Our Board + Advisory Team

Board of Directors

Jerome Saint-Orens

Jérôme Saint-Orens is a native of France and works as a Commercial Pilot for Netjets, Inc., owned by Berkshire Hathaway. He has been flying since 1988 and has been an Aviation Consultant for the past 18 years. After obtaining a degree in Electronics from the University in Paris, France, he moved to San Marcos, Texas, to pursue his Aviation Career, and teach others fly. Jerome has been serving on the Wholesome Generation Board since it’s launch in 2008 as Treasurer, dedicated to help raise awareness of Holistic Lifestyle Practices not only for his children, but for all children served at WG. When not flying around the Globe, he participates in cycling races around town, and volunteers his many skills at our community school.

Ruth Glendinning

Ruth Glendinning was born in London UK, grew up in Texas, lived in the Caribbean, California and Oklahoma where she worked with Native American tribes, before firmly planting her roots in Austin, Texas. She is a social entrepreneur and innovator working with clients in the local, national and global arenas focusing on grassroots entrepreneurship with a special emphasis on women’s work, including food and craft accelerators.

Her entrepreneurial path began in Los Angeles and continued in Austin, Texas where she discovered her true passion lay in the social entrepreneurship sector of the market. It was here that Ruth developed the model of cultural strategy which demonstrates the importance of creating a balance between community, culture and commerce for sustainable economy which was most notably demonstrated with the creation of the Community Renaissance Market (CRM), a 60,000 square foot grocery store repurposed into a microbusiness incubator containing 40+ microbusinesses. To better reflect the purpose of CRM to incubate businesses which meet the criteria of sustainable, local, organic work, she trademarked the “SLOW Tech® Incubator” (Sustainable Local Organic Work + Technology) concept in which specific technology is added to no-or low-tech community-based human-scale businesses to better equip them to thrive. Ultimately SLOW Tech is about using technology to improve the human experience, rather than distract from it.

In addition to her role as Principal for Thriving Business Solutions, Ruth is Principal of Thriving Community Solutions, where she serves as pragmatic visionary with a deep commitment to growing relationships for the purpose of creating accessible, inclusive, engaging, and thriving communities in which technology is used to provide pathways to shared well being for all.

Cortney Isunza

Cortney Isunza has spent the last 16 years working for leading technology companies, Dell and VMware, in the areas of sales, product development and business strategy. She is driven by the impact of technology in the democratization of knowledge that enables people to thrive.

Much like she has kept a pulse on technology she has been paying attention to food trends over the last four decades. She began reading food labels in 1977 and wrote her first anti-preservative, anti-additive term paper in the 6th grade. Since then she has led a vegetarian lifestyle passing on her pure food values to her beautiful children.

Her experiences traveling internationally, working to create a secure and holistic food experience for her family, and promoting healthy eating (and lifestyles) to Austin’s youth, she is now involved in helping to grow our Wholesome Generation Campus, and supporting the launch of our unique model by serving as a valued Board Member and Advisor to our Founder Lene.

Dr. Fikile Nxumalo

Dr. Fikile Nxumalo is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is also affiliated faculty with African and African Diaspora Studies, and Native American and Indigenous Studies. Fikile’s research and pedagogical interests are centered on environmental and place-attuned early childhood studies that are situated within and responsive to uneven inheritances. Drawing from her experience as a pedagogista in early learning settings in British Columbia, Fikile is also interested in participatory and action-oriented approaches for supporting in-service early childhood educators in engaging social and environmental justice oriented pedagogies.

Paige Hill Olivero

Paige Oliverio, Founder of Urban Patchwork & Urban Patchwork Neighborhood Farms educational and community Non-Profit, has combined her affinity for community advocacy and urban design with her lifelong experience in environmental stewardship and homestead scale food production to create a “whole system” framework for self-sustaining, productive, and restorative land use at the urban home scale. Paige believes strongly that food, water, and shelter are basic human needs that can be beautiful, integrated, abundant, and a natural part of our every day lives…especially in the urban setting. She works with our Founder Lene on developing unique Natural playground structures and sensory equipment, and leads the planning and implementation of each of our Educational Land Institutes and Farms.

Amanda Chavira

Amanda is a native El Pasoan, graduated from Texas Tech University, loves traveling the world, and has been with Austin Independent School District for nearly 10 years. She is a self-motivated mover and shaker with a heart of gold, a no nonsense leader, passionate about children, people and our future world with the flexibility to adapt to any situation. She is self-aware and risen above a troubled childhood with hard work, education and council, which brings her the unique opportunity to work with children of all ages. You’ll find her making a difference in the Austin educational system by working with many leaders in the AISD system, and consulting with Wholesome Generation on outreach programs and building a strong Team that will serve many youth and communities in the years to come.

She is passionate about helping teachers perfect their craft and knows the importance of making and maintaining relationships and truly collaborating.

Board of Advisors

Jackie Taylor | BOA Early Childhood Education Training

Jackie has over 20 years of experience in the Early Child Care and Education field and holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.S. in Family and Child Studies. Her thesis was on the Impact of Early Childhood Experiences on Choosing Child Care as a Profession, which is currently submitted for publication.

Taylor completed a one year fellowship with the Office of Head Start at the end of September 2009. During this time, she has been assigned to the Quality Assurance Division working on monitoring, training and technical assistance projects. Prior to her fellowship, she was the Project Director of Healthy Child Care Texas at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Previous positions include working as a consultant to the Military, Head Start and other Child Care programs and training and mentoring entry level child care workers.

Taylor’s work with the military included consultation on NAEYC accreditation at several Air Force installations, including Menwith Hill, Dover, Columbus and Ellsworth Air Force Bases. She also held the position as Program Administrator with the Texas Workforce Commission at their Child Care Services Department. Her job responsibilities included writing, editing, and scoring several Requests for Proposals and writing the quality section of the 2004-2005 Child Care State Plan. In addition she managed the ‘Train Our Teachers’ Scholarship Program. Jackie also represented TWC on several statewide committees, including the Head Start State Collaboration Office Advisory Committee, Texas Early Care and Education Coordination Advisory Committee, the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning Task Force and led the Head Start, Child Care, Pre-K Collaboration Committee. Jackie worked closely with the 2003 Legislative session, providing bill analysis on child care related bills and contributing to several legislative reports.

Furthermore, Jackie held several key positions with the Department of Defense Child Development Services in Germany and Italy. In her position as CDS Coordinator, she was responsible for a staff of over 60, overseeing care for approximately 2500 children ages 6 weeks to 12 years in both center-based and home-based care. She developed and executed an appropriated budget of 1.1 million dollars, while successfully overseeing the center’s re-accreditation from NAEYC. Her program was considered one of the best military programs in the European military community.

Her passion for healthy foods and quality early-care models led her to Wholesome Generation, where she is now a valued team-member, defining the model and helping to establish standards that will make WG stand out among all child development models in the nation.

Julio Ferreira | BOA International Partnerships

Director, International Public Relations Services and Strategic Partnership Facilitator, Green Source Partners

Julio Ferreira is the driving force behind Green Kids Austin and its sister project, Green Kids Brazil, an innovative “sustainable mall” and ecological education resource for young people. His global perspective and talent for cutting-edge commercial strategies, combined with his passion for protecting the environment through sustainable development solutions, has earned him an international reputation as an enthusiastic visionary and business pioneer.

Mr. Ferreira served in politics for many years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His deep understanding of environmental and educational challenges led to his directorship of BBC Brazil Business Connect, a company that helps international business leaders identify global opportunities for economic development while respecting the environment and conserving natural resources.

In addition to his work with Green Kids Austin and Green Kids Brazil, Mr. Ferreira also serves as partner adviser to Green Sources Partners in California and Lavor e Lopes Consulting in Brazil. He has also co-founded the Brazil-US Green Technology Trade Association, building connections with leading thinkers such as Harvard attorney Daniel Wolf. He belongs to the Brazil American Chamber in New York City.

Daniela Abelein | BOA Legal Advisor

Daniela is a German-born bilingual (German-Spanish) Attorney, with extensive experience in Finance and Education. Her passion for holistic Education and healthy lifestyle choices connected her to our wholesome model, where she is working with our Founder Lene to research Opportunities for mindful expansions within Europe. She currently works as Attorney at Law for a large Technology company in Bavaria, Germany.

Her experience raising two children, and traveling within Europe for business while being immersed in Education (serving on a variety of Boards to encourage healthy lifestyles and mindfulness studies in academic settings), has prepared her to advise our Executive Team about international business practices, while researching opportunities to connect with like-minded communities, with the goal to expand our wholesome programs to more locations, internationally.

Jamie Guyden-Williams | BOA Functional Medicine

Jamie Lynn Guyden, MD is a medical doctor whose training is in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Integrative & Functional Medicine. This New Jersey native began her medical career in Houston, Texas immersed in the conventional medicine model. Her career took a drastic turn in 2010 as her personal health journey compelled her to reevaluate her professional interests. Her then 18-year struggle with Systemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE) had become overwhelming and unacceptable. She sought out holistic approaches that would lead to life changing management of health challenges. Dr. Guyden is now healthier than ever without the need for pharmaceutical medications or traditional medical therapies. She has now made it her life’s mission to share what she has learned with patients, family and friends. She is a firm believer that our physical bodies are miracles and capable of self-healing when given the appropriate messages. Her professional interests focus on integrative and holistic health services, including nutritional balancing, bioenergetics medicine,
stress management and more. These services are geared towards both prevention and reversal of most common diseases. She whole-heartedly believes that proper education, love and guidance are the keys to successful patient outcomes. Dr. Guyden resides in Austin, Texas with her husband, Alexander and daughters, Aria and Jayla. She leads an active lifestyle and enjoys meditating as well as connecting with people, animals and nature.

Joan Moreita | BOA WG Early Childhood + Educational Specialist

Joan Moreita, M.A/Early Childhood Specialist, has been passionately involved in her work with children and their education for over forty five years. She began working with Kaplan Professional Development several years ago. Since that time, Joan has been training nationally and is now one of Kaplan’s most
requested trainers. Joan began her career in education as a middle-school teacher in the 1960’s but she realized, through that experience, that she wanted to be an influence in children’s development at an earlier period in their lives. She joined the team at Young World in Michigan, where she was a teacher of pre-school and then toddler-aged children for two years, followed by three years as Director. After obtaining a Master’s in Early Childhood Education, and working in the best schools in the country, was asked to accept a position as Principal of an elementary school that was based on the British Infant School open-classroom environment. Led by Patricia Carini, The Prospect School was nationally recognized, at the time, for its “leading edge” work in education, documentation of children’s work, and “study of the child.” After a move to New Mexico, Joan became the Director of Trudy’s Community School in Taos. During her tenure there, she worked with the Creative Curriculum and the Reggio Emilia approach to Early Childhood Education. She had the opportunity to visit the schools of Reggio Emilia on a study tour and came back eager to experience how the Reggio approach would be received by American children and parents. Joan and her staff attended more Reggio conferences here in the U. S. and worked for the next five years on a very successful implementation of the approach. During this time, Joan went back into the classroom to experience it all first hand.

During this time, Joan also began teaching at the college level, which she continues to this day, 25 years later. In New Mexico she taught classes at The University of New Mexico, New Mexico Highlands University, and Santa Fe Community College. She was also an instructor and co-chair of the Early
Childhood Department at Luna Community College. She was, during this time, also a CDA advisor, a mentor of student teachers, a consultant with many Head Start programs and worked for two years as a trainer, until her move to Texas in 2004. Joan was trained in 2006 by Teaching Strategies to become a certified trainer of the Creative Curriculum and she has worked intensely with High Reach Learning in writing curriculum books and training
teachers to use this project-approach to learning.

In Texas, Joan is employed with Texas State University as a Senior Instructor of Early Childhood where she teaches Early Childhood Block Courses and serves as a supervisor for student teachers entering the field of Pre-K and elementary education. She also worked for the Region XIII Certification Program as a
Field Supervisor for first-year teachers at elementary and middle school levels. Recently, Joan has functioned as a “subject specialist” in evaluating distance education programs/courses for The Distance Education and Training Council in Washington, D.C. She believes that “our work as Early Childhood
Educators is the most important work on the planet…we have the extraordinary opportunity to guide and support children in becoming the very best “them” that they can possibly be!”

Joan plans to retire from her teaching at Texas State in May of 2018 and looks forward to many new adventures as she continues to pursue her interest in the field of Early Childhood. At WG, she facilitates Training for the core Team, and develops trainings classes and educational exchange opportunities (internationally), for anyone interested in learning holistic teaching methods.