Meet Shanthi Project's New Board President
Shanthi Project is pleased to announce the appointment of Tiffany Yurasits as our board of directors’ newest President!
Tiffany has been involved with Shanthi Project since September 2020, most recently serving as Vice President of the board. In her new role, Tiffany will lead her fellow board members in governing the organization, which includes teeing up strategic discussions, planning, and program evaluation—as well as supporting the responsibilities of our Executive Director, Maureen Wendling.
Tiffany’s mindfulness practice began in November 2009 with an interest in yoga. Over ten years later, at the height of the pandemic, she joined Shanthi Project out of response to the amplified anxieties she felt on a local and global scale. Now, as President, Tiffany hopes to continue the work of her predecessor and grow Shanthi Project in hopes of reaching more people in the community. “Our past president did a wonderful job in getting us to where we are today,” said Tiffany.
Kathleen Papageorgiou, who has been involved with Shanthi Project since 2018, will be stepping down from her role as President to welcome Tiffany into the position. Of her successor, Kathleen professed, “She is going to be an amazing president and will do great things with this board. I am thankful for her, and I could not have asked for a better person to step into the role.”
During her tenure on the board, Kathleen saw Shanthi Project through the strain and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also played a central role in forming the board as we know it today. “When I joined,” she said, “we were a very small board, supporting an organization that was growing so quickly. The board needed to grow as well to support Shanthi Project's trajectory.”
This meant many seasons of finding new candidates, getting to know board members, effectively communicating challenges and goals, and bidding farewell to team members when they stepped down.
Years later, she feels she has built a strong foundation to lead Shanthi Project into the future, saying, “Each member has a key area of expertise that strengthens our group. As I leave the board, I know we are in tremendous shape.”
As we bid farewell to Kathleen, she hopes to see Shanthi Project continue to expand mindfulness programming in the Lehigh Valley for both youth and adults. “Our evidence-based programming works; it is my wish that the community sees and experiences that,” she said.
“Kathleen was very helpful in orienting me to the board,” said Angie Andresen, newly appointed Board Secretary and chair of the HRR Committee. “I have witnessed and heard much about her work in structuring and growing the board during her tenure as President.”
Angie joined Shanthi Project in June 2021, having practiced mindfulness and yoga for 20 years. “I am always impressed by Shanthi Project’s growth and ability to show such positive outcomes in their work with kids in our community,” she said.
Kathleen agrees: “This organization has been ready and able to reach more people with valuable tools to support their personal practice and help build resilience. It is a case of the right place, right time for the Lehigh Valley and Shanthi Project.”
On behalf of our staff, board, and teachers, we thank Kathleen for all her work and welcome Tiffany to her new position!