Meet Our Team
We are led by passionate individuals who inspire, educate and connect through mindfulness.
Our experience is trusted by a variety of community partners in Lehigh County and Northampton County, Pennsylvania, as well as Warren County, New Jersey. Learn more about our dedicated staff.
Maureen is an experienced leader in the Lehigh Valley’s nonprofit sector, with a background in government relations and higher education. She has helped many regional organizations develop and implement key strategies to advance their missions. Maureen received her Bachelor of Science Degree from DeSales University and is a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher. Her mindfulness training includes completing a practicum at the Myrna Brind Mindfulness Institute at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and an apprenticeship at the Center for Mindfulness at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). She participates in extended silent mindfulness retreats and is currently completing her MBSR Certification at Brown University's Mindfulness Center. She is also a certified QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Suicide Prevention Instructor. In the community, Maureen serves on the Board of Associates of the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation and Muhlenberg College; the Resilient Lehigh Valley Communications Committee; and Northampton County’s Suicide Awareness Task Force. Email Maureen to learn more about Shanthi Project!
SARAH DENNEHY, M.Ed, RYT
Director of Programs
Sarah is a Licensed Behavior Specialist with a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Lehigh University and a certified mindfulness and yoga teacher for children and adults. Sarah oversees our community programs, including Calm, Kind + Focused Classrooms offered in 230 K-12 public school classrooms, and Trauma-Informed Mindfulness and Yoga taught inside Northampton County Juvenile Justice System. Sarah has nearly 20 years of experience in the autism field, and has been a Behavior Specialist Consultant for the last ten years. She holds certifications from Mindful Schools in Mindfulness Fundamentals and Mindful Educator Essentials, and is certified in Trauma-Informed Mindfulness and Yoga.
GEORGIA BOMGARDNER, PhD
Assistant Director of Programs
Georgia is a Licensed Psychologist in Pennsylvania, as well as a state and nationally certified School Psychologist. She completed her graduate education through Lehigh University’s School Psychology Program, earning her Master's of Education in Human Development and her PhD in School Psychology; she subsequently earned her license to practice psychology. In her roles as a school psychologist, adjunct professor and clinical psychologist, Georgia has focused on the understanding and development of social-emotional skills in students, educators, and families. Her experience has focused on assessment of social-emotional needs and implementation of evidence-based programming to support social-emotional skill development. Georgia is also well-versed in Trauma Informed Practices and school-based structures and processes (e.g., MTSS, PBIS, SEL, special education, universal design, etc.).
MELANIE SMITH, RYT
Senior Teacher and Trainer
Melanie holds a 500 E-RYT and YACEP certifications along with two 25-hours Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga Certifications, Trauma-Informed Yoga Certification, PaddleFit Coach designation, and Mindful Schools Educator Certification. In addition to leading Trauma-Informed Mindfulness and Yoga for Shanthi Project, Melanie taught weekly studio-based yoga classes as well as workshops, domestic and global retreats, and SUP Yoga Teacher Trainings. Melanie comes to Shanthi Project with a decade of experience as a Family Service Specialist for the State of New Jersey Department of Children and Families, specializing in trauma, child welfare, family reunification and adoption cases.
Meet Our Board
Our Board is an important part of our organization, comprised of knowledgeable and compassionate leaders who make valuable contributions of their time and talents to enhance our mission.
Board of Directors:
Kathleen Papageorgiou, Community Volunteer - Board President
Tiffany Noll Yurasits, PHR, SHRM-CP, UKG - Vice President
Cheryl Kienzle, MD, Lehigh Valley Physicians Group, retired - Secretary
Dave Erickson, BSI Corporate Benefits - Interim Treasurer
Subhajit Ghoshal, Air Products
Angie Andresen, MA, Pinebrook Family Answers
Karim Mendoza Brown, Allentown School District
Kelsey Gasper, MPH, St. Luke's University Hospital
Angie Gutekunst, Holistic Journey Counseling
Shonda Moralis, MSW, LCSW. Mindful Empowerment Coaching and Psychotherapy
Venkataramanan Ravi, Air Products
Denise Veres, Shanthi Project Founder, Board Member Emerita
Thank you to our amazing team of teachers!
Shanthi Project teachers are highly-trained, trauma-informed mindfulness and yoga instructors.
Each holds various certifications in the field, and they join our program with an extensive background of
professional experience working with children, adolescents, and adults.
In addition to the staff listed above, our teachers include Kristin Baxter, John Cosgrove, Jo-Ann Devereaux, John Hawkins, Jocelyn Hontz, Dona Jones, Sally Kraft, Elizabeth Lang, Brent Maczko, Marguerite Nicosia, Helene Perrucci, Andree Santini, Annie Serfass, Sara Timofeev, and Alissa Vreeland.