James PondExecutive Director of Veteran’s PATH
James Pond, MA, began his current career path, after serving 8 years in the US Marine Corps and 10 years of corporate sales experience. In 2005, James and his family established a charity to help restore the lives of young girls rescued from sex trafficking in Cambodia. After a successful career of working on human trafficking issues in over ten countries, James found a deep passion to serve the needs of veterans and began mentoring young veterans in developing their lives outside of the military. He comes to Veteran’s PATH with a personal connection to the veteran community and a passion to make a difference.
Lee Klinger Lesser, Co-FounderProgram Director of Veteran’s PATH
Lee Klinger Lesser, MS, has developed and led retreats for veterans since 2008, integrating her experience of mindfulness and meditation into accessible programming for Veterans. She has been leading Sensory Awareness workshops since 1976, both in English and in Spanish, throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Spain. She studied and co-taught with Charlotte Selver, the founder of Sensory Awareness in the United States, and has practiced Zen since 1978. She was a national trainer on early childhood education, emotional intelligence, family support, diversity and equity. (www.returntooursenses.com)
Chris Fortin, Co-FounderLead Facilitator of Veteran’s PATH and Marriage and Family Therapist
Chris Fortin is a zen practitioner and teacher, as well as a MA MFT psychotherapist and spiritual counselor. She is Cofounder of Veteran’s PATH and has co-developed and co-led our retreats since its beginning. She began her Zen practice at San Francisco Zen Center in 1976 and now practices as a leader and teacher in the Everyday Zen Community (www.everydayzen.org.) She leads meditation workshops and retreats throughout the bay area and beyond. She has over 30 years of experience in helping to heal the wounds and trauma of mind, body and spirit, and brings this experience to the leadership and development of Veteran’s PATH. (www.dharmaheartzen.com)
Laurie SenaukeDevelopment and Programs
Laurie has spent over two decades supporting non-profit organizations in various roles, including board member, volunteer and program coordinator, bookkeeper, content and promotional material editor, and development support. She brings to Veteran’s PATH her expertise and proficiency in ground-up database development, website and email creation and management, as well as extensive experience with data collection, management, and analysis for program evaluation. Laurie is a formally recognized Lay Zen teacher; she started Zen practice in 1980 and she currently lives at the Berkeley Zen Center, where she serves as a Practice Leader and administrator of family programs. She works with her own clients doing hypnotherapy and neuro-coaching, weaving together ancient wisdom and recent discoveries from neuroscience. She is deeply moved and inspired by the mission and work of Veteran’s PATH, and she is thrilled to be bringing her skills and strengths to this growing organization.