About

Rasur Foundation International Board Members

Rita Marie Johnson

Founder and president

Educator, author, speaker, and award-winning innovator Rita Marie Johnson has been sharing her method worldwide for over 15 years.  She discovered a synergy between empathy and insight that maximizes social-emotional intelligence, eliminates unnecessary suffering and leads to life-enriching choices.  This epiphany resulted in the Connection Practice, which works for people of all ages and from all walks of life. 

The Connection Practice won the Ashoka Changemakers Innovation Award: Building a More Ethical Society, chosen from 79 projects in 32 countries. In 2015, Rita Marie wrote Completely Connected: Uniting Our Empathy and Insight for Extraordinary Results, an Amazon bestseller in Conflict Resolution and in Communication and Social Skills, which has been endorsed by Eileen Rockefeller and President Oscar Arias, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.  In 2016, the book won a Nautilus Award in the Psychology category. Now the Connection Practice is used by individuals, schools, faith-based communities, non-profits and businesses and is spreading around the world.

For a short bio, click here. For a detailed bio, click here. She lives in Gilroy, California.  For more on our founder.  

David McArthur

Vice President
Author

David McArthur, J. D., although currently retired, has served as an attorney, Asst. Attorney General, minister, and speaker, trainer and director for HeartMath.  He has been involved with the Connection Practice for many years and is the author of Your Spiritual Heart and co-author of The Intelligent Heart.  He lives in Washington.

Shari Holland

Secretary

Shari Holland is a founding board member and the Parliamentarian and current Secretary of the Board. She has a master’s in Public Administration and lives in Missouri.

William Pitney

Treasurer
Financial Planner

William Pitney is passionate about helping others achieve their financial and life goals. William has been improving the financial lives of women, families and technical professionals since 2003, when he began providing integrated financial planning advice and services. As the founder of FocusYOU, William provides practical financial knowledge, delivers fact-based solutions to support your goals, and facilitates conversations that might not otherwise take place between spouses and family. 

Candace Henry

Board Member

Candace Henry serves as a Ministry Transitional Specialist and is certified as a trained specialist in Diversity and Inclusion.  She founded Empower American Children, which enriches the educational experience and lives of young people by helping them to develop the life skills they need in order to fill positive roles in our communities. Her life's purpose is to share her journey of the power of imagination and faith that bring dreams into reality. 

Leigh Files

Board Member

Leigh Files has been a board member since 2014. She has retired as program manager at Texas Instruments Incorporated and is also on the board of directors for the Dallas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. She lives in Texas.

Melanie Dean

Board Member
Psychologist, Author

Melanie Dean, PhD, is the author of The Hidden Power of Emotions: How to Activate Your Energy Field and Transform Your Life. She is a psychologist, researcher and educator dedicated to empowering people by teaching them how to notice and shift their emotions – and intentionally direct their energy – to connect with what they most want to receive.

Lauren Arnold

Board Member
Accountant

Lauren Arnold works in public accounting and is the owner of Tantor Culture Consultants, a company founded to provide trauma-informed organizational training. She is a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach & a Certified Critical Incident Stress Debriefer. Her specialized work regarding the effects of stress & trauma in First Responders has been presented internationally.
Lauren was inspired to advocate trauma-informed training and education after realizing the negative effects her own unresolved trauma had on her relationships and career.

Tarek M Mourad

Board Member
Business Coach

Tarek M Mourad specializes in simplifying the complex and in bringing out the best in people and businesses so that they can become the best versions of themselves. Mr. Mourad has over forty years of experience in business and management and is an entrepreneur business coach and owner of Soaring Revenues in Santa Clara. He is focused on helping businesses improve their customer experience and bottom line.
He is a mentor, coach and transformational speaker. He enjoys speaking about personal development and transformation topics as well as topics related to Islam. Since 2001, Mr. Mourad has been directly involved with outreach activities to help surrounding communities understand Islam and Muslims. 

For more information, please contact info@connectionpractice.org.

Rasur Foundation International Advisory Board

Lynne Dowler

Retired Educator

Lynne Dowler has been on the board since 2013. She is a retired educator and serves on the board of Empower American Children. She lives in Texas.

Quinntin Ruiz

Entrepreneur

Quinn Ruiz is CEO and Portfolio Manager for Q Capital, an asset management and education consultancy that helps families invest in digital assets. He has served as Chief Operating Officer for the Rasur Foundation and continues to lend his talents to help the growth of the Connection Practice.

Business Affiliate

Michelle King

CEO, Connection for Wellness

Michelle King worked for SAP as Global Head of Enablement, Learning and Development. She is a Connection Practice Trainer, educational technology expert, professional coach, author, and speaker. She is currently developing Connection for Wellness as a business that will help support the nonprofit side of the Connection Practice. 

Rasur Foundation International Staff

Ellen Marie Anderson, Ph.D.

Director of Education

ellen@connectionpractice.org

Ellen Marie Anderson bridges the worlds of science, education, and practical psychology. She has an undergraduate degree in German and a graduate degree in physical chemistry. Ellen retired from a career as a chemist at the Food and Drug Administration and as Executive Director of The Center for Soulful Living. In addition to her role with the Connection Practice, she is also the Executive Director for The Conscious Soul. Ellen is dedicated to inclusive leadership, loving service, and empowered action.

Yumi Morita

Director of International Outreach

yumi@connectionpractice.org

Yumi Morita is a Master Connection Practice Trainer. She founded Rasur Japan in 2016, which officially became incorporated in 2017.  There are 38 Japanese Connection Practice trainers as of January 2019.  Yumi speaks Japanese, English and some Spanish. She is passionate about spreading the Connection Practice in the world.  She is the author of more than 10 books in Japanese and is an international speaker on health, environment and peace. 

Graduate, Ochanomizu University, Letters and Education Department

Performing Arts (Dance Education)

CNVC  Certified Trainer Candidate

Ayako Nozawa

Director of International
Teacher Training

MA in Counseling, Ed. D. in Holistic Education
Master Connection Practice Trainer,
Master Curriculum Instructor

aya@connectionpractice.org

Aya Nozawa is an experienced holistic educator (and former counselor) for 30 years, has shared the Connection Practice with over 300 educators in the USA, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea and has trained 60 Japanese Connection Practice Curriculum Instructors for day care, home school community, K-12, college and graduate school staffs/professionals. She was an academic facilitator in the Hiroshima peace education program, Oleander Initiative, wrote an academic article on the Connection Practice in education in 2017 and has made 6 presentations in international holistic education conferences in 5 countries. Aya is fascinated by the power of the Connection Practice, always ready to help it be integrated in an educational setting worldwide.

Maki Nakamura

Director of Global Model Development

0721makinakamura@gmail.com

Maki Nakamura has a BA from Waseda University and MBA from Business Breakthrough University. She has more than 30 years experience in the retail and supply chain management industry. She served as an executive for 10 years in two global companies. Maki learned the Connection Practice in May 2020 and became a certified Trainer in September 2020. She also left her executive role to build her own companies in 2020. She is passionate about sharing the Connection Practice and Nonviolent Communication and also contributes to local communities in Japan. Since August 2021, she has served as the board director of a Japanese retail company.

プロフィール メイン カラー

Sheila Ford

Director of Faith-Based Training

sheilajohnson01@comcast.net

Sheila Johnson leads the faith-based arm of The Connection Practice. She completed seminary after 30 years as psychology professor and counselor. Sheila passionately serves as a catalyst to ignite the flames which motivate humankind in remembering the true depth of their connection with one another. Her favorite quote is, “What you can feel, you can heal.”

Sheila’s degrees are from U.C. Davis, and her studies toward a Ph.D. include transpersonal clinical counseling and Jungian psychoanalysis.

sheila2

Kelsey Visser

Director of Parent Training

kelsey@connectionpractice.org

Kelsey Visser has her M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University in Washington, D.C. and is a Florida Supreme Court Certified County Court Mediator with over ten years of experience in teaching and training. Her primary focus has been peace and conflict resolution education and she’s had the opportunity to explore this topic on both the local and international level through her work with various nonprofits and organizations. Now, as a parent of two young children, she is passionate about also fostering peace in the home and hopes to help others learn and share the Connection Practice in her role as Director of Parent Training. 

Cipi Espaldon

Program Manager

cipi@connectionpractice.org

Cipi Espaldon has received her undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Theater Arts from UC Santa Cruz. She is passionate about empathetic communication, cultural diversity in the arts, and restorative justice and activism. She has served as a Director, President, and Board Chair of the Cultural Arts and Diversity Resource Center in UC Santa Cruz and has worked with organizations dedicated to nonviolence and social justice in the Santa Cruz area. Cipi is also working towards getting her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and becoming certified as a Substance Abuse Counselor. She is young, but driven and motivated to put her talents towards making the world a better place for us all with the help of the Connection Practice.

Cipi pic 2021

Rick Stober

Daily Coherence Leader

rstober3@yahoo.com

Rick Stober leads the Daily Coherence Call for North America and Europe.

He is a retired Trainer for PeopleSoft/Oracle USA (17 years) has been practicing and training Connection Practice since 2010.

He and his wife, Sandy, teach THE COMPLETELY CONNECTED COUPLE, teaching couples to resolve inner and outer turmoil to have peaceful and loving relationships.

Rick is also a retired Coast Guard Officer (21 years). He met Rita Marie on a training tour to Costa Rica in 2007 with Rev. David MacArthur which inspired him to join and stay involved with Rasur Foundation International.

rick

The Connection Practice envisions a world where generational pain is transformed into generational peace.

Top heartusershopping-carttwitterfacebookgroupenvelopelinkedinyoutubeinstagramenvelopephonemap-marker