years. My participation in Be Present, inc. brought me in partnership with Rose during an 18 month Training Institute on Race, Gender, Power and Class at a time that challenged my growing edge working with the complexity of expanded financial privilege that came with an inheritance from my father. Life today is full of love with my wife, Demetra, 7 grandchildren and our budding CoCreation Arts where I love witnessing and photographing candid open heart moments and the sensual beauty of form and balance in nature.
Chairperson of the Board
Nancy Thurston comes from petroleum money, but is committed to sustainability; immersed herself in the past to learn to be present; lives in Portland but knows her neighborhood is global. She was active in Harvest Time, including Board membership, before becoming Wisdom & Money Board Chair. In addition, she serves as the co-director of Be Present, Inc.’s Vision-Based, Social Change Fund Development Team. Her work in these organizations helped support her awakening then writing Nautilus Silver Metal book Big Topics at Midnight: A Texas Girl Wakes Up to Race, Class, Gender and Herself. nancymthurston.com
Gina Breedlove is a Singer, Songwriter, Sound Healer & Medicine Woman from Brooklyn, NY, now living in the Bay area. gina tours the world with her music that she calls Folksoul, and holds Sound Healing Circles in every city. “I use Sound and Music to move stuck energy through the body, creating opportunity for wellness and ease”. You may find out more about gina’s Healing Artistry here: ginaBreedlove.com
Bernard C. Murphy CFPContact
A native of Dublin Ireland, Bernard earned his degrees (BA & MA) in Economics and Sociology from the University of Dublin, Trinity College (TCD), in Ireland. He earned his CFP® designation in 2011.
Bernard is the founder of Dovetail Financial, offering Financial Planning, Advice and Management services to individuals and selected organizations. Dovetail Financial is located in Capitola CA and is affiliated with Arista Advisory Group LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.
Prior to starting his firm, Bernard worked for close to thirty years to support the lives of children and adults with varying disabilities, in his responsibilities as CEO, CFO and President of four organizations including seven as the president/CEO of a public Foundation..
Bernard also served as a trustee and/or director of a number of non-profit organizations. He is a former trustee and past president of the Camphill Association of North America. He served as a director of the Board of Camphill Foundation from 1992 until 2010 where he also held the office of Board president and CEO between 2003 and 2010. Bernard was a co-founder of the North American Council for Curative Education and Social Therapy. In addition, Bernard currently serves as an advisor to three non-profit entities.
Bernard has and continues to co-initiate a number of educational workshops and seminars on topics such as Mission Related investing and understanding money in the context of an individual’s, and/or an organization’s, unique biographical journey.
AJ began practicing Buddhism in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh in 1996 in Missoula, MT. She became an ordained member of the Order of Interbeing (Thich Nhat Hanh tradition). She holds an M.Div from the Pacific School of Religion and walks both a Christian and Buddhist path. In 2005 while attending the Pacific School Religion, AJ committed herself to better understanding and healing racism in the United States. Three years ago in rural Virginia, she began teaching white people about how racism functions and replicates itself in our culture. Using meditation and contemplative practices in her classes, AJ helps white people explore how racism denies white people our humanity. AJ’s vision is to co-create beloved community.
Lillie P. Allen, MPHContact
Lillie’s groundbreaking workshop, “Black & Female: What is the Reality?” was presented at the First National Conference on Black Women’s Health Issues in 1983 at Spelman College. This workshop became a catalyst for a national movement for social justice. She is the founder of Be Present, Inc. and the creator of the Be Present Empowerment Model®. As Lillie says, “I am the founder. To me that means I found other people who wanted to thrive and be an active part of creating a fair and just world for all people.” Lillie currently serves as Creatrix of Play/CEO of Be Present, Inc. She has been involved in public health education and social justice work for over forty years, and has broad experience in developing leadership, collaboration, and collective impact. Lillie holds a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Public Health. In 2008, she was named one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century by Women’s eNews.