Leadership

 

Mike Head Shot Mike Coughlin, a public school administrator and trained mediator, has been practicing mindfulness in the vipassana tradition for over a decade. He has received training in Buddhism and mindfulness through Spirit Rock Meditation Center and Mindful Schools and is currently enrolled in UCLA’s Certification in Mindfulness Facilitation program. Mike has over 20 years of experience working with high-risk youth, most specifically in residential and day treatment programs, as well as years of mediation experience in Alternative Dispute Resolution. He has a focused interest in exploring how insight meditation practice can lead us to a more expansive and grounded relationship with our human experience, both as individuals and as engaged members within our communities.
Susan Head Shot Susan DuQuette serves on the NVIM Leadership Council, is the Day Long retreat manager and assists with media. She first began meditating in 1968 while living in a self-supporting spiritual community and began practicing Vipassana meditation in 2008. Susan has worked in the hospitality industry, served on several non-profit boards and is a published cook book author. She was instrumental in implementing a Culinary Arts Scholarship Program in 13 Los Angeles Inner City High Schools and enlisted several high profile professional chefs to assist in the training program. She was later hired as a consultant for the LA Unified school district. Susan is passionate about her meditation and yoga practice and grateful for the many blessings they offer.
Erika Head Shot2 Erika Gottl is the Treasurer of Napa Valley Insight Meditation. She previously co-founded two highly successful entrepreneurial companies and has held the positions of CEO for 10 years and CFO for 11 years. She has been part Napa Valley Insight Meditation for the past three years. She had an individual meditation practice prior to joining NVIM and has participated in numerous day long retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She is also a graduate of James Baraz’s five month “Awakening Joy” course.
Forrest Head Shot Forrest Hill has been practicing Insight Meditation since 2004 and is a founding member of Napa Valley Insight Meditation. He has served as a facilitator at NVIM since its inception in 201l. Forrest is currently enrolled in the Community Dharma Leaders Program, a Buddhist teacher training program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. He has a PhD from MIT in Biological Oceanography and currently works as a socially responsible financial advisor. Forrest is passionate about prison reform and has led financial literacy programs for inmates at San Quentin Prison. He believes insight meditation can foster greater awareness, wisdom and kindness in our daily lives, and teach us how to respond more compassionately to the world around us.
Dave Head Shot David Ross has been practicing the Dharma for about 13 years. He practiced in the soto zen tradition for seven years, until a Dharma transmitted priest barred the Zendo door. David’s path is now eclectic. He leans toward the wisdom of the Sangha rather than any one individual. He sees the roles of teacher and student as fluid, with roles not fixed. For David, the study of the self through the lens of the precepts, is a part of his path. He has thus far observed that enlightenment in others is more transitory, than permanent/unchanging. Buddhism, as it has spread, has adapted to various cultures, and it is David’s hope that in our country democratic Buddhism will flourish.
Suzie Head Shot Suzie Steen is a lifelong resident of the Napa Valley, having raised her three children here. She started meditating in the late 1970’s with Transcendental Meditation. Having been in traditional 12 Step programs for many years, she has a passion for the Dharma and recovery. Suzie is retired from the Hospitality and Tourism industry and has sat on several boards over the years, including the Napa Valley Conference and Visitor’s Bureau and the Napa Valley Mustard Festival. She currently spends her days caring for her granddaughter and credits her practice of mindfulness meditation as being the key to successfully sharing her two bedroom townhouse with her husband, daughter and their three grandchildren – for one year, three months, and 18 days…
Lori Head Shot Lori Stelling has practiced Insight Meditation since 2002 and serves as a facilitator and board member for NVIM. Lori has completed Insight Meditation Center’s 9-Month Eightfold Path Program and is currently engaged in on-going Buddhist studies through Dharmagiri. She is a certified life coach with advanced Enneagram training and served for 14+ years as a community recreation supervisor specializing in youth services. As the mother of a school-age child, Lori is particularly passionate about how daily life practice can support us in cultivating greater moments of clarity, patience, gratitude and wise, compassionate response to the inner and outer joys and challenges of everyday human life.