Our People

Our people are the heartbeat of Mindful Littles. From our passionate staff to our visionary founder, to our dedicated board members and advisors to the inspiring youth leaders and volunteers, so many people have helped us grow and continue to guide us on our magical journey forward.

The Crew

Tanuka Gordon
Founder & CEO

After being inspired to leave a more compassionate world for her two young daughters, Tanuka discovered her life's purpose with the founding of Mindful Littles. Tanuka's business background in designing engaging product and service experiences for technology companies has come full circle as her innovative vision for Mindful Littles continues to provide transformative compassion experiences for the most important audience- our youth.  Tanuka is recognized as a rising leader in education and service. She has spoken at several national education conferences; she is a member of the Transformative Educational Leadership (TEL) national cohort and won the Jefferson Award for public service. She has an MBA/MSI from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is certified as a yoga and mindfulness instructor.  When not working on her passion project, she loves hiking, camping, traveling, writing...and last but not least spending quality-time with her two daughters and family.

Tanuka Gordon

Founder & CEO

Hannah Jacobs
Community Engagement Partner

Born and raised in the Bay Area, Hannah has a BA in Psychology with a minor in Education and Applied Psychology from UC Santa Barbara, where she was first introduced to mindfulness. Before joining Mindful Littles, Hannah was the Bay Area representative for Be the Match where she fostered relationships between Bay Area businesses and organizations to grow the National Marrow Donor Registry.

She’s passionate about positive psychology, wellness and going beyond surviving to truly thriving. She believes practicing mindfulness and gratitude beginning at a young age encourages Littles to be happy, healthy, compassionate members in their communities. Hannah’s dedicated her professional career to the nonprofit sector with a commitment to “leave this earth just a little better than it was when I arrived.”

Hannah Jacobs

Community Engagement Partner

Lisa Sadikman
Press & Content Manager

Lisa is a freelance writer living in northern California with her husband and three daughters. She writes about raising girls, women’s issues and parenting. Her writing can be found on her blog Flingo, Scary Mommy, Motherwell Magazine, Brain, Child, HuffPost Parents and others.

At Mindful Littles, Lisa oversees the website content and communications, supports curriculum and curates resources to inspire mindfulness in both Littles and Bigs. Her passions include surfing, spinning, coffee, finishing crosswords, reading and keeping up with her daughters’ Spotify playlists.

“With three girls of varying ages, I’m often quickly switching modes to meet their needs. It’s definitely a challenge, but tapping into compassion and empathy does wonders to shift the energy from precarious to positive for both me and my girls. I love that Mindful Littles reinforces what’s already true for our kids: they’re born with open hearts and helpful hands. They just need our encouragement to realize their love and care can change the world.”

Lisa Sadikman

Press & Content Manager

Marianne Whitfield
Facilitator

Marianne is currently a senior at Chico State University and will graduate with a degree in public health education by Spring 2021. She received her 200-hour yoga teaching certification from CorePower Yoga in Portland, Oregon in 2014 and for the past 6 years has continuously taught vinyasa, gentle yoga, pranayama, and mindfulness. In addition, she is a personal trainer and works with high-intensity interval training as well as dance fitness. Marianne grew up in Oroville and returned to California in 2017 to be closer to her family and bring her experience of yoga to her hometown. Marianne believes movement and breath in sync can connect us to our bodies deeply and awaken the intuition within. She aims to bring fun and joy into to every class. Her strong and sweet voice guides students through practices that leave them feeling cared for and refreshed. When she is not teaching classes, she loves hiking, swimming, singing, and hanging out with her daughter and her pets.

Marianne Whitfield

Facilitator

Board Members & Advisors

Pravesh Mistry
Chief Revenue Officer, Truework - Board Member

Pravesh brings extensive financial experience to Mindful Littles along with a compassionate heart, collaborative spirit and desire to help build a strong foundation for the nonprofit.
"I believe that making a long-term meaningful impact starts with the littles of today," says Pravesh. "Being able to set littles on the right path early will have an exponential impact for our future."
As part of his personal mindfulness practice, Pravesh wakes up early in the mornings to exercise and meditate. He also takes daily 15-minute breathing breaks throughout his day, dedicates time to think each week and works with an Executive coach every other week. His favorite playful practice, though, is to make infants and toddlers laugh! If he could have one superpower, Pravesh says it would be to time travel to both the past and future: "I would really like to see how the world was in different times."
Pravesh holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with Majors in Finance, Marketing and Information Systems from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He currently serves as the Chief Revenue Officer for Truework, a fintech firm that helps verify financial data for consumer-centric lenders. When he's not co-creating with his work team, Pravesh loves to hike, play golf and belt out "Mr. Brightside" or "Shosholoza," a South African gold miner's song often sung at rugby matches. He lives in Lafayette, California with his wife and their two children.

Pravesh Mistry

Chief Revenue Officer, Truework – Board
Member

Anand Arun Desai
Portfolio Manager, Penserra Capital Management-Board Member

Anand first learned about Mindful Littles during the Covid-19 pandemic when he was assessing his own mental health and self-care techniques: "It became clear very quickly that Mindful Littles is an organization I want to support, specifically because of the aspects of mindful service and education." What started as curiosity soon grew into a position on the Mindful Littles board. Anand also serves on the board of The Street Smarts and is the Chair of The Penserra Foundation. Anand holds a B.S. in Managerial Economics from UC Davis. As a Senior Vice President - Portfolio Manager for Penserra Capital Management, he and his team manage the day-to-day activities for 40+ exchange traded funds (ETFs), across multiple investment types. When he isn't working, you can find Anand practicing mindful minutes –  brief breaks when he steps aways, does some push ups, takes a deep breath and gets present hanging out in his new hometown of Oakland, California or pursuing his passion for golf (you should see his Zoom background). Anand says if he could have one superpower it would be flying  "I tend to travel long distances very frequently and would love to avoid traffic"  and if you're lucky, you might just catch him belting out "Party in the U.S.A." Maybe even on the golf course!

Anand Arun Desai

Portfolio Manager, Penserra Capital Mgmt. – Board Member

Stacy Allred
Head of Family Engagement and Governance, First Republic Investment Management

Stacy Allred

Head of Family Engagement First Republic Investment Management

Christine Tringale
Head of Data, Deed

Christine has spent her career making an impact across sectors. She is currently Director of Data & Analytics at VIVA Social Impact Partners, a consulting firm dedicated to amplifying the work of impact-forward organizations and initiatives through data, strategy, and communications services. She specializes in drawing insights from data sets and presenting the data in visual ways that facilitate transparent communication and promote learning and discussion. Prior to VIVA, Christine worked in strategy roles with Participant Media, Disney, LEK Consulting and Deloitte Consulting.

Christine earned her MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and her Bachelor of Science in Business from University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.

She says if she could have one superpower, it would be to fly and she loves to belt out any song from Moulin Rouge! On weekends, Christine can be found exploring new restaurants, spending time with her new rescue dog Boki, and visiting with friends and family.

Christine Tringale

Head of Data, Deed

Lauren Vertrees
Director of School Success at XQ Institute

Lauren’s synergistic path to Mindful Littles was sparked by her passion for empowering and supporting students. Lauren began her career teaching diverse, gifted and talented and low-income populations in Denver, Colorado, where she witnessed the power of mindfulness through the eyes of her second and third grade students. Her classroom teaching experiences, complemented by her current work rethinking school systems at XQ Institute and previously in education policy at Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) continues to drive the focus of her work. Lauren has a Master’s in Elementary Education from USC and an undergraduate degree from UC Davis, where she majored in Managerial Economics. She is also deeply passionate about yoga and is a certified yoga and mindfulness instructor. She believes wholeheartedly that there is a mindful little in each of us, and plays into that passion through teaching, hiking and boating in Lake Tahoe, cuddling with her Yorkiepoo, and planning her wedding with her fiancé.

Lauren Vertrees Wilson

Director of School Success, XQ Institute

Brandi Asker
Regional Director, Starbucks

Brandi is a Regional Director for Starbucks, Northern California. She's passionate about coaching, inspiring, and uplifting leaders in the organization to their greatest potential. Acting as a connector in all sectors (private, public, NGO) to help unite forces for greater impact is a primary objective in all work she involves herself in. Brandi believes in the connectedness of all things, and the needed support to uplift consciousness in all we do, in our business, in our schools, and in our communities.
She holds a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies, focused on Organizational Leadership and Political Science; was founding chair of Women’s Development Network, and ran for public office, all to better understand and involve herself in interconnected ways for the sake of impact and change.  Brandi lives in the North Bay with her husband Damion, and two children Sadie and Sara, who are all working together to build a future retreat center on their land.

Brandi Asker

Regional Director,
Starbucks

Michelle Chang
Director LEAD, SFUSD

Michelle is the Director of LEAD (Leadership Equity Achievement and Design) in the San Francisco Unified School District. She assists school leaders in their professional development, creation of support structures, troubleshooting and communications at 17 school sites. Michelle is also the unofficial advisor to the Pacific Islander Coordinator in the district. She has a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, Bachelor of Arts in Biology, a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential and a supplemental credential in science.

Part Hawaiian, Michelle likes to bring the aloha spirit to those she encounters. She also loves being in the water whether it's swimming, snorkeling, relaxing or SCUBA. Aromatherapy is a daily practice for her and she enjoys learning about and hearing others' perspectives on wellness. She says if she could have one superpower it would be to spread love, kindness and the ability to be empathetic to everyone. She loves to belt out the song "Superbloom" by Misterwives, bake and spend time outdoors with her daughter, husband and two dogs.

Michelle Chang

Director LEAD, SFUSD

Mark White, Ph.D.
Researcher, SEL Program Evaluation

Mark White is a research fellow at the Institute of Social Research where he studies program evaluation with a focus on programs designed to build social and emotional skills in students. He received a PhD in education in 2017 from the University of Michigan. His interest in mindfulness began a few years ago as he began to read about the research on the benefits of mindfulness and he has since started a personal practice. With stars aligning, Mark first got introduced to our Mindful Littles founder through his sister, and was excited to join the organization after learning about the great work being done at the nonprofit organization.

Mark White, Ph.D.

Researcher, SEL
Program Evaluation

Stuart House
Civil Rights Movement Veteran

Stuart (Stu) House was born into a northern Black middle-class family in Detroit, far away from the unfolding Civil Rights Movement in the South. One evening in 1960, he turned on the television news and watched in awe as young students in the South nonviolently sat-in at restaurants only to be hauled off to jail by white police officers. Realizing how Black people had been systematically discriminated against and disenfranchised for generations, Stuart, then 17, went to Mississippi to join the Movement. During his time in the Delta, he promoted Black cultural, political, and intellectual thought as a musician. Later on, he devoted most of his attention to voter rights projects in Alabama, where he was arrested in Selma for encouraging Black voters. Stuart attributes the courage and fearlessness of ordinary men and women for his involvement in the struggle for Civil Rights. “I think that their sacrifice also emboldened us to keep on fighting, to keep on struggling, because they lost their lives.” Today, Stuart lives in Northern California where he is the Director of Facilities for the Orinda Union School District.

Stuart House

Civil Rights Movement
Veteran

Tami Boehle-Satterfield
Trauma Consultant

Tami practices solution-oriented healing from a deep ecological perspective. This approach appreciates the interconnectedness of our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health and facilitates an interdependent healing for profound health.

Incorporating cutting-edge brain science, Tami helps people create shifts and adjustments that facilitate new understandings and support change away from unproductive or burdensome behaviors while increasing motivation, creativity, and self-confidence. She is a seasoned licensed psychotherapist certified hypnotherapist, practitioner of Healing Touch energy medicine, and a Reiki Master.

Outside the healing studio, Tami enjoys time with her husband and adult children. On weekends, she is often found painting or editing her latest book. She loves to hike, garden, be in the sun, and believes cats are like potato chips — it’s hard to have just one.

Tami Boehle-Satterfield

Trauma Consultant

Dr. Stephanie Machado
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Public Health, CSU Chico

Dr. Stephanie Machado is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health and Health Services Administration at California State University, Chico. Her background is in public health nutrition and implementation science. She received her Doctorate of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley in 2020 and her MPH in Health Behavior/Health Promotion from the University of Arizona. Her BA is in Sociology/Anthropology from Middlebury College.

Stephanie's research focuses on school and community-based interventions to improve nutrition and physical activity opportunities for low-income youth and families. Her passion is working with organizations that run school-based health interventions.

Stephanie loves the outdoors and can be found exploring the rivers and trails of California in her free time. She also enjoys yoga, a semi-regular meditation practice and belting out "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston. Stephanie lives in Chico with her husband, twins  and two giant rabbits.

Dr. Stephanie Machado

Assistant Professor, Public Health, CSU Chico

Youth Leaders

Livia Segall

Livia is a freshman at Miramonte High School in Orinda, CA and one of our long-time youth volunteers. She loves writing, playing tennis and cooking and baking. "I felt inspired to work with Mindful Littles when I  first made Peace Kits for Paradise kids at my elementary school. Working with Mindful Littles helps me connect with our community as well as do good for others in need," she says. For Livia, mindfulness is taking time alone to breathe deeply and calm her body and mind. If she could have one superpower, Livia says she'd love to be able to know and speak any language. "Since I love traveling and immersing myself in different cultures, it would be great to communicate with locals." When she's not expressing herself through contemporary dance, you might just catch her belting out "Till Forever Falls Apart" by Ashe and Finneas or hiking in the backcountry or near a river or lake.

Livia Segall

Nina Segall
Youth Volunteer

Nina is a freshman at Miramonte High School in Orinda, California where her favorite subjects are English and Spanish. In addition to leading different activities at Mindful Littles service learning events, Nina also enjoys volunteering with Las Trampas School, Inc. and the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. "I was inspired to work with Mindful Littles when Tanuka came to my school to have us make Peace Kits for kids in Paradise after the Camp Fire," says Nina. "I ended up delivering the Peace Kits with the Mindful Littles team and ever since I have been involved. I love teaching younger kids compassion and gratitude though service learning. It's amazing to facilitate experiences where kids get excited about helping those in need and learning to use their breath to navigate emotions."

Nina's passion is to take better care of the earth and preserve its wild spaces so it's no surprise that she loves spending time in nature hiking and gardening. If she could have one superpower it would be to "memorize concepts, facts, and other things very quickly. I think it would be a valuable skill and it would help me in school." She also likes to play waterpolo and tennis, do yoga and her favorite playful practice is dancing. When she's not dancing, you might hear her belting out "Brown Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison. Nina lives in Orinda with her parents and twin sister.

Nina Segall

Our Extended Family

Our work isn’t possible without the help of some incredible partners we work with to support our organization.

Julia Babiarz Creative
Design Consultant

Julia is the creative wonder behind our Mindful Littles website! She is a Creative/Art Director and Web/UX Designer, collaborator, communicator, connector of thoughts and minds; an innovator, ideator and inspirer; detail-oriented big-picture thinker. She has extensive experience creating for all channels of online marketing—website, email, CRM, SEO, SEM, campaigns, performance media—as well as e-commerce websites, mobile apps, and brand identity. For more information, check out her work at Julia Babiarz Creative

Julia Babiarz
Creative

Design Consultant

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Professional Corporation
Pro Bono Legal Counsel

Wilson Sonsini
Goodrich & Rosati,
Professional
Corporation

Pro Bono Legal Counsel

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