Our Founders

Cheryl Nichols

Cheryl Nichols

Co-Founder & Board Member

Cheryl Nichols co-founded Mindfulness Through Movement in 2014. She is a certified yoga instructor (200-RYT) and teaches yoga and mindfulness 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.

Cara Bradley

Cara Bradley

Co-Founder & Board Advisor

Cara is the founder of  Verge Yoga, located in Wayne, PA. She co-founded Mindfulness Through Movement in 2014 with Cheryl Nichols and is a Board Advisor. She is a frequent keynote speaker in the field of body mind intelligence and is the author of On the Verge: Wake Up, Show Up and Shine.

MTM Team and Board Members

Peg Heldring

Peg Heldring

MTM Executive Director, Board Member & MTM Teacher

Peg Heldring is the 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

E. Martin Heldring

MTM Treasurer and Board Member

Martin Heldring is 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. Martin currently also serves as Treasurer and Board Member of the Global Interdependence Center.  Martin holds a BS degree in Foreign Service with a major in International Economics from Georgetown University (1977) and a MBA with a major in Finance from the University of Chicago (1980).

Holly Henry

Holly Henry

Administrative Director, Board Recording Secretary & MTM 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 serves as a trustee for the Foundation for Learning in Tredyffrin/Easttown.

Dawn Altman

Dawn Altman

Board Member

Dawn Altman is a psychotherapist in private practice in Bryn Mawr, PA, where she treats clients with anxiety, depression, trauma, and eating disorders. She holds a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Villanova University, as well as certificates in both Trauma and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy from Bryn Mawr College. Dawn is also a Certified Yoga Teacher/Therapist, and has been practicing yoga for over 30 years.

Rachele Browning

Rachele Browning

Board Member

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

Debora (Debbie) Lee Clower

Board Member

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.

 

Jerry Nichols

Jerry Nichols

Board Member

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 H.C. Wietlisbach

Board Member

Binney Wietlisbach is the President of Haverford Trust since 1992. Binney 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 Caroline A. Buck Foundation The Baldwin School and the Philadelphia Section PGA. Binney has a Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University.

MTM Teachers

Karen Dempsey

Karen Dempsey

Karen 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 2016, Karen has been teaching mindfulness and yoga to young and old alike through the Girl Scouts, After the Bell (after school program), and the Brandywine Conservancy. In her third year as an MTM teacher, Karen currently teaches at the Gesu School and Hope Partnership for Education.

Lauren Gobern

Lauren Gobern

Lauren has been practicing yoga for over 10 years. She currently works as pediatric nurse and has spent the last 5 years caring for children and families of all ages. Lauren was first introduced to yoga and meditation through a mindfulness program offered in her high school. Her commitment to mindfulness led her to complete her 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training at Verge Yoga in Wayne. She loves sharing the joy and strength yoga has brought to her life with others.

Brittany  Hackman

Brittany Hackman

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.

Katy Kopnitsky

Katy Kopnitsky

Katy teaches yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices to people of all ages. Katy shares these practices outside of yoga studios with people in educational, recovery and behavioral health, criminal justice, and health care systems. When Katy is not teaching young people in schools with Mindfulness Through Movement, she works with Transformation Yoga Project as a facilitator of trauma-sensitive, mindfulness-based yoga in prisons and detention centers, in/outpatient recovery centers, schools, and juvenile detention centers and with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a member of their Integrative Health Team, sharing yoga, meditation and mindfulness with patients at CHOP.

Lisa Laney

Lisa Laney

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 Loftus

Kate Loftus

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.

Gloria López

Gloria López

Gloria has been practicing yoga for over 17 years. She is a certified Spanish teacher and has spent over 9 years teaching at the elementary and high school levels. Gloria studied mindfulness and meditation with ClearLight Meditation Institute. Her passion for teaching, yoga and mindfulness brought her to complete her 200-hour yoga teaching certification at Verge Yoga. Gloria has two dogs and three teenage boys. She likes to spend time with her family, takes her therapy dog to work with the elderly and kids, tutors  high school students, and teaches yoga at Village Wellness in Berwyn.

Laurie Martin

Laurie Martin

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.

 

Liz Nicastro

Liz Nicastro

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 Olowolafe

Michelle Olowolafe

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.

Jane Rosato

Jane Rosato

Jane has been teaching Yoga for over 20 years in many different capacities. She has been fortunate enough to teach to students of all ages and abilities. Jane feels that a state of well-being physically, mentally and emotionally is the key to true happiness. Yoga and meditation can help people of all ages and walks of life achieve that happiness. She loves to help youth realize their potential, guiding them to stay on the path of hard work and discipline, a path to true accomplishment and true happiness.

Liz Seaden

Liz Seaden

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.

Julie Tewksbury

Julie Tewksbury

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.