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About Mindful Impact
The co-founders of Mindful Impact are Laurie Grossman and Steve Brown. Laurie is responsible for training and curriculum. Steve is responsible for marketing and operations. They have been friends since they met at U.C. Berkeley in 1975.
Laurie Grossman is first and foremost an innovator. A person deeply committed to social justice, Laurie has sought ways throughout her 35 year career to make a difference in people’s lives. She spent the first 12 years out of college teaching English as a Second Language, running job training and youth programs and raising funds to support them.
In 1992 Laurie was recruited by Park Day School, a North Oakland independent school, to raise money for the school. Having spent her career working with under served communities, she initially refused the position. However, once she witnessed the superb education offered to Park’s students, she made a bargain with the board. She would raise funds if they allowed her to share Park’s teaching and resources with Oakland’s low-income public schools. Initially 10% of her job, Laurie created a full-time Community Outreach position for herself at the school. She devised a myriad of public/private partnerships with public schools some of which included service learning, professional development, book drives, literacy programs, and anti-bullying campaigns. In addition to working with public schools, Laurie offered several workshops for private schools to encourage them to join in the effort in the support of public schools. Park Day School’s public/private partnership program is one of the largest in the country, and Tom Little, the director of the school is an important spokesperson for this important movement.At Park Day School in 2007, as a method to address the turmoil faced by many students in public schools, Laurie cofounded The Community Partnership for Mindfulness in Education, currently known as Mindful Schools. At launching, little did she know how well the program would serve all students and their teachers, or how much she would love teaching mindfulness to children, or that the program would help foster an international movement to bring mindfulness into schools. (At the end of 2010, Mindful Schools became an independent non-profit. As of December, 2011 Mindful Schools has taught over 14,000 children in 53 schools and trained over 1,500 educators).
Understanding the incredible value of mindfulness for all, Laurie left Mindful Schools at the end of 2011 in order to create a new organization called Mindful Impact. It will bring mindfulness to a variety of constituencies including corporations, low-income seniors, pregnant teens, students and other under-served populations. While creating new programs, Laurie intends to save a small piece of her time to fuel her passion – teaching mindfulness to children. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and lives in Oakland with her family.
Steve Brown began his career as a Staff Attorney with the California Coastal Commission. He built the first full time Enforcement Unit for the Commission. In 1982, he co-founded 800-Software as a part-time company. He went full-time after several years, and was the President/CEO until 1995. The company grew into one of the largest distributors of corporate software & hardware in country. 800-Software was sold in 1992 to Digital Equipment Corporation, and was a subsidiary until 1995. 800-Software had over 300 employees, with seven offices in the U.S. and two offices in Europe, with $150+ million annual revenues. Following 800-Software, he worked as a consultant and board member for several start-ups, while also being a stay-at-home parent.In addition, he coached both track and cross country at Bishop O’Dowd high school in Oakland [from 1986-2010]. In 2003-2007, he took responsibility as Center Director for the corporate owned Dale Carnegie Training in San Francisco, following a bankrupt franchisee. In four years, built the team from up to 20 staff members, and grew the territory into a top 10 [our of 250] in the world. Left in 2007 to co-found G-board LLC. G-board makes customized white boards for coaches [www.mygboard.com]. In addition, Steve has done a variety of executive management and consulting jobs in distribution, sales and marketing. He has had a dedicated mindfulness practice since 1977. Steve is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and the University of San Francisco School of Law and lives in Oakland with his family.
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