GIFT Team 2017-08-09T01:21:11+00:00

The GIFT Team

GIFT has an extraordinary group of distinguished, proven leaders, committed to making an impact in the world.

Each is playing a key role in bringing to life one or more of the GIFT strategic initiatives.

Jim Walsh

Jim is leading GIFT’s mindfulness programming in Delaware spreading mindfulness in social justice, addiction, veterans, schools, the mentally ill and businesses.
“My greatest joy is to teach the self-experience of mindfulness and then watch what happens as seemingly impossible problems no longer dominate our being.” Jim Walsh
Jim is a Pastoral Counselor in private practice in Wilmington DE.  He earned his PhD in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University of Maryland and is a Licensed Professional Counselor of Mental Health (LPCMH) in Delaware.  He has been on faculty at Wilmington University teaching graduate courses in Clinical Mental Health Counseling since 2003.  
He has taught Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) since 2006 after receiving training at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  He is a past President of the State of Delaware Professional Counselor License Board and the Delaware Professional Counselors Association.  He has taught dozens of workshops for the State of Delaware Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, particularly in the areas of gambling addiction and the spiritual aspects of mental health counseling.  He also serves as a forensic consultant in Superior Court in Delaware, primarily in capital murder cases.  
Jim lives in Newark, Delaware.

Nancy Leonard

GIFT Board Member. Secretary-Treasurer. Nancy has been professional director supreme guiding Sam Beard for more than 35 years, beginning in 1982 with the Jefferson Awards, and now with GIFT. Prior to that, Nancy worked for the Delaware State Legislature, the Delaware Violent Crimes Compensation Board, and Delaware Trust Company. Nancy and her husband Clyde live in Middletown, Delaware. They have two children: Shannon and Wayne and four grandchildren.

Joel Brokaw

Joel Brokaw is Director of Communications. Writer, Author/Collaborator. Joel is author/co-author of two New York Times best selling books: Don’t Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings about Tyler Perry, and Life is Not a Stage – a co-written memoir about Florence Henderson and her career.

Joel has served for more than three decades in entertainment and media relations.    

Joel lives in Boulder, Colarado.

Phillip Caputo 

For nearly 20 years, Phillip D. Caputo has been integral to the formation, development, and growth of high profile public, individual and family foundations. The entry point for his collaborations have been varied and include initial vision, inception and actualization; restructuring and stabilization; and growth and sustainability.

Bringing client goals to realization has involved interface with multi-media outlets and resulted in work throughout the U.S, Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, India, Latin America and the Caribbean as well as interfacing and collaborating with Heads of State, international and national dignitaries, leaders in finance and of varied industries, entrepreneurs and philanthropic-minded members of the entertainment and sports communities.

Phillip started his career in Southern California as an associate attorney with a boutique law firm specializing in sports, entertainment and risk management and, during law school, worked in New York for Loeb and Loeb.

Phillip received his BA in Psychology from the College of Wooster, his JD from the Widener University School of Law in 1995 and is licensed to practice law in the states of California and Pennsylvania.

Rupert Hitzig 

Rupert Hitzig President, Pizazz Media, serves as GIFT’s producer and video director. In fifty years of experience, Rupert has produced or directed entertainment specials, motion pictures, theatrical performances, reality TV, documentaries, corporate training films and award shows. His film credits include

In fifty years of experience, Rupert has produced or directed entertainment specials, motion pictures, theatrical performances, reality TV, documentaries, corporate training films and award shows. His film credits include

Jaws 3-D, Wolfen (1981) and The Last Dragon (1985.) In the 1980’s Rupert was partner with leading American comic Alan King.

Rupert Hitzig, currently producing and developing Buzz Aldrin’s ENCOUNTER WITH TIBER, and finishing up production as Director, on EXTRA-ORDINARY, a television documentary shot in Liverpool and London, he has produced and/or directed several Theatrical features including The Last Dragon, Jaws 3-D, Electra-Glide in Blue (Robert Blake), The Squeeze (Michael Keaton), Happy Birthday Gemini (Madeline Kahn), Cattle Annie and Little Britches (Burt Lancaster, Rod Steiger, Diane Lane), Outlaws (Ben Johnson, Mickey Rooney) and Wolfen, starring Albert Finney.

In the nineties, he won the NAMH award for Buzz Aldrin’s personal story, Return To Earth (ABC) starring Cliff Robertson, and then produced./directed IPiacere di Roma in Rome (ABC) with Virna Lisi, Roberto Rossellini, and an original movie for ABC, called How To Pick Up Girls.

He produced and directed the Fortieth Anniversary Celebration for the Jefferson Awards, and is excited to be currently producing several projects on Mindfulness and Meditation for The GIFT.

Years ago, he toured the world as a member of the Joffrey Ballet, joined the Marines, worked for CBS, produced a few movies, and then became President of Kin-Hitzig Productions, where he was partnered with Alan King and won his first Emmy Award.

A graduate of Harvard College, he is married to Karen; has two sons, Sebastian and Barnaby, and now, a nine-year-old grandson, Connor. Lives in Los Angeles, California.

Diana Sherbacow

Diana has spent her career working with nonprofits and the United States Senate. From 2000 to 2014, Diana worked with Sam Beard and the Board of the Jefferson Awards as the National Director and Liaison to the U.S. Senate.

Diana Sherbacow serves as a volunteer. She will be GIFT’s Community Partner Manager and Washington, DC go-to person.

Resides in Washington, DC.

Suzanne Hall

Suzanne Hall serves as a founding member of the GIFT Board of Directors and is also co-creating the upcoming Step Up and Share Summit for A More Mindful World with Natalie Alexia.

Suzanne is based in Auckland, New Zealand.

Natalie Alexia


Natalie Alexia, Founder of the Global Movement Love is the True Black™ is wildly passionate about changing the world by bringing deeper levels of awareness and transformation into the general space. Natalie is known as the slightly hyperactive British girl who likes scribbling on people.

Natalie grew up the daughter of an Entrepreneur in 6 countries on 3 continents. She went to 11 schools giving her a global mindset, when you move that much you learn pretty quick how to connect with people. Natalie is a protege of Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) He describes her as “An awesome delight of a person, passionate, courageous a full out player with a big vision and the willingness to do whatever it takes to make it happen.” Natalie has travelled the USA and Canada speaking and training at many events helping people to delve into greater levels of self awareness most notably: The Transformational Leadership Council, AFest Costa Rica & The Association of Transformational Leaders conferences. Love is The True Black™ is a values-based photographic movement designed to ignite greater compassion and awareness. Launched with the UN on International Day of Peace.

Natalie has owned and run 4 businesses in 3 countries and speaks 3 languages. And when she’s not doing all of that good stuff, you will find her hanging with her 3 beautiful children. Natalie is known for her high energy, sense of humor, dancing, singing, sense of fun, love of life and passion for learning.

Resides in London, UK.

Ken Honda

Ken Honda can best be described as the Japanese Tony Robbins. He is the author of 130 books on self-improvement and is a major presence on social


Ken and Rika Saionji (see below) are co-chairing the annual GIFT social media event in Japanese to bring mindfulness into Japanese schools and culture.

Rika Saionji

GIFT board member. Rika co-chairs the GIFT annual social media event in Japan.

Rika is working to bring mindfulness and moments of silence into Japanese schools. Tokyo, Japan

Pierre Sornin

President and Founder, Es-sense
One of Europe’s leading for-profit personal empowerment and mindfulness companies. Brussels, Belgium

Pierre is creating two key virtual events for GIFT, one in June 2017, followed by one in November 2017.

The events will be global and will be in French.

Ali Fowler

Ali Fowler is a project delivery and business improvement expert. Projects are definitely in her DNA!

When entrepreneurs want to run fast, be creative and come up with the big ideas, Ali is there to put the foundational architecture in place to help bring their ideas into reality, without slowing them down!

Ali learned from experience that rising up the corporate ladder was ultimately unfulfilling without aligning with a strong sense of purpose, so she’s embarked on a mission to tackle the projects that are close to her heart and that will bring advancement in global education and well-being – the ones that really matter. And this now brings her into the world of non-profit and social enterprise on a global scale, through her own enterprise, World Project Partners.

Ali Fowler lives in Australia and is proud to be serving as GIFT’s chief operating officer and responsible for building the fast and agile engine room behind GIFT and working as part of this amazing team of mission-driven ‘force for good’ talent.

Your purpose plus the right project can change lives – Ali Fowler