Who We Are

WhoAre We?

We are a gathering of volunteer leaders and staff who believe in the transformational power of purpose.

Discovering My Purpose is a 501(c) 3 charitable organization with Gold Status on GuideStar.

Our Values & Mission

OUR MISSION

To provide the resources and guidance for youth to discover their passion and purpose in life.

OUR VISION

Youth thriving by discovering, developing and using their unique skills to make meaningful contributions to the world.

WHO WE SERVE

We respect and value diversity and want to create an environment that is inclusive of all, no matter age, gender, sexuality, religious and/or political background.

OUR FOCUS

While the process works for all ages, Discovering My Purpose focuses on serving youth aged 14-24.

Board of Directors

Discovering My Purpose has a working and giving Board. They are a fundamental part of our success.

Executive Committee

Alicia Graham

President

Alicia Graham serves as President of the Board. She runs her own business, The Human-Centered Leadership Company, as well as working with The Advisory Board as a Senior Director of Talent Development. Alicia brings 20+ years of marketing leadership experience, having held a series of senior global leadership roles in a Fortune 200 company in both the US & Australia. She is passionate about both inspiring & practically equipping people to thrive. She holds a Bachelor of International Business from Griffith University in Australia, a Certificate in Positive Psychology & is an ICF Certified Executive Coach.

Laura Garrison-Brook

CEO

Laura Garrison-Brook is CEO and founder of Discovering My Purpose. She has worked in the nonprofit space for over 20 years, originally focusing on international relations, then later community development. Laura has seen how purpose can make a difference in the lives of youth and believes that this is one of the most effective change agents that we have at our disposal. She holds a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies (summa cum laude) from University at Albany and the Certificate in Positive Psychology from the Whole Being Institute.

Robert Bales

Treasurer

Robert Bales serves as Treasurer. He is Executive Vice President of Finance & Operations of Quaero, a big data software company and Founder of Attolero, a cloud-based services firm that provides business support services for small and midsize nonprofits. Robert has a life long passion for serving nonprofits as a volunteer, board member and consultant. He graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with Bachelors and Masters of Accounting degrees.

Jeff Schneider

Secretary

Jeff Schneider serves as Secretary. He is the Executive Vice President of Business Development for the The Experts Bench (Teb), a staffing company focused on providing superior talent in the areas of Marketing, MarTech and Technology. Prior to that, he worked for 41+ years with Kimberly-Clark Corporation and Halyard Health, a medical device company and spin-off of Kimberly-Clark. He held a many roles over his tenure including Director of Strategic Business and Resource Planning (focus on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures & strategy execution) and Chief of Staff to the President of Kimberly-Clark Health Care (focus on business consultation and coaching, and high-level project management of strategic initiatives). He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh with Bachelors and Masters of Business Administration.

Directors

Mike Buchanan

Secondary Education

Michael Buchanan co-authored the young-adult novel The Fat Boy Chronicles (2010) with Diane Lang & wrote the screenplay for the film of the same name. The book won the National Parenting Publication’s Gold Award, Mom’s Choice Award of Excellence and NY Champions of Character Award. Schools around the nation use the novel in their anti-bullying and childhood obesity efforts. The movie was seen by millions around the world & won multiple awards. Former State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said, “This book and movie will save lives.” Mike is a guest speaker at state, national and international reading and anti-bullying conferences. He is also the lead writer on a number of other documentaries including Spiral Bound (2015), Nature Matters (2016) & Saving Farm House (2019). He is also a retired math and science teacher of 32 years.

Matt Gellis

Analytics

Matt Gellis is founder and CEO of Keystone Solutions, a leading provider of immersive customer experience and digital audience solutions allowing Enterprise brands to connect in meaningful, intelligent, and powerful ways with their customers across the globe. They have provided comprehensive strategies, governance, analytics, and digital intelligence solutions to some of the largest companies on the Internet including Fiserv, Staples, Allstate, Marriott, Nike, Turner Broadcasting, and many more. Matt has been doing digital audience work and strategy in one form or another for the past 20 years.

Ellen Feig Gray

Research

Ellen Feig Gray, M.A., CiPP, CPPC is a certified positive psychology practitioner, TEDx speaker, and author who specializes in parenting and family life coaching. She is the founder of Parent with Perspective dedicated to facilitating flourishing and cultivating whole-being wellness, success and happiness, through individual and group coaching, consulting, workshops, talks, and retreats. She is co-author of Hacking School Culture: Designing Compassionate Classrooms (Times 10 Publications, 2018), part of the Hack Learning series for educators, and presents her work to educators, parents, and young people. Ellen earned her Master’s degree in developmental psychology from University of Michigan, and received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brooklyn College of CUNY. She certified in positive psychology and coaching from the WholeBeing Institute and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.

Julie Phillips

Higher Education

Julie Phillips is the Managing Editor for PaperClip Communications, a higher ed and K-12 publisher. After starting her career working on college campuses within student life, she now writes, edits and develops products for the folks doing this important work. She strives to help young people and those supporting them have the most positive experiences possible. Julie graduated from SUNY Oswego with a Bachelors in Communication Studies and from Western Illinois U. with a Masters in College Student Personnel.

Lisa Siegal

Higher Education/Marketing

Lisa Siegal, M.B.A. has been a Lecturer in Marketing at Texas A&M University-San Antonio since 2009. She teaches undergraduate courses in Marketing and advises first year students and various student organizations including the Collegiate American Marketing Association Chapter (where she previously served as a Board Member). She has served on and chaired several internal committees focused on Enrollment, Curriculum and Strategic Planning. Additionally, she has been on the Board of several non-profits including: the Texas Children’s Heart Foundation, Blue Faery and Compathos. Prior to teaching, she worked as a Realtor and Account Manager at several Advertising Agencies in New York and Los Angeles.

Advisors

Dan Brook

Strategic Advisor

Dan Brook has over 30 years of business experience having spent almost 20 years as an executive at General Electric Real Estate where he was underwrote and gained approval for over one billion dollars of real estate investments. He has also started a number of small businesses including three restaurants, two software companies and a real estate consulting company. His expertise includes business modeling, financial structuring and business strategy. He is excited to work with Discovering My Purpose since it represents an opportunity to help America's youth and to give back to the community. Dan has a B.A. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Stay Connected

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