The PYE Team

Leadership Team


Gwyn Wansbrough (Executive Director) has over 20 years experience in charitable sectors internationally, both in delivering and funding youth arts programs. She has a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University in New York and has worked with the World Bank, United Nations, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and Private Foundations in Canada and the UK. She is the co-founder of Beatz to da Streetz in Toronto, an award-winning youth-led hip hop-based social enterprise that aims to empower youth to make positive changes in their lives.  More recently, Gwyn helped launch, an online support and funding network for young creatives in the UK.


Nadia Chaney (International Director of Training) is a spoken word artist, curriculum writer and arts empowerment facilitator and trainer who has been working with the PYE model for over a decade. Since 2002, she has facilitated over 2,000 events, workshops and trainings on four continents, helping people use the arts for personal and social transformation. She specializes in anti-oppression, creative risk-taking, and participatory decision-making.


Helena Hennighausen (US Director) brings over 14 years of experience in developing and managing programs for volunteer, public, and for-profit organizations. She has a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Masters in International Administration, with a focus on finance and marketing. Helena is director of PYE programs in North America. Helena also serves as Program Director for the Whidbey Island Power of Hope camp.


Anna Renau (Programme Manager) is a project coordinator who has been involved in several organizations focused on development cooperation and education. She has worked and volunteered for different international projects aimed at addressing the needs of disadvantaged groups, especially children youth and women. Passionate about education, social innovation and arts and creativity, she has a Masters in International Studies from University of Barcelona.


Aaron Nigel Smith (Partner Development) For the past 15 years, Aaron Nigel Smith has worked to educate, empower, and entertain youth and families around the world. He teaches chorus and drumming in Oregon and Washington through One World Chorus, an organization founded by he and his wife Diedre with the goal of building bridges internationally through choral singing. Aaron coordinates the One Love Youth Camp in Jamaica with our partners Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and The Bob Marley Foundation.

Peggy Taylor  

Peggy Taylor (Co-Founder, Creative Director) is a writer, musician, and creative development specialist with a Masters of Education in Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University in Cambridge MA, USA. Peggy is Co-Author of the PYE book, Catch the Fire: An Art-Full Guide to Unleashing the Creative Power of Youth, Adults and Communities. She has over 30 years experience working in the fields of group facilitation and experiential learning. Peggy is co-founder and for many years was co-director of the Power of Hope. She leads PYE’s advanced level training, the Heart of Facilitation.  


Board of Directors


Ian Watson (Chair and Co-founder) is an investor and entrepreneur investing in early stage companies. He is a board member of the Canadian Power of Hope Society. He served as board chair and board member of the Institute of Noetic Sciences for five years, and board chair of the Global Board of Directors of The Hunger Project for nine years. Ian’s daughter Lucinda participated in Power of Hope camps on Cortes island BC and has worked with the outreach staff of LifeBeat in London. For more info please see


Deepa Narayan is project director of the 15-country World Bank study called “Moving Out of Poverty: Understanding Freedom, Democracy and Growth from the Bottom Up.” She has extensive experience on issues of poverty alleviation and participatory, community development. In addition to the four-volume Moving Out of Poverty series, her recent publications include Ending Poverty in South Asia: Ideas that Work (with E. Glinskaya, World Bank, 2007); Measuring Empowerment: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives (World Bank, 2005); and the three-volume Voices of the Poorseries (Oxford University Press, 2000-02). Deepa is currently affiliated with the Global Development Network. Deepa has a passion for using the arts to empower young people.


Peter Mortifee is a founding member of the Canadian based Somerset Foundation and has been its Chair since its inception in 2001, pushing forward its mission of “Supporting Social Innovation and Service.” He’s a member of the global Ashoka Support Network and is active in the Mankind Project. In the late 1980’s, Peter pursued securities training through the Canadian Securities Institute. Since then, he has been involved in private businesses, financial ventures and more recently social enterprises. He spent twenty five years training, practicing and teaching as a medical doctor. In 2008, he relinquished his Clinical Assistant Professorship with the Department of Medicine at U.B.C. and retired completely from medical practice. With his wife Nancy he has offered a practice in Mindfulness & Intimacy through their co-creation, Mortifee Training. They live in Vancouver and Naramata B.C. and have four wonderful daughters between them.


Maurits Schouten started his investment banking career in 1985 at ABN Amro in Amsterdam. In 1991 he moved to London where he worked for Credit Suisse and Barclays as a Managing Director. After 23 years he left banking to focus on philanthropy and investing for his own account. He has been involved in Pilotlight  since 2007 and has worked with six different charities. In 2010 he set up Smile Train Nederland, to raise funds in the Netherlands for the international charity Smile Train. He is a board member of the Heath[e]Foundation and a member of the Ashoka Support Network. Maurits is married with two children and lives in Blackheath, London. He has a PhD in economics from the University of Amsterdam.

Peggy Taylor, M. Ed, (Ex-Officio, Director of Training and Co-Founder) is a writer, musician, and creative development specialist with a Masters of Education in Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University in Cambridge MA, USA. She has over 30 years experience working in the fields of group facilitation and experiential learning. Peggy is co-founder and for many years was co-director of the Power of Hope. She is co-author of Chop Wood, Carry Water: A Guide to Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life, which has sold over 250,000 copies worldwide. Peggy is on the board of Hollyhock, a learning center/retreat on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.  She leads PYE’s advanced level training, the Heart of Facilitation.  More recently, Peggy co-founded Young Women Empowered, a leadership program for teen women in the Seattle area that is being incubated by PYE.

Charles D. Terry, JD is President of Terry-MacGregor Associates, a consulting group in Langley, WA. He has 30 years experience advising philanthropists, foundations and NGO’s. He served as Director of Philanthropy for the Rockefeller Family Office and Rockefeller Financial Services in New York City, and as President of The Philanthropic Collaborative. Charles leads Money and Philanthropy workshops for NGO’s and community groups on dealing with cultural norms, values and taboos regarding money. His current artistic passion is digital photography, particularly documenting the lives of children around the world.


Lynne Twist is author of the book The Soul of Money, and co-founder with her husband Bill of The Pachamama Alliance, an organization dedicated to the preservation of indigenous cultures and the rainforest they inhabit. Lynne serves as a trustee of the John E. Fetzer Institute, on the board of the Global Security Institute, and as president of the Turning Tide Coalition. She is a consultant and advisor to many organizations working on global issues. For 20 years she served as an executive of The Hunger Project, dedicated to ending world hunger.


Nick Weeks is currently the analyst for Lancelot Gold, a London-based investment company. He is involved in a number of projects related to commodities and growth companies. Nick serves on the board of directors of the Washakie Foundation, a private- Colorado-based foundation which contributes to charities in the environmental, civil liberty and performance art areas in the United States. He graduated from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, with a degree in Government and International Relations.

Advisory Board

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Laureate, is one of the greatest living moral icons of our time. He played a key role in the fight against apartheid in South Africa and was the chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In 2007 Archbishop Tutu, Nelson Mandela, and Graça Machel convened The Elders, a group of world leaders who contribute their integrity and leadership in dealing with some of the world’s most pressing problems. He co-founded of the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre (DTPC) with his wife Mrs. Leah Tutu to enable peace in the world. Archbishop Tutu is Chairman of the Elders and continues to work energetically in a number areas of human-rights and ministry.
Chungliang Al Huang is a philosopher, performing artist and internationally acclaimed Tao master. Chungliang is the founder-president of the Living Tao Foundation and the international Lan Ting Institute located in the sacred mountains in China, and on the Oregon Coast, USA. He is one of the most sought after speakers in the field of human potential, on cultural diversity and creative dynamism in global business, education and all arenas of life. He is a research scholar of the Academia Sinica, a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, and an assembly member for the Council for A Parliament of the World Religions. Chungliang received the highest rated Speaker’s Award from Young Presidents’ Organization, the New Dimension Broadcaster Award, and the prestigious Gold Medal from the Ministry of Education of the Republic of China. A close colleague and collaborator with the late scholar Alan Watts and mythologist Joseph Campbell, Huang was featured in the inaugural segment of Bill Moyers’ renowned PBS “World of Ideas” series. For more information, please see
Mark Cheng is founder and Executive Director of Chelwood Capital, a social investment consultancy that  advises and raises capital for organizations creating high social impact. He is a Senior Advisor to Ashoka, the network of leading social entrepreneurs, and has worked with many development pioneers in diverse fields including micro-finance, healthcare, renewable energy and education. Mark is a former Vice President of Deutsche Bank and has 14 years experience in corporate and social finance. During that time he has helped raise more than $8bn of financing for energy, water, sanitation and infrastructure projects around the world. Among his projects, he is a founding member of ‘Solar for All’, a global initiative to accelerate the provision of affordable solar energy to some of the world’s poorest communities. Mark has been a long-term supporter of several outstanding youth organizations, including PYE Global’s UK partner LIFEbeat, where he volunteers as a workshop facilitator and youth mentor each year. Mark graduated with a BA Honors degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Exeter College, Oxford University. He is based in the UK, but has lived and worked in mainland China, Japan, and Hong Kong.
Marta Drummond went on from a 20-year career spanning senior private banking roles in both Europe (Paris and London) and also in Asia (Hong Kong) to become a senior business development strategist for two leading professional service firms with international expansion in mind. She then founded her own Zurich-based strategic consultancy practice in 2010, working principally in the family office sector on behalf of clients and families in various corners of the globe. She is a highly skilled “lightning rod,” connecting individuals from diverse backgrounds looking to find common ground. Marta is passionate about education, and, in particular, extending both the aspirational and practical reach of young people in challenging circumstances. She sees this as the principal work of PYE Global.
Screen shot 2014-05-01 at 18.10.13 Nancy Mortifee brings to PYE Global’s Advisory board extensive experience in the citizen sector. She was the founding Executive Director of Goldie Hawn’s Bright Light Foundation, both in Canada and the United States. Drawing on her 20-plus years of experience as an early childhood educator, she designed the research-based Mindfulness Education (ME) program that is now used in many schools across North America. Her passion for intercultural and inter-spiritual music and art, led Nancy to create the West Coast Sacred Arts Society. In partnership with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Nancy co-produced the highly celebrated musical tribute celebrating His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama’s visit to Vancouver. For the University of BC, Nancy was Special Programs Coordinator for the Office of Community Affairs, overseeing the activities of the 2008 Centenary Celebrations. Currently, she has a private practice teaching Mindfulness & Intimacy training, is the Chair of the Seva Canada Society and is a member of the Ashoka Support Network.
Screen shot 2013-09-09 at 16.45.51 Wayne Silby founded Calvert, a $15 billion investment management group in Bethesda, MD, noted for its leadership in the area of socially responsible investment. Though he is no longer active in most of the day-to-day business of Calvert, he serves as President of Calvert Social Investment Fund and supervises its private equity activities. Mr. Silby also co-founded Social Venture Network, a group of socially oriented entrepreneurs and investors, and Calvert Social Venture Partners, one of the first socially oriented venture capital funds. He also started the Emerging Europe Fund for Sustainable Investment, a $60 million OPIC private equity fund focused on Central Europe. Mr. Silby chairs the China Committee of Grameen Foundation USA, on whose board he also serves, and serves on the board of the Grameen Technology Council, which addresses issues of the “digital divide.” He has a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania and a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center.


Facilitation Team

Program Facilitators


Xola Yoyo (Eastern Cape, South Africa) Xola is the Founder and Director of Imithayelanga Youth Development. The organization works with Orphaned and Vulnerable youth in rural areas.


Nadia Chaney, International Director of Training (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) Nadia is a spoken word artist, curriculum writer and arts empowerment facilitator and trainer who has been working with the PYE model for over a decade. Since 2002, she has facilitated over 2,000 events, workshops and trainings on four continents, helping people use the arts for personal and social transformation. She specializes in anti-oppression, creative risk-taking, and participatory decision-making.

Ella Cooper  

Ella Cooper (Toronto, Canada) Ella is an award winning multidisciplinary artist, creative facilitator, photographer, emerging dance/documentary filmmaker, educator and community consultant. Ella has a Masters of Arts Education and extensive training in creative facilitation. She currently works as the Senior Coordinator of the Neighbourhood Arts Network.


Hanif Fazal (Portland, Oregon, USA) Hanif provides empowerment, diversity, and intervention trainings for students, teachers, and youth workers throughout North America. He is the founder and director of Step Up, an award-winning empowerment-based tutor/mentor program in Portland, Oregon.


Silvia Giovannoni (London, UK and Brazil)  Silvia, Lead Facilitator for PYE, is passionate about social change and has been supporting the work of social entrepreneurs for more than six years through Ashoka. She worked as an adult volunteer and lead facilitator in the LIFEbeat camps in the UK and is now leading the initiative to develop PYE’s work in Brazil. Silvia is originally from Rio de Janeiro and holds a Law Degree from PUC-SP. In addition to doing transformative work with young people and through yoga and movement, she enjoys cycling, theatre, dance, and engaging the business community in social change.


Eric Mulholland (Seattle, Washington, USA) Eric is an actor, arts educator, massage therapist, and facilitator who is passionate about helping youth workers and teachers incorporate drama into their programs. He is currently using his massage skills to design a program for youth on respectful touch.


Rupinder Sidhu (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) Rup is a facilitator and performance artist who builds healthy, passionate communities by leading engaging, heartfelt programs.  Rup is known for his ability to assist young people in bringing out their voices through the arts.


Peggy Taylor, PYE Co-Founder, Creative Director (Seattle, Washington, USA) See bio in “Leadership Team” above.


Alan Wong, MSW (Seattle, Washington, USA) Alan is a senior facilitator with PYE Global who has dedicated his life to helping youth, educators, and communities to grow. He is the former program director and lead facilitator at Power of Hope and founder of Alan Wong: Facilitation and Training.  Over the last sixteen years, Alan has led trainings for educators throughout the Northwest, United States, and internationally in Myanmar, India, Canada, Ecuador, Thailand, Korea, Brazil, and beyond. He is known for leading engaging and inspiring hands-on trainings which provide participants with practical tools for re-imagining and revitalizing their work.


Associate Facilitators


Sherry Simon (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) Sherry – T’selpinek – is of the Eagle Clan from the Skeetchestn Band in the Scewepemc Nation, BC. She is a gifted facilitator with extensive background leading programs for diverse groups and developing issue-oriented workshops for youth.


Gina Sala (Seattle, Washington, USA) Gina Sala is a vocalist and facilitator who leads art and music based events for youth and adults. A former lead singer for Cirque de Soleil, Gina has a special gift for using music to help youth and adults find their voice and sense of purpose.


Eduardo Mendonca (Seattle, Washington, USA) Eduardo is an award-winning Brazilian musician, educator, and teaching artist. He is music director of the international performance ensemble, Show Brazil! In an instant Eduardo can turn an inexperienced group into a captivating Brazilian street ensemble.


Evan McGown (Athens, Georgia, USA) Evan is a musician, writer, wilderness educator, and arts facilitator. He travels globally to perform, work with youth, and train adults in mentoring and facilitation. He is passionate about learning ways to regenerate nature and culture with intelligence and love.


Sara Kendall (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) Sara is noted for her expertise in group facilitation, youth empowerment, social justice work, and performance art. She has traveled widely in Latin America and brings a strong international focus to her work with youth.


Rebekka Goldsmith (Seattle, Washington, USA) Rebekka is a jazz singer and improvisational artist who uses her theater and music skills to facilitate empowerment workshops for youth and adults. Rebekka specializes in helping people find their voice through improvisational singing.


Mike Derby (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) Mike is a spoken word artist, professional facilitator, and certified teacher. He has a passionate commitment to progressive education and to co-creating purposeful learning environments that are truly meaningful and transformative.


Leslie Cotter (Seattle, Washington, USA) Leslie is a psychiatrist, executive coach, and facilitator who trains youth work professionals to use life coaching communication practices with youth. Leslie leads programs for girls and trains adults in methods for using arts in youth work.


Jackie Amatucci (Seattle, Washington, USA) Jackie is a visual artist, high school English teacher, and facilitator who uses her artistic expertise to weave the web of community with groups of youth and adults. Jackie has worked with youth from diverse backgrounds for over 25 years.