Ralph White, founding member of the International Holistic Centers Gathering, has attended nearly every one since its inception. Closely involved in three centers over a lifetime of dedication to the holistic movement, including the Findhorn Foundation and Omega Institute, he is co-founder of the New York Open Center where his current role is Creative Director.
Tom Robinson, Marketing Director of Breitenbush Hot Springs in Oregon, has attended nine consecutive gatherings after feeling so inspired by the first one! In 2008, Breitenbush hosted the Gathering and both Tom and Peter have attended every year since, sharing great humour, wisdom and expertise.
Peter Moore, Business Director of Breitenbush Hot Springs, was inspired to attend after hearing Tom’s glowing reports each year and has become one of the stalwart supporters of the Gathering. Through the Breitenbush Ecofund Peter co-ordinates the donations for the Gathering.
Christine Lines first heard about the Gathering in 2010 when she was the Retreats Manager of the Byron Yoga Centre in Australia. Surprised to discover there was no CG website she has been dedicated to its development ever since. Now living in the Findhorn Foundation Community in Scotland, she co-ordinated the 2012 Gathering there. Christine oversees Core Programmes and co-ordinates the global network of Resource People.
Cheryl Fraenzl, Director of Programming at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, attended her first Gathering in 2008. She values the personal connection with her peers at other centers and the support this offers during the year. Cheryl co-ordinated the 2013 Gathering at Esalen and introduced the workshop ‘A peek behind the scenes’ to support emerging centers.
Rachel Davey, Executive Director of The Haven, on Gabriola Island, BC, Canada, attended her first Gathering in 2012 and co-ordinated the 2014 Gathering. The Haven has participated in many Gatherings over the years, sending different members of staff along for the experience, and previously hosted the event in 2006.
These six friends, representatives from established centers in North America and Europe, together represent over 100 years of experience in running centres. They passionately support the annual Gathering, along with friends old and new whose combined energy and enthusiasm have contributed to the momentum of the holistic movement and the Centers Gathering at its core.
In 2013 and 2014, they facilitated a workshop for people dreaming of starting a holistic center or simply curious about how centers do what they do, called ‘A Peek Behind the Scenes: Discussions on Starting, Running and Growing a Holistic Centre’, immediately after the Gathering. Rather than a step-by-step process on how to start a holistic centre, it was a weekend of rich discussion, sharing the beginnings of their organizations and how they conduct business today, including the joys, challenges and experiences of the many aspects involved.