Our Team

Tanuka Gordon – Founder / Executive Director (aka  “Compassion Experience” Officer)

family-photos-2016-4Tanuka spent her career working in user experience and product management for technology companies, where much of her time was focused on how to create meaningful product experiences that engage the customer.  Now after starting Mindful Littles, she applies her professional background to create inspirational experiences (i.e., the Mindful Littles Experience) for youth and families to help children be compassionate.  Tanuka oversees the organization’s vision and strategy, designs the programs and events, and loves connecting with and inspiring youth.  Tanuka also teaches kids yoga and mindfulness in her local community and facilitates design thinking workshops.  She is trained through Mindful Schools, YogaKids and YogaFlowSF.  Her daily mindfulness practice is an important way for her to stay grounded.

“My children are my greatest teachers and my greatest source of inspiration.  They are the reason I first journeyed into mindfulness and the reason I am inspired to integrate mindfulness and compassion into our daily lives as a family.  They are the reason I started Mindful Littles. I want my children to view mindfulness and kindness as a natural and organic part of their everyday lives.  I want them to thrive in a community where kids are more conscious and aware of themselves and others; where they are kind, and where they can safely, freely and confidently express their authentic selves.  As I continue my own mindfulness journey as a parent, as an adult, and we continue to learn as a family, I want to share what I learn on our Mindful Littles blog, where I’ll continue to post reflections.  I hope that we can create a community where littles are inspired to Live in their Hearts, to be in tune with their own inner light so that they share this light with others.”

Mary Patel – VP of Pizzazz

Mary is passionate about the Mindful Littles mission and has been with Mindful Littles since the inception piloting the first project in Tanuka’s backyard.  Mary not only ensures that our events operate and run smoothly but that our events always have pizzazz. She oversees the finest details of our custom events- from managing the arts, crafts and activities to designing our brochures, programs and banners.  Mary can be found spray-painting and stenciling crates for firefighter events to cutting out 400+ random acts of kindness to hand out to kids.  Our events have a “Pinterest-able” quality because of Mary’s thoughtfulness and dedication.  Mary has been trained through Mindful Schools and through YogaKids to teach mindfulness and yoga to youth and has a daily mindfulness practice.

“I want my kids to grow up in a community where we spread compassion and help each other. My hope is that when my kids grow up they never think twice about being inclusive and helping others.”

Sarah Bennett – Resident Mindfulness Gamer 

Sarah joined the Mindful Littles team after attending our first Haiti event.  Sarah brings a wealth of knowledge on the topic of mindfulness as she has been a dedicated practitioner for over ten years.  She infuses our team with her authentic energy. She introduced the idea of mindful games stations at our events and is always thinking of fun ways to creatively introduce mindfulness to youth. She’s also always ‘game’ to help in whatever way she can to help create special event experiences.  In addition to helping Mindful Littles and facilitating a Mindful Parenting Book Club, Sarah works in nonprofit lending at Wells Fargo.  Sarah has been trained through Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program and has a daily mindfulness practice.

“Teaching our children awareness of and compassion for themselves and others is one of the most important things we can do for them and our community.”


Maya Vasudevan – Shutterbug Ninja

Maya joined the Mindful Littles team after attending our first Haiti event, and brings an infectious giggle and genuine warmth to the team.  Maya is not only our resident photographer but she also has ninja-like skills knowing how to source the most eccentric finds like seven tree logs for our nature program or optical illusion games.  She is also full of ideas on how to engage our families in creative ways.  Maya has completed coursework through Mindful Schools, and has participated in various kid-friendly meditation and mindfulness programs  Since her children were toddlers, her family has enjoyed meditating together as part of their nightly bedtime routine.

“In recent years, mindfulness has been an important tool and valuable skill for my family to help find calm, focus, and balance in our hectic lives. I was excited to join Mindful Littles to be able to take part in a local, community-based activity that teaches children about both mindfulness and service. In addition, I have had the opportunity to work with a fabulous team and meet wonderful people from the community!”

Molly Hanahan – A.C.E. (Arts, Crafts, etc) Connoisseur 

Molly joined the Mindful Littles crew after attending our inaugural event. Since then Molly has been an incredible member of our team always bringing positive enthusiasm, creativity and willingness to help out in whatever way she can.  She has an eye for the fine details and creativity and always ensures that our event experiences are filled with a lot of love.  Molly has completed training through Mindful Schools and loves spending time with her beautiful family outdoors.


Notable Volunteers

In addition to our dedicated crew above, there are some other notable volunteers who have been instrumental to Mindful Littles.  We are grateful for their ongoing support.

  • Julie Atkinson
  • Danielle Castro
  • Sharon Castro
  • Sonali Perera
  • Betsy Shandalov
  • Ninon Shesgreen
  • Julia Stenzel
  • Jill Targonski
  • Iris Wu


Join our Crew

We are looking for volunteers and leaders to help out at our events, find new partners and help grow our organization. If you are interested in volunteering with our team, then please contact us at: info@mindfullittles.org or submit an inquiry on our Contact Us form.