Susan Orr photo crop 2

The Board of Director’s members are all volunteers and members of the Sustaining Sanghas. We began meeting in October 2011. Since then we have adopted our mission statement and bylaws, incorporated, elected officers, received exempt tax status and developed a fund-raising approach as well as our policies and procedures. We began our Capital Campaign in October of 2012 and were able to purchase our new home at 3111 Wissemann Drive in Sacramento in May of 2016. In October the three Sustaining Sanghas began using this facility for all of their programs.

We meet at least monthly as a whole board and also in subcommittees working on organizational issues, fund-raising, and building management. Below are brief profiles of our board 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.

Helen Hobart

Helen Hobart serves on the Dharma Center’s Communications Committee, and is the Volunteer Coordinator. She met her root teacher, Nyanaponika Thera, in Sri Lanka in 1969, and became part of SBMG in 1997. In 2010 she was ordained in the Order of Interbeing in the tradition of Vietnamese Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh. At SBMG, Helen serves as co-facilitator of the board and as a member of the Caring Council. She is a board certified chaplain.

Susan Orr

SDC president Susan Orr, a member of SBMG for 16 years, and of their Board and scheduling committee for 8 years, 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 Penfield 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

Vice President Julia Mullen practices in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and received the 5 Mindfulness Trainings from Thay in 2011. As  a member of the SBMG, she has offered volunteer service in a number of capacities. Julia imagines SDC 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 begin 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 Jenne 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. Linda 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 Bender 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.