Board of Advisors

Carol Kearns, PhD  Carol first received acclaim as a pioneering psychologist in the 1980s when she introduced a new concept called "grief therapy" to such national corporations as United Airlines, Nordstrom, PG&E, Chevron, Levi Strauss, Bank of America, Pacific Bell, First Nationwide Bank and America West Airlines. Having assisted the legendary Swiss psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross at Elisabeth's center for grief and dying, Shanti Nilaya, Carol returned to college and then to graduate school and earned her Ph.D. in psychology in 1988. Her qualitative dissertation, Work as a Refuge: The Sudden Death of a Child, Bereavement and the Organization, was published by the PSP and remains one of the seminal studies in this field. Carol's career as a psychotherapist thrived in the early '90s when she treated every kind of tragic loss – from bereaved parents whose children died from an unimaginable range of causes (SIDS, shootings, rapes, injuries, assaults, drunk driving, suicide, heart failure, domestic violence, kidnappings, stabbings, drugs) to survivors of disasters such as airplane crashes, earthquakes, shootings, etc. Carol appeared regularly on television to discuss the psychological impact of headline crimes such as the Polly Klass murder, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Columbine school shooting and other tragedies. After the 9/11 attacks, she was asked to explain the role of grief in restoring American identity as well. Carol is the mother of Michel Kearns, M.D., a former Naval flight surgeon and currently an anesthesiologist in the Navy. Her daughter Kristen was killed in 1976 at age 7 when she was swept out to sea by a rogue wave on the Oregon coast. Carol’s memoir, Sugar Cookies and a Nightmare, was published by Melgar Press in October of 2009. Carol has participated in two Project Grace trips in honor of Kristen.

Anne Magill  Anne has over 20 years of experience fundraising for nonprofit organizations. Anne was featured in the film Motherland, which she also co-produced. Project Grace, which was inspired by the film Motherland, is named after her daughter Grace, who died of suicide in January 2005. After Grace died, Anne developed a fundraising program at Edgewood Center for Children and Families, where she is currently an emeritus director, to support the Adolescent Well-Being program that she and her husband Jim founded in Grace's memory. Previously she served Edgewood Center for Children and Families in a variety of other roles including Chairman of the board, Chair of the board's development committee and underwriting chair for the agency's annual fundraising event. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, Jim, and their 4 year old deaf cattle dog, Bunny.

Nancy Ross  Nancy is completing a residency as a hospital chaplain at Stanford Medical Center. A postulant for priesthood in the Episcopal Church, she graduated in 2014 from seminary at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley with a concentration in Spirituality. Nancy holds a Master of Divinity, a Master of Fine Arts in Voice, and a Bachelors degree in Journalism. She worked for 25 years doing public relations, publications, and communications for nonprofit organizations before answering the call to ministry, including serving as Communications Director for the Pacific Institute, a leading think tank on water and sustainability, and The New York Botanical Garden and its International Plant Science Center. She and her husband Jim are proud parents of aerospace engineer Kelsey Herrmann and her big brother, the late comic and tattoo artist Pat "Hetic" Herrmann, who died in 2007 at the age of 22. Nancy has participated in three Project Grace trips in his honor.

Diana Iles Parker, Media Advisor  Diana is the founder of Spoken Media, a boutique PR firm specializing in independent film. She is also a documentary film producer, currently working on the release of her first feature film, Eat The Sun, a film about people who stare directly into the sun to experience health and spiritual benefits (bizarre but true) and will be releasing her next film, Desert Runners, in 2012. Diana has a BA in Journalism and an MBA from the American Graduate School of International Management. Diana has generously donated her time to assist Project Grace with Public Relations.

Cheryl Slomann  Cheryl is the Vice President, Corporate Controller at The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated and has previously held financial roles at QAD, Allergan, Inc. and Ernst & Young, LLP. She is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a B.S. in Business Administration/Accounting from the University of Southern California. Cheryl is an active member of The Compassionate Friends and has participated in two Project Grace trips honoring her son, Robby, who died in 2009 at age 14. Her son, Scott, is currently a business and accounting major at her alma mater.  Cheryl and her husband, Mark, live in Westlake Village, California.

Robin Wein  As an Educational Psychologist, Robin has worked with children with emotional and learning challenges for the past 35+ years.  She continues to aspire to provide more understanding of each child’s struggles, along with empowering them with tools/resources to manage the demands they face in public and private schools.  Her experience also includes working as a Volunteer Art Therapist at two Bay Area hospitals treating children facing life-threatening illness.  Back in the late 70’s, she also worked as a Volunteer Peer Counselor at the Shanti Project, an organization providing care to HIV adults. Robin participated in the second Project Grace trip to Africa, honoring her son, Tyler who died in 2011 at the age of 22.  Robin and her husband, Kurt, live in Mill Valley, and have a 26-year-old daughter, Lauren, who will be participating in the Project Grace Outward Bound trip this September.  She's grateful for Project Grace connecting her with parents and siblings who are willing to talk about their loss and the role it continues to play in their lives.

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