Board of Directors
Sam Barakat, Vice President
Oakland, California, USA
Sam has 30 years of experience as an economic and financial consultant to large and small businesses, government agencies and non-profits. He was also the founder and head of a recognized consulting firm. He is a member of CADH6 and participates in Ridhwan management committees. He is married to Claudia Marseille, who is also in CADH6, and they have one daughter.
Angelika is currently leading the product management of a global paint company that supplies the automotive industry in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Russia. She has worked as an account manager and technical manager for large international companies, and as a group and project manager in research and development. Angelika is 49 years old and lives together with her husband in Leverkusen, Germany. She is a member of DHE1 and EU RISNG.
Guus Brackel, Vice President
Leusden, The Netherlands
Guus is currently director/owner of a consultant agency in the Netherlands. He has 35 years of experience as an HRM professional, manager, coach, trainer, consultant and entrepreneur working on questions around the human side of enterprise in profit and non-profit organizations (including organization and personal development). He is a member of both the DANS1 group in Europe and the EU RISNG group. He lives in Leusden with his wife, Irene.
Laurie Chestnut, Treasurer & Secretary
Boulder, Colorado, USA
Laurie is an economist who has worked for over 30 years for a private consulting firm conducting research and policy analysis in environmental and natural resource economics. Laurie managed research and analysis projects for federal and state regulatory agencies focusing on pollution control regulations. She has been a member of the Ridhwan School in Colorado for 31 years where she helped to establish the Colorado Operations Committee. She has served on the Ridhwan Board since 2006, has been Treasurer of the Ridhwan Foundation since 2009 and chairs the Finance Committee.
Rob Gussenhoven, SEP
San Diego, California USA
Since 1979, Rob has been involved with the start-up and development of more than 40 companies and nonprofits. Born in Holland, he served in various leadership positions and oversaw factories and subcontractors in Europe and Asia. As a leadership consultant, Rob empowers innovative disruptors in becoming successful and mindful leaders. He served as Board Chair and interim Executive Director at Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute. He is a member of DHR123 and lives with his wife Joan in San Diego, CA.
Victoria, B.C. Canada
Before retiring, Yvonne was a psychotherapist and trainer in Canada and the UK. She is an experienced coach and helped to establish and teach a psychotherapy training program in Russia. Yvonne has vast experience working with various non-profit organizations in fundraising, public relations and as a board member. She is a member of DHR123 and lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
Scott Vachon, President
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Scott is a long-time executive with CCS, a global development, fundraising and strategic consulting firm. He has 30 years of experience embedded in and advising a diversity of not-for-profits including educational, human service, health, cultural and faith-based organizations. He has also served on the boards and fundraising development committees of a number of other non-profits. He is a member of both the DHR123 group based in Berkeley and the US RISNG group. He lives in Chicago.
Richard Wallstein, Ph.D.
For nearly 20 years, Richard has worked as a qualified Gestalt psychotherapist and supervisor and trainer of systemic psychotherapy. He has concurrently coached and mentored exceptionally talented people in senior roles and is a preferred supplier of coaching to clients in the financial and professional services, UK government, retail, technology and telecommunications sectors. He is an Associate Fellow and Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society. Richard lives in London and has been a member of Ridhwan since 1998.
Berkeley, California USA
Seth is the Executive Director of the Ridhwan Foundation. He has been a student in the school since 1996 and he has over 20 years of experience leading a large non-profit with a 50-million-dollar budget. Also, as a consultant for both private and governmental agencies, he has diagnosed organizational needs and the strategic steps to implement change, and has facilitated processes with large groups of diverse stakeholders to support development in effective decision-making, organizational transparency, and strategic planning.
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