Who We Are
Megory Anderson – Founder and Executive Director
Megory Anderson founded the Sacred Dying Foundation in 1996. She is a theologian, educator, liturgist, and author of the books Sacred Dying: Creating Rituals for Embracing the End of Life and Attending the Dying. Megory has a rich personal history in religion and theology, formerly as an Anglican monastic in New York and then as a comparative religion scholar. She is well known internationally for her writings and extensive work in death and dying, especially at bedside vigil during the last hours. Megory is a vibrant presence as a speaker, celebrated for her ability to share her knowledge and skills: to connect with, educate, and train end-of-life caregivers and professionals from diverse medical, religious, and cultural backgrounds. Megory is an Adjunct and sometimes Professor at the University of San Francisco and University of California, Berkeley, and she serves on the Advisory Board of Spirituality & Health magazine. She is currently finishing her theological doctorate in Sacred Dying at Canterbury Christ Church, Canterbury, England.
Chris Bennett – Program and Training Coordinator
Chris Bennett serves as Co-Coordinator of programs and training for the Sacred Dying Foundation. Chris brings more than 10 years experience in training, consulting and curriculum development to her work at Sacred Dying, and is the author of two published career books. She believes passionately in facilitating a change in our society’s approach to the end of life. She and Mary Matthiesen together developed the Sacred Dying Vigil Program training materials and process, which is being piloted in 2004 for public rollout in 2005.
Todd Fincannon – Web Developer
Todd Fincannon is a software engineer and web developer specializing in customer-centered web applications. His interests include web application architecture, knowledge organization, and high availability systems.
Marc Libarle, Esq. – Legal Counsel
Marc Libarle is Legal Counsel to the Foundation. His general law practice is in San Francisco. He also is a Faculty member of New York University, where he specializes in Privacy Law and Intellectual Property.
Mary Matthiesen – Program and Training Coordinator
Mary Matthiesen serves as Co-Coordinator of programs and training for the Sacred Dying Foundation. Mary brings 15 years experience in the non-profit and healthcare sectors in executive leadership, program development, and training positions. She has led efforts with the California Transplant Donor Network, the American Heart Association, and Community Impact. Mary is an educator, coach, and community facilitator, raising awareness and promoting social change in support of living and dying well. She and Chris Bennett together developed the Sacred Dying Vigil Program training materials and process, which is being piloted in 2004 for public rollout in 2005.
Linda Giglio – Vigiling Associate
Linda Giglio has been a volunteer with hospice organizations for over fifteen years. Through her work with the dying on behalf of the Hospice of Napa Valley and Sacred Dying Foundation, Linda has become well known in her small community as an indispensable resource who is frequently called upon when someone faces the end of life. Among other things, Linda is working with Megory Anderson to establish a Sacred Dying Center in Napa Valley. Currently an on-line bookkeeper, Linda’s professional background includes a ten year stint as co-owner of the Catahoula Restaurant & Saloon in Calistoga, CA, law firm administrator, and dance school owner.
Denise Etchart Cooper – Communications Associate
Denise Etchart Cooper began her nonprofit career in 1989 with The Kevin Collins Foundation for Missing Children, serving first as Executive Director and later as a member of the board of directors. She has been active with parent groups, church activities, and all manner of nonprofit associations while raising her two sons. In addition to her current position with Sacred Dying Foundation, Denise remains involved with Rocket Dog Rescue. She has finished coursework toward her Master of Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco, and is in process with the final thesis project.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Archbishop Desmond Tutu – Patron
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is an Anglican Archbishop and one of the world's most visible human rights activists. He was recipient of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. He was the chairman of that country's Truth and Reconciliation Committee. He continues today to speak out on many concerns of peace and justice, as well as issues of spiritual and social importance. He is the Sacred Dying Foundation’s official Patron.
Tom Klein – President of the Board of Directors
Tom Klein is Chairman and CEO of Rodney Strong Vineyards in Sonoma County, California, and a Trustee at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.
The Rt. Rev. C. Shannon Mallory, M.Div, STD, DD
Shannon Mallory is the retired Anglican Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real (California) and of the Anglican Diocese of Botswana (Central Africa). A bishop since the age of 35, he has an extensive history in church leadership and administration, and in numerous board memberships and task forces. His longtime interests and specializations have been in global affairs, and in multi cultural and multi religious practices. More recently he is developing and teaching on ministry to the dying.
The Rev. Dr. David C. Robinson, SJ
David Robinson has served as Associate Academic Dean and acting Dean of the College of Professional Studies at the University of San Francisco. He is the founder and director of the College's Office of Educational Mission and Spirituality of Learning, as well as director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. He brings to the Foundation his expertise in integrative organizational planning and educational spirituality, as well as his standing in the religious and academic communities.
Diane Bassett – Organization Development Advisor
Diane Bassett has over 20 years of experience in helping organizations of all sizes identify and focus on the key things they need to do in order to become stronger, more effective, and to grow. Her clients range from very large corporations (including Hewlett-Packard) to small startups. Her business background includes identifying and capturing emerging markets and trends; branding; and change and project management. Her nonprofit experience includes work with the human-animal bond and its use in healing and hospice work (and she has two Delta Society Pet Partner Program certified therapy dogs). She currently serves as the media relations manager for Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in southern California, a nonprofit mission-based healthcare system.
Daniel Brewbaker – Music and the Arts Advisor
Daniel Brewbaker is an award winning classical composer and conductor. His Cello Concerto, "La Serenissima," is featured in Chapter 8 of the book Sacred Dying. He has held teaching positions at The Julliard School, Hunter and Queens Colleges, St Stephen's School in Rome, and the Westminster Choir College. Dr Brewbaker has lived and worked extensively abroad, and currently resides in California and in Manhattan.
Steven F. Glotzbach – Science and Medicine Advisor
Steve died on March 28, 2007. We are grateful for his help and support. May he rest in peace.
The Rev Dr John Golenski
John D. Golenski, Ed.D., is Executive Director George Mark Children's House is the first freestanding children's respite and end of life care facility in the United States. The House, located in San Leandro, California, offers respite support (round-the-clock), transitional care, and end of life care for children with life limiting or terminal illnesses. He was formerly Director of the Institute for Ethics and Health Policy, a non-profit research and policy analysis organization founded in 1988. Dr. Golenski received his A.B. degree from Boston College in 1969, and his doctorate in Human Development from Harvard University in 1978. In 1985, Dr. Golenski founded the Bioethics Consultation Group. He and his colleagues have trained the institutional ethics committees of over 300 hospitals, health systems and health plans. His work in the Health Care Industry, as well as in Bioethics, has made him a foremost expert in this field.
Steven Overman currently serves as Vice President, Strategic Effectiveness for Jack Morton Worldwide. He designs and leads corporate strategy and brand communications programs that align the whole organization with its brand promise. Past clients include Microsoft, IBM Global Services, Amgen, Mercer Delta Consulting, UPS and the San Francisco Department of Public Health. A founding partner of The Idea Factory, Steven co-created and facilitated cross-departmental strategic summits with executives and management at FedEx, Nissan, American Century Investments and Royal Dutch Shell. In 2001, he founded Brandism, an online community of strategy, communications, technology and design professionals. A business and design commentator, he has been quoted in Wired, New York Magazine, The Industry Standard, Business 2.0, and Fast Company, and he has presented at The Conference Board.
M. Macha NightMare
M. Macha NightMare is an author, teacher and ritualist within the pagan community. An initiate, and among the founders of Reclaiming Traditional Witchcraft, as well as Faery/Feri Tradition, Macha holds Elder and ministerial credentials through The Covenant of the Goddess (CoG), the oldest and largest non denominational organization of Witches in the USA. A member since 1981, she is a former National First Officer and has served the Covenant in many other capacities. In addition to being a prolific writer, Macha has frequently spoken on behalf of the Craft in electronic and print media, and at colleges and universities. She also is an ordained minister of the Communitarian Church in Vermont. She is the co-author of THE PAGAN BOOK OF LIVING AND DYING.
Ann Wright, LCSW – Consulting Advisor
Ann Wright is an honored clinical social worker, working in the field of HIV/AIDS since the early 1980’s. She has been on staff of the Owen clinic at University of California, San Diego, a clinic that exclusively treats AIDS patients, and also provides psychotherapy and supportive services to patients who are homebound. Ann has been instrumental in her work in helping the AIDS community deal with issues of the healthcare system and of death and dying.