The advisory board is comprised of supporters of the TRC who will guide and inspire program development, lead community outreach, and assist in program implementation. We are so grateful for their sage advice.
Bob Knightly was a Lieutenant in the New York City Police Department
After retiring, he has published short stories and two mystery novels. He is currently practicing law in Albany.
Bob says of his writing career: “I write police procedurals based on 20 years in the NYPD. I then spent 18 years as a criminal trial lawyer with the NYC Legal Aid Society in the Manhattan and Queens County criminal courts.
My first sale was a TV pilot script to Aaron Spelling-TV Productions and NBC in 2002. I have published short stories in anthologies of original crime fiction: Brooklyn Noir, Manhattan Noir, Queens Noir (also the editor), Brooklyn Noir 3: Nothing But the Truth — all from Akashic Books — and in Best American Mystery Stories 2007. My first novel, Bodies in Winter, was published by Severn House in 2009 and its sequel, The Cold Room, was published in 2011. I am a past president of the Mystery Writers of America/New York Chapter and the Upstate New York Chapter of Sisters In Crime.
Of his time in the Police Department:
“After college and the Army and a stint on newspapers as a copyboy, proofreader and reporter, I joined the New York City Police Department as a patrolman in 1967. For most of the next 18 years I patrolled the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan as patrol officer and sergeant, except for stints as speech writer, Police Academy Instructor and lawyer within the Department. I was a patrolman during the time of the Knapp Commission investigation into police corruption, and after, in the Department's Post-Knapp revival. I knew the reformer Frank Serpico and the notorious 'Prince of the City', Robert Leuci. I was on the streets of Bushwick, Brooklyn on July 13, 1977, when the lights went out all over the city triggering a night and a day of looting, recounted in The Bronx Is Burning. When I retired in 1987 as a Lieutenant of Police, I had a law degree, earned at night from Fordham University School of Law.
Roberta “Robbi” LaBelle-Thomas is a retired Manager and Administrator. Her varied career pursuits included assignments in Human Resources, Police CALEA Accreditation and financial services. Her non-profit, university and private sector Human Resources and Administrative posts are where she developed her passion for, and skills in, conflict resolution doing grievance hearings and mediation work. In addition to having earned her law degree and bar admission in MA and NJ, Robbi is also former licensed Financial Advisor. She received formal mediation and negotiation training through the Harvard Program of Instruction for Lawyers and renewed her mediation commitment at Community Mediation in New Haven, CT where she is a volunteer mediator. She co-facilitates a Compassionate Communication Practice Group (based on the work of Non-violent communication pioneered by Marshall Rosenberg) and is a facilitator with AVP (Alternatives to Violence Project) primarily at MacDougall Prison in CT. Her goal now is to use her varied conflict resolution, communication and mediation skills in private practice with an emphasis on fostering effective co-parenting relationships and community building. Having recently completed Circle Training with Kay Pranis, she feels that her toolbox has a nice range of options which she can draw on in her work.
Michael Green is a Financial Advisor, Retired Attorney and Founder/President of the Fullerton Mansion Center for Culture and History located in Newburgh, New York.
Carmen-Noemi is a Yoga Teacher trained in the ISHTA Lineage. She was born in Puerto Rico and raised in the Bronx. When Carmen was 10 years old, her mother became interested in meditation, and so Carmen was introduced to this practice. Early on she realized how taking time out in the day to quiet the mind, or at least watch her thoughts come and go, had an effect on how she felt and how she treated others... she liked it! She remembers coming home from school and often finding her mother doing a head stand by the wall. In 1993 her interest in yoga was sparked once again and she started taking classes at various studios throughout the city.
Carmen feels that yoga is a science that can be beneficial and enjoyed by everyone, regardless of personal beliefs or body size. She says, “We all truly want peace, joy and health”.
Nicolas Schumann-Ortega is a public defender with the Center for Appellate Litigation (CAL), where he represents clients in all stages of post-conviction proceedings. Before joining CAL, he served as a judicial law clerk with New York Supreme Court. He also interned with the Legal Aid Society of New York’s Criminal Defense Practice, the San Francisco Office of the Public Defender, and Fordham Law School’s Community Economic Development Clinic.
In his free time, Nicolas is an avid photographer, hiker, and daydreamer.
Jennifer Parmelee is certified as a DONA Doula, Midwifery Assistant through The Farm, Lamaze Childbirth Educator, NYS Certified Lactation Consultant, Calm Birth Teacher Trainer, activist, and mother, who is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Adolescent English Education from Hunter College. Jennifer is the creator of the chakra-healing CD Sit Within Yourself, and the author of Petal by Petal: The Flowering Self- A Chakra Journey. She continues to passionately educate and lecture on the Healing Arts and Childbirth Education while engaging in the Fine Arts during her free time.
She is a nationally recognized ISHTA Yoga teacher who is also certified through Yoga Alliance as a 500 E-RYT and RPYT. She began her personal practice at the age of 16 while engaged in the performing arts and has taught in New York City for over 17 years as a senior teacher and teacher trainer for Yoga Zone, Be Yoga, ISHTA Yoga, New York Yoga, and Haelth (NYC's first holistic wellness center). She is certified in several modalities including Restorative Yoga, Pre and Post Natal Yoga, Aromatherapy, Polarity Therapy, and Crystal Therapy. Jennifer has taught thousands of people how to integrate into our modern world, the integrity and joy of a yogic lifestyle through her many workshops and teacher trainings. She has also worked extensively as a yoga therapist specializing in infertility.
Newburgh, New York-based artist John Delk received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute Chicago in 2001 and has had exhibits in New York, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Chicago.
What inspired you to be on the TRC team?
"The possibility (of participation in the creation) of a more just world."
Tisha Ford is the founder of Awakened Potential, a consulting and coaching firm. With her extensive corporate background working for such notable corporations as 4Kids Entertainment, USA Network and the National Football League, she has developed pivotal skills such as project management, program planning and development and new business development. Areas of business range from marketing and branding, such as managing Classic Nintendo to events, such as running the Super Bowl bid process for the NFL for six years. She is presently consulting for the NFL on the planning and development of their Super Bowl Business Outreach Initiative, Business Connect, designed to qualify and prepare local minority, women, disabled veteran and LGBT businesses for Super Bowl business. She also consults for an Event Production company on new business development.
As a certified Life Coach, she has applied her coaching skills in corporate settings, both as a mentor to young interns and JRPs (Junior Rotational participants) assigned to her over her nine year career with the NFL. She also serves as a leader to her project teams and to clients such as Super Bowl Bid and Host Committees. Her contributions have led to some of the most mutually beneficial NFL/Bid and Host Committee partnerships in recent years precipitated by the implementation of processes that promoted greater collaboration, innovation and consequently productivity, while minimizing risk and liability to the NFL.
Tisha also manages a holistic arm to her business, Mayawakening, Integrative Approach to Conscious Living: Coaching - Movement - Meditation. Her philosophy is based on the premise that an individual must feel empowered during a process of self-discovery and healing. Her teaching (yoga and meditation) and coaching methodology consists of working with clients in totality – body, mind and soul.
Prior to Tisha’s corporate career, she was a professional performer with such companies as Alberta Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, and Maryland Ballet, as well as contemporary companies and professional collaborations with such artists as Mercedes Ellington and James Cagney. She also has an extensive television background that includes hosting a Teen Magazine Show, Check It Out! She currently has a MA in Media Management and is an ABD candidate in Positive Neuropsychology. She continues to stay connected to her creative energy by dancing, writing and singing, and her personal motto is “Enjoy the Moment!”
Patricia Borelli’s interest in understanding human nature has led her to study meditation and yoga, as well as psychology. She spent eleven years in the corporate world studying human behavior while working in market research.
After becoming a mom and moving to New York in 2010, she deepened her knowledge of the psychology of the early years while learning about the wonder of her newborn. She focused on advancing her yoga studies to include the values of pre-natal yoga, and especially post-natal healing.
Patricia firmly believes that connected parenthood, yoga and balanced human relationships come from the same place of expanded consciousness, respect, honor, compassion and selfless love. She is very grateful to all the teachers (official and not) of her life and is excited to share and develop her gifts as a member of the TRC program team.
Patricia is a 500 hour certified yoga instructor through ISHTA Yoga, with additional training in pre-natal yoga.
Annie is a pollinator and a seeker, who in the course of performing those roles has worked as a mediator, doula, and lawyer. A graduate of Harvard Law School also trained in psychology, theater, women’s health, and permaculture design, she brings her varied skills and experiences to projects re-imagining the ways we grow food, build community, maintain health, and make home. In addition to her work with the Restorative Center, Annie works with the International Alliance for Localization, a cross-cultural network of community activists and scholars working to support economic localization efforts across the global North and global South. She also serves as a Creative Producer for "The Home Is __ Project," a documentary exploring the nature of home in our time.
Previously, Annie was a Staff Attorney at Catholic Charities Community Services in New York, where she represented Unaccompanied Immigrant Children before the Executive Office of Immigration Review; the Director of Mediation Services at the Center for Conflict Resolution in Chicago, where she trained mediators and supervised approximately two thousand mediations annually; a Doula in the Teen Parent and Infant Development Services program at Christopher House in Chicago, providing childbirth support and advocacy for teen parents; and a Literacy Teacher/Community Organizer in the Public Allies Americorps program.
Jean is a master yoga teacher working in NYC for more than 20 years who has also trained a generation of yoga teachers in the art of alignment, breath and integrating themes. Jean has been recognized in many magazines for her singular yoga career and was also featured in over 30 nationally televised Yoga Zone episodes. Jean was formerly a co-owner of Be Yoga Studios in Manhattan and developed teacher's training programs for two major yoga studios, Yoga Works and Be Yoga. She is also a senior teacher trainer at ISHTA yoga.
Jean is proud to a part of this inspiring project which comes from the heart.