YoKid Board of Directors
Marci Love Thomas, Vice Chair
Marci is a Senior Counsel at General Counsel, P.C., where she helps lead the GovCon Practice Group. She provides guidance on legal issues ranging from federal procurement programs and contract agreements to the structuring of corporate transactions and business formations. In addition to her legal expertise, Marci completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2004 and numerous other yoga trainings, including Karma Kids, Itsy Bitsy Yoga, and prenatal and postnatal yoga certifications. She enjoys teaching yoga to yogis of all ages and is grateful for the many wonderful lessons she has learned from students. Marci especially loves discovering her own children: sketching artwork while relaxing in child’s pose, bellowing a hearty “Tim-ber!” as they fall out of tree pose, or reminding each other (or her) to breath deeply. Marci has been a member of YoKid’s Board of Directors since 2014.
Jackie Dutch, Treasurer
Jackie Dutch has been YoKid teacher since 2014, providing yoga instruction at Smothers Elementary School in Washington, D.C., and Polk Elementary School in Virginia. She also provides yoga instruction to children through Twinkle Twinkle Yoga Yoga at Young School in Maryland. Jackie joins YoKid’s board after a 30-year career in the federal government. She previously served as the Chief Administrative Officer in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General, and has extensive experience in organizational management, including budgeting and finance, information technology, and procurement.
Jennifer Fowler, Member
Jennifer is Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, managing policy development to counter illicit finance and threats to U.S. national security. She previously served as volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps and worked as a journalist in her home state of Georgia. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree from Georgetown University, where she is a part-time adjunct professor in the National Security Studies Program. She discovered the benefits of regular yoga practice in 2008, and looks forward to her time on the mat to reduce stress and regain focus in the midst of busy city life.
Purvi Patel, Member
Purvi is legal counsel for the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, serving as lead advisor on legislative campaigns involving sound recordings and broadcast media. Purvi received her Yokid teacher training in November 2013 and teaches Yokid programs and other classes in the Washington, D.C., area. She holds a law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Gayle Samuels, Member
Gayle was introduced to the great life benefits of yoga both on and off the mat more than 20 years ago. She has been a supporter of YoKid for several years, participated in YoKid’s teacher training in 2014 and served as an assistant for one of YoKid’s many dynamic teachers. Gayle is an alumna of Columbia University’s School of Social Work and an advocate for children, youth and parents involved with public systems. Her professional experiences, across multiple states and fields, are in providing direct services and technical assistance to develop, manage and evaluate systems and practices on behalf of children, youth and families.
Ellie Burke, Member
Ellie is registered with Yoga Alliance at the E-RYT 500-hour level. She completed the 200-hour Holistic Teacher Training at Pure Prana Yoga Studio (www.pureprana.com), an Ashtanga Teacher Training with David Swenson, and the YogaWorks 300-hr Professional Program. She continues to study with a variety of teachers in the Ashtanga and Vinyasa traditions. Ellie currently lives in Richmond, VA, and provides regular group and private instruction in yoga and meditation. Since 2002, Ellie has worked with youth in a variety of settings: nonprofit programs and organizations for at-risk youth, group homes for kids in crisis, and public and private schools. She received her M.Ed. from George Washington University with a concentration in Special Education and Secondary English.
Michelle Kelsey Mitchell, Member
Michelle is the Executive Director and co-founder of YoKid and holds a M.S. in Counseling & Human services, and an undergraduate degree in Sports Medicine with a minor in Sports Psychology. Her work with students and life as a mother of three children have made her aware of the deep need for the early cultivation of self-awareness in our society. Michelle believes that yoga can help children, as well as adults, reach their fullest potential. Michelle’s eclectic yoga training includes 500-hour Holistic Yoga Teacher Training, Manju Jois’ Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training, and the Radiant Child Yoga Program with Shakta Kaur Khalsa. She is also part-time adjunct faculty at George Washington University.
Kino MacGregor, Honorary Member
David Swenson, Honorary Member