Board of Directors
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Chairman of the Board
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s reputation as a resolute defender of the environment stems from a litany of successful legal actions. Mr. Kennedy was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. The group’s achievement helped spawn 300 Waterkeeper organizations across the globe.
Mr. Kennedy serves as Senior Attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and President of Waterkeeper Alliance. He is also a Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney at Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic and is of counsel to Morgan & Morgan, a nationwide personal injury practice. He is co-host of Ring of Fire on Air America Radio. Earlier in his career he served as Assistant District Attorney in New York City.
He has worked on environmental issues across the Americas and has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in successfully negotiating treaties protecting traditional homelands. He is credited with leading the fight to protect New York City’s water supply. The New York City watershed agreement, which he negotiated on behalf of environmentalists and New York City watershed consumers, is regarded as an international model in stakeholder consensus negotiations and sustainable development.
Among Mr. Kennedy’s published books are the New York Times’ bestseller Crimes Against Nature (2004), The Riverkeepers (1997), and Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr: A Biography (1977) and two children’s books St Francis of Assisi (2005), American Heroes: Joshua Chamberlain and the American Civil War and Robert Smalls: The Boat Thief (2008). His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Nation, Outside Magazine, The Village Voice, and many other publications. His award-winning articles have been included in anthologies of America’s Best Crime Writing, Best Political Writing and Best Science Writing.
Mr. Kennedy is a graduate of Harvard University. He studied at the London School of Economics and received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. Following graduation he attended Pace University School of Law, where he was awarded a Masters Degree in Environmental Law.
He is a licensed master falconer, and as often as possible he pursues a life-long enthusiasm for white-water paddling. He has organized and led several expeditions in Canada and Latin America, including first descents on three little known rivers in Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela.
Ryan Blair is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, keynote speaker, serial entrepreneur and leading investor. Blair authored two books about his life as an entrepreneur: Nothing to Lose, Everything to Gain, and Rock Bottom to Rock Star: Lessons From The Business School of Hard Knocks. He currently serves as founder of HashTagOne, a fast growing venture capital firm with several successful investments to date including Elite Daily, Heal, Fragmob and Saucey.
At the age of 21 years old, Blair founded his first business, 24/7 Tech. Known as a turnaround expert, he has since created and sold numerous other companies for hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of his career.
Shortly after the 2008 recession and just one month from having to declare bankruptcy, Blair and his business partners personally invested in a new business model that would later revolutionize the direct selling industry. As CEO of healthy lifestyle company, ViSalus, Blair took the company from $39 million in revenue to surpassing $1 billion in total sales in just three years. After selling the company to Blyth, Inc. (NYSE: BTH) in 2012, Blair and his co-founders bought the company back in 2014. Blair then organized a leveraged buy out to take the company private. From 2014 to 2016, he restructured the business, turned it to profitability and sold a controlling interest to an investor group.
In 2011, Blair published the New York Times Best Seller, Nothing To Lose and Everything To Gain: How I Went From Gang Member To Multimillionaire Entrepreneur (now available in Paperback and translated in over 10 languages), an uncensored personal account of overcoming a life of adversity as an at-risk youth to a self-made multimillionaire by his early twenties. The book shares a road map for entrepreneurial success through the process of reinvention, while simultaneously facing the biggest professional challenge of his career: rescuing his company, ViSalus.
In 2016, Blair released his second book: Rock Bottom to Rock Star: Lessons from the Business School of Hard Knocks. As a follow up to the first book, Rock Bottom to Rock Star explores how fellow entrepreneurs can elevate their own careers and achieve financial independence, while avoiding the mistakes Blair made in the school of hard knocks.
Blair was named one of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurs of the Year in the “category for consumer products.” He regularly appears as a business expert in national television networks including Bloomberg, CNBC, MSNBC and Fox News. He has also been featured in major publications such as Fortune Magazine, BusinessWeek, Forbes Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and People Magazine. He also serves as Executive Producer for a number of films, including his own documentary: Nothing To Lose.
Blair currently resides in Los Angeles with his son, Reagan.
Terena Thyne Eisner
Terena Thyne Eisner is a freelance journalist covering health, travel, and lifestyle feature articles for a variety of publications, including Angeleno, Harper’s Bazaar Singapore, Coast, Elle, Arena, Robb Report, The Sun, Variety, and others. She is a Co-Founder of the experiential travel website wandermelon.com. She was the Contributing Lifestyle Editor of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore, and Lifestyle Editor of the luxury lifestyle magazine CREAM distributed throughout S.E. Asia.
In addition to her writing, she is an active board member of the Eisner Foundation and 826LA, a writing and after school tutoring center in Los Angeles. She is also an advisory board member of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Department at the University of Denver.
Brian S. Hooker, PhD, PE, is an Associate Professor of Biology at Simpson University in Redding California where he specializes in microbiology and biotechnology. He also teaches chemistry at Shasta College.
Brian dedicated over 15 years as a bioengineer and the team leader for the High Throughput Biology Team and Operations Manager of the DOE Genomics: Genomes to Life (GTL) Center for Molecular and Cellular Systems at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Dr. Hooker also managed applied plant and fungal molecular biology research projects at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where systems biology researchers are focused on understanding gene and protein networks involved in individual cell signaling, communication between cells in communities, and cellular metabolic pathways. Dr. Hooker also served as Research Director for the plant biotechnology company, PhytaGenics.
In 1985, Dr. Hooker earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering, from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California. He earned his Masters of Science degree in 1988 and his doctorate in 1990, both in biochemical engineering, from Washington State University, in Pullman, Washington.
Brian Hooker has many accomplishments to his credit including: co-inventor for five patents, recipient of the Battelle Entrepreneurial Award in 2001, and a Federal Laboratory Consortium Recognition Award in 1999, for his work on “Reactive Transport in 3-Dimensions.” The breadth of Hooker’s over 60 science and engineering papers have been published in internationally recognized, peer reviewed journals.
Dr. Hooker has been active in the autism community since 2001 and has a 19 year old son with autism. He currently serves on the board of trustees for Focus for Health. In 2013 and 2014, Dr. Hooker worked with the CDC Whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson, to expose fraud and corruption within vaccine safety research in the CDC which led to the release of over 10,000 pages of documents.
Eric Gladen majored in Engineering at Oregon State University. A tragic life experience in 2004 would change his focus to storytelling through documentary films. Trace Amounts is the true story of his journey through mercury poisoning that he believes came from a thimerosal-loaded tetanus shot.
Rita Pasiciel lives and promotes healthy living. Born in Western Canada, she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at University of Edmonton and her Masters in Education at University of San Diego. In addition to managing and operating her own businesses, she also taught in the US and abroad for over 20 years. Rita achieved recognition for excellence in operating a business from the government of Canada and was named person of the year by Time magazine in 2006. She is one of the original board members for World Mercury Project and enjoys running ultramarathons as well as coaching all ages to improve their fitness.
Gabriella is the Vice President of the Sarlo Foundation, which focuses on funding in the area of mental health. Gabriella’s primary interest is in the area of proven mindfulness interventions. Gabriella holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara in Communication Studies with a minor in Art History and is a graduate and member of The Philanthropy Workshop, a network of over 300 philanthropists worldwide.
Barry is a man who can’t sit still. In business and in philanthropy he has obsessed over the challenge of solving big problems and getting things done more efficiently and effectively. As a business person, he was a fantastically successful entrepreneur. He started his company, Bradco in 1966. The company was built over decades until 2006, when Bradco sales peaked at over $1.9 billion with 150 branches across the U.S. In August 2008 he sold control of the company, and began his journey into philanthropy.
Segal Family Foundation was registered in 2004 as the manifestation of Barry’s belief that individuals and communities in Sub-Saharan Africa were just a few opportunities away from realizing stable, healthy, and empowered lives. The Foundation team has striven to remain true to this vision to this day.
Tennis, visits with grandchildren and grand-grandchildren, managing the family’s finances, and running the Foundation didn’t fill his days, so Barry started a second foundation, Focus for Health. His ambition for the second foundation, which he and his wife Dolly founded in 2009, was to advocate for vulnerable children who were more susceptible to developing autism. In 2015, Focus Autism was expanded to become Focus for Health. Barry, Dolly, and the entire FFH team are dedicated to uncovering the cause(s) of skyrocketing rates of chronic disease and disability, and to advocate for transparency and change in government that will lead to better health outcomes for all Americans. Barry’s mission is to support efforts that increase awareness of the connection between hazardous environmental exposures and the immune system, and address how social determinants of health and inequality within populations create vulnerability to disease.
Jenni Weinman began her career right out of USC in 1999 working for Bragman Nyman Cafarelli, which is now, which is now PMKBNC. After a short stint in the product placement department she made the move to the talent department handling personal PR for actors and actresses. In the summer of 2000 she joined Susan Patricola at her firm Patricola Public Relations where she was Senior VP until she opened her own firm.
At the time, Weinman specialized in male TV actors and had stars of shows on every network by having clients on CSI, 24, The West Wing, That 70’s Show, Law & Order, Malcolm in the Middle and Buffy the Vampire Slayer all at the same time. With an itch of wanting more she quickly sought to sign new and up and coming talent in the feature film world, launching the careers of Chris Evans, Justin Long and DJ Qualls. (Who later officiated her wedding) Having built a reputation for dealing with strong, creative personalities, she then found herself working with Farrah Fawcett Mo’Nique and Martin Lawrence. To this day the majority of her clients have been with her 15 years or longer.
Being a fan of music she found herself at various shows usually accompanying one of her clients. It was through Danny Masterson that she met DJ AM. They quickly became friends and was eventually doing PR for him. Soon she became one of the most sought after publicists in the electronic and dance music community launching both DJ AM and DJ Paul Okenfold into their Las Vegas residencies at the Palms Hotel. AM had risen in popularity and was soon working with other high profile musicians including famed drummer, Travis Barker. AM and Barker soon created a musical act, TRV$DJAM which led to her representing Barker as well. Weinman has also worked on many projects including famed DJ mix Master Mike as well as cult pop icon Dirt Nasty (aka Simon Rex.)
Her musical roster currently includes Travis Barker, Blink 182, Steve Aoki, DJ Ztrip the rock duo Black Pistol Fire, and Porter Robinson among others
Evolving with the business Weinman currently has her own company the Current Co., which she launched three years ago. The Current Co. is a full scale PR firm that offers PR, crisis management, consulting, marketing strategy, messaging, branding and cause PR.
As an avid environmentalist she sits on the board of the Environmental Media Association, specifically the parents board and works closely with them on all of their projects. She’s has also been on numerous host committees for events for EWG as well as 5Gyers and The Surfrider Foundation.
Weinman lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter and is expecting a son this December.
Katie Wright graduated from Boston University with a BA in History. She received an EdM and an MA in Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. While a student at Columbia and after graduation, Katie worked as a therapist for the Archdiocese of New York’s free counseling service. From 1999 to 2004 Katie serviced as the Clinical Director of Stamford CT’s Sexual Assault Crisis Center.
In 2004 Katie’s typically 20-month-old son, Christian, regressed into severe autism. Soon afterwards, Katie had to quit her job in order to care for Christian full time. Katie’s parents founded Autism Speaks in 2004. When it became clear Autism Speaks was not going to fund environmental research or biomedical treatment Katie joined SafeMinds, the National Autism Association and Generation Rescue. Katie is currently an active board member of SafeMinds and World Mercury Project. She is married with two sons and lives in NYC.