Seminar Presenters

Alan C. Haras, MA

Founder and Director

Alan C. Haras is the founder and director of The Cardoner Institute, and the owner of Hamsa Yoga Center in Lake Orion, Michigan.  With a Masters in Religious Studies, he has a deep and abiding love for Indian Philosophy and Ignatian Spirituality.  Currently pursuing a Masters of Social Work, Alan has a special interest in the role of spirituality in psychotherapy, as well as the role of contemplative practice in leadership development.  With over 20 years studying transpersonal theories of human development, Alan's courses, seminars and workshops are suffused with a deep appreciation for the world's wisdom traditions; joyfully drawing upon a host of stories, anecdotes and teachings to illustrate shared themes of growth and transformation.  He lives in Rochester, Michigan with his wife Rita G. Patel.



Rita G. Patel, MPH

Conversational Leadership

Rita Patel, CPA, MPH, CWPPM is an artist, designer and founder of Experiments in Beautiful Thinking™.  She believes our experience of beauty can change our world by changing the way we see ourselves, our situations and our environments. As an international speaker, coach and  consultant, Rita is a creative ally for individuals, communities and organizations by designing bespoke projects.  The promise in her work is to foster personal and collective agency especially in uncomfortable and unfamiliar situations by tapping into each person’s creative force so they can connect and be in their personal power to lead with confidence.  


Thomas Yeomans, PhD

The Yoga of Joy and Sorrow

Tom is the founder and director of the Concord Institute. His background includes education at Harvard, Oxford, and the University of California with professional work in the fields of literature, education, and psychology. Since 1970 he has worked as a psychotherapist, teacher, and trainer of professionals in Psychosynthesis and, more recently, Spiritual Psychology throughout North America and in Europe and Russia. In the last decade he has developed a theory and practice of group work within a spiritual context which he uses in training and consulting to organizations in this country and abroad.


Melissa Peet, PhD

Generative Knowledge

Creating positive change is something many wish to do, but few can truly put into practice. Melissa Peet is one of the few. With the right tools and methods, she believes everyone can make a difference using their unique gifts or “super powers.”  Dr. Peet is the founder of the Generative Knowledge Institute and until recently, was the Director of Integrative Learning and Knowledge Management at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  She creates tools and methods that help people and organizations discover the vast reservoir of purpose, strength and intelligence they already possess, but exists outside of their conscious awareness. Several of these methods – Generative Knowledge Dialogue, Generative Coaching, and the Integrative Knowledge Portfolio Process, are being used to develop integrative and lifelong learners, leaders and change agents in a wide range of fields, disciplines and professions.



Kavitha Chinnaiyan, MD

Uncovering Inner Bliss

Dr. Chinnaiyan is an integrative cardiologist at Beaumont Health System and Associate Professor of Medicine at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Royal Oak, Michigan.  The author of two books, she synthesizes the teachings of yoga, Vedanta, Ayurveda and tantra in a simple and systematic fashion as it applies to health and freedom from suffering. Making the teachings applicable and practical to daily life, she coaxes participants to examine the root cause of suffering and tread the path to freedom.  She has studied with various spiritual teachers in the traditions of yoga, Vedanta and tantra, including Chinmaya Mission in Vedanta, Yogani of Advanced Yoga Practices in yoga, Greg Goode in the Direct Path, Sally Kempton and Paul Muller-Ortega in Kashmir Shaivism, and Sri Premananda and Dr. Sumit Kesarkar in the tantric traditions.


Paula Kliger, PhD, ABPP

We are Human First

Dr. Paula Christian Kliger is a clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst, and a business and organizational consultant. She is the President of PsychAssets located in Birmingham and Famrington Hills.  In her clinical and consultation practice, her teaching and writing, she specializes in “powering the mind” through a dynamic and humanistic model of self-study and transformational growth and change. She creates unique, compassionate, and in-depth approaches to her work with individuals and families, organizations and their leaders, and the communities she serves.



Kehinde Ayeni, MD

We are Human First

Dr. Ayeni a public health physician, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst was born in Nigeria. A mother of two children, she is private practice in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Her first novel Our Mother's Sore Expectations explored the plight of women under dictatorship government in Nigeria. Dr. Ayeni founded the Foundation for Indigenous Development and Advocacy (Foundida.org), a nonprofit organization whose goal is that every Nigerian child has at minimum an elementary school education, and she works closely with Educare Trust Fund based in Ibadan, Nigeria.


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