MTM Team and Board Members
Cheryl Nichols co-founded Mindfulness Through Movement in 2014. She is a certified yoga instructor (200-RYT) and teaches yoga and mindfulness for MTM at several Philadelphia urban schools. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, she began her career in banking and has spent the last twenty-five years as a community volunteer focused on youth and the choices they make. Cheryl was an Independent Mission School Award nominee in 2018 as an Outstanding Volunteer.
MTM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & TEACHER
Karen Dempsey is the Executive Director of Mindfulness through Movement, Inc. After practicing yoga for 10 years, she studied with Susan Smith of One Yoga for her YTT 200-hour certification and later completed Trauma Sensitive Yoga Training with the Transformation Yoga Project. Since 2017, Karen has been a teacher for Mindfulness Through Movement teaching at the Gesu School and Hope Partnership for Education. She is a graduate of the University of Richmond with a BS in Business Administration spending several years working in consulting and financial/systems management. She is excited to bring her expertise to MTM and to the Board.
ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR, RECORDING SECRETARY & TEACHER
Holly Henry is a communications specialist with core strengths in public relations, strategic marketing communications and advancement with extensive experience working for nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and foundations. Her special interests are education and healthcare /wellness. She is certified to teach yoga and mindfulness to grade school children through Verge Yoga (RYT- 200) and Mindfulness Through Movement as well as her Inner Strength Foundation certification for work with high school students. A graduate of Bucknell University and The American University, Holly also operates a small consulting business and taught MTM programming for 4 years.
MTM RECRUITING and DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR & TEACHER
Peg Heldring is the former Executive Director of Mindfulness through Movement, Inc. She is a certified yoga instructor (200-RYT) and has been teaching yoga and mindfulness to MTM students for the past six years. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and Seton Hall Law School and practiced law for over thirty years. Peg is passionate about the benefits of the MTM program and provides her writing and fundraising expertise to the Board.
E. Martin Heldring
Until recently, Martin Heldring was the Senior Vice President and Managing Director at TD Bank, N.A. and he heads the Buy Side Syndications Group at the bank. Martin has been in the financial services industry since 1977, previously with Bank of Montreal and Harris Bank. He serves the Chair of the St. Martin de Porres School Advisory Council. Martin holds a BS degree in Foreign Service with a major in International Economics from Georgetown University (1977) and an MBA with a major in Finance from the University of Chicago (1980).
Rachele Browning serves as a Managing Director for SEI Investment’s Global Institutional Group, responsible for new client outreach and business development in the U.S. healthcare, nonprofit and retirement markets. Prior to working for SEI, Rachele was a commercial lender at CoreStates Bank, responsible for Business Development in the UK and their U.S. subsidiaries. She later was responsible for the sales and marketing of the derivatives desk in CoreStates Capital Markets Group, hedging corporate client portfolios. Rachele has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Scranton and is a Licensed Registered Representative, FINRA Series 7 and 63 (SEI Investments Distribution Company, member FINRA).
Debora (Debbie) Lee Clower
Debbie Clower is currently the Assistant Vice President, Presidential Advisory Councils at Drexel University. She works within Institutional Advancement to welcome and steward members of the President’s Councils so that they feel connected and involved. Prior to that, she was a Senior Associate with the consulting firm of Schultz and Williams, focusing on their hospital and school clients. She has also worked as the Interim Director of Annual Giving at the Agnes Irwin School and Director of Special Events at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Debbie serves as a foundation board member at Bryn Mawr Hospital, is also on the Executive Committee of the President’s Advisory Council at Skidmore College, and a member of the Agnes Irwin Leadership Council. She is a past trustee of Emma Willard School, Agnes Irwin School and Please Touch Museum. Debbie is a graduate of Skidmore College where she majored in American Studies.
Head of Institutional Relationship Management — Macquarie Investment Management, Americas Philadelphia , PA. Jerry leads the institutional relationship management efforts for Macquarie Investment Management a role he has held since April 2008. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s degree in finance from the University of Kansas, and he is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Philadelphia. He currently serves on the Parish Advisory Board at St. John Vianney Church in Gladwyne, Pa where he is also Co-Chair of the Finance Committee. He serves as a founding Board Member of St. Rose of Lima School in West Philadelphia. St. Rose of Lima is a member of the Independence Mission Schools.
Binney H.C. Wietlisbach
Binney Wietlisbach has been the President of Haverford Trust since 1992 and has worked in the financial services industry since 1985. She is a member of the Executive Committee, a voting member of the Investment Selection Committee, and a member of the Board of Directors of The Haverford Trust Company. Binney currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Caroline A. Buck Foundation, The Baldwin School and the Philadelphia Section PGA. Binney has a Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University.
Liz Seaden, Head of Teacher Training
Liz began practicing yoga 20 years ago, completed her RYT-200 at Verge Yoga in 2013 and became a certified ChildLight Yoga Teacher. As a former elementary school teacher, she is committed to bringing yoga and mindfulness to children and teenagers and is excited to enter her sixth-year teaching for Mindfulness Through Movement. Yoga is a vital part of her physical, mental and spiritual well-being and she loves being able to share that with others.
Veronica’s practice has evolved throughout the years. Thirteen years ago, her curiosity for yoga allowed her the opportunity to explore with movement and breath. Veronica’s passion and love for the practice encouraged her to get trained to be a teacher and share this love with everyone. Today her practice is more spiritual and has helped her find a better balance in her life. As a mother of three, wearing many different hats in one given day, yoga and meditation allow Veronica to stay grounded and present. She loves to try all different types of yoga styles, exercise, spend time with her family and make her delicious V-Empanadas.
Janine began practicing yoga in 2003 and was immediately drawn to the physical strength and mental clarity it provided her. She felt compelled to share yoga with others and entered the Verge Yoga Teacher Training program in 2013. She continues her yoga and mindfulness education while teaching in studios, home and the school setting. Janine cultivates her practice of teaching classes focused on building strength, focus and compassion for others with enthusiasm and laughter.
Brittany spent 10 years as a Civil Engineer and part-time academic tutor for kids in math & science. Brittany developed her passion for meditation and mindfulness 8 years ago when she completed Jefferson’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course. Brittany traveled to Peru for months in 2017 to acquire her Yoga Teacher Training and worked with kids outside of Lima, Peru in mindfulness & movement. Brittany currently manages Bulldog Yoga in Villanova and continues her part-time academic tutoring for kids.
Sonya began practicing yoga in 2004 and was amazed at the positive physical, emotional and spiritual growth that came with the practice. A desire to share this beautiful gift with others, she completed her 200 hour teacher training at FOCUS in 2013 and has since earned her Lifestyle Meditation Certification and also certified to teach Primordial Sound Meditation. Passionate about meditation and the opportunity to teach others, Sonya truly believes that yoga and meditation can benefit everyone.
Lisa has over 20 years of experience teaching youth and adults yoga and mindfulness in the United States and France. Completing 500+ hours of yoga teacher training certification with many great teachers/studios including Verge BodyMind, Empowered Yoga and Prana Das Healing Arts Center (YTT 300), her teaching background comes from a variety of styles of yoga. She is certified for her work as a meditation teacher by ClearLight Meditation Institute (900 hours), Empowered Yoga and the Inner Strength Foundation. She has taught Mindfulness Through Movement since 2014 and operates a private practice, Puressence Yoga, teaching private and public yoga and meditation classes to adults and youth.
Kate has been practicing yoga for over twenty years. She has completed two 200-hour yoga teaching certifications, started her 500-hour training and has taught both children and adults for the past six years. Kate engages children in activities of movement and breath to connect the body and mind in a way that increases focus and creates a sense of stillness in an ever increasingly hectic world. This positive awareness also encourages compassion for their classmates, teachers and all people.
Laurie has been practicing yoga for over 18 years. She received her master’s degree in elementary education and currently teaches preschool in Berwyn, PA. Laurie studied mindfulness and meditation with the Penn Program for Mindfulness. Her passion for teaching, yoga and mindfulness inspired her to complete her 200-hour yoga teaching certification at Focus Fitness. Laurie is married and has three grown children and a loving labradoodle. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, cooking and traveling.
A graduate of the Verge Yoga Teacher Training Program, Liz is a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance as well as a certified Mindfulness Through Movement teacher. Liz has studied Mindfulness at Clearlight Meditation Institute and has taught yoga at Sojourn Yoga and Villanova University. A strong believer in the transformative and calming power of yoga and meditation, Liz is excited to share this practice of exploration and awareness with school age students. She has a Master’s degree in Education from Villanova University and works in television production.
Michelle has worked in the fitness industry for almost 20 years helping people maintain a strong and healthy body. She began practicing yoga in 2003 and found it to be the yin to her yang of intense, high-impact exercise regimens. Michelle became a yoga teacher in 2007. Years of teaching, studying and practicing yoga led to another benefit that trickled into other aspects of life, the ability to be more mindful. In 2016, Michelle joined the MTM team, sharing their vision of educating children in underserved communities. A graduate of the University of Delaware, Michelle is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, an Athletics & Fitness Association of America Certified Group Fitness Instructor and an American Council of Exercise Specialist in Fitness Nutrition.
Julie has been a registered yoga teacher since 2013 and has a passion for sharing yoga with people of all ages and abilities. Teaching with Verge Yoga, Life Long Yoga, and Mindfulness through Movement her students have ranged in age from 6 to 86 and have had a wide variety of physical abilities. Julie’s passion lies in making yoga accessible for everybody, and through MTM she currently teaches children enrolled in the Visually Impaired and Life Skills classes at Overbrook Education Center.