Charter for Compassion Global Team

Marilyn TurkovichMarilyn Turkovich, Executive Director

Marilyn Turkovich started with the Charter for Compassion in 2013 as the education director and since that time has moved into a number of different roles with CFC. Marilyn's background has been primarily in higher education and most specifically in directing teacher training programs for the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, and chairing Columbia College-Chicago's master's program in multicultural and global education.  She has done a considerable amount of curriculum writing through the years, much of it related to international and cultural topics. She worked with Independent Broadcasting Associates on a series for airing on National Public Radio, BBC and the Australian Broadcasting organizations. There was a period of time in the 1990s when she worked in organizational development and specialized in instructional design work, strategic planning and leadership development.  She also wrote and developed training on race and social justice initiatives.

Lynn de Vree, Gala Coordinator and Office ManagerLynn de Vree

I am a Dutch immigrant who landed in the USA. My background in the Netherlands was in hospitality and travel and languages are in my blood. In the US I’ve worked in an international travel environment and was able to use my creativity as an interior design consultant. Dogs, home, garden, books and floral arrangement make me happy and I’m pleased to add the Charter for Compassion to that list.

Susan SoleilSusan Soleil, Development Director

Susan Soleil learned early in life that compassion is transformative. Since then, she has had the good fortune to work with organizations that spread love and compassion in various ways: growing backyard gardens to share with those who are hungry; bringing together people of different faiths to address the climate crisis; connecting young people with bleeding disorders to each other for strength and support; promoting the Golden Rule online, in-person, and in school assemblies, and now working with the Charter for Compassion to cultivate compassion for self, others and the planet. Every lesson and each of her jobs have helped her grow and brought great joy, peace and hope for our future together. Susan has a dear husband, three children, four grandchildren, and a large, loving and supportive family who make life sweet and zany. She feels blessed to be part of this remarkable organization.

Felipe ZuritaFelipe Zurita Quintana, Social Media Marketing Manager

Felipe has been bringing awareness to the golden rule and empathy with his energetic Millennial, Latinx, Immigrant, Queer voice and experiences to the compassionate movement for 4 years, joining the Charter for Compassion in 2021 to amplify its reach via social media and projects with his social marketing and project coordination skills.

Merida mccarthyMérida McCarthy, Program Coordinator

Mérida has been involved in the Charter for Compassion since 2016. CfC has been her inspiration collaborating in various projects through her work with Encuentro Mundial de Valores ABP in Mexico, where she successfully helped coordinating the roll-out of CIT and Think Equal as part of the Compassionate Cities program. She has now joined the CfC team and is looking forward to continue coordinating and inspiring partners, cities & communities to introduce compassionate actions as a foundation and guide to live in a kinder world that enhances wellbeing and peace for all.

Natalia ZuritaNatalia Zurita, Web Editor & Development

Natalia joined the Charter team in 2022, bringing her creative energy to all website-related things. She is excited to be able to provide her web-developing skills to an organization that feeds her passion, like compassion. Originally from Chile, she has lived all over the world and tries to live a conscious life, giving her love to everyone that surrounds her.

Shane O’ConnorShane O´Connor, Education & Goldenrulism

Shane has worked internationally as a facilitator, trainer and educator in a wide range of areas from Peace and Global Education, Youth Work for professionals to Teacher training workshops. He has over two decades of experience working for local peace and human rights organisations, as well as larger International NGOs and educational institutions in the Global North and South. Over the past number of years, Shane has developed & led the CIT (Compassionate Integrity Training) Education Initiative and Coordinated the Global Education Network. He has also nurtured CITs strategic partnership with UNESCO/MGIEP. Now joining Charter for Compassion in 2022 in the Education Sector to continue co-creating and expanding compassion throughout the education community around the world.

Volunteer Advisors

John Boswell, CFC Lead for the LGBTQI CommunityJohn Boswell

John is passionate about enhancing life for LGBTQI people and connections with those outside the community. He is president of Rainbow Advocacy and spearheading programs to deepen compassionate action in Los Angeles and around the world. John started out in public radio and broadcast television, producing media programs for a wide range of businesses and socially-oriented organizations. He has worked actively in international non-profit efforts and is developing compassion-building programs with CFC for the global LGBTQI community.

Vanessa HurstVanessa Hurst, Consultant for Community Growth

Vanessa F. Hurst is Compassion Officer at Intent & Action. She consults with organizations to identify and strengthen compassion cultures and create sustainable, collaborative environments. As a community builder, she facilitates the strengthening of relationships with current stakeholders and the growing of community membership. Vanessa is author of Engaging Compassion Through Intent and Action and A Constellation of Connections: Contemplative Relationships. She holds a master’s degree in Natural Health. In her practice as an intuitive coach, she assists clients in transformation through the integration of mindfulness practices and compassion.

Thea LaGrouThea LaGrou, Lead for Film and Media Arts

Thea is a cultural creative who is driven by curiosity, imagination and a vision for positive change in the world. As Founding Director at Compathos Foundation she works at the intersection of the arts and creativity, peace and compassion, and social transformation by producing and sharing conscious media that educates and inspires. Cynthia facilitates teams of social change artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers, and technologists in the co-creation of meaningful media experiences from around the world, while working to provide strategic insight and integral solutions for content producers, mission-driven organizations, and networked movements. Cynthia is an author, speaker and event producer who is passionate about bringing people together to unearth their collective stories and inspire meaningful action around the common good. She is working with the Charter to produce community engagement resources and a Media Coalition for Peace and Compassion.

Andrea LeBlancAndrea LeBlanc, CFC Lead for Peace and Non-Violence Sector and annotated bibliographies section

Andrea LeBlanc lost her husband, Robert G. LeBlanc, Professor Emeritus of Geography, on UA#175 when it was flown into the second WTC tower. Together Bob and Andrea parented 5 children and have nine grandchildren. Andrea is a retired veterinarian, having practiced small animal medicine and surgery for 37 years. The family created the Robert G. LeBlanc Memorial Scholarship at the University of New Hampshire which is awarded to undergraduate students for study abroad.

[Since joining 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows] "I have realized that there is a vast global community of wise and compassionate people who all understand the wisdom and power of nonviolence. I believe that the stories of these peacemakers must be told and told again until they become as ubiquitous as all the stories of hatred and violence and war.  I belong to that community and I want to tell their stories."

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