Who am I?
Though London is where I have lived for over 11 years, The Runyon Project’s name is inspired by Runyon Canyon, the hiking trail behind my home away from home at the base of the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles. Besides cycling, I have always loved hiking. On the trail, I can connect with nature, my inner being, my physical body, or a companion; listen and learn from a Podcast, Audible, language or music; or even practice speeches for my time with Toastmasters. Wherever I have lived, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cleveland or London, I have always curated the exact location to ensure I had woodlands, trails, parks or the sea at my doorstep (work too). To be clear, there is no wellness without a thriving natural world.
The Runyon Project is my outlet to live creatively, with curiosity, to learn and to be of service.
I have had a long and fulfilling professional life across the for-profit world of private equity and NGOs working toward a better world. I wouldn't trade any of it. And, the experience and treasure I have gained from that have allowed me to experiment with an entirely new way of working and living. To slow down and design my life and work around how I want to feel each day - creative, mindful, healthy, inspired, helpful, grateful, curious, aligned. As a result, I fully love each and every day.
How you live each day is how you live your life.
Living in alignment with my values has been very much a part of my life and the choices I make moment by moment. With hindsight, the practice of living in alignment, and the intuition that flows from that, has contributed to my overall sense of peace, health, and satisfaction with my life. There have been wobbles and I've played with my boundaries, stretching to feel into what else I can learn from life. This practice has been part of me long enough to settle more into a more constant state of alignment.
evlove / align / adapt
Social Impact is also important to me. Close to my heart, I have spent nearly 30 years working with refugees. Getting my masters in refugee studies and community development and working with so many fascinating and inspiring people from around the world have been amongst the highlights of my life. Of course, the reality is that these opportunities, mainly each person along the way, have given me so much more in return. There is a lot of talk about self-care in the wellness world. Equally important is care for others. Often times an hour with my refugee bike buddy will do far more than a bath of bubbles or gongs.
Professionally, I have nearly 30 years of experience and demonstrated success in fundraising, event management, membership growth, operations, executive support and working virtually with teams around the globe. It’s amazing how relevant and impactful these experiences continue to be in all aspects of my work as a virtual assistant.
- MA, Refugee Studies and Community Development // University East London UK
- BA, Major: English Literature; Minor: Psychology // Indiana University USA
- Post Graduate Diploma, International Humanitarian Psychosocial Consultation // University East London UK
- Post Graduate Certificate, Eco-psychology // Pacifica Graduate Institute and Viridis
- Diploma, Vegan Permaculture
- Certificate, Systems Theory: Systems View of life with Fritjof Capra (Capra course Alumni Network)
The Refugee Bike Project, Ourmala, Permablitz, The Migration Foundation, International Rescue Committee, British Red Cross, International Study Abroad, Refugee Transitions, and The Phoenix Women's Group for Asylum Seekers.
Avaaz – 42-million-member global campaigning organisation – London/Global/Virtual
Provided virtual and online global campaign and operations support in a fast-paced mission-driven environment dedicated to narrowing the gap between the world we live in and the world most everyone wants.
British Future – Think tank – London UK
Alongside a small brilliant team, I helped launch a think tank focused on integration, migration and opportunity that was awarded think tank to watch in 2015 by Prospect; managed a hugely successful launch event to a packed house; chaired a panel discussion on migrant re-settlement at the Edinburgh Festival of Politics; and all while leading its operations, governance, HR and executive support functions.
Texas Pacific Group – Private equity firm – London & San Francisco
Worked in the demanding and fast-paced environment of private equity, providing international high-level support to some truly brilliant Managing Directors in the US, UK and across Asia. Expenses, visas, international travel, presentations, board meetings, international events, correspondence, email and diary management – straight-up executive-level support with a positive can-do attitude.
California Pacific Medical Centre – San Francisco
Worked in the executive office of this major medical centre supporting the CFO, Board and Finance committee as well as the CEO and COO. In this highly charged environment, I was the face and voice between the CFO and executive office to the doctors, nurses and department heads.
The Health Museum – Cleveland
Trail-blazing museum focused on promoting health and well-being, I increased membership and individual donations year on year; managed the Museum’s most successful fundraising event in its 50-plus year history netting US$150,000; implemented and managed a new highly sophisticated donor database; and wrote grant proposals to fund a variety of projects and exhibits. I also managed volunteers and headed donor and member cultivation.
Indiana Arts Commission – Indianapolis
Government grant-making agency to support the arts where I designed and contributed to its quarterly newsletter; advised grant applicants on funding opportunities and applications; and provided board and executive support.