Susan Orr photo crop 2

The Board of Director’s members are all volunteers and members of the Resident Sanghas. We meet monthly and serve on several subcommittees, along with other volunteers, working on organizational issues, fund-raising, and building management. Below are brief profiles of our members, all of whom feel honored to serve as members of the board. Currently our officers are Susan Orr President, Julia Mullen Vice President, Kenny Bender Secretary, and John Penfield Treasurer.

Diane Wilde

Diane has studied meditation in various traditions since 1990, and was a founding member of Sacramento Insight Meditation. She founded and is a board member of Buddhist Pathways Prison Project (BP3).  At BP3 she is a volunteer chaplain and coordinates 45 volunteers who offer Buddhist services at numerous California prisons and jails. She is a graduate of Sati Center’s Buddhist Chaplaincy program, and is a board member of Sati Center for Buddhist Studies. She graduated from Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s Community Dharma Leadership Training Program. In 2015 she was lay-ordained at Insight Meditation Center by her teacher Gil Fronsdal as a Buddhist minister.

Susan Orr

Susan, SDC president, has been a member of SBMG for 16 years, and has served on their Board and scheduling committee. She is a graduate of Spirit Rock’s Dedicated Practitioners Program and Community Dharma Leaders Program. At SBMG, she offers classes and mentoring, and leads weekly open sittings. Primarily a Vipassana trained practitioner, she works with teachers in other Buddhist traditions and in the movement practice of qigong. Susan worked on the InterSangha feasibility study and is on the Dharma Center’s Executive and Organizing Committee.

John Penfield

John is a student of Tenshin Reb Anderson of San Francisco Zen Center and is affiliated locally with Valley Streams Zen Sangha. He is an attorney and recently retired from a career with the Franchise Tax Board of California. John is the current Treasurer and serves on the Dharma Center’s Executive & Finance Committees.

Julia Mullen

Julia, our Vice President, practices in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and received the 5 Mindfulness Trainings from Thay in 2011. As  a member of SBMG, she has offered volunteer service in a number of capacities. Julia imagines the Dharma Center as a present moment place, where one can joyfully experience varieties of different practices that share similarity in being rooted, grounded, and embedded, in the 4 Noble Truths and 8-fold Path. She experiences the possibility of SDC as a physical manifestation—a refuge–of the Three Jewels.

Barbara Colton

Barbara has been a practitioner in the Insight/Theravadan tradition since 2004. She completed the Spirit Rock Dedicated Practitioners Program, the Spirit Rock Heavenly Messengers Program, and plans to began the one year Advanced Practitioners program in April 2016. She also serves on the Board of Sacramento Insight Meditation and is their Secretary. Barbara is interested in the development of sangha in Sacramento, and has watched the development of SDC from its beginning stages.

Robert Jenne

Bob practices with Sacramento Insight Meditation and is active with the Climate Sangha. He brings his knowledge of construction practices and the law to us at a most opportune time in SDC history. He is on the Building committee and is our Building Manager. He worked closely with our General Contractor making our newly acquired property ready for full occupancy.

Linda Dekker

Linda has been a zen practitioner for many years. She has studied and worked at San Francisco Zen Center’s Green Gulch Farm, and was lay ordained there by Reb Anderson. She has served on the Boards of Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group and Valley Streams Zen Sangha, and led the process of incorporating and achieving tax-exempt status for the Sacramento Dharma Center. She serves on the Executive and Finance Committees, and is the Office Manager.

Board Member
Kenny Bender

Kenny was introduced to Soto Zen in 1987 while teaching English for a year in Kyoto, Japan. He took up consistent practice again in 2010 in Sacramento when he discovered Valley Streams Zen Sangha. After serving on the Valley Streams Board for two years, he joined our Board as an At-Large Member. Currently he serves as Secretary and as a member of the Communications and Dana Committee. He has been a supporter of the Sacramento Dharma Center project ever since he first heard about it, and is very glad to see the dream becoming a reality.

Joe Countryman

Joe is a member of the Dharmata Foundation that supports Anam Thubten and his teaching, and is past president of the Sacramento Buddhist Meditation Group Board. His intention for serving on the Dharma Center Board is to fully support the implementation of the Center’s mission in providing a beautiful, harmonious and stable place for Buddhist’s of all stripes to practice and to engage in social interaction with other Buddhists. He is looking forward to being involved with the envisioning process, helping with physical building issues, and monitoring the financial integrity of the organization. He enjoys working with members of all three resident Sanghas and welcomes the opportunity to enhance a cooperative and harmonious working relationship with all of the Board members.