Laura has served The Ojai Foundation in many capacities since 2000 including as a youth leader, program manager, guest teacher, and interim Executive Director. She holds a master's degree from the University of Southern California in Film and Anthropology and is co-owner of Sage Mountain Films, a documentary film production company she runs with her husband Jim Whitney. She is a carrier of council, a ceremonial guide, and an activist/philanthropist
Over 16 years ago, I celebrated my 40th birthday high on a mesa in New Mexico during a Vision Fast ceremony guided by Roshi Joan Halifax. I was marking my birthday as well as a move with my family from Los Angeles to Ojai. I came down from the mountain with a vision: to create a center for celebrating life - nature, community, ceremony, children. When I shared my vision, Joan replied, “Why don’t you just go to The Ojai Foundation?!” There began a life-long love affair and commitment to the land and work of TOF. I have worn many hats over the years…always in service to bringing forth a more connected, just, and meaning-filled world. I am overflowing with gratitude for all I have received in return for what I have given…and, god willing, will continue to give until the end of my days.