Sara Bartels, RD, CDN, MAPP (New York, NY) is a registered and certified dietitian with 7 years of research experience in diabetes education, cancer prevention and weight-loss behavior modification. She is creating the intersection between nutrition education/dietetic counseling and positive psychology and behavior modification. She is currently working as an independent consultant and Nutrition Education Manager for a NGO aiming to provide both access to healthy foods and positive nutrition education to low socioeconomic families in New York City. She leads a team of educators to inspire families in Harlem and the Bronx to grow in overall health. She is practically applying the theories of positive psychology in the health education of the next generation.
Katie Comtois is a psychotherapist and a positive psychology coach, specializing in work-life integration. As the founder of Tulaa, LLC, Katie works with her clients to identify, to define, and to pursue their best lives by effectively integrating them across all domains. Before pursuing a career as a helping professional, Katie enjoyed eight successful years working as a corporative sales executive and her approach to coaching leverages both her business experience and clinical training. Katie is an avid endurance athlete, marathon runner, Ironman triathlete, CrossFitter, and yogini. She lives happily with her husband and daughter in Portsmouth, NH.
Tracy Epps Johnson
What does he plan to do for that which he professes to love? Integrating into a new wellness path the two disciplines of Tai Chi and positive psychology. Breeding authentic, fit, tranquil, and empowered individuals is the natural aim. Justin is primarily interested in somaesthetics, mindfulness, consciousness-raising, and the roots & rhythm of human flourishing. Justin plans to apply these passions on an individual and institutional level. Whether as a certified instructor with the Tai Chi for Health Institute; freelancing as a marketer of information among various online publications; devising workshops; hosting classes; or speaking at industry events and conferences. Justin’s mission statement in life is to ‘bring about a spirit that waltzes to the Dance-of-Life’.
Irem Gunay received her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Psychology with honors form Columbia University. She attained her first master's degree in Social and Developmental Psychology from University of Cambridge. Afterwards, she completed her second master's degree in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and worked at Martin Seligman's Positive Psychology Center in Philadelphia. She is the founder and current chairman of Turkish Positive Psychology Association.
Thomas Heffner is an engineer working to implement Positive Psychology interventions and applications in the workplace. At the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics laboratory he focuses on using Positive Psychology to increase innovation and foster more collaboration. Some examples of this work include teaching and using Design Thinking, Appreciative Inquiry and Resilience Training with technical staff. In addition, Thomas is a frequent author of Positive Psychology in both academia and the general media. Finally, he also works as a Master Resilience Facilitator with the US Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness and Family Program. He is always eager and happy to meet new people sharing the passion of Positive Psychology, so please email him to discuss further.
Meghan “Mika” Keener
Meghan Keener (Mika) is a TV & film producer, currently working at Discovery Communications where she's made shows for Discovery Channel, TLC, and Animal Planet. She also blogs for the Huffington Post. Mika's capstone under Marty created a working definition for "positive media", and she presented this work at IPPA's 3rd World Congress. Mika is also an ICF-trained coach, and her passion is understanding excellence through the personal stories of exemplars in various domains of life.
Dan Lerner has long been fascinated with performance excellence, well-being, and the realization of unique potential. As a coach, teacher, and speaker he works with both established and high-potential musicians, athletes, and executives to leverage the advantage that a healthy psychological state can bring to their performance. Currently on the faculty at New York University (where he teaches “The Science of Happiness”) and the University of Pennsylvania, Dan will this year be a guest lecturer at West Point Military Academy, and at both the graduate and undergraduate programs at NYU’s Steinhart School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Dan spent over a decade developing talent at International Creative Management, Columbia Artists Management, and at 21C Media Group, of which he was a co-founder, and has consulted for numerous Fortune 500 companies, coached an array of world-class performers, and is writing on a book about the process and mindset that leads to healthy, uniquely individual excellence.
Rabbi Yosef Lynn studied Architecture at the University of Colorado, but moved on from the study of the construction of brick and mortar edifices in order to focus on learning how to build human beings. After five years of intensive study of rabbinical law and ethics, he accepted the position of Dean of Students at The David Robinson Institute of Jewish Heritage (Machon Yaakov) in Jerusalem, Israel, where he serves as senior lecturer, counselor, and personal advisor to hundreds of students and alumni. He also maintains a private practice counseling individuals and couples. Rabbi Lynn's Greatness Within Seminars (www.greatnesswithinseminars.com), together with the accompanying personalized workbook, helps individuals discover their unique strengths and learn how to live in accordance with those strengths, thereby achieving maximum flow and fulfillment in life. He teaches the Positive Psychology course at Touro College, Jerusalem Campus, and is the Israel representative for SIPPA, Students of the International Positive Psychology Association. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and children.
Natacha Perrotta has over 15 years of strategy consulting experience across the private, public, and non-profit sectors in the U.S. and Latin America. Currently Natacha works at Geller & Company, a family office where she helps high-net worth families evaluate and execute philanthropic and investment initiatives. Natacha graduated with High Honors from the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business and completed the Masters in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012. She is a native from Buenos Aires, Argentina and lives in New York City with her fiancé. Natacha is passionate about exploring how we can embrace and design a life at our fullest potential. She found in positive psychology a transformative tool to manage her life as well as more effectively engage clients and colleagues. Given her passion she is committed to helping positive psychology reach more people so that it can have a broader and lasting impact in the world.
Kayleigh Pleas, MAPP, is a wellness coach and yoga teacher. Her research and work rest at the intersection of how the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind, and how their interaction can be leveraged for wellbeing. In her private coaching practice, Kayleigh employs scientifically proven methods from positive psychology, neuropsychology, nutritional science, and mind-body medicine to address the entirety of the human person—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. She has successfully guided hundreds of busy individuals towards optimal physical health, emotional balance, and happiness. In the yoga studio, Kayleigh teaches students to inhabit their bodies from a place of awareness and ease, effectively training the body as well as the mind for wellbeing. Kayleigh is also a sought-after speaker and workshop facilitator for corporations and schools. Her expertise spans a variety of topics: nutrition, mental resilience, motivation, and happiness. For more information about Kayleigh, her approach and credentials, please visit her website at www.kayleighpleas.com.
Pat Schwartz is a former Philadelphia middle-school teacher and AmeriCorps program director. Most of her professional career has been dedicated creating positive change in low income, urban communities. She currently supports education-based and other non-profit organizations by working to empower staff and volunteers to recognize the impact of their hard work and commitment to those in need. She uses the principles of positive psychology to engage trainees to recognize that well-being and hard work are not mutually exclusive, but are in fact a perfect match!
For twenty years, Dr. Snyder led the Center for Physician Success and Wellbeing at St Luke’s Health Network in Bethlehem, PA, a large multi-hospital academic health system with over 1,000 affiliated doctors, multiple residency and fellowship programs. She has over ten years experience developing programs and online tools to help individuals and organizations realize their potential to deliver compassionate, cost-effective and error-free care and she is well-prepared to lead transformational work applying Positive Health to the issues of individuals and organizations. She has appeared on the NBC Today Show, and given numerous local and regional presentations in the US. Dr. Snyder’s vision is to bring a curriculum of positive health, resilience, and professionalism to physicians at all levels, from first-year medical students through continuing medical education for practicing physicians. This practice of positive health, along with the adaptation of appreciative practices in healthcare organizations, will result in healthy doctors, thriving patients, and a tremendous savings of healthcare dollars.
PAT SNYDER, JD, MAPP, coaches attorneys, with a focus on work-life integration and business development for women. Her capstone project focused on character strengths of successful women lawyers. Pat credits her long-running humor column, “Balancing Act,” as her best coping strategy during her own years of legal practice. In 2009, she published her first book, The Dog Ate My Planner: Tales and Tips from an Overbooked Life." She frequently presents workshops and speeches to those in high stress jobs around the theme “Don’t Let The Dog Eat Your Planner At Work.” She also founded the Central Ohio Chapter of The Transition Network, a national not-for-profit organization for women searching for “what’s next” after age 50. A certified professional Co-Active coach, Pat owns the coaching company I Can Fly,LLC. Pat received her B.A. degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh and her law degree from the University of Akron School of Law.
Finding new ways the world works when people are authentic. I began my career as an investment banker before I evolved into corporate behavior psychology. Sitting at the intersection of business and behaviors, my practice, Authentum, serves global companies by reframing engagement - as positive psychologists see it - to allow their financial goals to be intentionally ordered around the strengths of their employees, using new metrics that describe the ‘authentic culture’. Practitioners may now link interventions more directly to profit. Another company, Architects of Business, offers entrepreneurs and investors a predictive, behavioral model to conceptualize strategic paths toward profitable success for the growth of each company or portfolio of investments. My global community, Corpus Operis, debates the next paradigm of innovative workforces, focusing on authenticity, diversity and innovation. Finally, since authenticity is a lever used to take diversity in leadership to the next level, I founded the Soluna Institute.
Dan holds a PhD in psychology, an MFA in writing, and graduated MAPP in 2012. He is an assistant instructor for Marty and recently co-published an academic article on the use of stories to promote positive interventions, with James. He writes for Psychology Today as an expert on group therapy and authors the daily column, Ask the Therapist, for PsychCentral.com as well as their Proof Positive blog on practical applications of positive psychology. Recently honored by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers on the topic of depression he is also the creator of Interactive-Behavioral Therapy the Power of Positive Being experiential workshops. Confessions of a Former Child: A Therapist’s Memoir is his latest book by Graywolf, and his plays Sticks, Stones and the R word, and Negatively Oriented Therapy won the 2010 and 2012 International play competition for RETHINK Theater Challenge, both premiered in New Zealand.
David Yaden is interested in modern death and self-transcendence. He studies the psychology and neuroscience of self-transcendence in both its secular and spiritual varieties at the Positive Psychology Center, with Dr. Andrew Newberg at Jefferson Hospital, and in UPenn’s neuroscience department. He works to apply this research in end-of-life healthcare as a hospice volunteer, in his integrative health practice at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, and in his healthcare consulting company. He is happy to say that his masters degree in positive psychology opened a number of doors both personally and professionally.