Leadership

Howie Shareff

Founder and Executive Director

Howie Shareff founded You Call This Yoga in 2007 as a business to share yoga that was adaptable for tired, worn baby boomers. As a 52-year-old practicing dentist and recreational athlete, he was managing his own severe arthritis for many years with gentle yoga. Howie also utilized yoga as part of his preparation and recovery from surgery. Through these experiences, he found that the benefits of yoga to enhance healing and comfort could be accessible to anybody willing to breathe, focus and mindfully move.

Howie’s philosophy about the business was that it served the community to improve social, emotional and physical health. He sought this to be a social entrepreneurial endeavor, where yoga that is accessible for all can be delivered by skilled, passionate, paid and professionally supported teachers. In 2010, Howie succeeded, with help from the NC Center for Nonprofits, in having You Call This Yoga recognized by the IRS as a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Since then, Howie has grown in the role as Executive Director through advice from the Small Business Center at Wake Tech, the Board of Directors of You Call This Yoga, and many coaches in our region. Howie also produces two educational shows: the You Call This Yoga Show (30 minute class) that airs on Raleigh Channel 10 and the You Call This Yoga YouTube channel, and the You Call This Yoga Internet TV Show (60-minute talk show about accessible yoga).

Currently, Howie stays young by engaging prospective yoga teachers, host partners, team members for YCTY, business partners and students. He welcomes your contact to learn more about you.

Board of Directors

President / Treasurer – Bill Harmon, CFP

Bill has been a financial services professional for thirty years in the triangle.  His business life encompasses a wealth management firm, life insurance agency and college planning software company.  As a life-long health advocate, Bill is a vegetarian, an active competitive martial artist, and yogi.

Secretary / Development Co-Chair – Barbara Vosk, Ph.D., RYT500

Barbara is a licensed psychologist, yoga teacher, and student of yoga. In her psychotherapy practice in Raleigh, she helps adults with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and recovery from trauma. Experiencing the ways yoga provided healing and health in her own life motivated her to become a yoga teacher; she completed her 500-hour training at Blue Lotus Yoga and Movement Arts studio in Raleigh in 2016. She has blended her two passions of psychology and yoga to co-create a Yoga for Anxiety Relief program, which is offered at several studios in the Raleigh area. Barbara teaches restorative yoga at Bliss Body Yoga studio in Raleigh. She also provides training to yoga teachers and mental health professionals on yoga for trauma recovery.

President Emeritus / Strategic Planning & Governance Co-Chair – Sarah Wechsberg, MBA, RYT200

Sarah joined the You Call This Yoga board over 5 years ago. She’s been practicing yoga since her teenage years and became a teacher in 2014. Sarah offers alignment-based yoga and gentle yoga to students all over the Triangle area and values helping others discover and hone their yoga practice, as it’s a powerful tool for healing the mind and body and for connecting to our authentic self.

Professionally, Sarah has spent the past 10 years in consulting, strategy, marketing, event planning, customer experience, change management and employee engagement. She’s worked with small-and medium-sized businesses and Fortune 100 companies ranging in industries from the food and agriculture, technology, health and wellness, financial and professional services, healthcare and consumer goods. She has helped start several entrepreneurial ventures and is passionate about helping mission-driven organizations achieve sustainability while giving back to the community.

Development Co-Chair – Celia Hartnett, CSW, RYT200

Celia HarnettCelia Hartnett believes that yoga helps dissolve the illusion that our bodies, minds, and spirits are separate. She began practicing yoga when she needed a complement to triathlon training. She eventually stopped doing triathlons but went on to become a yoga teacher, receiving her 200-hour training at The White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara. Yoga is an excellent adjunct to her psychotherapy practice and Celia studied its role in treating trauma, sharing its wisdom with her patients. To improve her skills, Celia has studied yoga, meditation, and recovery at Kripalu among other places. She has been a student of Tracey Rich, Ganga White, Elise Browning Miller, Amy Weintraub, Cheri Clampett Borda, Arturo Peal, Leslie Howard, Bessel van der Kalk, Rolf Gates and Niki Myers. Celia teaches yoga to women in recovery from substance use disorders on Tuesday evenings at Healing Transitions. Because of her own physical differences, Celia finds that You Call This Yoga allows her to explore more effective and inclusive teaching. She believes that everyone can find some benefit from the eight limbs of yoga and feels it is an honor to serve on the You Call This Yoga board.

Strategic Planning & Governance Co-Chair – Marc Gracieux, BA

Marc is a Product Manager at TransPerfect Life Science Solutions and is responsible for the strategy, roadmap, and feature definition for one of their products. He also works within teams to build strong collegiate relationships, think outside the box, cultivate a collaborative culture, create operational effectiveness that promotes excellence and pivots a team towards its organizational mission. Marc is a leader of the Advocacy and Communications team for Innovate Raleigh – another local non-profit right in the heart of downtown Raleigh. He provides a steady source of direction – leading team meetings, collaborating with other team members on how to contribute to organization-wide advocacy and communication efforts, and spearheading their own initiatives to innovate how we can be advocates in our region. Their mission at Innovate Raleigh is to showcase our entrepreneurial community and elevate the conversations within. Marc is an Ashtangi also. He started by making a commitment to go to yoga class on a regular, weekly basis – at least once a week at the start of 2016. An “on-the-fence yogi” for a while who gradually was pulled towards Ashtanga yoga in 2017 and is a committed Ashtangi practicing 3 to 4 times a week on a regular basis.

Board Development – Randy Cagan, MBA

Coming soon…

Committees and Participants

Governance

  • Strategic Planning (Sarah Wechsberg, Marc Gracieux, Bill Harmon)
  • Governance (Bill Harmon, Donna Cohen, Barbara Vosk, Shannan Legge, Howie Shareff)
  • Finances (Bill Harmon, Howie Shareff)

Development

  • Relationship Building/ Fundraising (Barbara Vosk, Celia Hartnett, Tiffany Candioti, Mor Aframian, Catherine Gupta, Patti Ryan, Howie Shareff)
  • Ambassadors for Events (Sonya Quijada, Howie Shareff)
  • Programming (Celia Harnett, Elena Rodriguez, Brenda Mai, Howie Shareff)
  • Board Development (Randy Cagan)

Marketing

  • Marketing Strategy (Howie Shareff, interim)
  • Event Promotion (Roxane Banville, Shannan Legge, Elena Rodriguez)
  • Brand Development (Rayneen Thebeau, Roxane Banville, Shannan Legge, Mary Lou Mazzara)