Director of Operations
Staff, Vision Council
Rooted in a background of yoga, meditation and energy work, Jenn Collotta has spent much of her life exploring the inner workings of the human psyche and the mystery of the human spirit. From an early age, Jenn has held a deep desire to help alleviate human suffering in the world around her. Following an impactful experience with psychedelics, she was inspired to explore a more holistic approach to living and decided to pursue a career teaching yoga as a way to guide others back home to themselves. Jenn is now the project manager for Center for Consciousness Medicine. She is elated to be a member of this soulful team who is bringing psychedelic assisted therapy to the world and whose mission to alleviate human suffering is deeply aligned with her own.
Strategic Financial Planning
Alan is a Strategic Planning professional with extensive experience in helping companies better define their strategy and also make sound resource allocation decisions in the implementation of that strategy. Specifically, Alan has led a comprehensive pro-forma valuation that rationalized the acquisition of a $4B oncology drug pipeline, as well as built the central forecasting model used by a large biotech company to value their entire drug portfolio. Alan also is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and has taught psychology courses as an Instructor at UC Berkeley Extension and as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University. Alan holds a BA in Economics from Stanford University, an MA in Education from Harvard University, and an MA in Integral Counseling Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.
Florie St. Aime
Program Development, Lead Facilitator
Florie (she/hers) LCSW, is a Fat Black Queer Cis Woman born, raised, in Lenapehoking particularly the Canarsee peoples land, now known as Brooklyn NY one generation removed from Haiti, the land of the Taino’s and before that the landmass now known as Africa, people unknown. She describes herself as a liberation-based clinician. This label roots her work in naming and blaming social constructs instead of individuals; encouraging curiosity and sensing as resistance; and practicing human connection and care towards all beings as radical action. Florie invites others into liberation practices through organizing/activism, group facilitation/workshops, individual counseling, holding sacred space and clinical supervision.
Program Vision and Development
Staff, Board of Directors, Vision council
Naama is a guide, teacher, mother and artist. She identifies as a white, cis-queer, woman. She is a first generation American of French and Israeli descent and also raised by the redwood forests of California’s central coast. She is committed to love and a future in which everyone has the opportunity to know their goodness and thrive. She has apprenticed in expanded states of consciousness work and psychedelic healing modalities most of her life with her parents, Francoise Bourzat and Aharon Grossbard. She has her Bachelors of Fine Arts with a focus in conceptual art and interactive art. Since 2018 she has turned her creativity towards building this organization in the service of healing, growth and systemic change. Until 2023 Naama was the founding Executive Director at Gather Well, where she currently co-creates programs and curriculums and serves on the Vision Council and Board of Directors. She has studied at the Hakomi Institute and holds a certificate in permaculture design with a special interest in social permaculture principles. She lives in the area known as Nevada City, the unceded land of the Nisenan, in the Sierra foothills of California with her partner, Bear, and their two young sons.
In advising Gather Well I bring deep expertise in leadership, strategy, execution, and building healthy, vibrant cultures, a passion for – and lived experience of – the transformative and healing power of psychedelics, and an unwavering commitment to help Gather Well manifest its mission with utmost integrity so that everyone touched by the organization’s work flourishes.
Dimple Pajwani is the Managing Director of Client Services at Mind Share Partners. She leads its workplace mental health strategic advising, culture transformation and training services, helping organizations to create mentally healthy cultures where everyone thrives.
Dimple is drawn to helping people and organizations flourish. She has over 15 years of experience leading strategy, operations, and innovation at nonprofit and for-profit organizations. In her roles as an executive, she has led organizational development, culture change, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging work. Prior to Mind Share Partners, she served as the Deputy Director at SupplyBank.Org and as the Chief Operating Officer at SPUR. As a management consultant at PwC, she built two innovative practices — HR Analytics and Healthcare Modeling. At Blue Shield of California and Stanford Children’s Health, she built portfolios of innovation programs that advanced patient outcomes in novel ways.
Previously, Dimple served as an independent consultant for the John Burton Foundation, the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, the United Nations, and the UK Department for International Development, where she advised on national and international policy matters. Dimple started her career as a software engineer and brings the engineering problem-solving mindset to her work.
Dimple is a restorative practitioner and non-violent communication (NVC) coach. Since 2010, she has mediated community cases, led restorative processes, built restorative programs and systems for organizations, and trained and coached groups and individuals on restorative skills and NVC. She recently served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for SEEDS, a conflict transformation nonprofit, and as a strategic advisor for the Transformative Justice Institute, a restorative justice nonprofit.
Dimple holds an M.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, an M.P.P. from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School, an M.Sc. in Operations Research from Strathclyde University, and a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from the University of Houston.
Teresa Ceja provides accounting support to the CCM team. Teresa has over 15 years experience managing accounting activities for a diverse range of clientele. She has worked in the nonprofit community since early 2020. She enjoys working for the nonprofit sector – this experience has given her a deep appreciation for how nonprofits seek to improve the quality of life for our region.
In her personal time, Teresa enjoys participating and volunteering at her daughter’s dance studio. She hopes to travel more in the upcoming year.
Staff, Board of Directors, Vision Council
Nikiya is part of the communications and visionary team. She has been on a lifelong journey of bringing interior states into external expression, with twin passions in creativity and healing. This has taken form in the realms of art, design, marketing, writing, movement and parenting. She has a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies weaving Eastern Religion, Sociology & Ecology. She has a training certificate as a Skills for Change coach, has studied Hakomi, the Rosen method, Relational Somatic Healing, meditation, community supported agriculture, and is an interior designer and a certified BTB (Black Sect) Feng Shui Practitioner. She enjoys exploring the relationships between people and the spaces they inhabit, with a special interest in creating sacred space. Her greatest joys are co-parenting her two daughters, her godson, having her hands in the soil, creativity in all its forms, and the watershed she calls home. She lives on Nisenan land in the foothills of Northern California.
In my experience advising Gather Well over the past few years, I have been impressed by the sincerity and thoughtfulness. Through an extended process of deep reflection, the team has managed to preserve the invaluable elements of their lineage, while also effecting a transformation into a new and vital organization that responds to learnings from the past and is designed to meet the specific challenges of our time. I believe that there is great potential for this evolving project, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to its development.
Damon works with individuals and organizations to help them identify their fundamental vision and purpose, articulate their culture and values, and develop a strategy for manifesting their potential. His distinctive approach combines elements from the humanities, technology innovation design, and mindful somatic psychology.
As a professor, Damon teaches courses in philosophy and related areas at Columbia, Stanford, U. Penn., NYU, and San Quentin State Prison (now Mt. Tamalpais College). He has a special interest in leading “Great Books” seminars to bring the history of Western thought to life for contemporary students.
As a technologist, Damon has co-founded three successful startup companies — including the social search engine Aardvark, where he was CTO — and led teams at each through acquisition. He was the first “In-house Philosopher” at Google, where he was also a Director of Engineering leading a breakthrough cross-company AI research initiative. He now consults with mission-driven companies on strategy, with a particular specialty in AI and ethics.
Damon has extensive experience in public speaking at venues ranging from TED to academic conferences to large corporate events. He has semi-professional experience in theatre (as a director) and music (as a classical pianist). He earned a BA from Columbia, a MS in Artificial Intelligence from MIT, and a PhD in Philosophy and Cognitive Science from Stanford. He has also completed comprehensive training in Hakomi Experiential Psychotherapy, which he integrates into his advising and coaching work. Damon has served on the Board of Directors for several arts and humanities non-profits, ranging from the Del Sol String Quartet to California Humanities.
There’s a tender place in my heart for our human family. I feel a deep longing to be a force for goodwill and healing on our planet. In my role on the Gather Well Vision Council, I intend to collaborate with the stewards of this organization to co create a healthy and thriving program, drawing from my perspectives as a mother, woman, and multiracial being. My personal mission is to heal legacies of trauma and to have a positive impact on the families and communities that I am part of. My prayer is for us all to remember our Goodness and to feel held in this interconnected web of Life.
As an advisor to Gather Well, my aim is to be intentional about nurturing healthy relations and conscious choices. My life’s work (and play) is to promote generosity of spirit through wisdom sharing. My guiding question is “For the sake of what?”
I am retired but still love being of service. I convene Women’s Circles and Wisdom Circles in the Bay Area. I have a few mentees who find my pragmatic and heartfelt counsel useful. I am a 20-year student of the Ridhwan Spiritual School and champion Cultural Consciousness within the community. I continue to open to new ways of being a good friend, neighbor, and responsible human being.
Before retiring, I was on faculty at New Ventures West Coaching Academy, an
Adjunct Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies and at SFSU-Extended Learning in San Francisco. Prior to starting my own coaching practice, I served as Vice President of Global Strategies and Organization Development at Levi Strauss. Before arriving in California, I was Director of Human Resources at Public Service, Electric and Gas Company in New Jersey.
I have a BS in Psychology from Kalamazoo College and a Master’s Degree in Organization Development from American University.
As a child, I developed leadership and public service skills in the Black Baptist Church. While in college, I co-led the Black Student Organization which garnered a tenured Black professor and a Black Studies Program. After moving to California, I participated in Race Conversations, DEI training programs in many corporations and nonprofits. I live in Oakland with my partner of over 30 years.
Bear Hart Thomas is a deep thinker who likes to identify patterns and challenge assumptions. He currently identifies as neuroqueer; specifically as a trans masculine ADHDer. He holds graduate degrees in Cultural Theory, Creative Writing, and Linguistics. Bear then pursued a law degree, but found himself feeling deeply disconnected and unfulfilled, so he abruptly reformed himself to a life of living off the land and learning about plants, healing, and himself more deeply. He now lives in Northern California with his family where he enjoys following his interests in art making, cooking, plant tending, building, imaginative play with his kids, and in depth dialogues about the nature of reality and the social constructs of our world.
In my role as an advisor to Gather Well, I intend to offer dynamic perspectives to our dialogues in order to support GW in their steadfast commitment to their mission. My knowledge of cultural theory and systems thinking, along with my lifelong personal experience of attempting to understand human consciousness have provided me with much to share. Too much, some say. But it is my passion to overthink, to problem solve, and ultimately, to help create a safer, more gentle, more fulfilling human experience for us all.
In my role as advisor to Gather Well I support the development of regenerative practices for delivering psychedelic-assisted mental healthcare. This role aligns with my personal mission to foster the emergence of a regenerative economic system.
Bennet researches, teaches, and advises on regenerative economics, psychedelics, and leadership. Current projects include ongoing work on the Pollination Approach – a regenerative economic approach to delivering mental health treatment – and research on the effects of psychedelic-assisted, consciousness-expanding experiences on decision-making by organizational leaders.
Bennet serves as Associate Professor of Business and Public Policy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. He also serves as a director or advisory board member for Usona Institute, Nautilus Psychedelic Medicine Institute, Brooklyn Psychedelic Society, and the Intercollegiate Psychedelic Network.
Bennet is a frequent keynote speaker, conference panelist, and podcast guest. Links to talks and writings can be found on his LinkedIn page.
General Outside Legal Counsel
Matthew Elkin focuses his practice on advising tax-exempt organizations and other businesses and high net worth families with their charitable and social goals. He regularly advises on the formation of investment funds by both nonprofit and for-profit sponsors, the acquisition and disposition of program-, mission- and impact-related and other investments, joint ventures, sponsored research, mergers and acquisitions, and financing and licensing arrangements. He also counsels boards of directors on fiduciary duties, conflicts of interest, risk oversight, board and committee structures, affiliated entities, internal investigations, board evaluation processes, executive compensation and compliance with other regulatory and governance best practices. His extensive experience with and practical approach to corporate transactions and governance matters are valuable assets to the clients he represents. In addition, Matt shares his knowledge with students as an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School International Transactions Clinic.
Lead in Co-Evaluative Process Development
Our lead co-evaluative development director has spent the last 30+ years supporting and training budding therapists, developing programs, and helping to create thriving community as a Clinic Manager and Co-Director at a counseling center in California.
Since joining the Gather Well team, they have been supporting the mission of preparing and educating psychedelic guides by developing processes and systems to assess student progress, to serve as both a gatekeeper and in such a way that offers opportunities for students to grow as practitioners. We are planning to expand these systems to look at all aspects of GatherWell, allowing not only our students, but programs, staff, and the organization as a whole to be accountable, continue to grow, and evolve.