Meet the Dovetail Team

Chuck Fisher, PhD ​
​Executive Director

(he, him, his)


Chuck has dedicated his life to the personal wellbeing of others in service of a peaceful and sustainable world. He has been studying, teaching, and developing resilience programs his entire career. Chuck is a “third culture kid,” having spent formative years in the Philippines and Peru. This influenced his doctorate in transpersonal psychology—the study of wellness from cross-cultural perspectives—and he has brought that lens to K-12 and graduate education, healthcare, and our own organization. His talents as a program architect were key in the development of Toolbox and are now part of our We Are Resilient™ approach. Chuck is a former adjunct research faculty at Sophia University, school psychologist, school counselor, trainer for Heartmath Institute, and for the PassageWorks Institute on Engaged Teaching. He has a lifetime of experience in mindful meditation, rock-climbing, and the martial arts where he is a black belt in Aikido, the peaceful martial art. He loves the skill of Breathing Mindfully: “There is sublime inner peace available when we take a moment to center in the breath.”

Meri McCoy-Thompson, MALD
Chief Operating Officer

(she, her, hers)


Meri’s passion is to empower people to lead transformational change. As an Irish-American cisgendered feminist who has lived and worked with nonprofits on four continents, Meri is on a lifelong journey of discovering the many layers of our Cultural Patterns. She guides our product development as well as our strategic planning, business systems, and organizational effectiveness. Previously, she served as Director of Strategic Partners with The Gratitude Network; Executive Director, the Human Needs Project, Kenya; and has worked in Beijing, New Delhi, and Washington, D.C. Early in her career, she was on faculty at Georgetown University, where she served as Project Director for the first edition of Bright Futures: National Health Supervision Guidelines for Infants, Children and Adolescents. Meri’s primary Centering Skill is Finding Gratitude: “Every day is a gift and we are blessed to have life and each other.”

Bryan Clement, MEd
Director of Partnerships & Policy

(he, him, his)


As a teacher, principal, and, most recently, as a lead trainer and consultant for social-emotional learning and resilience, Bryan’s passion is creating trauma-informed, healing-centered schools. Growing up in a mixed-race family and attending privileged private schools while living in the apartments his family managed was formative in his understanding of the multiple perspectives of the human condition. As a cisgender husband and father of three, We Are Resilient™ is fundamental to the legacy of social justice he wishes to leave for his children and others. Locally, Bryan serves the Equity In Education Initiative, and is on the Gravenstein Health Action Coalition Board. Nationally, he is co-facilitating a think tank for the National Training and Technical Assistance Center for Child, Youth, and Family Mental Health. Through it all, he has pushed for systems reform and eliminating barriers to opportunity.  Bryan’s favorite combination of Centering Skills is Breathing Mindfully and Noticing Myself. Bryan’s path to true connection is through telling a good story and lots of laughter.

Kristie Cannady
Director of Business Development

(she, her, hers)


Kristie’s years of experience as the director of an educational foundation and a leader in the community, combined with her passion for psychology and sociology, have honed her talents designing custom implementation plans for We Are Resilient™. Whether it is healthcare, education or human resources, Kristie can help teams create a plan to strengthen resilience skills and learn how best to Center, Connect and Collaborate. Kristie is a core contributor to the creation and evolution of We Are Resilient™, producer of our whiteboard videos, as well as the lead trainer and coach for parent/caregiver and women’s Resilient Circles. She also manages our communications and website and other IT needs. Believe it or not, her go-to Centering skill is Letting Go. “When I find myself in stressful situations, Letting Go of what is out of my control allows me to Center more easily.”

Lydia Jensen
Sales Coordinator

(she, her, hers)


Lydia is our Sales Coordinator and Accounting Executive. With eight years of customer support experience in different industries, she manages our order fulfillment, vendor relationships, and finance. She is a mix of Northern European, with a little bit of  Cherokee, and she recognizes that she walks through the world with privilege so she tries to make a comfortable space for those who face more struggles.  The best thing about working at Dovetail is her co-workers’ good hearts combined with their willingness to work hard and the team’s shared vision to make the world a better place. As a new mom, she tries to remember that Nurturing herself is just as important as nurturing others.

Ashley VanBezooyen
Early Childhood Education Specialist


Ashley is the lead on our We Are Resilient™ Early Childhood Family Activities and a key contributor to the creation and evolution of We Are Resilient™. With a personal and familial history of trauma, Ashley is dedicated to helping others work through and overcome trauma of their own. Ashley is most proud of graduating at the top of her class while also raising three beautiful boys as a single mother. With a BA focused on Human Development, Ashley has spent the past nine years working and volunteering with children from preschool through middle grades to pursue her passion of building foundations of trust with at-risk youth. She is the one to greet you when you contact Dovetail Learning via phone or email and supports our office’s administrative needs as well as our series of Dovetail newsletters. While she sometimes values using her Protective Pattern of Hyper-Caretaking, she also recognizes that sometimes it does not serve her well. Ashley’s favorite Centering Skill is Positive Reframing because she feels that it has supported her in overcoming many difficult situations in her life. 

Sonoma Bates
Communications Intern

(she, her, hers)

Sonoma Bates

Sonoma handles our website analytics and our social media, as well as contributes a “generation Z’ voice to our product development.  Sonoma is in the process of earning her BA in Communication Studies from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. She was featured in our videos as a fourth-grader as she learned social and emotional skills from an earlier Dovetail product. She has seen the impact this work has had on her and is passionate about making it available to all. Growing up in a hippy culture has helped her maintain flexibility and an open mind. She is always seeking ways to be as ethnorelative as possible. She loves being out in nature, especially at the beach or in the redwoods. Her favorite Centering Skill is Finding Gratitude because she always feels a smile slide onto her face when she reflects on the things that she’s grateful for.

Nina Thompson
​Tech Consultant & Webmaster

(she, her, hers)


Nina is Dovetail’s tech consultant working on their website and other systems. Nina’s career has focused on community building between neighbors at Nextdoor, trust between friends at GemShare, content and event planning at, helping community college students stay on track at GradGuru, and crunching data to improve quality healthcare at SF General’s Children’s Health Center. She is currently the data and project manager for ACES-LA, a project of the Los Angeles County Department of Health in collaboration with the ACEs Aware initiative.

Board of Directors

Annie Millar 
Board Chair
Former Executive Director
Ceiba Public Schools


Annie is a long-time educator recently retired from her role as Executive Director of Ceiba Public Schools in Watsonville, California. Throughout her career as a teacher and administrator in California, she has focused on serving communities with deep needs (immigrant communities, BIPOC, and students, families and communities whose lives have been profoundly impacted by trauma). She has worked in urban communities (San Francisco, Richmond), along the Central Coast and in Sonoma County. A commitment to working with communities empowered to take on their own transformation, supporting the development of leadership in others and respecting how central our culture, language and identity are to our lives is her lifework. Annie is a shareholder in Doyon, an Alaska Native regional corporation as a descendant of Alaska Native people. She attended school in Mexico during her teenage years and is fluent in Spanish. You can find her supporting wellness through teaching yoga, practicing massage, and studying Ayurvedic medicine in her “spare time”. 

Di Hall Cullen
Former COO, Sequoia Consulting Group;
Executive Vice President Operations, Carbon Black; COO, Viant Corp


Di Hall is an experienced senior executive with over 30 years leading technology organizations. She has been a leader in five successful technology startups in the Boston area, with four IPOs and one acquisition by IBM. She served as COO for Sequoia Consulting Group in California for almost 2 years before retiring from high tech at the end of 2018 to focus full time on other interests. Di has a passion for community service and has always been involved in nonprofit activities during her corporate career. She was part of the team that led the transformation of her local community food pantry from a grassroots to professional organization while raising $1.4 million to purchase and renovate a new building to create a more dignified experience for their clients.
Di has been honored with the 2016 Boston BRAVA Female Leadership Award and as a 2015 Rev Boston Honoree and Member. “One of my favorite things to do is build communities,” says Di. “I’ve done this through building high‑growth technology companies, but also through coordinating groups of people with shared passions, desires, or challenges.” She is most proud of her two amazing daughters who inspire her with their warmth, wit, and wisdom.

Gina Johnson, MD, CLE, FAAP

Medical Director for Pediatrics, Northeast Valley Health Corporation

Gina is the Medical Director for Pediatrics at Northeast Valley Health Corporation, a non-profit federally qualified community health center serving the medically underserved population in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.  She was born at UCLA while her father was completing his education there and grew up in the San Fernando Valley.  After completing her bachelor’s degree in Human Biology with an emphasis in African American Child Development at Stanford University, she returned to UCLA for medical school.  Dr. Johnson completed her pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Oakland. She began her career at NEVHC in 2001 as a pediatrician at our San Fernando Health Center, and has been the pediatric medical director since 2017.  Her special interests include obesity prevention, asthma and childhood literacy.  Outside of the office, she is actively involved in her church and running marathons with Team World Vision to provide clean water for African countries like Uganda and Rwanda. 

Bill Rutledge
CEO Coach

Bill has been a business coach for 21 years in the Bay Area. He has worked with the CEO/owner of over 150 businesses to help them build better businesses, create better places to work, and to be conscious about the life that they were building for themselves. Before coaching, Bill was a corporate/investment banker with Citibank for 32 years working in New York, Puerto Rico, St Louis, Paris, Tunis, Athens, Buenos Aires, and Santiago. His last assignment was Chief Credit Officer for small and mid-market lending in California. Bill has served as board chair for a school in Paris and another in Tunis and as a board member of a community health clinic in Santiago, Chile. He has coached the Executive Directors of several Bay Area nonprofits. He has served as Dovetail Learning’s Board Chair in its early years. He grew up in Los Angeles and is an alumnus of UCLA.

Susan Schilling
Board Secretary
Former CEO, New Tech Network 

Susan served as CEO for New Tech Network (formerly New Technology Foundation),  a non-profit school development organization with the mission of building a resilient network of teachers and learners, ready to create a vibrant economic and social future for America. Established in 2000, New Tech Network has quietly emerged as one of the best-scaled and most successful approaches to high school transformation in the U.S. With over 200 schools around the county, the New Tech approach has been successful in urban, suburban, and rural areas with kids from nearly every background. 

Before joining New Technology Foundation, Susan launched Lucas Learning Ltd., a start-up, multimedia educational company formed by George Lucas. Lucas Learning Ltd. produced and marketed ‘edutainment’ software set in the Star Wars universe. Prior to joining Lucas Learning Ltd., Susan was Senior Vice President and Creative Director for MECC, one of the first and premier developers and publishers of educational software for schools.  She has served on the Board of Directors for Buck Institute for Education as well as the Advisory Board for Oji Life Labs.

Clint Tripodi, MBA
Board Treasurer
National Strategic Consultant, Risk Strategies


Clint possesses over 25 years of experience providing Human Resources and Operations support for global high technology companies. He has served as Vice President of Human Resources for companies such as Hitachi Data Systems, nCUBE Corporation, Pacific Broadband Communications and Entera. In these roles, Clint focused on HR strategies (talent acquisition, organizational development, compensation, and employee relations), liquidity events, mergers and acquisitions, internal communications and community relations programs. Clint serves in an advisory capacity at the board level for several for-profit and not-for-profit firms. Clint has consulted with over 450 companies in the areas of Talent Acquisition, Performance Management, Leadership Development, and Strategic Planning. Clint’s specialty is in the area of ‘Leadership Performance Systems’; partnering with leading companies to find executive talent and develop their leadership skills for sustainable performance. Clint holds an MBA in Human Resources and has been awarded certificates in Strategic Planning from Harvard Business School and the University of Michigan. Clint has been certified in the use of visual graphic tools and advanced facilitation from the Grove Consultants International and is a certified coach with the Management Resources Group Leadership Executive Assessment and Sales Professional Assessment methodologies.

Advisory Council

Karen Daley, MA, LMFT
Marriage and Family Therapist
Many Rivers Psychotherapy

Karen is delighted and honored to be traveling with others on their journey…toward wholeness. She has over fifteen years of experience in the Mental Health field, including community mental health. She also spent ten years as a Sr. Leadership Trainer/Organization Development Consultant with the AmeriCorps Program and various other non-profits. Her passion is diving into the fray—-and asking “what wisdom can we tap that’s here?”  She believes in collaboration, and the power of equanimity for ourselves while we continue to deepen our awareness of ourselves.  She is dedicated to making safe spaces where diversity, equity and inclusion become part of everyday discourse.  When not with others, you’ll find her in her backyard hammock, reading and listening.

Debbie Fleischaker, PhD
Former Deputy Secretary Economic Development
State of New Mexico

In addition to her decade of support for Dovetail Learning, Debbie has a deep understanding of nonprofit management. She is most passionate about social and economic justice, and her education and experience encompass the nonprofit, for profit, and government sectors. She has worked with diverse populations including: immigrants, refugees, youth at risk, disabled, elderly, victims of rape and domestic abuse. She is president of the Women’s Legacy Fund and on the board of the Global Center for Cultural Entrepreneurship. She was appointed by Governor Bill Richardson to reform and reorganize New Mexico’s economic development department.

Debbie earned her PhD from the University of Oklahoma with a dissertation on “The Management of Nonprofit Organizations” and she has an MPA from John F.Kennedy School of Government (KSG), Harvard University, where she organized a conference entitled, “In Service to Democracy:Exploring the Non-Profit sector.” She also has a MS in Rehabilitation Counseling from Boston University.

Robert Frager, PhD
Founder, Sofia University/
Institute of Transpersonal Psychology

photo of Bob

Robert Frager, Ph.D., is a founder and past President of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and is the Director of the Spiritual Guidance program at the Institute. He has taught psychology and religious studies at the University of California (Santa Cruz and Berkeley). His books include Heart, Self, and Soul: The Sufi Psychology of Growth, Balance, and Harmony and Sharing Sacred Stories: Current Approaches to Spiritual Direction and Guidance. 

A student of Sufism for almost two decades, he is a sheikh in the Halveti-Jerrahi Sufi Order. He is also a practicing psychologist and a seventh-degree black belt in Aikido.

Rachael Maves, PhD
Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction,
Instruction and Measurement Branch,
California Department of Education

Karen is delighted and honored to be traveling with others on their journey…toward wholeness. She has over fifteen years of experience in the Mental Health field, including community mental health. She also spent ten years as a Sr. Leadership Trainer/Organization Development Consultant with the AmeriCorps Program and various other non-profits. Her passion is diving into the fray—-and asking “what wisdom can we tap that’s here?”  She believes in collaboration, and the power of equanimity for ourselves while we continue to deepen our awareness of ourselves.  She is dedicated to making safe spaces where diversity, equity and inclusion become part of everyday discourse.  When not with others, you’ll find her in her backyard hammock, reading and listening.

Ammar Saheli, Ed.D
Director Student Services
San Lorenzo Unified School District
CEO, Saheli7 Consulting
Photo of Ammar

Ammar Saheli has served as Director of Student Support Services for San Lorenzo Unified School District for more than a decade, as well as lead an educational consultancy company focusing on the educational dynamics facing African American, Latino/Latina, and urban students/youth. As a native and product of the inner-city and urban influences of San Francisco and Oakland, Dr. Saheli can equip teachers, administrators, principals, youth providers, Juvenile Justice Center staff, and District and County Office personnel with an understanding of the  how and work of equity, as well as help them focus on closing achievement and opportunity gaps and the reduction of referral, suspension, and expulsion rates among Black, Brown, and urban-cultured students.

Dr. Saheli  has a BA in Psychology, MS in Counseling (San Francisco State University), and a doctoral degree (International & Multicultural Education) from the University of San Francisco, where his doctoral research focused on critical consciousness and the impact of racial identity on education.  He also has a PPS credential and Administrative credential. Dr. Saheli served as State President for the California Association of Supervisors of Child Welfare and Attendance (CASCWA), for the 2015-2016 school year.

Marilyn Schlitz, PhD
Former Dean, Sofia University/
Institute of Transpersonal Psychology
Former President & CEO,
Institute of Noetic Sciences

Dr. Schlitz is an acclaimed social scientist, award-winning author, and charismatic public speaker. She has conducted clinical, laboratory and field-based research into consciousness, human transformation, and healing. Her books include Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life; Consciousness and Healing: Integral Approaches to Mind Body Medicine; and Death Makes Life Possible (and companion film by same title). Having taught at Stanford, Harvard, and Trinity University, she is currently a professor in the doctoral program in Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University, CEO/President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences. Schlitz has published hundreds of articles in scholarly journals and popular publications, and has lectured extensively in diverse venues, including the United Nations, Smithsonian Institution, Commonwealth Club, and community groups.

Strategic Partners

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland (BCHO)

UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital of Oakland (BCHO)  has been a key collaborator with Dovetail Learning for several years.  BCHO has a long history of caring for underserved populations as well as training local medical providers in best practices related to pediatric health care. BCHO Primary Care Clinic serves 10,000 children annually,  90% of whom are on Medi-Cal and 30% are homeless. Almost half of these patients have 4 or more ACES by age 5, and they are 90% children of color. This experience with underserved populations has motivated BCHO to be on the forefront of ACES work in California. Dr. Dayna Long and her team were instrumental in developing and validating the PEARLS tool for ACES screening, and Dr. Long has been training other Medi-Cal providers in ACES screening. As developmental partners for We Are Resilient™ for healthcare providers, BCHO faculty and staff have made significant contributions based on their wealth of clinical experience. They understand how training can best be delivered in the medical community and they guide Dovetail Learning in the needs of pediatric providers, testing our trainings and materials and providing critical feedback. Through the collaboration,  Dovetail Learning has helped strengthen resilience in the BCHO team and provides the BCHO team with practical resilience skills they can teach their patients.  

Northeast Valley Health Corporation (NEVHC) was established in 1973 to provide healthcare services to medically underserved communities in the San Fernando Valley. Since its founding, NEVHC has grown to include 17 health centers in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys serving over 73,000 patients with medical, dental and behavioral health care services. NEVHC also administers the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Supplemental Nutrition Program, operating 11 NEVHC WIC sites that reach over 37,000 participants monthly.  

At NEVHC, Dovetail Learning has trained 12 coaches in We Are Resilient™. These coaches are integrating the approach into patient care to build resilience in patients who have experienced adverse childhood trauma, are facing perinatal depression, and living with chronic pain and/or chronic diseases like diabetes. The We Are Resilient™ approach is also being used to strengthen staff well-being as they continue to advance NEVHC’s mission to provide healthcare access for all.  

Founded in 1971 in Oakland by community members concerned about a lack of health services for low-income, minority populations, La Clínica de La Raza has grown to become one of the largest community health clinics in California with 35 service sites throughout three counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, and Solano), serving over 90,000 patients. La Clínica’s mission is to improve the quality of life of the diverse communities served by providing culturally and linguistically appropriate, high quality, accessible health care for all.

Since December 2020, Dovetail Learning and La Clinica have partnered to introduce the We Are Resilient™ approach to the healthcare system in multiple ways. Throughout all sites in Contra Costa County, all staff participated in three rounds of education, providing individuals with the ability to examine what they bring to the table and how to enhance relationships and teamwork to meet patient needs while connecting with each other. An additional site in Alameda County has participating in a Resilience Circle in preparation for launching their ACEs screening program. Finally, in an innovative approach to reducing burnout among providers, the La Clínica Wellness Council, consisting of twelve providers across nine sites, are training to become certified coaches in the We Are Resilient™ approach.  This cohort spends an hour every other week learning the approach, reflecting on their own practice, and planning how they can deepen and sustain wellness and resilience at La Clínica. La Clinica works to create a welcoming and healing environment for staff and patients alike.

La Clinica Monument staff 2021

Staff at La Clinica Monument appreciated the We Are Resilient™ training during the pandemic!

Community Resilience Builders is a diverse team of professionals who have been working for decades to strengthen resilience in Boise, Idaho. With a staff of teachers, medical providers, counselors, administrators, and juvenile justice leaders, they have affected every sector of their community that impacts children. They are committed to creating  We Are Resilient™ Boise and leading the charge to take this work into every school district, medical facility, faith community, nonprofit organization, business, college, and government system that is interested in lifelong wellness and resilience for its workers and its clients.   


Child Parent Institute
Child Parent Institute (formerly California Parenting Institute) Dovetail Learning has been in collaboration with CPI since 2009 providing services to local school districts in Santa Rosa, CA. Child Parent Institute has a strength-based philosophy and uses both proven evidence-based and innovative practices to help and heal children, educate and support parents, and enhance parent competency.