Board Directors' Bios
Lisa holds a Ph.D from Virginia Tech, an MBA from Loyola and a BS from the University of Louisiana. She teaches business and management at the SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica, NY, which has proven to be valuable background for her current work on the PBPF Board as a member of its Finance Committee.
For the last sixteen years, Lisa has worked on several PB data entry projects. She is currently collecting older PB books and is right now transcribing a year in the life of the diary of a secretary that worked with PB in England. The year is 1934, between the two World Wars. The secretary is Zomah, and the project sounds fascinating!
Beverly has a Masters degree in Education from Ohio State University. As a member of The Philosophers’ Center in Columbus, Ohio, she served as PB’s secretary during his visit to Columbus in 1977. Although now a Columbus, Ohio, resident, she lived near Wisdom’s Goldenrod for three years and attended classes at the Center while Anthony Damiani was alive. While she was there, she had the opportunity to read PB’s notebooks in their original form and participated in collating material for Perspectives, the first volume of PB's published Notebooks. She served as Chairperson of the Committee that produced audio tapes of two of PB’s books, The Secret Path and Discover Yourself, both narrated by Christopher Reeve. In addition to serving as Second Vice Chairperson of PBPF, she fills the vital role of Chairperson of the Publishing Committee—and does so vigorously! Outside of the Foundation’s direct orb, she is the Past President of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Franklin County, Columbus, Ohio. She remains active on that board and continues to teach Family to Family classes.
Martha is the President of PBPF and came to us with a background of ten years as a senior official at UNICEF, among many other professional posts. She began her career as a journalist on a local newspapers at age sixteen and took college degrees in Philosophy, including three years of study at the Sorbonne in Paris. She met Anthony Damiani in 1973 and remained a student of his throughout the rest of his life, often from afar. Martha is married to Sam Cohen and has served on the boards of both Wisdom’s Goldenrod and PBPF.
Jeff Cox retired as the co-owner of Snow Lion Publications in 2012. He moved to Ithaca in 1971 from Columbus, Ohio, where he was guided to the teachings of Paul Brunton by wonderful PB students whom he had the good fortune to meet. Jeff was one of the first individuals to live as a resident "monk" at Wisdom's Goldenrod, where he studied with Anthony Damiani. He became involved with Snow Lion in 1984 and was instrumental in establishing it as the major publisher of Tibetan Buddhism. He and his wife, Christi Cox (who also contributed greatly to Snow Lion and has served on the PBPF board), are longtime devotees of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They continue to explore a wide variety of spiritual teachers and teachings, always returning to PB as their primary source of inspiration and guidance.
His introduction to PB started with his meeting and subsequent study with Bert Salmirs at Watkins Glen High School in the late 1960's. During that time Bert introduced his philosophic group to Anthony Damiani, and from that point on, Louis became a devoted student to Anthony and thus to PB. He attended classes at the American Brahmin bookstore for several years with Anthony and eventually joined with other students to help Anthony create Wisdom's Goldenrod and build all the buildings there. He went on to graduate from Elmira College with a B.A. in English Literature. He taught high-school English for a short time, then moved on to industry as an evaporator operator at Cargill Salt in Watkins Glen, NY, retiring the summer of 2012. He served on the Goldenrod board of directors for several years, has made numerous presentations at Goldenrod's Summer Studies programs, and is presently an active participant in classes at Wisdom's Goldenrod.
Mary Ann Flory
Mary Ann brings to PBPF an extensive career as a bookkeeper, and her expertise has been inestimably valuable as treasurer. She has studied PB as part of the “Columbus Group” for longer than forty years, while simultaneously raising a large family and becoming a beloved grandmother! Over the years she has made several trips to study at Wisdom’s Goldenrod, both while Anthony Damiani was alive and in more recent years. During her working career she discovered an aptitude for accounting, took classes at Franklin University, and retired as a full charge bookkeeper from Godman Guild Association a large United Way Agency. She worked as the main bookkeeper for an active non-profit agency for many years and has recently retired in order to spend more time with her studies and her family. The Foundation has benefited immeasurably from this decision.
Kira is currently the Hospice and Community Bereavement Counselor of her local hospice in Ithaca, NY after completing her post-graduate studies in Social Work. As PBPF’s immediate past chairperson, Kira is the co-editor of the special edition of A Search in Secret Egypt and has worked on several new editorial projects. Kira’s parents, Pat and Jeff Lallas, are lifetime students of PB; she grew up around the ideas to which she is now devoted both as a student and as a steward.
Tom had already been taking classes at Wisdom’s Goldenrod’s forerunner, The American Brahmin Bookstore, for two years and had met Anthony Damiani by the time he received his college degree in Economics from Cornell University in 1971. He has been a serious student of philosophy ever since. He had the privilege of meeting PB twice: in Switzerland in 1975 and at Wisdom’s Goldenrod in 1977.
Tom has worked in the financial field for over thirty-five years and has served throughout that time as the financial advisor to several non-profit organizations. Before that period, he worked for Social Security for eleven years. Tom has been a board member of Wisdom’s Goldenrod as well as five other non-profit organizations, and has served as Treasurer for a few prominent local groups. He is an invaluable member of the PBPF Finance Committee.
Barbara is another founding member of the Philosophers’ Center study group in Columbus and has been studying PB’s writings since the 1950s. She had the privilege of meeting PB in Switzerland in 1975 and was very pleased to help host his visit to the Columbus study group in 1978.
Barbara graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Arts and Science and also took a degree to teach Drama and English. She served for twenty-five years as a juror of the Religion and Philosophy Committee of Documentary Films for the international Film Festival, as president and actor in local theatre work, as a ten-year board member of the local Arts Council, and as a board member of an organization that raises money to support local working artists. Barbara has been married to her husband, Jim, since 1959, and they have three grown children. She lists reading, oil painting, and listening to music as favorite pastimes.
When Cleta met Paul Brunton in the 1970s, she had already been studying his work for many years, having met Anthony Damiani in 1969, when she was already familiar with the philosophic writings of PB. She was one of the founding students of the dynamic Philosophers’ Center study group in Columbus, Ohio. She had also already received a BA in Human Services Management from Capital University in Columbus. She has put that degree to work in direct service positions, management and administrative positions (Public Relations, Development, Human Resources and Corporate Compliance) in the not-for-profit sector. Cleta serves on the board of the Jung Association of Columbus, Ohio. She joined PBPF in 2007 and has served on committees that revamped policies of the all-important Publications Committee, as well as updating the foundation's bylaws. She headed the Nominations Committee that brought new life into PBPF and has served closely on the Website committee. Now as Chairperson, she serves on all committees, and is an invaluable presence in all of the workings of the Foundation. She continues to be involved with others in establishing an international network of study groups and questers.
Janet Hollis Selby
Janet is a French and Spanish teacher with two masters degrees from Indiana University, one in French with a minor in Spanish and another in Art History. She has been studying PB’s books for many years and is affiliated with the Philosophers’ Center in Columbus, Ohio. Janet has served as co-chair of the Boone County Youth as Resources Board of United Way, as Conservation Chair for the Heartlands Chapter of the Sierra Club, and as secretary of the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club. She has also been chair of the Missions Board at her church and has volunteered for the Humane Society of the Indianapolis and the Central Indiana Bicycling Association.
Janet wants to ensure that the works of Paul Brunton will continue to be available to all who can benefit from them. Toward that end, she serves on this board, on its Publishing Committee, its Website Committee, and of course, as its Secretary.
Timothy is a semi-retired astrologer and one of the individuals designated to overview the editing of PB’s posthumously published works. He has served continuously on the PBPF board and recently co-edited (with fellow board member Kira Lallas) a special edition of PB’s A Search in Secret Egypt
. He and his first wife, the late Devon Cottrell, served as assistants to PB for the year prior to his death, during which time PB instructed Tim on his plans for posthumous publication and the reorganization of his notebook material. Tim lived as a resident of Wisdom’s Goldenrod for several years and studied with Anthony Damiani until his death. He also has had a lifetime interest in Hinduism and has translated several classic works from Sanskrit. He lives near Wisdom’s Goldenrod with his wife, Karan Melamed Smith, and a varying number of pets.