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

Director of Administration

Michael has been a student of Robert Thurman and HH the XIV Dalai Lama for 25 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 twelve 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 Man...

Anne Marie Miller

Director of Programming & Sales

Anne Marie Miller became Menla’s Director of Programming and Sales in early 2020 to support the organization’s growth, bringing her network and creativity to develop programs focused on women’s empowerment, environmental conservation, and indigenous wisdom excha...

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...

Emma Farouk

Spa Manager

Emma joined the Dewa Spa team as Spa Manager in early 2021. For the last 6 years, she has supported growing families as a Doula, providing people with access to information, resources, and tools they may need in order to make choices that align with their unique values, hopes and...

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 ...

Lisa Taranto

Head of Horticulture

Lisa has a background in architecture, but went rogue after realizing that she needed a physically engaged life to feel like a whole human. She has been practicing and implementing the design of buildings, urban agriculture, robust gardens, and ecological restoration systems for ...

Justin Akers

Housekeeping Manager

Justin is originally from Oklahoma City. He has twelve years of experience in the hospitality industry. Justin spent two years in the Alaskan Arctic, a year in Antarctica, and did an MA program in Eastern European Studies in Krakow, Poland. Justin first became interested in Tibet...

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
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