Board Initiatives for 2024

The Board held a half-day retreat at the end of September, to surface both our strengths and our challenges as a center and a community. At the December board meeting, we selected a short-list of initiatives for 2024, which are:


  • Communicating Who We Are –  Do we have a shared sense of who we are, and how do we communicate that?
    • Team: Mary Lang (chair), Judy V., Austin S.
      • Articulate what it means to be part of a lineage, but without a current lineage holder
      • Clarity about who we are is communicated explicitly on our website, through our program descriptions, by group leaders, etc.
      • It is also communicated implicitly in the environment, especially in forms like the shrines and how we cultivate drala.
      • People are moved by feeling affiliated, having a shared purpose, being part of a sangha.

  • Mentoring Teachers and Leaders – Developing and Supporting Leaders (teachers, hosts, board) –
    • Team: Till Cremer (chair), Ann B., Mary L.
      • Supporting the group of people who welcome, teach, guide and support our community.
      • Preventing burnout of teachers and group leaders, who tend to be the busiest volunteers.
      • Build on the skillsets of people in the community who know how to be with people (therapists, teachers, coaches etc.)
      • Also provide the Buddhist background & deep dharma training required

  • Refining Programming
    • Team:  Judy Vreeland (chair), John R., Till C., Austin S.
      • How can we offer programs – events, groups, gatherings, meetings, etc. – which create a strong foundation of teachings, meets the various levels of interest/experience in our community, which bring in revenue, builds community, breaks down silos, etc.
      • It takes so much work to have a successful, revenue generating program. How can we decrease the amount of work?
      • Figure out what’s working & strengthen, adapt and/or let go of what hasn’t.

  • Robust finances
    • Team: Max Roberts-Zirker (chair), John R.
      • A big-picture look at the sources of revenue, and expenses
      • Reverse the downward trend over the last few years.
        • What is the best mix of programs, donations, rentals, etc.
        • What options do we have to build revenue, and where should we start making changes?


For each of these areas, we will consider what specific and manageable goals will make the biggest difference, and then build teams and choose projects to make it happen. We are giving ourselves the full year to work on these – some of these initiatives require changes and re-envisioning, as well as experimentation and a willingness to tolerate uncertainty.


Each group will decide the best structure and size for their work, as well as the requirements for participation. Some initiatives will offer numerous opportunities for community participation and feedback, while others will be more self-contained. If you’re interested in learning about or participating in any of these initiatives, please contact the team chair.


There are Board members for each team, but the view is that the community will also be involved and have an important voice. Three of the four task forces of board members have met at least once. The Programming Committee has met twice, the second time with invited community members.


After Shambhala Day we plan to hold both large and small community meetings, online and in person, to gather input, insights, experiences, and to hear from voices at the margins of our community. Please stay tuned and plan to attend.


And, as always, we welcome your thoughts, either at [email protected] or [email protected]