David Lipsius, Chief Executive Officer
David Lipsius, JD, RYT-500, is a Kripalu Yoga teacher, yoga therapist, Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor, and a licensed attorney. He joined Kripalu in January of 2012 to pursue his personal dharma: using the professional skills he developed in the entertainment and news business to promote and advance yoga and Ayurveda. Prior to joining Kripalu, David served in various leadership positions for more than 15 years at NBC Universal in New York City, including roles as the vice president of operations for the NBC Agency East Coast and vice president of creative services for NBC News Marketing and Communications. David now blends his passion for yoga with right livelihood in his role as CEO at Kripalu, and serves to empower people and communities to realize their full potential through the transformative wisdom and practice of yoga.
Erin Peck, Senior Vice President of People, Culture, and Programs
Erin Peck was raised in the Berkshires and has always valued the rich culture and history of this region. She worked in management at two other distinguished nonprofit organizations—Shakespeare & Company in Lenox and the California Center for the Arts in San Diego County. Prior to that, she spent several years in Los Angeles working in the entertainment industry after earning a degree in Theatre Arts at Bard College and the British American Drama Academy in London. She began working at Kripalu in 2009 and, recognizing the importance of Kripalu’s mission, set an intention to discover how she could be of service to the vision of creating a more compassionate and connected world. Erin is a member of SHRM and has completed training in Positional Therapy, Reiki, and Kripalu’s Certificate in Positive Psychology.
Jill Bauman, Vice President of Strategy and Growth
Jill Bauman, RYT-200, Vice President of Strategy and Growth, has more than 20 years’ experience driving revenue growth in the fitness, wellness, and hospitality industries. Previously, she was the Regional Vice President for YogaWorks in New York City and has held leadership positions at other prominent industry leaders such as Reebok Sports Club and properties for ClubCorp. A lifelong fitness enthusiast, Jill has been practicing yoga for more than 15 years. In 2015, she was drawn to Kripalu by the organization’s mission and core values. Her commitment to serve is bolstered by her belief in yoga’s ability to create an awakened, compassionate and connected world. Jill received her BA in Education from the University of South Florida and an MA in Applied Physiology from Columbia University. In addition, Jill is on the Advisory Board for Bent on Learning, a non-profit that brings yoga to inner-city kids in New York City. Jill resides in Great Barrington and New York City, and is grateful to her family, mentors, and teachers, without whom this journey would not be possible.
Elizabeth Burnett, Vice President of Development
Elizabeth Burnett discovered Kripalu when she moved to the Berkshires in 2008 to serve as Senior Development Officer, and later Director of Major Gifts, at Williams College. She has fifteen years of experience with nonprofit organizations, including Literary Arts of Portland, Oregon, where she was Executive Director and curator of a major arts and lectures series after leading a citywide Writers in the Schools program. Elizabeth received a bachelor’s in psychology at Williams College and a master’s in creative writing from University of Montana. A longtime student of yoga, she joined Kripalu’s executive team in 2015, excited by the impact donors can have on our mission to transform the world through the wisdom and practice of yoga.
Inger Forland, Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Inger Forland came to Kripalu from CCA&B in Atlanta, where she led the marketing and digital strategy for the bestselling holiday brand, The Elf on the Shelf. Prior to that, Inger spent more than twenty years in nonfiction publishing, working with major authors and brands to drive awareness, engagement, and revenue. She is an established marketing professional with a track record of success in sales, distribution, brand management, social media, PR, and digital. Inger joined Kripalu in 2014, drawn by its unparalleled commitment to serve individuals and communities, and by its outstanding faculty and staff.
John Gillespie, Vice President of Finance
John Gillespie, who joined Kripalu in late 2014, combines 30 years of experience in the financial field, including substantial non-profit experience, with a great affinity for Kripalu’s vision of an awakened, compassionate, and connected world. He earned his MBA in Finance and MIS at Boston College. As founder and president of Beyond the Bottom Line, and interim CFO and executive search firm that provides financial services and supports to nonprofits and social enterprises, he has used his expertise to guide multi-billion dollar revenue companies like Barnes & Noble and CCH, Inc., in strategic growth and bottom-line improvement. John is a sought-after speaker on a range of financial and economic issues facing nonprofits and he serves as a mentor for NYU’s Stern School of Business “Entrepeneur’s Challenge.” He is currently the Board Treasurer at Next Step Networks (Louisville, KY), on the advisory board of 10,000 Degrees (San Rafael, CA), and is on the audit committee of the Social Enterprise Alliance (Minneapolis, MN). John lives in Great Barrington with his wife, Linda, and their dog, Maggie, and enjoys baking and poetry, especially the work of David Whyte in his spare time.
Stephen Cope, Scholar-In-Residence and Kripalu Ambassador
Stephen Cope, MSW, is a psychotherapist, a national best-selling author, and a senior instructor of Kripalu Yoga with more than 15 years of experience as a yoga teacher. During the summer of 2005, he launched a pioneering music and consciousness program in conjunction with the Tanglewood Institute to study the effects of yoga and meditation on performance anxiety, physical health, and states of optimal performance. The senior Scholar-in-Residence at Kripalu Center, Stephen is the author of Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, Will Yoga and Meditation Really Change My Life?, and The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living. Stephen was named by Yoga Journal as one of the top 25 innovators in yoga in America in the last quarter of a century.
Edi Pasalis, Director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living
Edi Pasalis, MBA, MTS, Director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living, champions the use of yoga throughout society, particularly in the education and health-care sectors. She brings more than two decades of corporate and entrepreneurial experience and a deep study of yoga to this work. Edi’s academic background includes an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School, where she explored the impact of yoga on spiritual life. Edi is also a 500-Hour Kripalu Yoga teacher.