Menla’s management team, support staff, and long-term volunteers are comprised of a caring, hard-working, dynamic group of individuals who work at Menla due to its special environment, mission and cause, and opportunities to be exposed to a wide variety of spiritual and healing traditions.

Our staff is committed to excellent customer service and to the understanding that everyone we serve at Menla is visiting for unique reasons, often having to do with deep inner work, and need the thoughtful loving support of our entire team.

Please note: only the Management Team is featured below. 

Nena vS Thurman

Executive Chairwoman

Nena is the Executive Chairwoman of Tibet House US and Menla. She has been married to Robert Thurman for over 50 years, and together they have raised four children, including Tibet House US Executive Director Ganden Thurman and renowned actress Uma Thurman.  She was a successful...

Michael G. Burbank

Executive Director

Michael has been a student of Robert Thurman and HH the XIV Dalai Lama for 27 years, since his undergraduate years studying Eastern religions and cultures at Columbia University in the 90s. In early 2002 he was invited to help the Thurmans start up the newly acquired Menla retrea...

Lynn Schauwecker

Managing Director

With an extensive fundraising and marketing background, Lynn began working for Tibet House US in 1999 in Development as well as heading up the Annual Tibet House US Benefit Auction. In 2004 she organized the Global Women’s Gathering at Menla which initiated the International Co...

Amber Hallinan

General Manager

With over Fifteen years experience in the hospitality industry, Amber joined Menla’s Front of House team in August of 2015 after wanting to shift out of restaurant management onto a path that aligned with her spiritual goals and life interests. She became Front of House Ma...

Pamela Kalechofsky

Group Booking Manager

Pamela joins the Menla administrative team with an extensive background in arts administration, education, and movement. She is an RYT-500 certified yoga instructor, dance educator, and choreographer. In addition, she offers several modalities to assist in healing, including Reik...

Alicia Ojeda

Executive Chef

Originally from Los Angeles, Chef Alicia grew up surrounded by the rich cultural and culinary heritage of her Mexican family. She is classically-trained in the culinary arts with a career spanning more than 25 years. Among the many roles she has played professionally, she has alw...

Jess Romanello

Spa Manager

With a background rooted in Esthetics and a foundation in customer service, Jess is the driving force behind the tranquil experience at Dewa Spa. In 2007, Jess graduated from the Hudson Valley School of Aesthetics in New Paltz, NY. After studying Marketing and Nutrition at SUNY P...

Katia Sukhotskaya

Front of House Manager

Katia joined Menla’s Front of House team in 2021 and worked two years before being promoted to Front of House Manager in 2023. Katia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Photography from Parsons, The New School. Additionally, she has a Bachelor of Science degree in HR Managem...

David Giangreco

Facilities Manager

Born and raised on Long Island, David has built his career on hard work and attention to detail. Working on projects ranging from multi-million dollar estates to his own home, his focus is on preserving the beauty of historic Americana elements of the Hudson valley. David joined ...

Adam Foizen

Events & Production Manager

Adam is a man of many talents. He received an AAS from the Community College of Philadelphia as a non-traditional student and received an all-state academic honor which included a scholarship to any state school in the PASSHE system. He received his BA from West Chester Universit...

Justin Stone-Diaz

Director of New Media

Justin Stone-Diaz is a first generation digital native working with online communities creating inclusive content since 1984. A long time student of Lama Karma Rinchen and Anam Thubten Rinpoche, Justin has worked as a digital personal assistant to Sharon Salzberg, Gelek Rimpoche ...


375 Pantherkill Road, P.O. Box 70 Phoenicia, NY 12464