GSN Board of Directors
Wendy Stern, Founder & Executive Director
Wendy dedicates her life’s work to supporting people to heal and transform through the process of grief. The Grief Support Network’s mission, programs and network of resources are inspired and informed by Wendy’s personal experience of loss and professional background as a yoga therapy practitioner, yoga instructor, teacher trainer and group facilitator.
Wendy has devoted the last 20 years to being a student and teacher of yoga. She has a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and is certified as a yoga therapist, teacher, reiki practitioner and facilitator of yoga therapy groups for grief support and self-empowerment. She is greatly inspired by the teachings of Shiva Rea, Twee Merrigan, Shannon Paige, and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, and she offers a unique fusion of prana flow yoga and Phoenix Rising, interweaving deep, personal reflection into a vinyasa style class.
Before the loss of her son, Noah, Wendy had spent years helping others to explore, express and integrate experiences through the practices of yoga and body/mind exploration. In her private practice as a Phoenix Rising Yoga therapist and PRYT faculty member, Wendy witnessed the ways that thoughts, emotions and life traumas manifest through our bodies. In 2007, when Noah passed away, her grief propelled her into a process of profound transformation, which has taught her to live with more joy and gratitude in her life. Through this journey, Wendy found herself deepened in her commitment to support others. Such began the birth of the Grief Support Network.
Wendy is filled with love for her husband, Brian, and daughters, Hannah & Layla; and she feels the most at home while hiking with her family in Boulder, CO
Gerald Sloat received his BA from the University of Rochester and his JD from Syracuse University. He has practiced personal injury law in Boulder, Colorado for 42 years. He holds the highest possible rating for legal ability and and ethics and was selected as a ‘Colorado Super Lawyer’ in 2010 and 2012. Gerald’s connection with the Grief Support Network came about though his experience with grief both personally and with clients suffering through loss.
Dr. Arielle Schwartz is a licensed clinical psychologist, wife, and mother in Boulder, CO. She offers trainings for therapists, maintains a private practice, and has passions for the outdoors, yoga, and writing. She is the developer of Resilience-Informed Therapy which applies research on trauma recovery to form a strength-based, trauma treatment model that includes Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), somatic (body-centered) psychology and time-tested relational psychotherapy. You can learn more on her website: www.drarielleschwartz.com.
Joy Redstone, LCSW, CAC III is a licensed clinical social worker and addiction counselor. She is the director of the Naropa Counseling Center, as well as adjunct faculty at Naropa University and University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. She is a writer and artist, and contributes regularly to the Daily Camera. She served as the executive director of Bridge House for seven years, during which Bridge House expanded its budget ten-fold, added many new services for clients, and won several awards for excellence in service delivery. As an advocate for the homeless and board member of Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow, Joy has years of experience with dually diagnosed and homeless clients, as well as extensive experience in working with mentally ill ex-prisoners. Joy lives in Boulder and has two children.
Diane Israel is a psychotherapist and conductor with a private practice in Boulder, Colorado. She is professor of Transpersonal Counseling Psychology and trustee of Naropa University. She ignites students and clients to recognize their wholeness and follow their passions through mind-body integration and celebrating their inherent genius. Her experiences as a world-class runner and triathlete led her to specialize in body image and eating struggles. Her award-winning independent documentary film, Beauty Mark, follows her personal journey as an athlete and explores our race to perfection. She is a end of life care consultant supporting families navigating end of life issues.
Rob Schware, Board Chair
In late 2006, Rob brought his two decades of management experience with the World Bank to a second career: helping to grow the yoga service movement. He wanted to combine his development and project management expertise in over 30 countries including India, Indonesia, Turkey, Rwanda and Palestine with his passion for yoga, by forming an organization whose mission it is to bring yoga to underserved populations. In 2013, his work of co-founding and furthering the Give Back Yoga Foundation earned him the International Association of Yoga Therapists’ Karma Yoga Award for “extraordinary selfless service in reducing suffering and elevating consciousness through yoga.” And in 2016, he received Yoga Journal’s Good Karma award.
Alison has devoted the last 22 years to being a student and teacher of Yoga. She first came to yoga after losing her mother at a young age to cancer in 1990. Her first Yoga class was in Boulder with her primary Teacher Richard Freeman. Yoga became an essential part of healing her grief and has been the guiding point in living life with more joy and gratitude. In 1997 she travelled to India to study Ashtanga with Shri K. Pathabhi Jois and also studied yoga philosophy and Ayurvedic cooking and nutrition while she was there. These months in India were transformational, directing her more clearly onto her path as a teacher and healer.
Upon returning from India, Alison pursued her interest in the healing arts by training at The Rolf Institute and graduating in 1999.
She integrates the many styles and modalities of yoga into her teaching, weaving Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Tantric philosophy as well as her understanding as a Certified Rolfing Practitioner of Structural Integration. Alison teaches to all levels of practitioners, meeting each individual wherever they are in their bodies. She helps people release blocked energy and discover more ease of movement and a greater connection to joy and peace in life. Her passion is in facilitating groups of women to discover a deep sense of well being through awakening to the radiance and power within themselves.
She is also a mother of two beautiful children and loves her outdoor lifestyle in Boulder, CO.
RYT500 Yoga Instructor
Cynthia is a pioneering practitioner, educator and business coach for emerging practitioners. With a vast background in both traditional nutritional sciences and Eastern philosophies, she offers a ground-breaking model for showing people how to profoundly transform their relationship with food, thereby masterfully achieving their health and body goals. Cynthia has been a professional in the nutrition industry for over 11 years, and Eat Empowered, LLC is her second business adventure. The first, Cynfully Healthy, was founded in 2003 as a private practice in Manhattan, serving a wide variety of clients seeking nutritional counseling and lifestyle coaching.
Cynthia has also served as the Director of Nutrition Services for a holistic center providing acupuncture, herbs, yoga and stress reduction techniques to treat infertility and reproductive disorders. Cynthia has appeared in magazines, local TV programs, and had her own nutritional/wellness column on elasticwaist.com. Cynthia holds a B.S. from NYU, and continued her studies with several health and fitness certifications, including Professional Certified Holistic Health Counselor accredited with the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP) from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, Certified Whole Foods Nutrition Counselor from Heartwood Institute in California, Dynamic Eating Psychology Counselor from The Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and A.C.E Certified Group Fitness Instructor.
Certified Eating Psychology Counselor
Certified Whole Foods Counselor
Certified Holistic Health Coach
A.C.E. Certified Fitness Instructor
Merryl E. Rothaus, MA, is a Board-Certified Registered Art Therapist (ATR-BC) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Rothaus has a vibrant private psychotherapy practice in Boulder where she utilizes Transpersonal Psychology, Art Therapy, Hakomi somatic psychotherapy, Gestalt, Brainspotting, Shamanic Psychotherapy and more. Merryl works with a diverse population, from children to adults, treating a wide array of people’s challenges with her compassionate, eclectic, creative approaches to growth and healing. As an educator, Merryl was Core Faculty in the Art Therapy and Applied Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy Department at Antioch University in Seattle and is also Adjunct Faculty in the Graduate Transpersonal Art Therapy department at Naropa University. Merryl’s training and her experience working for hospice, as well as her significant personal initiations into grief and loss inform her ability to empathically and skillfully helps others in their walks through grief and loss.
Board-Certified Registered Art Therapist (ATR-BC)
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
Since 1979,Teresa Robertson RN, MS,Certified Nurse Midwife, Birth Intuitive TM, has been involved in the realms of; women’s health, birth and alternative healing. Teresa utilizes numerous concrete mind/body/spirit techniques and tools; including connecting with your unborn baby. Her integrative approach is concrete, supportive and empowering.
Teresa’s work in fertility and pregnancy as a Birth Intuitive has been endorsed by Dr. Christiane Northrup in her best selling books; Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. and her new Mother Daughter Wisdom. Teresa is also well versed with working with childbearing and non childbearing clients as they navigate the world of loss and grief; supporting them in understanding their next steps as they reclaim their new selves.
Teresa’s expertise includes working with all stages of pregnancy loss, including; miscarriages, still birth, infant death and abortion resolution. In addition, she has supported clients living through transitions as the result of divorce. Teresa’s work as a part time Hospice RN over the past three years, has only deepened her understanding, compassion and skill with working with the mystery and terrain of loss and grief.
Certified Nurse Midwife
Birth Intuitive TM
Carrie is an active stay at home mom who embraces every second of the energy, excitement, craziness and sleeplessness of life with her four beautiful children, Dean, Angel Bryce, Gloriana, and Nora. Carrie holds a Bachelors degree in Education and was an educator for 11 years. She has worked in a variety of settings including special education, literacy and the general education classroom prior to becoming a full time Mom. She thrives with the challenges and rewards that teaching offers and uses creative modalities to inspire each child’s love of learning.
Carrie lost her second son, Bryce David Howell, unexpectedly in October of 2010. Her life changed forever and her journey through grief has taken her on a roller coaster ride of emotion that is now her new normal. As she continues to move through her grief to gratitude journey, she has felt empowered by her son to help others and advocate for parents and their children. As a member on the advisory board of GSN, she is committed to giving input for services that will provide guidance to other bereaved parents and family members. Helping siblings through grief is something Carrie feels especially passionate about since witnessing her son move through his own grief after losing his little brother.
Carrie grew up on a horse farm in New Jersey and since she was a tiny tot, has immersed herself in nature, where she feels true inner peace. She enjoys leisurely family walks, hiking, yoga, and horseback riding in the mountains of the front range. She also enjoys dancing and going to see live music with her incredible husband, Lonnie, whenever possible.