Course Instructor

Lead teacher of Adult Education Classes

Jennifer Merlich

Workshop Facilitator
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Jennifer Merlich first heard the call of the drum at a very early age, playing snare drum and other percussive instruments in school band. In her early twenties, she discovered the djembe, and began studying the rhythms of Africa, Latin America and the Middle East under the guidance of her teacher, Karuna Warren.

Jennifer moved to California in 1999, and began teaching hand drumming at Ventura College. The classes were extremely popular, and soon Jennifer was teaching and performing throughout Ventura, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara counties, exploring the dynamics of organized ensemble drumming, as well as the sometimes chaotic and often comical realities of performing live in front of an audience.

Jennifer has studied or played with drum masters from all over the world including Babatunde Olatunji. It is Olatunji’s Gun Go Do method that Jennifer now uses to help new drummers quickly and easily join the circle. Jennifer's classes promote creativity, acceptance, harmony, and a very healthy dose of fun. After only one session, class participants are very literally making beautiful music together!

Liz Galvan

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"My experience with dance has brought me closer to being present in my body and keeping my heart open. Primal Feat is my offering to anyone who is interested in this portal entrance following breath, impulse, rhythm and stillness to create movements your body is wishing to express in its delicate time."

~ Liz Galvan ~

Liz's experience & background:

- Soul Motion, Michael Molten Skelton, Instructor
- Spiritweaves
- Esalen Institute Workshops
- "Body as Living Presence", Harbin Hotsprings (2012-13)
- Zuza Engler, Transformational Teacher
- City of Ventura, Department of Recreation, Primal Feat (2015-16)

Just what is Primal Feat?

PRIMAL. Guided by our original instincts that Source graciously supplies us with.
DANCE. In your bare feet or soft dance shoes. No partner or dance experience is required.
A GIFT. Welcome a new level of healthy change in your life by being in the moment through dance.
CHILDLIKE. Primal Feat guides us through a doorway to experience our own impulse to play with the expansion of space.
A DOORWAY. An opportunity to encounter a closeness with yourself, your heart and others.
A FEAT. Let the dance be your portal to relax. An intuitive exploration; your adventure on a non-verbal dance zone

Rev. Karen Russo

Workshop Facilitator
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Rev. Karen Russo is the Spiritual Leader of the global Money Keys Community and the award-winning author of "The Money Keys: Unlocking Peace, Freedom and Real Financial Power" with testimonies from her teachers Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, Katherine Woodward Thomas, T. Harv Eker, and a foreword by Bob Proctor.

With her unusual experience as an MBA from Columbia University, an accomplished corporate trainer, a top-selling salesperson and an ordained Centers for Spiritual Living minister, Karen shares insights from 25 years of success in secular and spiritual realms.

For more information, Visit

Mark Hafeman

Workshop Facilitator
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MARK HAFEMAN is a licensed real estate broker working in the Southern California area and has worked for thirty years with the LASD as a teacher for special education students. He is an award-winning artist with his paintings exhibited in galleries and art shows around the country. A lifelong student of philosophy and metaphysics, Mark has studied and is practicing the auric meditations for over twelve year. He is a certified Direct Divine Light Healer through Spiritual Arts Institute, and is currently in the advanced teacher training program working closely with Barbara Martin and Dimitri Moraitis, authors of the book Change Your Aura, Change Your Life. He had served on the Spiritual Arts Institute board, helping to initiate the highly successful student scholarship program.

Rick Goodfriend

Workshop Facilitator
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RICK GOODFRIEND, author of "I Hear You, But" will share over 100 effective proactive communication tips. Rick is the founder of World Empathy Day, bringing an increased consciousness to the world each Wednesday. He has been seen on over 300 television/radio shows presenting compassionate communication skills to thousands and teaching for over a decade. Check him out on YouTube at

Ronit Gabay

Workshop Facilitator
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Known as a “Breaking Free Coach,” Ronit helps people to break free from the traditional communities and frameworks that limit their experiences and keep them away from living the life they want.


Ronit Gabay is the author of, “Walking in the Footsteps of the Masters.” Ronit’s spiritual quest began in Israel where she graduated cum laude from the David Yellin College of Education in Jerusalem in 1993, with a double major in Bible Studies and History. Ronit’s true passion for spirituality, however, began through a process of questioning Judaism, immersing herself in the study of world religions, and seeking spiritual meaning beyond religion. Ronit is taking people on a journey of “self” discovery, sharing the message that we are unique individuals and yet, we are all one.


I didn’t chose my life until I woke up one day realizing that all my choices were focused on one goal only, pleasing my family.

I was born and raised in Jerusalem to a Jewish family that adopted a religious lifestyle. Those factors designed my future: I was destined to be a schoolteacher having a safe job with benefits, marring a Jewish man, establishing a family and creating a life based on the values of stability and tradition.

That is the path that all my family members took, but that was not my desire. Yet, I didn’t listen to my own inner voice, since the outer voices of my surroundings were louder. I became a teacher, but my free spirit led me to seek liberal frameworks to express my creativity; I remained single to protect my freedom, yet I was dating to entertain the possibility of having a family in the future. I lived in a “right wing” community that valued nationality, but I was obsessed about seeking information on other people and traditions in the world. My values were the exact opposite form that of my family and my natural surroundings. Yet, I wasn’t fully aware of it, since I followed the normal path of life that seemed so easy.

Does my story sounds familiar to you??? You may have a different reason than mine that keeps you away from your value, but the first step would be to get clear on the essence of your value. The problem is that we inherited most of that value, and we keep creating our future based on the same value we inherited until we experience crisis and disharmony in our lives, which is a result of living the life that we didn’t choose.

I left Israel in 1999, and came to live in the USA. At first I worked as a teacher in a Jewish Orthodox school, losing myself completely in a place that never fit my spirit. As a result of not living my truth, I become clinically depressed.
Later on, I learned that my core value is Oneness, wishing to live an interactive life with all people, and be part of a whole. But as long as I was living by the Orthodox values, I could not live my truth. In 2005 I announced my liberation from Judaism, which gave me the freedom to start to align my life choices with the essence of oneness.

My journey of looking inward, led me to study world religions, learning about the journeys of the Great teachers. Through the research on my book, “Walking in the Footsteps of the Masters”, I developed a 3 steps formula of “self” discovery, which I am sharing with you. This formula helped many of my clients to restore their lives in just 6 months or less. Are you ready to live the life that you want???

David Kerrigan

Class facilitator
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David Kerrigan was first drawn to the Buddha's teachings as a way to "love your neighbor as yourself." With varying levels of accuracy, he has practiced the Buddha's path for the last 38 years and has fallen deeper and deeper in love. He profoundly enjoys sharing this delightful way of compassion, wisdom and joy.

Suzanne Landry

Workshop Facilitator
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Suzanne Landry is a celebrity chef, Wellness Educator, industry consultant, and author of The Passionate Vegetable and Fresh Food Matters. She was the founder and director of Nature’s Table, a natural gourmet cooking school and has served as an industry consultant to manufacturers and retail stores as well as private individuals. Working for the renowned Issels Medical Center, she developed the nutrition education program for their cancer patients. She is presently the Wellness Educator for Integrative Medicine Center of Santa Barbara.

Through her cooking school, Nature’s Table, Suzanne has lectured and taught more that 10,000 students. She is a graduate of the Kushi Institute International and a certified Nutrition Counselor. A frequent guest lecturer, Suzanne has inspired many people on their road to health and vitality.

Suzanne’s family’s health drastically improved when she changed her cooking to include healthier ingredients. She is committed to teaching and educating others how to change their lives by incorporating more vegetables and fruits in their diet with easy and delicious recipes. She has appeared in numerous published articles featured in newspapers, magazines and radio and her blog.

For more information, visit or

Mark Lager

Course Instructor

Mark Lager is a past Area Governor for Toastmasters and has achieved Distinguished Toastmaster status, the highest educational and leadership achievement available in Toastmasters. He presently works for County of Ventura Library Services as a Support Services Manager.

Mark can be reached at (805) 340-8933 or

Sue Davis

Course Instructor
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Sue Davis is an Area Governor for Toastmasters, Inc., a non-profit public speaking and leadsership organization. She is an executive communications advisor for a Fortune 50 company and has been a blogger for more than 10 years.

Sue may be reached at (805) 794-8781.

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