BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SANGEETA FERNANDES, PHD
Sangeeta Fernandes, PhD, is the director of the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives, serving a specialized group of 4,000 practice executives and physicians within the San Francisco-based international association of 30,000 ophthalmologists. In her previous work, Dr. Fernandes specifically studied mental health and sexual trauma among marginalized populations, including at risk for HIV. Her work focused on finding pathways to provide risk education and inspire health efficacy in populations challenged by socio-cultural and economic inequity. She has over 15 years of experience working in and with academic and research institutions in international public health. Sangeeta has begun Somatic Experiencing® training. She holds deep respect for the mission of the Foundation for Human Enrichment and the Somatic Experiencing® Trauma Institute and hopes to apply her experience in association management in service of furthering this mission.
Sangeeta's mission: To use my skills and experience in association management, membership growth and strategic planning to support the mission of SEI in service of a global and diverse community.
SERGIO OCAMPO, SEP, BEng., MA, LMFT
Sergio Ocampo, BEng., MA, LMFT, SEP, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Los Angeles, CA. He has served as an SE Assistant since 2017.
Prior to his involvement and completion of Somatic Experiencing training, Sergio worked and studied internationally for nearly 10 years. He received a scholarship to study and restore Renaissance art in Florence, Italy, and later moved into employment opportunities in the petroleum and automation industries, enabling him to travel and work in other parts of Europe as well as Africa. Sergio is fluent in Italian, Dutch, Spanish and English. Upon returning to America, Sergio joined the financial services industry in roles as a stockbroker and financial advisor. Later, he created his own business enterprise specializing in media and electronics for the sports and film industries.
CARMEN CASADO, P-SEP, RYT, JD
Carmen is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, wellness coach, and yoga therapist. She offers private integrative somatic therapy and wellness coaching sessions for stress disorders and trauma resolution, co-facilitates wellness retreats, and teaches group yoga classes. In addition to the SEI Board, Carmen has served on the Board of the Reciprocity Foundation, an organization that offers holistic support to marginalized communities, since 2012. She practiced law for more than 16 years and is a member of the California and New York State Bars. Carmen is an eco-enthusiast and is passionate about equitable and sustainable nutrition and lifestyle. She is fluent in Spanish, conversant in French, and has lived in four countries.
Carmen's mission: My mission is to show up with authenticity, curiosity, and kindness, to zealously support and strengthen this organization and all who are a part of it in moving forward and evolving in its invaluable mission to share SE globally.
AIDA MYSAN, SEP, RYT, MPS
Aida Mysan is an integrative somatic and psychedelic practitioner. She brings into service a holistic, trauma-informed approach that functions as a bridge between the somatic, psychedelic, psychological, and spiritual. In this approach non-ordinary states of consciousness are evoked, in combination with legal psychedelic substances, to support access both to innate somatic intelligence and subconscious core programming with the aim of integration and healing.
Her background includes doctoral studies in East-West Psychology (current), a master’s in Interactive Media, along with ongoing training in Somatic Experiencing, Psychedelic Somatic Interactional Psychotherapy, Trauma-Informed Stabilization Treatment, and other modalities to process trauma. She also received formal training in kundalini yoga, mindfulness, meditation, and female mystical-tantric lineages. She brings 25+ years of personal spiritual practice into her work.
Aida was previously a tenured Assistant Professor at the City University of New York where she created a curriculum and taught Interactive Media courses and expanded digital learning to improve academic success for 1,800+ students. Inspired by the idea that user-centered design can improve people’s lives, she further established her own consulting practice and was solving usability, business, brand, and technology problems for corporate clients and start-ups, with a focus on media publishing, consumer products, Fintech, telerobotics, biotech, and healthcare.
Aida’s mission: To help establish Somatic Experiencing as a widely used modality to treat trauma, institute SE as an evidence-based practice, expand SEI’s digital footprint and digital infrastructure, empower and connect the SEI community and its constituents through the use of innovative learning and communication tools, and accelerate the impact of SEI and SE as global brands.
KARIN RITCHIE, SEP
Karin Ritchie is a lover of life, and a gentle warrior. Drawing on her journey of transformation from a traumatic life to one of grace, Karin is passionate about serving life to bring about well-being and meaningful connection in every environment she finds herself in.
As a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, she has been in private practice since 2008. Karin has assisted in SE trainings in New York (with Dr. Peter Levine), Hong Kong, Nepal, Belgium, Greece, and South Africa. She facilitates workshops in person and online locally and internationally. Additionally, she has served as a committee member on the Global Culture Committee – Somatic Experiencing International for the past three years. Karin’s 15-year immersion in SE has influenced her life at a soul level.
In her own words: “I am honoured to be on the board of SEI and am grateful to serve this modality that has changed my life and the lives of so many that I've encountered. SE is one of my places of belonging in this life, my mission is to support the bringing about of this safe belonging to as many humans as possible.”
Karin serves on the Board of the Industrial Supply Company (www.hdi-group.com), which she founded in 1982. She is also an Indian-trained Kundalini yoga teacher. In 1998, she adventured across Africa on her 1150cc GS BMW motorcycle and enjoys adventures on her Vespa, bicycle, and in her hiking boots.
She lives in a village on the Garden Route in South Africa and is a mother to three and grandmother to a grandson.
Karin's mission: To support SEI through her passion, curious mind, embodied ear, and business acumen. This includes discovering and catalyzing newness where needed and challenging aspects of the organization ripe for meaningful and effective change.
In Prashant’s Words:
This bio includes my premises and interpretation of the zeitgeist as well as the essence of what I do and my background.
I support spaces of ‘We-ability’. To me, ‘We-ability’ means mobilizing collective intelligence and unified action. I see this as an essential capacity in navigating an era of poly-crisis.
Strong We-spaces are often difficult to realize. Fragmentation and failing societal paradigms tend to replicate themselves in our team, community, network, and organizational spaces despite our best intentions and intellectual orientation. Some degree of dysfunction tends to exist even when humans are doing their darnedest to collaborate.
We continue to deepen the understanding that society is inherently traumatogenic (trauma-expressing and trauma-perpetuating). It is a living inquiry for many of us how healing-centered cultures actually take shape and thrive, and how we can foster this in our own near and dear contexts.
I have invested considerable time, energy, pain, and finance towards understanding the poly-crisis which characterizes the moment we are living on this planet. I have shaped myself into a practitioner intensely curious about and committed to co-fostering islands of coherence and sanity.
My work blends living systems science, contemplative practice, global wisdom traditions, trauma healing, and culture shift. Drawing on a deep research and practice base, the work I do is multi-modal, grows how groups think/talk/act together, and supports the co-creation of more aware, coherent, effective, and regenerative systems. I remain forever a disciple of Life and the nature of change. In each engagement and interaction I learn how to grow in service.
I often prioritize working with groups rigorously addressing interior or exterior root drivers of societal disequilibrium. I resonate most with organizations, communities and networks who see their work as ultimately Sacred—in service of flourishing humanity and Life-–whether self-identifying as ethically-oriented, values-driven, humanist, secular, and/or spiritual. But I enjoy investigation into most any context where folks are willing to include themselves and their organizational practices as deep levers of the change they seek.
My background includes working in leadership and board directorship positions at cutting edge trauma healing organizations and reform-leading organizations. I have strengthened systems and cultures wherever I have gone. In earlier stages of professional expression, this included Fortune 500 C-Level Strategy Consulting and Leadership Team Development in the UN. I have advanced degrees in Law, Business (graduating valedictorian), and Regenerative Economics, in addition to extensive professional training. I am formally initiated in three Wisdom Lineages (Amazon, Himalayas, W. Africa) and have dove deep in many others. Life experience includes: travel to ~60 countries (having lived in five countries across four continents); miraculously surviving a potentially lethal, high-speed car accident without a scratch; and running a marathon and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, to fundraise for cancer research. I am also known for liking a good zero-sugar, vegan sweet treat at the end of lunch, dinner, or breakfast.
Prashant's Mission: Arriving newly to the SEI Board, I seek to understand the current system and context first. I believe the most radical thing I can do is support our beloved mission to take the next step it is ripe to take, and then the next…I also bring curiosities and hypotheses about: (1) how the organization and board might become even more effective; (2) how SEI might partner with others; and (3) draw on its community wisdom, all in service of executing our mission in precise and more expansive way.
Gabriel Brodbar is a social impact thinker, leader and practitioner, with over 30 years of experience in the public, private and citizen sectors. He is currently a psychoanalyst at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies in New York City. As an entrepreneur, he founded Catskill Carriage, the first and only luxury transportation provider supporting the economic development and environmental health of New York's Catskill Region.
Before venturing into entrepreneurship, Gabriel was the founder and Executive Director of New York University’s Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship, pioneering the first cross-university initiative of its kind. The program trained and funded students, faculty, and stakeholders globally to drive catalytic and sustainable social change at a massive scale. Gabriel also served as an Adjunct Professor in Social Entrepreneurship at NYU.
Prior to joining NYU, Gabriel served as the founder and Director of Dartington-i New York, the regional affiliate of an international consulting firm providing a range of research and practice tools to child welfare and social service systems, with special expertise in performance-based contracting systems and supportive housing development.
He was the founding Director of the Office of Housing Policy and Development at the New York City Administration for Children’s Services and developed and operated award-winning, drop-out prevention and college preparatory programs for at-risk high-school students in New York City including Upward Bound, AmeriCorps, and Liberty Partnership Programs. He is an alum of Teach for America, and was chair of the history department of a school in Houston, TX serving at-risk teens navigating pregnancy and/or the incarceration system.
His primary research and commentary have been published in Social Service Review, Child Welfare, Beyond Profit and Guitarist. He has been quoted in The New York Times, The New York Post, among others. He is a Board Member of Functional Life Achievement, and serves on the Advisory Boards of The Citi Tutors, CreditDo, and The Cavendish Impact Foundation. Select Speaking Engagements have included New York University’s schools of Law, Business and Public Policy, The Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, The Child Welfare League of America, The National Alliance to End Homelessness, The NationSwell Council, and the US-Japan Research Institute. He holds an LMSW from the Silberman School of Social Work at CUNY Hunter and an MBA from the Zicklin School of Business at CUNY Baruch.
Gabriel's Mission: To apply my entrepreneurial and financial expertise to help the SEI team realize a world where SE is a universally integrated mindset available to all.
Michele Solloway, PhD SEP, LMT/BCMBT, MPA, PHD
Of Blessed Memory, Former Chair
Michele Solloway zʼ’l, In Blessed Memory, Previous Board Chair
Michele came to SEI with a background in public health, research, massage therapy, and energy work. Her scientific mind helped to drive our commitment to research and getting SE into the lives of as many people as possible. Just this year, she took on the monumental task of co-chairing the SE Humanitarian Response Committee. Getting SE to everyone has been a passion of Michele’s forever. Whether through research, humanitarian response, Crisis Stabilization, and Safety, or more, Michele wanted everyone in the world to have SE's tools to help make their lives better.
Michele joined the board in July 2019 and helped usher in our stronger strategic plan, more structure, and more growth. She became chair-elect in July 2020 and the board chair in July 2022. She has served on the Finance Committee, and the Executive Committee, and she helped to create an Evaluation Committee so that we could better get feedback on our trainings. She has been working closely with the Global Visioning Group to help us find ways to collaborate in SE spaces around the world. All that she has done for SEI would take pages to write, so we will say it more simply – her grounded presence has helped to steady SEI for years as we navigate this new world.
But no board member is just their contribution to the organization. Michele brought a level of joy and light combined with presence, groundedness, and professionalism that we have never seen in anyone else.
For so many, and certainly for SEI, there will be a Michele-sized hole in our hearts forever. She brought more to our lives and to this organization than there are words to convey. It seems trite to say that she will be missed. It is so much deeper than that. We know that we must continue here at SEI because we must continue the work that Michele helped us create.