Board of Directors
The Meditation Center Board of Directors
Board meetings are typically held at 5:30 pm on the 3rd Monday of every month. Please contact us if you would like to attend and/or add something to the agenda.
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Veena Haasl-Blilie (president) Initiated in the Himalayan Tradition in 1985 by Swami Veda, Veena has lived in the ashram on two occasions, completed the Teacher's Training Program (TTP) in 1998, and completed the Teacher's Training and STP Programs at the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, PA. Veena has worked with The Center's Board of Directors since 2001, becoming a member in 2002 and currently serves as its President. Veena holds a Master's Degree in non-profit management and conflict resolution from Hamline University and prior to starting a family she was a director of MAP, a consulting firm that serves other non-profits.Veena is an Ayurvedic Practitioner providing consultations and treatments in NE Minneapolis through Saumya Ayurveda.
Phyllis Vargas (chair) The Sutras, Sanskrit, and yoga of sound are her interests at this time.
Jon Blilie (treasurer) is an initiate who first came to The Center in the mid 80's (and was actually married in the back yard of The Center in 1988 and lived for a year there in residence in 1991. Since then Jon has been engaged as a technology resource for The Center from time to time. He is a 20+ year professional in the technology field, employed on the mmanagement side now rather than the coding. Jon has an MBA which will serve him well as The Meditation Center treasurer.
Lori Beron (secretary) graduated from the College of St. Catherine with an MA in Holistic Health Studies and is employed as an RN on a surgical oncology unit at the University of Minnesota-Fairview. She is an initiate and certified teacher through the Himalayan Yoga Tradition and is a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner. In addition to teaching hatha and meditation classes, she serves on the Meditation Centers Board of Directors as secretary, and also serves as volunteer coordinator for the Center.
Emilio Bettaglio was initiated into the Himalayan Yoga Tradition in 1971. BA from the U of M School of Architecture. Emilio is a married father of four and grandfather of one.
Linda Billau received initiation into the Himalayan Yoga Tradition in 2000 and has served on The Meditation Center Board of Directors since 2003. Linda, guides yoga classes regularly and serves as a mentor in the Teacher's Training Program.
Skip Dykoski has been a continuous member of The Meditation Center since 1973 and has been on the board for the majority of those years. He has taught courses at The Meditation Center on science (physics degree) and Yoga and Yoga and Aikido ("The way of harmony with the forces of nature" ).
Perry Erhmann was initiated by Dr. Arya on May 30th, 1974. He has continued his practice of Raja Yoga through the years that included staying at The Himalayan Institute in 1994 and working for the Yoga International magazine. Perry stayed there until Baba's passing. Perry has had darshan by many Masters over the years including Amma and brings this to his kirtan music over the last 10 years. Perry is a self-employed marketer with a lot of experience in finding the balance of a modern lifestyle with the heart of The Himalayan Tradition.
John Fraser is the founder, Chairman and CEO of ApeniMED (formaerly MEDNETWorld.com, Inc.), based in Minneapolis, MN. In 2000 John co-founded and was former CEO and Board Chair of VisionShare Inc. a company delivering secure Medicare billing services to over 5,000 hospitals and clinics in the United States. VisionShare was renamed Ability Networks in early 2011. In 1985, John joined the Minnesota Department of Health, and along with Amy Coulter, he organized a Minnesota group of state agencies that were instrumental in creating the first Internet services for state government agencies, MNET. The group they formed was called the State Network Access Planning group, or “SNAP”. From 1995-2000, John organized and built an early-stage, state-wide medical network at the Minnesota Health Data Institute, a public-private partnership between Minnesota state agencies and private payers and providers. Between 1985-1995, at the Minnesota Department of Health, he was responsible for designing and building state Internet services and a state-wide Cancer Surveillance system called the Minnesota Cancer Surveillance System, MCSS. MCSS was an early leader in using a pathology-based reporting system. He is a nationally recognized expert on health care communications and information security, PKI, and the internet.
Tom Prideaux received initiation into The Himalayan Yoga tradition in 1974 by Dr. U. Arya. He is president of The Prideaux Group which is a family wholesale insurance brokerage/marketing organization. Tom has worked in his family business since 1975 with his father Dan Prideaux who is also active in The Himalayan Yoga Tradition and a former TMC board member. Tom runs swamiveda.com which distributes Swami Veda's lectures via the internet around the world. He teaches basic meditation to people in recovery at The Retreat in Wayzata. He also leads a Sanga there on Tuesday nights. Tom provides technical support to The Meditation Center as well. Tom is married to Anne Prideaux and is the father of two.
Tiffany Reinitz has been coming to The Center for yoga classes and evening events for several years and also went to SRSG Asthram with a group in 2010. She was recently initiated by Stoma in July of 2012. She works as a pharmacist and is interested in holistic medicine and healing. She has served on the boards of 2 organizations, Henderson Area Arts (which she helped found and currently serves as treasurer), and Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity (3 different chapters, of which she has been secretary and treasurer of all 3.) She is excited at the possibility of serving on the Center's Board and becoming more involved there, getting to know more people, and giving back."
Jean Sheehan has been a member and initiate of the Meditation Center since 1971. Jean's commitment has always been to enjoy, practice, and pass on the wisdom of the Himalayan Tradition. Our authentic and time tested tradition creates many opportunities to extend our message into the community. Jean's interests lie in Center programming, fun- raising, and social outreach. She has spent her career as a sales rep in the training and publishing industry, with an emphasis on socially responsible business practices. Jean has three wonderful kids who have had the benefit of growing up in the tradition too. Jean loves this place and Iooks forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary with everyone!
Jim Winkels first became involved with The Meditation Center in the mid 1970's when he was initiated by Jim Young, Chris Young's father. During that time, Jim took numerous classes in yoga, meditation, and philosophy, and heard Swami Veda ( then Dr. Arya ) lecture many times. Later, in 1985, he went to the Himalayan Institute ashram in Honesdale, PA, where he met Swami Rama, which was a turning point in Jim's life. Jim has traveled to India twice, the most recent time, in 2009, when he stayed at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama ashram for approximately 6 weeks. Jim has continued to take many classes and workshops The Center has to offer ( one of his favorite things to do ) as well as attend the Thursday night meditation and lecture program when ever he can. Jim is on the Building Committee at The Center headed by Emilio Bettaglio. Presently, he has been attending Michael Smith's Sunday Sadhana classes. Over the years, Jim has found The Meditation Center to be one of the greatest guiding forces in his life and he is so grateful for having found it.