Meet The Silver Owl Group
Amanda Edwards, founding director, is a naturally gifted intuitive communicator, certified spiritual coach, and certified Reiki healer whose 20-year career in social justice, nonprofit management, and education administration undergirds her advocacy of mind-body-spirit wellness for youth and adults.
Amanda founded The Silver Owl Group LLC because she’d long witnessed a vivid need among those she worked with — from incarcerated youth to adults in civic leadership — for simple, empowering tools to operate from one’s soul-centered gifts. Her cohesive vision for a simple, replicable model of mind-body-spirit efficacy was born. While Amanda’s wisdom embraces lessons of many religious traditions, The Silver Owl Group takes a nonsectarian approach focused toward every individual’s natural spiritual qualities independent of religion, free of dogma, and accessible to all.
Grounded in her bachelor’s degree in Politics and Public Policy Analysis from Pomona College, Amanda has spent years rolling up her sleeves to work where she sees great need for communal change. Among her leadership roles to improve individual lives and institutional impact, she has been a social services translator for newly arrived Spanish-speaking families in Los Angeles, a writer and editor for a nonpartisan think tank and family law practices, and director of advancement communications and a classroom instructor for an internationally recognized independent school. In addition to professional roles, Amanda has volunteered in writing and art workshops in Los Angeles County juvenile halls and camps and serves as a CASA for the child dependency court. With a nurturing instinct toward every living being, Amanda is committed to supporting lasting wellness and success for all.
She facilitates sacred awareness through one-on-one and group coaching, workshops, and consulting for organizations on program development and implementation.
With Dr. Antonio Harrison, physical wellness director, our program team and participants are blessed with a multifaceted, heart-centered mentor and companion. With a B.A. in Psychology and Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis, Antonio’s work as an author and behavior scientist focuses on aligning mind, heart (both physical and emotional well-being), with soul. Since completing his degrees, he provides keynotes across the country, holds life habit groups, and is a Virtual Reality Fitness Trainer for Supernatural in the Oculus headset.
A lifelong athlete in swimming, basketball, football, and track, Antonio played football as a four-year starter in NCAA for Grinnell College and was All-Conference and Freshman Athlete of the Year. He coped with the devastation of a debilitating knee injury and turned to sharing his knowledge with young people. He has taught in public elementary schools, independent middle and high school classrooms, and on the field as a Varsity football coach for a decade. Among the many areas of expertise Antonio draws from with ease, it is his own life experience that grounds all of his work. Growing up in Los Angeles at the height of the crack cocaine epidemic, Antonio “saw things and went through events that no child should ever have to face,” forcing him to grow up quickly while his father was in and out of prison and battling addiction. Having later reconciled and developed a tight bond with his father, Antonio holds profound insights into the values of accountability, love, and honesty. Now as “Coach Doc,” he is a man who wears his tattoos and experience with ease. Antonio imparts his wisdom where and when it is most needed.
Cadence Petros, environmental connections director, has spent her life in close relationship with nature’s beautiful and irrepressible power. She brings first-hand environmental knowledge along with extensive civic leadership experience to the Silver Owl Self team. An Oregonian since birth, Cadence spent her college years in the foothills of one of California’s mountain ranges and later worked on farms across Europe for a year while educating her own children throughout the experience. The spiritual and practical lessons Cadence draws from Mother Nature continually intertwine with her work in urban settings as well. As the development division manager at the City of Beaverton, Ore., Cadence has led a team that implements Beaverton’s urban renewal, housing, and downtown revitalization goals and oversees its Community Development Block Grant program. In prior positions with Mercy Corps and the Portland Development Commission (now Prosper Portland), she applied her background in law to meeting the most crucial needs of communities abroad and the local population within the natural resources they inhabit.
Cadence has a B.A. from Pomona College and holds a J.D. from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College. Her dedication to the sacred informs her connections with people at crucial life turning points, including as the officiant of numerous marriages and as an attuned Reiki healer. Cadence’s ease in integrating her own many layers of values and knowledge makes the Silver Owl Self nature programming especially accessible and transformative for participants of all ages.
For Kim Porché, creative arts director of our programs, the soul’s creative potential has been both passion and vocation since long before her professional career began. She imparts her gift for capturing the meaning in aesthetics to make the Silver Owl Self curriculum a materially powerful experience for each unique participant. Kim is an entrepreneur and certified lifestyle specialist who has successfully merged her background in the fields of interior, fashion, and creative design to include holistic life practices. She has been a doula to new mothers and a life coach to people from many backgrounds and life stages. As owner and operator of a thriving wellness center in mid-city Los Angeles, she gives respite, freedom, and inspiration to artists and healers in a curated space for promoting wellness through creativity. In turn, the extensive community of talented artists she has gathered in and around her studio provides expertise and resources that benefit every Silver Owl program participant.
Kim’s life path was inspired by her parents. Her mother was an inner city school teacher and artist, and her father owned his own successful construction company. So it is no wonder she has blended their fields of knowledge to create her own unique vocation of empowering others through art and design. Kim began her study as an art student at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles and furthered her education at Bassist College in Portland, Ore., where she combined a major in Fashion and Interior Design. Kim believes that living with beauty begins within one’s own being. Her practice of mentorship through art provides a warm, friendly, loving atmosphere with undeniable healing energy.
Michelle Kennedy, director of collaborative partnerships, ensures the Silver Owl principles translate into practical and actionable programs for a variety of group sizes and facility types. Michelle has 30 years of experience helping state and local government agencies implement positive and lasting organizational change. She works from her soul in sharing her extensive knowledge in strategic planning, community engagement, organizational change management, leadership development, team facilitation, and performance measurement with our team and client partners. She has consulted with more than 50 state and local government agencies, associations, and consortia, helping them to optimize organizational performance and culture.
Through her passion for developing people and their potential, Michelle taps into an organization’s ability to learn and guides the Silver Owl team by translating that learning into high impact results for the program participants we serve. She is a transformational change facilitator and is certified by the Institute for Organization Development (OD) as an OD Certified Consultant. She is also certified in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Hogan Assessment, and the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA) Technology of Participation Facilitation Methodology.
Gretel Corsa Barsotti, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) facilitator, brings meaningful structures and intuitive wisdom to the empowerment of differing voices and perspectives through Silver Owl programs. Gretel is a multi-passionate entrepreneur, writer, fundraiser, and DEI practitioner. As a trained Narrative4 facilitator, she is expert at equipping people to improve their lives and communities through story exchange. Gretel is also a certified Reiki practitioner with a keen attunement to the energetic flow within groups.
After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in
Anthropology, she embarked on a formative seven-month road trip through the United States with her retired Colombian parents. She has worked in museum education, event management, fundraising, and diversity, equity and inclusion programs. Gretel has also taught high school Latinx Literature and Culture, led affinity groups and professional training, and worked as a bilingual liaison for multiple diversity initiatives.
Michelle Kolb, movement and dance facilitator, began her dance training at the age of six in Baltimore, Maryland. She went on to dance professionally in Annapolis, New York, and Los Angeles for 25 years. In 2009 she co-created a dance program at The Lineage Performing Arts Center in Southern California for neurologically challenged individuals. Michelle has spent more than a decade teaching dance and creative movement to adults who are challenged with Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s and dementia, stroke recovery and traumatic brain injury recovery. She has always known the healing power of music and dance, but the effectiveness for joy and healing in this particular population has been astounding!
In 2011 Michelle received her certification to teach Pilates and in 2021 she received her certification to practice Reiki. Michelle’s own company, Moondogmotion, allows her to share her gifts for healing through movement, touch, communication, and connection.