Meet the Board & Staff
Gangaji held her first meetings at Esalen Institute and then in her Maui living room. With the help and dedication of volunteers and donors, the Gangaji Foundation eventually emerged to make Gangaji’s teachings available through events, books and outreach programs.
The Gangaji Foundation was formally established as a non-profit foundation in 1993, and Gangaji was made chairperson of the Board of Directors. To this day she is hands-on in her role, working closely with the Board, staff and volunteers around the world, leading the organization with her wisdom, inspiration and clarity of purpose.
“I saw Gangaji the first time in 1994 and fell for the transmission hook line and sinker in 1997. For me, volunteering, or being of service to others, comes right out the heart of the transmission.”
Mark began volunteering at Gangaji’s events in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1997. A steady presence there ever since, he felt “graced to have the opportunity to join the Board” in 2003. Living in Mill Valley with his beloved wife, he currently works in the municipal bond business advising local governments in California on how to issue bonds.
“I was introduced to Gangaji in 2000 through a video satsang program held in Vancouver, British Columbia. The moment I saw Gangaji she gained my full attention, her words pierced my heart and I knew there was no turning back. Over the years she has continued to point me to the peace and endless love that is available at anytime, anywhere. When I was invited to serve as a member of the Board of Directors it was a natural fit for me to bring my public relations expertise in support of that which I love. I am in deep gratitude to Gangaji for her teachings and feel extremely honored to support her message of peace and the work of the Foundation so that all beings may rest in the heart of who they really are.”
Lorraine’s experience in the field of communications spans over 30 years. She began working in the industry in Sydney, Australia, where she produced radio for several years. Since that time, she has worked in television production in Canada, but her focus over the past ten years has been in field of public relations. Her expertise is in providing and implementing strategic communications, including the development of communication plans, event management, press conferences, crisis communications, media relations, and employee relations. Lorraine is currently a freelance public relations consultant.
“The very first time I saw Gangaji on a video, I knew I’d found the teacher my heart had been asking for. I was home.
Throughout the years that followed I have found myself diving more deeply into the simplicity of the invitation Gangaji offers us, to stop and be present to what Is. This invitation and ongoing support has changed my life, not only personally, but professionally as a Palliative Care Counsellor in a hospital setting. I experience these teachings as alive within myself, and in this state there is such an invitation to share, wordlessly, effortlessly. My gratitude is endless.
I chose to become a donor about 5 years ago as I felt called to support others in the world to experience this same invitation. Over the last several years I have felt called to engage more deeply with the Gangaji Foundation and in the Invitation to Peace that she is sharing with the world. Bringing this message out to the wider circles of community takes time, effort, and financial resources, and as my yes for this teaching was so resounding, it made perfect sense to step farther into the organization to help share the needs of the organization with the community and be a part of what is so very open to take part in. I feel immensely grateful for the grace of Gangaji and this beautiful teacher in my life. To join the Board of Directors is a great honour in my life.”
“I felt that Gangaji’s awakening was my awakening, the same awakening. There was no separation between her and me.”
Suman first met Gangaji when she was Toni Varner living in Bolinas in 1973. They became instant friends for life. After Gangaji’s meeting with Papaji in 1990, Suman was naturally drawn to sit with her in some of the very first Satsangs. She felt thrilled and compelled by the infectious joy and bliss of Papaji’s transmission, and after her own meeting with Papaji 1993, she concluded, “Gangaji was teaching in her own brilliant way with her particular knowledge and experience. She was saying what Papaji had been teaching and in a way that many could hear.”
Suman was a founding board member of the Gangaji Foundation in 1992, along with Maitri (Erin Robbins), Shivayama (Sally Ruane), and Gangaji. Over the years Suman has filled other volunteer roles at the Foundation, but rejoined as a member of the Board of Directors in 2016.
“In 1993, I quite accidentally found myself in a meeting with Gangaji in Boulder, Colorado. That lucky afternoon, I heard something that I had been waiting to hear my entire life. I am supremely grateful to Gangaji and to those who hosted that life-changing meeting back in 1993. I am committed to making Gangaji’s message and invitation available to others as it was made available to me.”
Barbara began as a volunteer, first in small ways and then as a one-year full time volunteer supporting communications. In 1996, she came on as full-time staff.
Her background includes 15 years of experience in the broadcast and cable television industry, primarily as a promotion writer/producer and creative director. She has extensive experience in the areas of promotional writing, film and television production, and creative management. Clients included Harpo, Inc., NBC Network, NBC Superchannel in London, Fox Network, Nickelodeon, and A&E. Barbara received a BA and MSA from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
“I met Gangaji in 1997. I was completely blown away and signed on to volunteer that very day. I had the great good luck to be invited to join the staff in 2000. I have worn a few different hats during my time with the Gangaji Foundation as Bookstore Manager, Events Manager, and now Finance Manager. It is with boundless gratitude that I find myself here still.”
“In 2003 I was burned out with a lifelong quest for enlightenment through a spiritual group I was literally born into. I had tried and failed to fit in, to be a good student, and a good meditator. I was ready to give up, and strike out on my own to discover, if I could, what was really true. In my disillusionment I asked for help, and a few months later help arrived in the form of a VHS tape of Gangaji. With some circumspection, I finally put the tape into the machine, and in moments I found myself completely floored. All she said was, “There is a desire that arises in certain lives,” and I knew at once this was the desire that had been with me my whole life. As I listened Gangaji expertly and lovingly confirmed all that I had been searching for was already here. I became a volunteer and a donor immediately, and was invited to join the staff in 2009.
Before joining the staff I had a variety of work experiences, from architectural publishing, writing, and graphic design, to full time motherhood, which somehow all lined up to give me the exact tools I needed to make myself fully available to the Gangaji Foundation.”
“I first met Gangaji on video in 1993. I was immediately struck by the recognition she was my own heart speaking the truth I had longed for my entire life. I literally fell to my knees in that moment.
Later that year, I had the unbelievable good fortune of traveling with her to meet Papaji in Lucknow, India. My heart has been given to this lineage ever since.
In 1994, I began working with Gangaji to compile, edit, and produce her books You Are THAT; Freedom & Resolve; and The Diamond in Your Pocket. Working with her words has been the greatest joy of my life! And it all began with plugging my laptop into the cigarette lighter of my old rusted out Datsun in the jungle on Maui, transcribing cassette tapes for hours on end.
Today I feel deeply blessed to be on staff with the Gangaji Foundation, continuing to contribute with content editing and writing, as well as managing Gangaji’s events. I am doubly blessed to be working alongside such an exquisite family of staff, volunteers, donors, and regional coordinators, all who share a passion for living a true life in love and truth. We often remark that Gangaji’s greatest gift to us is one another!”
Tom Hoffman – AV Manager
I met Gangaji in 2006. What she said sounded exactly right to me. That meeting was the fulfillment of my adult life of searching for ‘what is the truth?’.
I love video and sound production, and being involved with the staff and board making Gangaji available to as many people as possible. I began as a volunteer with the foundation very soon after meeting Gangaji, and came on staff in 2009.
I was in the US Army in 1970-71, and later received a BA degree in Art from Virginia Wesleyan College. My background includes several years in TV studio production in Los Angeles in the 70’s and 80’s, and 12 years as one of the scenic artists at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
“In 1999 I was still trying to perfect my life in every way I could think of. I made a desperate prayer for help, and a week later I found myself watching a video of Gangaji. I knew instantly my prayer had been answered. My first time with her in person was at a public meeting. After the meeting I walked up to the information table and asked how I could become a volunteer and donor. I have been here ever since.
These are the words that transformed my life: “The truth of who you are is untouched by any issue or self-evaluation, whether past, present, or future. The truth of who you are is already whole, already one with all.”
Many people assume that asking for money is awful. They wrinkle their noses when asking me about it. In truth, it is the deepest honor of my life. I am actually extending an invitation to people to bring to others what they have received. I am in the gratitude business, what could be better than that.”
Zubin Mathai – Website Development
“I came across Gangaji in 2006, and diving into her books and going to retreats that first year was a welcomed life-changer. Her teachings, for me, became the simple period at the end of a decades long sentence of a scattered spiritual search.
During the dot-com boom, I was the CTO of a few silicon valley startups, then spent a happy decade as a freelance engineer and writer. When I volunteered a couple years ago on some tech projects for the foundation, I got to know the staff and see firsthand their passion and dedication. Joining the staff felt like a natural evolution — and a beautiful honor.”