Shannon Cobb, President and CEO
shannon @ annsplace.org, 203-790-6568 x103
Shannon Cobb, a Danbury resident for over fifteen years, comes to Ann’s Place from United Way of Westchester and Putnam, as their Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Community Impact. She is a strategic, goal driven communications and program professional with more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit agencies across the country. In the past decade, she has focused her career on internal and external communications, brand development, training, public speaking, content management, advertising and strategy. Having started her career in volunteer management, she continues to value and build diverse volunteer and community involvement wherever she works and at all leadership levels. Through the years, she has recruited, trained and supervised thousands of volunteers to help increase socialization skills for people with disabilities, assist low income seniors live independently at home, advocate for youth in foster care, and enhance the management of nonprofits.
When Shannon is not at work, she can be found each week guiding and mentoring middle school youth at her church, Jesse Lee Memorial UMC in Ridgefield. She is delighted this gives her opportunity to play games such as laser tag and capture the flag. She is a Certified Lay Servant in the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and speaks a few times a year from the pulpit. Ms. Cobb has a Bachelor of Arts from Gettysburg College, and is a graduate of the Parent Leadership Training Institute in Danbury. She loves spending time with her two boys and college sweetheart, taking photos while exploring a new trail, and losing herself in a good book.
Suzanne (Su) Murdock, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, Clinical Director
su @ annsplace.org, 203-790-6568 x101
Su joined Ann’s Place in 2000 with a medical social work background in Connecticut and New York through positions at the Connecticut VNA, Homecare, Vassar Brothers Hospital and the Salvation Army. She is active in community organizations and is a member of the Association of Oncology Social Workers and the National Association of Social Workers. Su is on the board of CT Social Work Oncology Group, which provides networking and educational opportunities for oncology social workers in Connecticut, and is also on the board of Oncology Social Work Certification.
Su is a compassionate advocate for cancer survivors. She completed a two year Practicum at the Mercy Center in Madison, CT, on Spiritual Direction. Su holds an advanced certificate in Contemplative Clinical Practice at Smith College of Social Work in Northampton, Massachusetts.
Jeff Beekman, Accounting & Contracts Manager
jeff @ annsplace.org, 203-790-6568 x104
Jeff came to Ann's Place in 2013 with a long career in finance in both the for-profit and nonprofit sector. When he is not balancing the Ann's Place books you can find him doing such things as jumping into cold water to raise funds for charity and playing ball with Special Olympics.
Kevin Berrill, MSW, LCSW, Licensed Clinician
kevin @ annsplace.org, 203-790-6568 x113
A clinical social worker, Kevin joined the staff of Ann's Place in 2012 after moving back to his native Connecticut from Washington, DC. His clinical experience includes work as a psychotherapist, bereavement counselor, and hospice medical social worker. He works with individuals, couples and groups and is a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist.
Kevin's professional background also includes work as a publicist, national organizer for LGBT human rights, documentary program coordinator, author, factory worker, elevator operator, and dishwasher. His wide ranging and occupational journey has helped him to better understand the lives and concerns of those whom he serves.
Kevin's approach to healing and growth is to help clients identify strengths, reflect on what matters most in life, find practical solutions to problems, relax through imagery and breath and cultivate mindful awareness and compassion.
"I feel privileged to join the ranks of such skilled and caring staff and volunteers," said Berrill, "and to serve cancer survivors and their loved ones. This work opens my heart, grounds me in the present moment, and reminds me of what matters most in life."
Jack Bouffard, Events Specialist
jack @ annsplace.org, 203-790-6568 x108
Jack came to Ann’s Place as a newly diagnosed Stage IV Hodgkin Lymphoma patient in 2008 and helped cultivate the Young Adult support group here. Before coming on staff in 2017, he spent nine years as a passionate Ann’s Place volunteer and served as emcee for the Amber Room Run From The Sun 5K and Entertainment Chair for Festival of Trees.
In his free time, Jack can be found loading up his nieces and nephews with sugar, traveling the globe, attending concerts or Broadway shows and spending relaxing days at home with his cat, Lily.
Candy Dayana Dube, MSW, LCSW, Bilingual Licensed Clinician
candy @ annsplace.org, 203-790-6568 x102, Cell: 475-279-9443
Candy is a bilingual clinical social worker at Ann’s Place. She graduated from Western Connecticut State University cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and Sociology/ Anthropology, with a minor in International Studies. After working as a Bilingual Mental Health Counselor in Waterbury, CT and realizing how rewarding social work can be, Candy went on to obtain her Master's degree in Social Work at Fordham University. Candy is a former representative of an NGO for the United Nations and a member of various NGO committees for the United Nations. Most recently, she was a clinical intern at Jewish Family Service providing individual counseling, as well as community outreach and program development. Candy is the first clinician hired as part of our Health Equity Initiative and provides Ann’s Place cancer support services here, at 80 Saw Mill Road, as well as at the Greater Danbury Hispanic Center – Centro. In her free time Candy loves to travel and learn about different cultures worldwide; she loves spending time with her family and being outdoors.
Rebekah Harriman-Stites, Director of Development
rebekah @ annsplace.org, 203-790-6568 x115
Rebekah comes to Ann’s Place after a decade founding and growing her own boutique fund development firm, focused on building the resources and capacity of non-profit organizations and municipalities throughout the Northeast. Rebekah has been a Newtown resident for 18 years, where she is proud to raise her 13 year old son, Fisher. She was elected to the Newtown Board of Education in 2015 and named the Board’s Vice-Chair in 2017. In addition to her multiple community engagements, Rebekah is an active volunteer with Newtown Youth Wrestling Association and Newtown Youth Lacrosse, two community sports organizations in which her son participates. Rebekah is also a founding member of the My Sandy Hook Family Fund, which raised over $1.5 million to directly assist the families of the victims of the December 14, 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Working with CT's federal delegation, the My Sandy Hook Family Fund was the only charity formed in response to the shooting that was able to distribute funds directly to the most impacted families. Rebekah’s positive impact on Newtown and our region is noted beyond our borders. In 2014, Rebekah was named a "Hero" by Money Magazine for her extraordinary work benefiting the financial well-being of others through the My Sandy Hook Family Fund. In 2010, she was recognized by the Fairfield County Business Journal as one of its top “40 Under 40” business leaders. In addition to strengthening her community and leading a business, Rebekah chaired the Leadership Greater Bridgeport Board of Directors from 2015-2017, a leadership development and community engagement program of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council. She was a founding board member for Newtown's EverWonder Children's Museum and served as President of the Parent Teacher Association at Middle Gate Elementary School. Rebekah is a graduate of Central CT State University with a degree in Social Work. Following her graduation in 2000, Rebekah worked as a community organizer in Rhode Island, fighting for women’s reproductive rights and health care for all. Additionally, she has worked as a domestic violence counselor and a family violence victim advocate in the Bristol, CT court.
Kate Lieder, MA, LMFT, Licensed Clinician
kate @ annsplace.org, 203-790-6568 x107
Kate joins Ann’s Place as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has worked with those affected by cancer at The CT Challenge (recently renamed Mission), a cancer survivorship support organization in Southport, CT, and in Private practice since 2011. Kate works collaboratively with her clients helping them access and cultivate their core strengths so they can better negotiate the many challenges a cancer diagnosis may bring, emotional, physical and spiritual.
In December of 2008 Kate was diagnosed with breast cancer. After successful treatment and a second unrelated cancer diagnosis in 2013, Kate feels incredibly blessed to be 5 years cancer free. Kate utilizes her personal experience as a survivor to help her understand, first hand, some of stresses cancer survivors and their loved ones may face. Most importantly Kate believes her experiences have taught her the importance of living in the present moment and in not taking anything for granted.
Kate is thrilled to join the team at Ann’s Place and to have the opportunity to work with such a compassionate and skilled group of clinicians and volunteers.
She recently completed a certificate program in Applied Positive Psychology and is excited to integrate some of the scientific based interventions and mindfulness practices into her work. Kate lives in Ridgefield, CT with her family. In her free time she enjoys being with family and friends, traveling to new places, as well as cycling, hiking, skiing and practicing yoga.
Kimberley Locke, Clinical Assistant
kimberley @ annsplace.org, 203-790-6568 x116
Starting in early 2017 Kimberley joined Ann’s Place as a volunteer in the main office. In 2018 she was able to grow her role and join the staff as an assistant on the clinical team. Her past work with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Feeding America, One Heartland, as well as general and extensive charitable efforts as an HIV/AIDS and Human Rights activist has given her much experience that she is able to use at Ann’s Place.
Kimberley comes to Ann’s Place with over two decades of wide and varied work experiences that have offered her the opportunity to always remain active in the non-profit sector. Starting with a robust career in entertainment, she is now the president of I AM Entertainment which helps other artists navigate their way through a multi-layered industry. Her work in the entertainment industry led her to create The Journey To A Better You where she delivers motivational and inspirational talks to groups as well as 1-on-1 coaching. Kimberley is a CCAR certified addiction recovery coach and continues to seek certifications that help her better serve her clients.
Kimberley grew up in Tennessee and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Belmont University. Her world travels brought her to New York and New England where she fell in love with the countryside and decided to build her roots. Kimberley is excited to have found Ann’s Place and to be a part of our team.
Martha Shilstone, MSW, LCSW, Licensed Clinician
martha @ annsplace.org, 203-790-6568 x105
Martha is a clinical social worker at Ann's Place, primarily working with children, teens, and their families. She holds a BS degree in Child Study and a Masters in Social Work from the University of Georgia. Martha has worked extensively with children in both medical and mental health settings. She is also employed as the Student Assistance Counselor at Newtown High School and Middle School. Martha resides in Ridgefield with her husband and three children.
"A cancer diagnosis impacts not only the patient but the whole family. Ann's Place recognizes this and provides counseling, support and activities for all members. It is such a privilege to support children and their parents during their journey with cancer."
Lynn Stubbe, Community Engagement Specialist
lynn @ annsplace.org, 203-790-6568 x114
Lynn joined the Ann's Place as Volunteer Coordinator in April 2014. Lynn oversees more than 400 volunteers during the year at special events, fundraisers, reception, student interns, and office work.
Before joining the staff at Ann's Place, Lynn volunteered her time at Ann's Place and other non-profits in the area as well as in the Brookfield schools.
Lynn is a graduate of Stony Brook University in New York with a degree in Psychology.
Dawn Schulze, Donor, Events, and Clinical Support Coordinator
dawn @ annsplace.org, 203-790-6568 x106
Dawn spent the past twelve years working for a non-profit organization (the Regional YMCA) running many programs. The programs were heavily funded by corporate, private and state donors. Dawn was also in charge of organizing committees to allocate the funds. Dawn also contributed to the success of the special events for fund raising.
Dawn is originally from New York and moved to Brookfield CT in 1999, were she resides with her husband and two sons. In Dawn's leisure time she enjoys being outdoors with her family. Dawn is thrilled to be a part of the team at Ann's Place, where she can contribute to making a difference in people's lives.
Our Amazing Staff Who Donate Services
Jackie Brady, MA
Jackie was first introduced to Ann’s Place years ago when she completed a one-year internship at Ann's Place for graduate school. The warmth, caring, and connection of the entire Ann’s Place community left a meaningful and lasting impression. Jackie has a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Western Connecticut State University. Jackie lives in Patterson, New York, and enjoys reading, the outdoors, and especially spending quality time with family and friends. Jackie facilitates both the Partners group as well as the Women Together Group for women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer at Ann's Place.
James Coffey, MA
Jim leads our very active monthly Men Together group for men living with prostate cancer on the first Wednesday evenings of the month. This group is active in continuing education and enjoys bringing in guest speakers. It is also affiliated with the national prostate cancer group – US Too.
An avid golfer and two time cancer survivor, Jim is retired from a career in education and counseling. He came to Ann’s Place in 2004.
Jean Conover, MA
Jean has a masters degree in Counseling and has run many groups over the years. She currently runs Women Only, a support group for women with gynecological cancers and Above the Shoulders, a group for people with head and neck cancers. Jean has served cancer patients at Ann’s Place faithfully since 1996, after her retirement from school counseling. Jean is a former co-chair of the Quilter’s Corner for our Festival of Trees. Jean also does vacation relief for clinical office staff.
Cindy Corn, MSW, LCSW
Cindy has an Masters in Social Work from Boston University and has worked in mental health facilities in Massachusetts and New York . After a cancer diagnosis in 2005, Cindy joined a support group at Ann's Place and has been involved there ever since. Cindy fills in for facilitators who are absent.
Jennifer Salkin, MA
Jennifer earned her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University. She has worked with individuals, children and families to decrease anxiety and depression. She has a long time interest in the healing power of nature and complimentary medicine. She is a certified forest therapy guide. In addition to being an RYT 200 certified yoga instructor and a Reiki master, Jennifer also works with the power of nature as a community herbalist and flower essence practitioner. Jennifer joined Ann’s Place in August of 2017 and facilitates the Daytime group.
Rudy Spannaus, MA
Rudy earned her Master's Degree in Counseling from Fairfield University. She has worked with adolescents, families and educators in a school setting for the past seven years and is honored to join Ann's Place as a volunteer group facilitator. Rudy lives in Brookfield with her husband and enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her dog on Candlewood Lake.
Rudy facilitates the Caring, Coffee and Conversations for senior women with cancer, and co-facilitates Living Well with an Incurable or Stage 4 Cancer.
Helen Tomasko, MS, LPC, NCC
Helen, a licensed counselor, joined Ann’s Place in 2013. She facilitates our Women Together Graduates group once a month for women who have finished their breast cancer treatment.
Timothy Bayley, DO, PhD (Oncology Continuing Medical Educator & Nutritional Scientist)
Tim came to Ann's Place in January 2015 as a wellness volunteer. Dr. Bayley received his Doctor of Osteopathy and PhD from the National University of Medical Sciences in Madrid Spain and Naples Florida, his Master of Science in Nutritional Biochemistry from the McGill University, and holds a certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from the T Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, Cornell University. Tim is a Connecticut-based medical education professional at MedWrite International and Senior Medical Director of Physician’s Education Resource with extensive experience in the development and management of evidence-based oncology education for oncologists, hematologists, healthcare professionals, and the general public. Nutrition and healthy living has been a long-time interest and mission of Tim’s. "I believe in nurturing the long term benefits that are derived from consuming healthy foods that are produced using techniques that are earth-friendly and am passionate about nutrition education that leads to long term sustainable health and well-being for oncology patients, their families and the public at large!
Eileen Byrne (Reiki)
Eileen is a certified Reiki Master in the Usui method and a member of the International Center for Reiki Training. She loves sharing reiki to help aid in stress reduction and relaxation to help promote healing, and has been a volunteer in New York and Connecticut. She is also certified in Sound Therapy and has led workshops on its benefits. She is a graduate and past facilitator of the Parent Leadership Training Institute in Danbury.
Susan Carbone (Reiki)
Susan works in the field of laboratory medicine, at New Milford Hospital.
Her formal study of Integrative/Complementary self-care began in 2000, while completing her Master's Degree in Health Administration at Western Connecticut University. She then enrolled in The Graduate Institute in Connecticut where she received a Masters of Arts degree in Experiential Health and Healing.
A certified Reiki Master practitioner, Sue believes each of us influences our well-being with our lifestyles, perceptions and coping skills.
Nina Deyglun (Reiki)
Nina is a Licensed Massage Therapist trained at the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy and a certified Reiki Master practitioner in the Usui method of natural healing. Reiki is a gentle hands-on technique that works with the body's own energy system to help balance and restore itself to its natural state of well being. Nina is a dedicated practitioner of Tibetan Dzogchen meditation and a volunteer Reiki practitioner with the RVNA (Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association) since 2014 and will be offering Reiki one morning a week at Ann’s Place.
Victoria Diaz, CHLC (Art Instruction)
Victoria Diaz teaches our Monday Creative Arts Class. In her other life she has a BA Biology; Certified Holistic Life Coach (CHLC); Certified Advanced Life & Spiritual Coach (CALSC); Center for Mind Body Medicine Cancer Caregivers Support Group Certification (in-progress).
Her career as a research scientist, medical journal author, and presenter spans over 20 years in corporate American. Victoria’s own personal challenges lead her to become a Certified Holistic Life Coach, an Advanced Life & Spiritual Coach. She was a regular guest and co-host on Survival Blog Talk Radio, a wellness webinar facilitator, as well as a featured blogger for The Epic Times and Radiance Wellness. Victoria’s passion to help others living with cancer, PTSD, and chronic pain take on a more creative approach leading meditative arts and crafts.
Alison DiPinto, MA, LPC (Healthy Steps Movement & Dance)
Alison DiPinto has been a certified Healthy Steps instructor since 2006 and has been leading the Healthy Steps group at Ann's Place for just as long! Alison has 30 years experience in dance and loves to share the joy of dance and movement with her students. Alison is also a local psychotherapist and a mother of two beautiful daughters.
Amy Fernandez (Reiki)
Amy Fernandez earned her Bachelor's as well as her Master's Degree from St. John's University in Elementary, Special Education, and Reading. Amy was a New York CitySchool Teacher for fourteen years. She is also a certified Usui Reiki Master/Teacher and a member of the International Association of Reiki Professionals. As a Reiki Master, Amy will guide you through this gentle, yet powerful modality to assist you with reducing stress, relieving pain, and encouraging overall well being. Reiki treats the whole person including body, mind, and emotions/spirit creating feelings of inner peace, relaxation, security, and well being. Reiki works well in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote healing. Amy also shares this practice at monthly Healing Touch & Reiki Healing Circle.
Teresa Finaldi, MS (Usui Reiki Master Teacher, Board Certified Counselor)
Teresa had the pleasure of interning with Ann’s Place in 2014 as she pursued her graduate degree in counseling from WCSU.
Around that time Teresa also found Reiki. Teresa invites you to feel the flow of Reiki and in that, ease some anxiety and discomfort.
She knows that there is a space for you in your life. A place of inner light that calls you to greater peace.
Lucy Gainsback (Yoga)
Lucy came to the practice of yoga through a search to maintain physical fitness. Taken by the holistic benefits offered by the practice both on and off the mat, and using them in her own personal growth and healing, her practice evolved to sharing this mental, emotional and physical fitness with others.
Completing her 200 hour certification in 2015, Lucy has continued to learn through her teaching. Her classes incorporate the relationship that is built between the body, mind and breath, helping others in building this relationship to assist us in moving through life.
Lucy has joined Ann’s Place as a substitute Yoga instructor and will be teaching our Wednesday 1:30 p.m. Yoga class until April 2019.
Joe Gillotti (Yoga)
After twenty years as a weekly wellness volunteer at Ann’s Place, Joe Gillotti has transitioned to be an occasional sub for our yoga instructors. We are grateful for Joe's continued presence.
Karen Gillotti (Yoga)
Karen Gillotti was certified to teach Integral Yoga in 1996. Her certifications include gentle, beginner, intermediate, and prenatal yoga. Also received certification from Kripalu Yoga to teach Yoga Nidra (guided deep relaxation). Karen has been teaching at the New Fairfield Senior Center and Redding Parks and Recreation. She is also currently teaching a Yoga Nidra class at Yogaspace in Bethel. Karen graciously fills in as a Yoga instructor as needed and leads the weekly Knitting Group.
Julie Glick (Vinyasa Yoga)
Julie was a competitive gymnast throughout elementary school, high school and college at the University of Rhode Island where she graduated with a B.S. in Exercise Physiology. She has worked in Medical Sales for over 25 years, including 7 years in which she called on Oncologists. She has come to embrace many paths to health, particularly food and movement as medicine, which has become her way of life. In fact, Julie co-owned a raw, organic, vegan chocolate company for 11 years. She also practiced Yoga for 20 years before deciding to become a Yoga Instructor. Julie received her Yoga Teacher certification in Aligned Vinyasa from Yoga Culture in Danbury, CT. Vinyasa Yoga involves coordinating poses with breath in a flowing sequence. She finds this to be one the most therapeutic forms of movement she has ever experienced. Julie believes that everyone can enjoy Yoga and is thrilled to be sharing its many healing benefits with participants at Ann’s Place on Tuesday evenings. When Julie is not working, exercising, taking or teaching Yoga classes, she loves to spend time with her family and 2 “children” (cats) Diego and Tess.
Beth Holland (Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga)
Beth Holland has practiced yoga for many years but not until more recently did she actually “fall in love” with all its wonderful effects. Having always been physically active, she has come to realize that yoga heightens her sense of well-being, her state of mind and her healthy and flexible body far more than any other practices or activities. She is eager to share the joy of yoga with anyone who will listen and join her! Beth began her teaching career with her training to teach the Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga Method and completed her 200-hour Certified Teacher subsequently, training with the Pranatthon Yoga Guild., based on Kripalu methodology and philosophy. She especially enjoys sharing yoga with people who are new to yoga, a bit more senior in years and/or physically challenged. Her grandchildren who call her “nana”, knowing her passion for yoga as well as for them, have given her the nickname “NANAste”!
Marc Howard, RYT (Kripalu Yoga)
Marc began Tuesday daytime classes for us in 2006 and is the owner of There’s No Place Like Om on Padanaram Road in Danbury. Marc currently offers his yoga classes to all Ann's Place clients on Tuesdays.
Jyoti Kelkar (Yoga)
Jyoti was born and brought up in India. She was introduced to yoga in her childhood by her father who was a Surgeon and practiced Yoga everyday. Jyoti continued her practice of Yoga through her school and college years. After she graduated from Physical Therapy school, she had an opportunity to work in an out-patient Physical Therapy clinic where Iyengar Yoga was used as one of the treatment modalities to treat patients suffering from stroke, cancer, heart and lung diseases, and wide array of disorders. Jyoti came to US in 1996 and since has been working as a Physical Therapist in a variety of settings. She pursued Yoga Teachers' Training certification with Lotus Gardens Yoga under the guidance of Ms.Lara Ward. She has a vision to create a restorative Yoga program for the survivors of cancer. Jyoti truly believes in daily practice and building the strong foundation to move from simple to complex. She currently works in Putnam Hospital Center in Carmel, NY as an In-patient Physical Therapist. Jyoti joined Ann's Place in 2017 and offers yoga on Tuesday evenings.
Erik Keller (Horticulture Therapist)
Erik came to Ann's Place in April 2009 as a volunteer. He earned a Master Gardener's certificate from the University of Connecticut in 2000 and holds a certificate in horticultural therapy from the New York Botanical Gardens. Eric graduated from SUNY at Stony Brook with a bachelor's degree in engineering science and has worked as a journalist, market analyst, director of research, author and a management consultant. In helping to create our special therapeutic landscaping and woodland trails between 2009 and 2011, Erik has supervised teams of corporate volunteers, teens, athletes and community volunteers. Horticultural Therapy sessions are held on the first and third Tuesday of every month.
Sue McKellop (Creative Journaling)
Sue McKellop brings a variety of skills and experiences to her journal instruction. With a background in Project Management and Healthcare Business Consulting, Sue delivers a high level of expertise and professionalism to her work. A journaler off and on since her youth, Sue returned to writing in earnest when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. Journaling through the challenges of diagnosis, treatment and developing a "new normal" was so helpful, she committed herself to sharing this powerful self-help tool with others facing life threatening illnesses. Sue became a certified Journal to the Self® instructor in 2016, thorough The Center for Journal Therapy, an institute founded by expressive writing pioneer and expert Kathleen Adams. Sue has made numerous presentations to a wide variety of groups on the value of journaling and has facilitated many journal-writing small groups
Rochelle A. Schwartz (Kripalu Yoga, Devine Sleep and Maj Jongg)
Rochelle is a certified Kripalu Yoga teacher volunteering since 2003. Her gentle style classes encourage each student to work at their own pace in a non-judgemental atmosphere. What she loves most about yoga is that anyone at any age can practice. Yoga is available to all, no matter what the experience and physical ability. Everyone can benefit from the practice of yoga. She enjoys spending time with her family and being outside as much as possible. Rochelle offers yoga classes at Ann's Place on Wednesday afternoons, Divine Sleep once a month and Maj Jongg on Friday afternoons.
Donna Soszynski (Horticulture Therapy Substitute Teacher)
Donna is a breast cancer "thriver" who graduated the Horticultural Therapy Program at the New York Botanical Garden and started her internship at Ann's Place in June 2017. She has studied Whole Plant based Nutrition through eCornell and is currently completing a certification in The Art and Science of Herbalism, with Rosemary Gladstar. Donna just completed training to become a Tinkergarden Leader (Learning through nature, for children 18 months to 8 years old). She majored in Fine Arts at FIT and has worked in many different mediums, with her main focus on ceramic sculpture and working with calabash gourds. Her interests have lead her to combine her love of nature, wellness, and art.
Jen Ripa-Edson, Reiki and Gong Meditation
Jen Ripa-Edson is a Certified Kundalini and Vinyasa yoga teacher, reiki practitioner, life coach, sound healer, essential oil educator, and artist. She helps people transcend limitations and work through difficult circumstances by guiding them to remember the stillness within.
Nancy J. Ryan (Tai Chi)
Tai Chi Chuan is a Chinese movement art that can provide great health benefits to the body, mind and spirit. Nancy Ryan has been practicing Tai Chi Chuan for more than 13 years. She shares her love of Tai Chi and its benefits with the clients of Ann's Place in her weekly class. Tai Chi is offered at Ann's Place every Monday evening, 6:00 - 7:00 pm.
Renee A. Simon
Renee A. Simon is a Board Certified and licensed Dietitian-Nutritionist, published author, Certified Reiki master, and registered yoga teacher. She received her M.S. in Clinical Nutrition from Bridgeport University and her degree in Holistic Nutrition at the American Academy of Nutrition. Renee has been practicing as a Nutritionist since 1999, energy healing practitioner since 2005, and yoga teacher since 2011 in NY and CT. She was one of the key principals who started the Wellness Center at Northern Westchester Hospital's Center for Health and Healing, and has developed and taught nutrition modules to Doctors as part of the Arizona School of Integrated Medicine fellowship program. Her motto is to find the underlying cause of a problem vs. treating symptoms, and to restore the body back to its natural balance. Renee facilitates a nutrition group periodically through the year.
Marlene Tendler, E-RYT (Usui Reiki)
Marlene is a Reiki Master in the Usui System of Reiki. She was certified by Master Melanie Chong and continues to study with Reiki Master Libby Barnett. She is also a Yoga Alliance certified (E-RYT) yoga teacher. Marlene has practiced and studied Iyengar Yoga for many years and was certified by Judith Lasater in Restorative Yoga as a Relax and Renew Trainer. She offers Reiki sessions at Ann's Place on Tuesdays 12:30 - 2:15 pm.
Kim (KJ) Wien has a master's degree in literacy and special education. She has taught middle and high school for over 20 years. Kim's love for food began to develop when she worked for Weight Watchers International as a weight management leader. Her position there provided instruction, tools and motivation for members making better food choices in their weight loss and weight management journey. Today, Kim volunteers as food runner for Food Rescue US (formerly Community Plates) directly transferring fresh, usable food that would have otherwise been thrown away from grocers, restaurants, and other food industry sources to food insecure families throughout the U.S. Kim loves to cook. Her husband Stan, their family and friends will overwhelmingly agree, Kim is an excellent cook. She has a knowledge, experience and passion for creating nutritious and delicious foods -- in minutes. She earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, Cornell University and has her own consulting practice (SMARTER EATING with KJ) as a nutritional coach. She also holds a food handling license. Kim loves teaching and is always excited about contributing her time and talent to Ann's Place.