Shannon is a writer, manuscript consultant and community organizer with a background in nonprofit executive management.
She has taught creative writing at universities in the U.S. and Europe, including in the MFA program at Bennington College. Her writing has been recognized with the Drue Heinz Literature Prize, the O. Henry Prize, two Pushcart Prizes, a fellowship from the US National Endowment for the Arts, and the "skills and talents" permanent resident status from the Republic of France. Books, stories and essays edited by Shannon have won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize and the Mary McCarthy Prize in Fiction, and have been accepted for publication by dozens of fine literary magazines.
She has served on the boards of directors of many nonprofit groups and has directed five social justice organizations, including a health education project for homeless women, a fundraising consulting firm, a private philanthropy, and an independent publisher of literature by women. She is the founder and director of La Maison Baldwin, a cultural organization that employs the arts to celebrate the life of the writer James Baldwin in St. Paul de Vence.
Maureen is an arts and business consultant. With a background in creativity, technology and education, she helps individuals, organizations and businesses plan and implement their visions.
She was a Worldwide Program Manager at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington, where she led a global program that reached 2 million K-12 teachers per year. She was the Director of State Partnerships for The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a US education advocacy organization, where she helped state departments of education build and implement their educational reform plans. Maureen also directed the Art Institute and curated art shows at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.
Maureen started her career as an art teacher in southern Arizona and since that time has taught more than 5,000 adults and a thousand young people. She holds Master's degree in business and a Bachelor's in Art & Design, and has run several businesses and non-profit organizations. These days, she is focusing her career on bringing joy, beauty and pleasure to the world.
Teresa Cowan Jones is an ordained minister (UCC) and founder and director of Sacred Space, an interfaith and secular program designed to make contemplative practices accessible to all. She has 24 years experience as a meditation teacher and serves as Executive Director of the Breakthrough Leadership Institute, a transformational leadership and community development initiative. She is also an executive and personal coach, spiritual director, owner of TC Jones Coaching, faculty for the Charter for Hesychia School for Spiritual Direction, founder of The Compassion Coalition, a fellow in the Public Voices Fellowship, and an instructor at the Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson, Arizona in the USA. Author of over one hundred tools for effectiveness, Teresa holds a B.S. in Psychology and a Master of Divinity with highest honors from Vanderbilt University (1996).
A professionally trained coach, Teresa has served as coach and faculty of the Center for Progressive Leadership, a national nonpartisan leadership organization developing high-potential political leaders who can affect policy-making. Teresa also developed and taught university courses in sociology and has twenty years of professional experience in leadership development in both the public and private sectors.