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About Me

Recently, I downloaded Ram Dass’ Be Love Now:  The Path of the Heart onto my Kindle for Mac.  While reading the Foreword by Rameshwar Das, I came upon these words that brushed up against my wild exponential heart:
“As Ram Dass spoke of the interior transformation he had undergone, I began to experience one too.  Subjectively it was like a figure-ground flip when, in one of those high-contrast images, you suddenly see the space instead of the shape.  In my case I went from being the center of my universe to seeing myself as just one spark of awareness among billions.”
That’s exactly how I am seeing myself today ... one spark of awareness among billions.
My inner spark - this call to action – is now pure fire:  I must do work that is meaningful, that serves humanity and is beneficial to all living beings. 
“...our yearning for individual personal meaning and a way to contribute to life,
a yearning that pulls us toward the heart of the world – down, that is,
into wild nature...” – Bill Plotkin
As I reflect upon my work, I realize that I have been the happiest when I was able to serve the greater good.  I have been both humbled and grateful for the many duties and experiences that I have had for they have shaped my heart.
During my employment with One Laptop per Child (OLPC) – “a non-profit organization offering an inexpensive laptop designed for children in developing countries with a mission to empower the world’s poorest children through education” – I was responsible for the planning and implementation of programs aimed at creating strong positive impact on society through the transformation of public education. Based in Kigali, Rwanda, I worked closely with the Rwandan Ministry of Education focusing on program management and administrative oversight of all activities based in Rwanda. I co-managed the international and national OLPC staff based in Rwanda, as well as the various national and international internship programs. I was also responsible for the planning, development and coordination of programs in the sub-Saharan African region. Programs under development included an African Leadership Development Program and a youth technical employment program.  I led the web and social networking development of the OLPC Center for Laptops and Learning. We discovered the enormous potential in using social media not only to share information globally, but more importantly to spread understanding, develop community, and improve practice broadly among disparate people spread across vast distances.
During my employment with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund USA, Inc., I provided administrative oversight for daily operations and for ongoing program and project management.  I worked closely with the Chief Administrative Officer to develop (start up) the affiliate USA office located in Boston, MA.  We built a web presence and our fundraising efforts raised awareness and funds that went directly to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund headquarters in South Africa to help support vulnerable South African children and youth.
During my employment with the National University Telecommunications Network (NUTN) – “a networking and professional development organization for innovative leaders in the advancement of teaching and learning” – I had a wonderful opportunity to experience the creation of several projects from their inspirational beginnings to their fruitful completion. I have experience in creating marketing campaigns for our national events. For the campaigns, I wrote marketing copy and press releases. My skills are extensive in the areas of distance learning technology and policy and collaborative partnerships between institutions, organizations and corporations.
In June 2007 I started Plan Events Together, LLC, (PlanET) as a labor of love, grounded in seva, the Sanskrit word meaning selfless service. The mission behind PlanET is to reach out into the community and to work collaboratively with other entities to build more conscious community.  During the time that I co-owned PlanET, I witnessed the benefits of the company’s open approach and giving nature and how business grew in an organic manner providing all who worked together a unique set of skills based on conscious decision-making, integrity, service and enjoyment.
I am currently enrolled in a Global Master’s Program in Transpersonal Psychology at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California.  With my transpersonal studies, I am experiencing transformation, expansion and realization of our higher human potential, and it is my hope to bring this awareness into my professional and personal life. 
My intention behind the Being Mindful project is to somehow awaken the spark in others.  Once this spark awakens, what happens next ... This project is churning my call to action.
At the moment, I love the collaboration and connections being made at the Sustainability Studio, and I am experiencing that all the individuals involved are following the path of the heart.  The heart is a sustainable muscle.

Ventura Riach
Silver Spring

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