Anne Marie Rossi, Founder & Chief Scientist, Board Member
AnneMarie Rossi founded Be Mindful in 2011, after discovering Dialectical Behavior Therapy and its impact with PTSD. She is passionate about sharing the science behind the mindfulness assertions. In 2013, she completed Institutional Review Board qualified research with the University of Colorado Denver and Denver Public Schools on the impacts of mindfulness instruction on 4th grade students. She has since conducted a similar study on runaway homeless youth with partner University of Colorado Anschutz Medical School. She has completed the Mindful Schools curriculum training and is a certified Mindfulness in Schools (.b) instructor. AnneMarie has taught mindfulness instruction to thousands of people from school age to adults. Earlier in her career, she was an award-winning stock trader and financial advisor. She received the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Grant in 2013. Anne Marie holds a Bachelor of Arts in history (minor in sociology and education) from the University of Colorado at Denver. She is the mother of two and lives in Denver.
Jason Dilg, Executive Director
Jason Dilg brings more than a decade of experience in organizational leadership, program management, and presentation coaching in thought-leadership domains that include global business, public health, climate change, and technology. He worked with hundreds of speakers as a producer of TEDxMileHigh. He previously served as a public-relations expert, district leadership team member, and political counsel, and served as a member of the staff of the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and political science from James Madison University.
Jason's mindfulness practice dates back nearly a decade, when he became interested in the potential benefits of the practice as a tool beyond cognitive therapy and pharmacological remedies to confront depression and anxiety. His is certified in Mental Health First Aid for both youth and adults.
Jason lives with his wife in Virginia's New River Valley and is also an award-winning musician and an amateur medical botanist.
Michelle Benedict, Program Director
Michelle Benedict brings years of classroom teaching experience, along with a strong background in sales, marketing, and management to the Be Mindful team. She incorporates mindful living into her personal and professional life, and advocates mindfulness and trauma-informed responsiveness for all sectors of our society. She earned a master’s degree in education from Lindenwood University and is currently resides in St. Louis, Mo. She has received training in several mindfulness and self-regulation programs and is certified in Mental Health First Aid for Youth.
In 2017, she presented “Rise Above with Mindfulness” at the TEDx Lindenwood event. Michelle has spent years giving lectures and enrichment workshops for children and adults, aimed at fostering a more connected and mindful world.
She is a proud parent of four young adults and spends her free time communing and camping in nature.
Chris Mindenhall, Board President
Chris Mindenhall serves as president of the board and corporate advisor. He brings a wealth of experience from a broad set of disciplines, including organizational design and excellence, innovation and strategy consulting, design thinking/human-centered design, enterprise architecture, systems engineering, big data analytics, AI/machine Learning, kaizen/continuous improvement, behavioral economics, human cognition, human potential/mentoring, and mindfulness practice.
Chris has spent the last 15 years as a solutions consultant for more than 50 of the top retailers on the Forbes 500. In the 90’s, he co-founded a B2B e-commerce startup in the pioneer days of the Internet. Before that, he was a composer, bandleader, studio player, and instructor in New York City while studying jazz guitar at the Manhattan School of Music and The New School.
He has formal training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Interpersonal Mindfulness (Insight Dialogue), Mindfulness-Based Habit Change, Transcendental Meditation (TM), and Sōtō Zen. His mindfulness practice began over a decade ago with studies in the spiritual tradition of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Tibetan Buddhist Center for Universal Peace (Do Ngak Kunphen Ling) in Redding, Conn., where he served as treasurer and member of the board of directors.
Chris lives in Grand Rapids, Mich., with his wife, three step-daughters, and dog, Louie.
Jessica C. Ashdown, J.D., M.B.A., Board Member
Jessica D. Ashdown lends her professional expertise in business administration, marketing, and law to the Be Mindful board. Jessica’s passion and experience lies in the intertwining of the creative and design aspects of marketing and the analytical and strategic aspects of business and intellectual property. Her diverse background includes contract review, intellectual property strategy, digital marketing, branding, licensing and project management.
She received her undergraduate degree in business with minors in entrepreneurship and marketing from Miami University of Ohio. She has a master's in Business Administration in both marketing and management from Loyola University Chicago, obtained her Juris Doctor with a certificate of intellectual property law, along with her master's in intellectual property law, from The John Marshall Law School and is the founder and designer of Jessica Diane, a high-end handbag company.
Jessica lives in Chicago, is obsessed with family, loves fabulous food, good wine, and great company, and believes in the beauty of life.
Trey Cole, Ph.D., Board Member
Trey Cole received his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Denver. He began his mental health training and career in the United States Army and has worked in numerous clinical settings, thereafter, including community mental health, hospice care, inpatient psychiatric facilities. Currently, Trey works full-time as a psychologist in the Denver County Jail, owns a small private practice, and serves as an adjunct faculty member in the University of Denver's counseling psychology program.
Erin Stearns, Advisory Board Member
Erin H. Stearns is an Assistant Professor of the practice of tax law at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law. She is the director of the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, which assists low income residents of Colorado to resolve their federal and state tax problems. She has taught tax research and writing, estate and gift taxation, and estate planning in the graduate tax program. Erin graduated cum laude from Colorado College with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. She went on to earn a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University, a Master of Public Health from Tufts University, and an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Denver’s graduate tax program. Prior to joining the faculty at the Sturm College of Law, Erin clerked at the New Hampshire Supreme Court and worked as an associate attorney at firms in New Hampshire and Colorado, advising clients on complex estate planning matters, estate and trust administration issues, and the management of tax-exempt organizations. She has had articles published in the New Hampshire Bar Journal and New Hampshire Bar News and presented at the 2015 Conference of Low Income Taxpayer Clinics in Washington D.C. She regularly teaches continuing education to tax professional through CPE4U in Denver, Colo. Erin has been involved with non-profit boards including the Queen City Rotary and CrimeStoppers of Manchester, N.H.; and the Women’s Bar Association of New Hampshire. She is currently a member of the Colorado and New Hampshire Bar Associations. Erin and her husband have two children and they enjoy spending time with them and traveling to new places.