Barbara Benjamin


A consultant, educator, executive mentor, international retreat leader, and author, Barbara Benjamin is currently the Director of the Center for Christ Conscious Leadership.  Previously, from 1990 until 2010,  she was the Director of Intuitive Discovery.  In that capacity, she designed and facilitated programs in leadership, human resources, innovation, and creative and spiritual development for Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, and universities.  

Ms. Benjamin has also designed, directed, and instructed graduate distance learning programs in leadership for the School of Business at Mercy College.  In 2005, she won the annual, national Sloan-C award for most effective practice in building an online learning community.  Prior to that, she codeveloped, coproduced, and copresented a 16-hour live video program on leadership for the National Technological University (NTU).  The program was broadcast to international corporations and to U.S. executive departments and government agencies on the NTU Satellite Network.

In 1998, Ms. Benjamin codirected The Third Millennium Leadership Assembly in Campobello, New Brunswick, Canada.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Benjamin served as a Director of Pupil Personnel Services and Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Connecticut and was an active member of local, state and federal committees for education and mental health reform.

Ms. Benjamin’s publications include Christ Conscious Leadership, Leadership in the Interactive Age: A Skills Development Workbook and the accompanying CDs, The Leadership Lecture Series, The Joshua Priest: A Biography of Faith, and A Prayer Guide to St. Teresa of Avila’s “Interior Castle.”  Her most recent volume of poetry, Face to Face, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Ms. Benjamin holds an undergraduate degree in English and Education, a Master of Arts degree in English, and has pursued doctoral studies in Education and Psychology at New York University.


Hollace L. Bristol


Hollace L. Bristol is currently a senior evaluation specialist for Professional Evaluation and Assessment Consultants in Flagstaff, AZ, serving as external evaluator on federally-funded education grants. Dr. Bristol holds a doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a research focus on education for sustainability. Her doctoral work has contributed to a critical restructuring of the beliefs and assumptions that form the foundation of the Western public educational system so that teachers in training and eventually their students will develop a deep consciousness of and responsibility for a sustainable planet.

Her previous positions include Associate Superintendent of Schools for Coconino County, AZ, professor of mathematics at the community college level, and an adjunct faculty member at the university level teaching education, experiential education, and organizational leadership.  She has designed and facilitated numerous adventure-based leadership workshops and programs for educational, community, recreational, and social agencies using the experiential model to foster community, build trust and communication, and enhance personal and group awareness and intent.  She holds an undergraduate degree in sociology and a master’s degree in education from Tufts University.  


Miguel Carvalho


Miguel Carvalho, currently the Press and Public Relations Manager in New York for the Portuguese National Tourist Office, has extensive experience in creating and executing integrated marketing communication plans, including social networking and online reputation management, public relations, building collaborative teams, and training and mentoring team members.

Mr. Carvalho also provides consulting services to various small businesses, developing strategic marketing plans for expanding their exposure through traditional and online channels, including Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, where he assisted the Vice President of Marketing in planning the launch of a new drug into the marketplace.

Previously, Mr. Carvalho was the Area Sales Manager for TAP Air Portugal in Newark, New Jersey, where he was responsible for selling and promoting airline services to major existing and potential clients within Manhattan and Northern New Jersey.  

Before moving to the United States, Mr. Carvalho was the International Cargo Sales Manager for TAP, responsible for international cargo sales and daily administrative operations, including managing and supervising the TAP cargo sales force in over fifteen countries. He worked closely with the Cargo Director, CEO, and business managers to develop and implement a variety of corporate strategies for growth, cost reduction, and business analysis.

Mr. Carvalho holds both a graduate and undergraduate degree in Management and Business Administration from Universidade Catolica Portuguesa’s Business School in Lisbon, Portugal, and a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Mercy College, in Dobbs Ferry, New York.  He is fluent in English, Portuguese, French, and Spanish and has traveled widely across the world, especially in Europe where he maintains strong ties.


Panaiota Vali Constantine


Panaiota Vali Constantine is currently an independent education consultant, working with school districts to enhance their teacher training and student performance. She also tutors reluctant learners, supporting their educational needs and self-esteem.

Previously, Ms. Constantine has held positions as an Elementary School Teacher, School Administrator; and Coordinator of Special Programs. She has also been an Adjunct Professor in the School of Education at Mercy College. A pinnacle member of the NSDAC America 2000 team, Ms. Constantine was integral in the City School District of New Rochelle becoming an America 2000 School District. During this endeavor, she worked with the Department of Education in Washington, DC, as well as the Rand Corporation.

Ms. Constantine has also trained teachers and implemented the Responsive Classroom methodology for classroom management in many New York schools. A trained Administrator and facilitator in the International Bachelorette Programme, she trained and supported staff in the IB methodology of the writing and delivery of curriculum which met the needs of individual students and allowed them to view their learning on an international platform. Through the use of data and its interpretation as it pertained to the learning styles and individual student needs, Ms. Constantine also directed facilitators of learning in the interpretation and application of alternative lesson designs and blended learning to ensure that all students succeed and sustained endured learning.

Ms. Constantine is an active member of Philoptochos, a philanthropic association of the Greek Orthodox Church. She is currently and has been a teacher of Religious Education at the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Danbury, Connecticut.

As a Captain and member of Emergency Medical Services for the State of New York, Ms. Constantine organized and ran the first Emergency Mass Casualty Simulation Drill in Westchester County. She served as Captain of Emergency Medical Services from 1998-2006.

Ms. Constantine graduated from Mills College of Education with a Bachelor of Science in English and Elementary Education. She continued her studies at the College of New Rochelle, where she received a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education, as well as a Master of Science in School District Administration.


Reverend Troy P. DeCohen


Reverend Troy P. DeCohen is currently the Senior Pastor of the Mount Vernon Heights Congregational Church (UCC), where he has served since September of 2000. He has also served in the United Church of Christ since 1998, where he received privilege by the Rev. Dr. John Blackwell, Regional Conference Minister for the Metro Conference.

RReverend DeCohen was called to the ministry in 1988. He was the founder of Life Changing Outreach Ministry, Jersey City, New Jersey, and the Assistant Pastor of St. Michaels Methodist Church under the leadership of The Reverend Dr. Ralph E. Brower.

Reverend DeCohen is also the President and CEO of the Visiting Development Care Group LLC, servicing the community with qualified companions and caregivers for short or long term goals. Specializing in dementia care, the Visiting Development Care Group staff is responding to the growing need for caregiver respite services and private care in homes, hospitals, and rehabilitaton facilities.

Reverend DeCohen has also worked as a Director of organizations in the fields of mental health, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, and homelessness since 1992. Previously the Chief Officer of Operations for Help USA, Inc., he was the executive manager of all Transitional Housing Programs for the organization, including their Las Vegas, New York City, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and New Jersey operations. Under Reverend DeCohen’s leadership in 2008, HELP ONE was recognized by the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS) as one of the highest performing Tier II Family Shelters in The City of New York. HELP ONE received an award from New York City Commissioner Robert V. Hess for its achievement in placing more homeless families into permanent housing under the Work Advantage Program.

Among his many accomplishments. he worked with the Urban League of Hudson County Inc., for quality of life improvements, Elnora Watson President and CEO, and with The Reverend Dr. Calvin Butts on the Jubilee Project and on the national project, Plantation to Prisons. Reverend DeCohen is a member of the United Black Clergy of Westchester, and a member of the Mount Vernon Hospital Board of Trustees and the Mount Vernon Heights Community Development Corporation. He is also one of the Co-founders of the Southside Heights Stop the Violence Campaign in the City of Mount Vernon, and the Co-chair for Parents against Violence, with the current Mayor of Mount Vernon, the Honorable Clinton I. Young. In addition, Reverend DeCohen co-sponsored The PEACE KEEPERS movement with the Rev. Dr. W Franklyn Richardson, Rev. Dr. W Darin Moore, United Black Clergy, and community leadership. He has served as a member of Leader-to-Leader Institute, (formerly, the Peter F. Drucker Foundation) as well as on the nominating committee for the United Church of Christ.

Reverend DeCohen received a Master of Arts in Religion and Religious Education from Fordham University where he is currently a doctoral candidate in Ministry. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Mercy College; a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Religious Studies from the College of New Rochelle; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies from Jameson Christian College. He has also studied at Regent University, School of Leadership Studies.

Reverend DeCohen has also completed studies at Morristown Community College in Alcohol and Substance Abuse, at the State of New Jersey Division of Alcohol Abuse, and at Hunter College School of Social Work, Center for Healthy Aging.

In 2009, Reverend DeCohen received a Proclamation by the Westchester County Legislator Lyndon Williams for Community Service, as well as awards of Achievement from the City of Mount Vernon, City Council, and from the Mayor’s office under Mayor Ernest Davis, 2005-2008. He also received a Proclamation issued by the Westchester County Legislator, the Honorable Clinton Young, in 2002.


Delia M. Farquharson


Delia M. Farquharson is a coach, teacher, and licensed clinical social worker who presently works as a community mental health provider at a clinic in Mount Vernon, NY. In that capacity, she provides services to individuals and families, working to identify goals and learning strategies to resolve conflict, with the object of improving their lives.

Ms. Farquharson has worked in various capacities as a social worker, including in the field of foster care with children removed from their homes, and with seniors in a geriatric care facility. She is also a Certified Trauma Specialist and is experienced in helping individuals manage trauma, grief, and loss.

Ms. Farquharson also hosts her own online radio talk show, Discussions with Delia, on On her program, she encourages listeners to discover the connections between their thoughts, feelings, and actions, and identify strategies for becoming their better selves.

Ms. Farquharson holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology and a master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University.


Susan Freedland


Susan Freedland is a licensed psychologist who has been in practice for more than thirty years in New York and Connecticut. In addition, Dr. Freedland has extensive experience in executive coaching, leadership development, and organizational consulting, nationally and internationally, in a wide variety of industries, including finance, pharmaceuticals, health care, professional services, telecommunications, technology, media, and consumer and luxury goods.

For the past ten years, Dr. Freedland has studied Qigong, Medical Qigong, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Taoism with Master Nan Lu in the United States and with Grandmaster Xi Hua Xu from Yunan province in China. She has also been to Sri Narayani Peedam and Sri Puram in Thiramalaikodi, Tamil Nadu, India, to learn from Sri Shakti Narayani Amma. She has integrated the principles, theories, teachings, experiences, and wisdom from these Eastern traditions along with Western approaches into her psychotherapy and executive coaching work. Some of her work with individuals and organizations focuses on mindfulness and awareness, insight and intuition, energy and energy movements, oneness, service, and the relationship and balance of body, mind, and spirit.

Dr. Freedland is sought after as a guest lecturer on a variety of topics for community groups and professional organizations, as well as a consultant to the media. Some of the areas she addresses include stress management and transformation, creative problem solving, communication and listening, handling emotions during change, anxiety, depression, learning disabilities and ADD, and prejudice. She has presented programs based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qigong, and Medical Qigong for groups and organizations in the areas of weight loss, stress management, menopause, breast health, team building, and relationships.

Dr. Freedland holds a Bachelor of Arts from Pennsylvania State University and a MS and PhD from Yeshiva University in psychology. She is also certified as a Medical Qigong and Life Force Practitioner. In addition, she has received training in executive coaching and assessment, and she has served on the board of the Penn State Executive and Professional Women’s Network. In conjunction with the Connecticut and American Psychological Associations, she worked on the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award to help organizations create a better work environment for their employees. She is currently a member of the New York Human Resources People and Strategy organization and is an active member of the Medical Staff of Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut.


John J. Lanczycki Jr.


John Lanczycki is currently the Managing Director of Value Engineering, providing management consulting, coaching, mentoring, and training to business and industrial clients who seek to reduce failure costs, error rates, and cycle times to ensure sustainability and profitability.  He is also a member of the MBA adjunct faculty at American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he teaches a course in Operations Management, covering topics of organizational development, organizational behavior, purchasing, logistics, statistics/quantitative methods, production management, and quality management.

Mr. Lanczycki began his career as an Organic Chemist, managing organic chemical reactions to synthesize amino acid derivatives for cancer research.  Subsequently, he held positions as a member of the Technical Staff at GTE Laboratories, Waltham, Massachusetts, and as a Senior Industrial/Quality Engineer at Union Carbide, advancing into senior management levels as the Director of Quality Control at Display Technologies, College Point, New York, with leadership responsibilities over multiple U.S. plants, plus operations in Mexico, England, and Canada.  

For the past twenty-five years, as a management consultant, Mr. Lanczycki has focused on helping clients develop performance metrics and best practice documentation for quality, build customer satisfaction, attain appropriate certifications, and achieve excellence through cultural change.  His clients have included American Can, Black & Decker, and United Air.In addition, Mr. Lanczycki has more than twenty years of teaching experience as an adjunct business faculty member, teaching business management courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut, and at the Ancell School of Business at Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, Connecticut.  He also taught the Human Resources Seminar at Marymount College, Tarrytown, New York.  

In addition, he has customized training for clients and established a curriculum for quality certification at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Trained to perform audits in compliance with the Connecticut Award for Excellence and Baldridge Assessments, Mr. Lanczycki is a  Senior Member of the American Quality Society (ASQ) and has been chairman of the Danbury, Connecticut, chapter of ASQ.  He has also presented at the national conference and at regional dinner meetings.  He currently serves the ASQ by reviewing technical books and other publications and performing business quality audits in compliance with ISO-9000 standards.  In 1986, Mr. Lanczycki was recognized as an outstanding leader by the Danbury “PAL” Youth Soccer program.  

Mr. Lanczycki holds an undergraduate degree from St. Anselm College, where he majored in Biology and Chemistry, and a graduate degree in Business Administration from Rivier College.  He has also done doctoral studies in management systems at the University of New Haven.


Benjamin A. Manyindo


Benjamin A. Manyindo is a consultant, educator, and administrator with several years of experience in Management Consulting and as an International Trade Specialist.

Mr. Manyindo is currently an Assistant Professor of Business and Chair of the Organizational Leadership and Management programs at Mercy College in New York.  In this capacity, he develops and evaluates curriculum, hires, supervises, and trains staff, and recruits, instructs, and mentors students in the graduate leadership program.

Before joining Mercy College, Mr. Manyindo was a Partner at Equator Global Links (EGL) International Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in economic development, technology transfer, and international business development.  Prior to joining EGL, Mr. Manyindo served as Director of International Affairs at the Ronald H. Brown Foundation where he worked with small, medium, and minority-owned companies seeking to identify foreign markets for their goods and services, as well as foreign clients seeking to establish partnerships with American entities. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Ronald H. Brown Institute in South Africa - an institute commissioned by President Clinton to promote entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Most recently, Mr. Manyindo has served as Strategic Advisor for SYOPTICS NETWORKS, where he is responsible for investor relations and forging strategic relationships.

A Ugandan national, Mr. Manyindo has traveled widely across five continents and has lived in East, Central, and Southern Africa, where he maintains strong business and political ties.  He holds degrees in International Relations, Economics, and Organizational Leadership.


Bill Williams


Bill Williams currently teaches and mentors students in the art of jujutsu. Certified as a Defensive Tactics Instructor by the F.B.I. and a graduate from their Officer’s Survival School, Mr. Willams also provides instruction in defensive tactics for law enforcement officers and teaches classes in self-defense and awareness in his community, Camano Island, Washington.

A retired Detective Sergeant from the New York City Police Department, with twenty years of service, Mr. Williams was assigned to the Intelligence Division, supervising counter terrorism investigations. He was a first responder on 9/11 and, subsequently, supervised a joint FBI/NYPD task force that investigated the attacks on the World Trade Center. He has received several hundred departmental and community awards during his career with the NYPD, including the Medal for Valor, when he was injured in a gun battle with four armed adversaries.

Mr. Williams began his training in the martial arts of Karate and Jujutsu in 1982. He currently holds the grade of 4th Degree Black Belt in Sosuishi-ryu Jujutsu, and a 5th Degree Black Belt, and the title of Renshi, in Okinawan Isshin-ryu Karate-do. He has traveled to Okinawa and Fukuoka, Japan, to train in both disciplines.

In 2005, Mr. Williams completed the senbondori (test of 1000 points) after a six-hour test of physical stamina, will power, and spirit. A challenger must face a group of opponents called “yoseko,” throwing down one another 1,000 times, a very strenuous task. Only black belts are permitted to attempt this test of sheer endurance. There is no concept of winning or losing in senbondori. The only goal is to complete the test. Since its beginning in 1868, only 354 people in Japan have achieved this goal.

Mr Williams has appeared regularly as a featured guest on local and nationally syndicated talk shows. He has earned an undergraduate degree in Humanities/Police Science from SUNY Empire State and holds a graduate degree in Organizational Leadership from Mercy College.


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