Meet the Staff
Many of you are already very familiar with the staff of the Shambhala Center of Boston and what each person does. Some of you may know our faces and names but not much more about what we do. Some of you may never have met any of us! This post is to share a little bit about what each person’s ever-evolving role is so that the community has a full understanding of the staffing picture here.
As the Executive Director, my role is to guide and oversee the center, particularly in the area of strategic vision and long-term planning. I chair the center’s Governing Council, which is the body that works to determine the center’s values, priorities and policy. It is also my role to work closely with our Head of Finance (who you will hear about in just a moment) and Chagdzo to ensure the center’s financial well-being. My main areas of focus also include development and fundraising, the expansion process, and making connections to the greater Boston community. Another key aspect of my role is to serve as link to Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, who is the spiritual and secular leader of our community, and the senior governing body of Shambhala, the Kalapa Council. In terms of our “Three Pillars” model of governance, I am the head of the “Government Pillar.” Some of the key people who also serve in the Government Pillar include the Chagdzo or bursar (Charles Styron), our Head of Societal Health and Well-Being (Martina Bouey), our Representative of the Office of Culture and Decorum (Elizabeth Latchis), our Head of Communications and Operations (Ashley Goodwin), and our Head of Finance (Caitlin Cianflone).
The full-time Head of Practice and Education is new as of last May, and is a major step for us in terms of strengthening our core and also allowing the Director to focus more on the areas mentioned above. Barbara oversees all areas of practice and study, including introductory and community programming, Way of Shambhala, advanced practice, meditation instruction, coordinator and staff trainings, shrines, chants, and ritual forms. Barbara oversees the center’s program calendar and space use (with the exception of rentals). Barbara, along with our Shastris, Diana Evans, Carolyn Krusinski and Frank Ryan, are the Heads of the Pillar of Practice and Education. The Shastris’ area of focus is the Way of Shambhala curriculum, program development, and teacher selection and development, and they work closely with Barbara and myself in these areas. Some of the other key roles in the Pillar of P&E include the Way of Shambhala Co-Resident Directors (John Clancy and Laura Greer), the Meditation Instructor Coordinator (Ree Katrak), and our Head Shrinekeeper (Timaree Bierle-Dodds).
Head of Communications and Center Operations
The Head of Communications and Center Operations is a full-time position which has evolved significantly over the past several years. The Communications aspect of the role involves overseeing the center’s overall communications strategy including membership, leadership, programming, resource development, outreach and governance. Ashley also oversees the center’s website and online content management, marketing, newsletters and all of our web presence. The Center Operations side includes overseeing the day-to-day operations at the center; in this capacity, Ashley will chair the newly-formed Executive Committee. She also oversees the center’s facilities and related projects, our audio/visual systems and technology, office management, and space rentals. Some key roles that Ashley oversees are: Head of Facilities, Head of A/V, and our new Path of Service Coordinator, Jade Weston.
Head of Finance
Caitlin has been a member of the center staff for two years. Her position is part time (twenty hours/week) though could very well be full-time! She works closely with our Chagdzo, Charles Styron, and myself to develop the center’s annual budget and oversee all finance-related matters, including program pricing. Caitlin also pays the bills, oversees membership dues and deposits, makes sure everyone gets reimbursed, and keeps close track of our bank account and cash flow. Additionally, she just took over as the primary registrar, overseeing registration and program payments. We also have the added benefit of Caitlin’s background as a lawyer and she has been able to bring some of that expertise as well, relating with legal aspects of our finances and our work as a non-profit organization.
I am so appreciative of all that the staff do. Please give each of them a pat on the back next time you’re at the center. We are very fortunate to have the people in place that we do!
I hope this provides a good overview of who we are and what we do. Stay tuned for more information to come about other key roles at the center, and the work of the Governing Council and the Executive Committee.