TLC BOARD MEMBERS AND VOLUNTEERS
Julie Rogers, Founder, Executive Director & President of the Board
Julie has been a student of Ven. Gyatrul Rinpoche since 1983, who insisted she organize a Vajrayana Buddhist end of life program. She and Ian Villarreal founded TLC in 2014. She is the author of TLC's end of life manual ‘Instructions for the Transitional State’, published in 2007. [vimalatreasures.org] Julie received hospice & bereavement training at Ashland Hospital in Oregon where she volunteered for two years, and was employed as a caregiver for elders and developmentally disabled adults for over twenty years. She is the ground floor of TLC's organization and carries the program in her hands and heart. A poet and author, Julie has been performing her poetry for over four decades, and her work is published in numerous books and anthologies. Julie leads a Buddhist practice group, and loves writing, creating collage, the arts, travel, camping, the seashore, and the woods. She lives in Oakland, California.
John Pfeiffer, Corporate Treasurer & Event Registrar
John has practiced Vajrayana Buddhism under various masters since 1993. He and his wife, Cate Hutton, began attending TLC events during the program’s early development. John was a long time consultant in the health care field advising hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers in financial and business matters. He has received hospice training and serves as a volunteer. He is also a member of Saraha Nyingma Institute’s Board of Directors in Eugene, Oregon, founded by Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, Lama Tsering Gyaltsen, and Lama Sonam Tsering, and a founding board member of The Buddhist Home. John also acts as TLC's event registrar and assists with our Planned Giving Program. He, Cate, and several donkeys and other animals live on a small farm in Northern California.
Joy Ruppersburg, Board Secretary, Membership Manager & Deep Chat Host
As a child living in Tokyo, Joy learned about Buddhism from a Zen nun who lived with and cared for Joy’s family. She learned to meditate and visited many temples when living in Japan. Attending the University of Oregon, Joy studied with various Dharma groups until meeting her root guru, Mindrolling Jetsun Khandro Rinpoche in 2006, who she continues to follow. For almost 50 years, Joy has fulfilled various roles as a professional educator, beginning in a one-room school house, and is now semi-retired after 20 years in private practice as an educational therapist. She completed 3 years of Karuna Training and later served as a crisis counselor for suicide prevention, which led her to supporting those in transition. After over a year as TLC’s volunteer admin assistant she became the board secretary. Joy enjoys caring for her husband and their two Havanese doggies. Her organic garden with 15 fruit trees and hundreds of flowers, a tiny oasis for pollinators, is a certified wildlife habitat in Petaluma, CA.
Leslie Crabtree, Board Member, Oregon Event Coordinator, Zoom Event Manager & Deep Chat Host
Leslie has practiced Buddhism since 1996 with HE Chagdud Rinpoche, Chagdud Khadro, and Lama Tsering Everest. She has assisted family members and friends with end of life care, and has written for an online support site, “The Grieving Room”. She leads Minjur Ling, a Buddhist practice group in Ashland, OR, is instrumental in running TLC’s Ashland, Oregon branch and Deep Chat group, and helps to organize and produce all of TLC's Ashland events. Leslie has been a fund raiser for various Buddhist organizations, and has cooked for many group retreats and public events. Her retreat cookbook, 'One Taste', was published in 2019 (onetastekitchen.com). Leslie takes long-distance bike rides across various countries, loves camping with her husband, and is an amazing cook! She lives in Ashland, Oregon.
Joan Stigliani, Board Member
Joan discovered Buddhism in Japan when she was there teaching and became Vajrayana Buddhist in the late 1980s. She studied with HH the Dalai Lama, at the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana tradition as staff member, and at Institute Lama Tsong Khapa in Pomaia, Italy. Ven Gyatrul Rinpoche and Tsoknyi Rinpoche are her main teachers. Joan taught ESL in Brazil, Japan, and the US, and worked a tech writer in the computer industry. She assisted her sister and mother during their long term care and transitions. Joan regularly participates in Buddhist retreats and also acts as TLC's Membership Manager, and assists as a Zoom host during our events. She enjoys
swimming, tai chi, horses, and travel, and lives in Crestone, Colorado.
Carol Veilleux, Board Member
Carol is a long-time student of Ven. Gyatrul Rinpoche, His Holiness Penor Rinpoche, and Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche. She was previously a Director, Board Member and volunteer at Namdroling Buddhist Center in Bozeman, MT. Carol holds a B.S. in Clinical Science from SF State University, and an MBA from Golden Gate University, and has been employed as a Medical Technologist at California Pacific Medical Center, and in marketing at Bio-Rad Laboratory. Carol assists TLC with our Vimeo platform, as a Zoom host for events, and with research. She is a world traveler and also spends time in Maine caring for her parents. Carol tutors teens, and loves music and art, travel, tai chi, and camping. She lives in Brisbane, California when she happens to be in town.
TLC VOLUNTEER STAFF
Jacob Tendrel, Video Editor & Production & YouTube Manager
Jacob is a committed Vajrayana Buddhist practitioner and a student of Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche and other lamas. He has worked as a telehealth tech for Montana Caregiver’s Network, an event sound tech at Ewam Kusum Ling Buddhist Center, a Content Coordinator and Artist Relations Rep for Feedbands Internet Radio, and a Promotional Agent for HOP Productions, a music production company. He is also a self-taught musician. Being a nomad, Jacob has lived in the SF Bay Area, at Kusum Ling - Humboldt County, CA, in Hawaii, and is now in Dharamsala, India studying Tibetan. TLC's video and trailer editor, composes music for our videos, manages TLC's YouTube channel, and assists with research and the creation of our Google Ads. Jacob loves art and creativity, nature, hiking, and music.
Sangye Land, Social Media Manager & Vimeo Tech
Sangye has been a Vajrayana Buddhist all her life, and is a student of Ven. Gyatrul Rinpoche. She attended Buddhist classes at Tashi Choling in Ashland, OR during her teens and has studied with many Vajrayana masters. Sangye helped guide her grandmother and stepfather through their transitions. She initially established and continues to manage TLC’s presence on the internet, she currently operates our Facebook and Instagram pages, and assists with our video production as well as Vimeo art and design. Sangye is also TLC’s photographer during public events. She performs poetry with her partner on KPFA radio, loves music, reading, literature, and is a talented collage artist. She lives in Oakland, California.
Roger Hardy, Deep Chat Host & Zoom Event Tech
Roger has a degree in water resource management. After graduating, he moved to the Sierra Nevada to live in a Buddhist-based community. Later re-inventing his career, he worked in a straight commission sales job for an energy conservation company, then real estate sales, and finally in customer service and sales for an insurance company. During this time Roger met his root Guru, Lama Tharchin Rinpoche, and has practiced Tibetan Buddhism since 1996. One of Roger’s customers was a professional singer, a tenor in the San Francisco Opera chorus. He took singing lessons from the man for 3 years, developing confidence to sing the devotional songs that he loves so much. He lives in Los Gatos, CA and enjoys hiking in the nearby Santa Cruz mountains.
TLC's Essential Volunteer Staff
John Pfeiffer – Board Member, Corporate Treasurer, Event Registrar & Zoom Host
Joy Ruppersburg – Board Member, Board Secretary, Membership Manager & CA/CO Deep Chat Host
Leslie Crabtree – Board Member, So. Oregon Branch Organizer, 'Deep Chat' & Zoom Host
Carol Veilleux – Board Member, Zoom Assistance & TLC Research
Joan Stigliani – Board Member, Zoom Assistance
Jacob Tendrel – Video Editor & Production, YouTube Manager, Promotional Assistant
Sangye Land – Social Media Manager, Video Editing & Media Arts
Roger Hardy – Public Event Assistant & SF Bay Area ‘Deep Chat’ Support Group Zoom Host
Sally Rogers – Hospice Research and other website research projects
Kristie Brady – Hospice Project, Videography assistant (in training)
Additional Public Event Volunteers
Keith Flippin - Sound Tech for Public Events
Christine Rossi - Public Event Assistant
Sally Rogers - Public Event Assistant
Kristie Brady - Public Event Assistant
Advisors to the Board
Chagdud Khadro – Vajrayana Buddhist Lama
Tara Roberts – End of Life Coach
Volunteer ‘Laurel Award’
The ‘Laurel Award’ is in honor of Laurel Hansen, beloved friend of Board Members Leslie Crabtree and Julie Rogers, among many others. Laurel left this world after pancreatic cancer took her from us on the new moon, Tibetan New Year, February 2014. Leslie, Julie, and others were by her side during a very courageous and peaceful passing. Her Buddhist teacher, Lama Tsering Everest of Chagdud Gompa, traveled from Brazil to sit at bedside with Laurel as she gave her the sacred, traditional Vajrayana Buddhist instructions on dying.
Laurel Hansen and Julie Rogers first planned to found an end of life program during the early 2000s, and took hospice and bereavement training together. That experience enabled Julie to complete TLC’s end of life manual, 'Instructions for the Transitional State'. Laurel’s endless energy for Buddhist dharma as a practitioner, organizer for Chagdud Gompa’s southern Oregon sangha, her love of the arts, and her generosity in cooking and entertaining are well known. She is held in the hearts of her husband Patrick Hansen, her son James, daughters Ariel and Chloe, brothers Dave and Terry, her grandchildren, and countless friends. She is always missed.
Volunteer Dik Willmes & TLC Director Julie Rogers
Board Secretary and Volunteer, Joy Ruppersburg
LAUREL AWARD WINNERS
2016 Dik Willmes
2017 John Devilbiss
2018 Sangye Land, Ani Chonid & Roger Hardy
2020-21 John Pfeiffer
2022 Jacob Tendrel
2023 Joy Ruppersburg
TLC's Logo ~ Meet the Artists
Dik Willmes, 2016's TLC Volunteer of the Year, and Sally Dannels, a professional San Francisco artist and muralist, together designed our beautiful logo, now featured on our website, Facebook and Instagram pages, TLC's new greeting card, and will be seen in future publications. TLC's Board of Directors thanks these two for their generous support and artistic ingenuity. Best wishes from TLC!