The Namaste Project Foundation

Executive Board Members

Cynthia Padilla-Pearson

Board Chair

In her role as a Program Officer at the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Cynthia manages a broad-based grants portfolio aligned with the Foundation’s TogetherATL strategy to bring about more equitable outcomes for all residents of our region. Originally from Puerto Rico, Cynthia is a member of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology, a certified trauma specialist and a field traumatologist. Before joining philanthropy, Cynthia was a career victims’ rights advocate and served 14 years in the court system supporting survivors of complex trauma. She is the owner of Trauma Conflict Consulting, LLC developing trauma-informed community programs, and providing specific training for public safety, mental health professionals, and schools.

Renelyn Thomas, MBA

Corporate Director

Renelyn Thomas, MBA, is the Executive Director of The Namaste Project. She holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from Emory University and an MBA from Georgia State University. Renelyn has a wealth of entrepreneurial and small business management success. In 2007, she launched her Beauty Blog to address the lack of beauty products and artists suitable for diverse ethnicities. Her blog & YouTube achieved international success, and she became a brand ambassador and educator for major cosmetic companies, and her freelance makeup career spanned Bridal, Fashion, TV, and Celebrity work. Renelyn co-owns and serves as the Director of Education for Industry Makeup Academy, named the Best Cosmetology School in Georgia since 2020.

Danielle Brunson, Ed.S

Corporate Member

Danielle Brunson is the Chief Executive Officer at the Namaste Project with over 17 years of experience in the public and private education sector. Danielle has a Ed.S in Educational Leadership and a MAED. At TNP Danielle uses her school management experience and her mindfulness and meditation training to develop curriculum and manage school and district level programs. Danielle is also a 500 E-RYT yoga teacher with a specialization in trauma informed somatic practice's and kids yoga. She has extensive mindfulness and meditation training from UCLAs Sounds true MMTCP program and Brown University MBSR for marginalized communities programs. Her extensive background in yoga and meditation combined with school leadership and teacher development are instrumental in program development and management for The Namaste Projects’ partner schools and districts.

Tashwanda Pinchback Dixon

Director of Legal Affairs

In addition to a strong commitment to serving the Atlanta community. by serving of various philanthropic boards, Tashwanda Pinchback Dixon is a partner at the law firm of Balch & Bingham LLP. A graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School and Hampton University, Tashwanda is a trial lawyer who has successfully resolved a wide variety of labor and employment disputes as well as providing employment counseling and crisis management assistance. Tashwanda represents management in both union and nonunion settings in the litigation of federal and state employment and labor law claims, with a particular focus on workplace safety and health (OSHA). She is experienced in litigating high profile and high stakes OSHA matters and is often called upon by clients shortly after devastating accidents to advise them through the OSHA investigation and litigation processes.

Jessica Guzman

Director of Development

Jessica Guzman is the Vice President of Development at Dismas House, a Nashville-based residential reentry program. With 18 years of nonprofit administration and fundraising experience in Tennessee and North Carolina, Jessica is a dedicated professional. Previously, she served as the deputy administrator at YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee, collaborating closely with the CEO to implement process enhancements. Jessica also excelled as an executive administrative assistant at the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina, enhancing donor relations and fundraising. Starting her career as a senior sales and service assistant at Microsoft in Franklin, Tennessee, Jessica's journey reflects her commitment to the nonprofit sector. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Jessica is a Sam Howard Empowerment Fund scholar, a Young Leaders Council (YLC) Intern on the Friends of Warner Parks Board, and a graduate of the Allstate Foundation’s Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She's a founding member of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc., Gamma Gamma Chapter. Beyond her role at Dismas House, Jessica cherishes her role as a dedicated dog mom to Stella, her Catahoula. Her interests include quality family time, travel, fitness, and reading.


Marjorie Horne, Esq

Legal Affairs

Marjorie Horne, Esq., one of our much appreciated board members, is a GA licensed attorney. She comes with substantial training in identifying potential risks, any possible outcomes, and review of legal issues. While her career is currently in the legal field, it began in the mortgage industry where she eventually became a mortgage loan underwriter. After much success and 20 years in the industry, she decided to further her career by obtaining a J.D. With Ms. Horne’s extensive background in risk assessment and legal analysis, she brings invaluable contributions to the board of The Namaste Project Foundation.

The Namaste Project Foundation

General Board Members

Brianna Whitfield

Board Member

Brianna Whitfield brings a wealth of community connection and program facilitation experience to the team. Brianna is an Atlanta-based yoga teacher, reiki practitioner, and artist known for her dedication to fostering engagement, curiosity, and emotional well-being. With a journey that began in 2017, she harnessed the power of yoga to conquer anxiety and boost self-assurance in a challenging world. Possessing a 200hr certification complemented by over 300hrs of CEUs, Brianna perpetually embraces the role of a student and enthusiast. Guided by a resolute aim, Brianna guides classes and programs to nurtures a non-competitive, non-judgmental environment, empowering individuals to establish a profound connection with their inner selves.

Supporting TNP work in the Atlanta Community.

The TNP Foundation is dedicated to supporting evidence-backed, trauma-informed somatic healing in the metro Atlanta area via TNP evidence backed programs. TNP employs the science of the Polyvagal approach and Somatic Experiencing to offer mental health support. While delivering direct services to both youth and adults is a significant aspect of TNP’s mission, its broader goal is to empower leaders within schools, community organizations, and businesses to take charge of supporting the mental health of students and adults.

Through training, professional development, and curriculum, TNP aims to equip these leaders with the knowledge and tools needed to create supportive and healing environments. To gain more insights into TNP’s mission and vision, you can hear from CEO and Corporate Member Danielle Brunson.

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