team advisory

Alica Forneret

Grief in the Workplace

Alica is the Founder and Executive Director of PAUSE, an organization focused on supporting Communities of Color through grief and end of life. She is an educator, speaker, and consultant who has partnered on international events and projects with the likes of The Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation and Columbia University. As an educator, speaker and consultant, Alica facilitates sessions focused on inclusive bereavement responses and how to address grief at work for companies including Google and Nielsen. Alica's role at Grief Coach focuses on building strategies to elevate the voices and perspectives of grief experts whose range of experience can offer different perspectives on grief. She works actively to build the Grief Coach community of partners and experts.

Andrea Moore

Sibling Loss

Andrea is a certified bereavement and support group facilitator. She is also the founder of Grief to Grind, an organization committed to supporting people after the loss of a sibling. Andrea believes that life transitions bring us to our purpose, and that our grief matters as a way to find meaning.

Andy McNiel

Children & Grief

Previously the Chief Executive Officer of the National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC), Andy is now an Executive Partner at The Satori Group, a consultancy that provides training, education and consultation with an emphasis on end-of-life and bereavement.

Chanel Reynolds

Wills, Money, Insurance and Life’s What-if’s

Chanel founded GYST (Get Your Shit Together) in 2013 to share the lessons she learned after her husband was killed in a bicycling accident in 2009 and she found herself a widowed, single mother of a 5-year old as well as step-mom to a 13 year old. Her story and work have been featured in the New York Times on NPR, CNBC, the CBS This Morning show and CNBC and have reached millions of people worldwide. Her first book, "What Matters Most: The Get Your Shit Together Guide to Wills, Money, Insurance and Life’s What-if’s" was published by Harper Collins in 2019 and named one of the Best Wellness books of the year by Library Journal.

Diane Snyder Cowan

Addiction Loss

Diane is the Director of Western Reserve Grief Services in Ohio, and is extremely active in the promotion of bereavement care at the local, regional and national level. She is the leader of the Bereavement Professionals section of the National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals which is the professional arm of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, and also served as a member of its Steering Committee for several years.

Dora Carpenter

Certified Grief Coach & Trainer

Dora worked in the funeral and death care industry for twenty years, and saw that people often didn't receive the support they needed after a death. Her experience led her to build the Institute of Professional Grief Coaching, an organization that trains and certifies grief coaches, as well as The Aniya Center, a non-profit organization providing grief coaching support services to residents of Washington, D.C. She is also the Founder and Program Director of the ‘From Grief to Gratitude Coach Certification Program’ which is accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Elizabeth Semenova

Spiritual Care

Rev. Elizabeth Semenova, MSW, MTS is the Practice Director & Psychospiritual Guide at Integrated MD Care. She combines clinical psychology and existential spiritual exploration to offer support and facilitate transformative experiences with patients and their loved ones throughout the last phase of life and beyond. Elizabeth also serves on the Board of Directors for the Integrated Lifecare Foundation and The Hemlock Society of San Diego.

Galen Goben

Spirituality and Grief

Galen is the Grief Support Director for Forest Lawn Memorial Parks and Mortuaries. He is an experienced Grief Support Director with a demonstrated history of working in the individual and family services industry. Galen is an experienced grief counselor, who holds a Doctor of Ministry focused in Thanatology from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Hui-wen Sato

Clinicians and Grief

Hui-wen has been a pediatric ICU nurse since 2010. She has been published in the American Journal of Nursing, Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine, AACN Advanced Critical Care, and she is a regular contributor to AJN’s blog, Off the Charts. Her writing has also been published in the Oxford Handbook of Meaningful Work and The Healer’s Burden: Stories and Poems of Professional Grief. Her 2017 TEDxTalk was promoted to the main TED webpage in 2020, titled “How Grief Helped Me Become a Better Caregiver.” She has given keynote presentations at various local and national nursing conferences, and created a webinar for Happify titled, “How to Care for Yourself as a Caregiver.” She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their two daughters, tortoises and dog.

Jarie Bolander

Male Grief & Partner Loss

Jarie is a marketer, engineer and writer whose life was turned upside down when his 36 year old wife, Jane, died of leukemia. He did things that a lot of men do after a loss before realizing he needed to find healthier ways to grieve. One of the things he turned to was writing and talking about male grief. His insights have inspired many of the text messages we send to men who have lost a partner, far too soon.

Jenny Lisk

Widowed Parents

Jenny Lisk is a bestselling author and widowed mom who is dedicated to helping widowed parents increase their family's well-being. In her book, Future Widow, Jenny draws on her personal and professional experience to provide a real-life guide for surviving and thriving while raising grieving children. As host of The Widowed Parent Podcast, Jenny has done more than 100 interviews with experts, seasoned widowed parents, and people who lost a parent at a young age.

Joanne Lelewer Harpel

Suicide Loss

Joanne L. Harpel, President of Coping After Suicide and President and CEO of Rethink The Conversation, is an international authority on suicide bereavement. Joanne is the former longtime Senior Director for Public Affairs and Postvention for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the recipient of the American Association of Suicidology's Survivor of the Year Award, and serves as an advisor to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. She lost her younger brother to suicide in 1993.

Katie Hawkins-Gaar

Partner Loss

Katie is a freelance writer and journalism consultant, and author of many of the Grief Coach texts that subscribers receive. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism and writes a weekly newsletter called My Sweet Dumb Brain, about the ups and downs of life. Following the sudden death of her husband in 2017, Katie has written about grief, loss, and mental health for The New York Times, Glamour, Vox, CNN, Fortune, and more. She is passionate about improving relationships through transparency and vulnerability, and is a firm believer that you can learn a lot by simply listening.

Kelsey Crowe

Empathy and Community

Kelsey is the author of There Is No Good Card For This, and a sought after speaker and researcher who focuses her work on the intersection between communication, empathy, and community.

Laura Takacs

COVID-19 and Traumatic Loss

Laura Takacs, LICSW, MPH, is the Clinical Director of Virginia Mason Grief Services in Seattle, WA. She's an experienced Mental Health Therapist with Master’s degrees in Social Work and Public Health from University of Washington. For the past 15 years she has worked both in the United States and abroad providing counseling and support to individuals who have experienced traumatic loss. Laura has worked with active military, veterans and refugees, and is now working closely with COVID-19 survivors in the US.

Laurel Marlantes

Infant and Pregnancy Loss

Laurel is the Founder of Modern Mourning, an organization that uses one-on-one support, healing circles, audio guides and more to help people heal after the loss of a child. Laurel's life changed unexpectedly, and very quickly, when her first child was stillborn. She was lost, scared, and in terrible pain, but over time adapted principles from her professional life to create practices of storytelling and beauty to support others after a pregnancy or infant loss.

Lucinda Koza

Caregivers and Grief

Lucinda Koza is the founder and CEO of I-Ally, a community-driven app for millennial family caregivers. She was spurred to action when she found herself becoming her father's sole caregiver in 2018. Lacking support from every direction, she could feel herself falling through the cracks of the system and decided to dedicate her life's mission to advocating for the invisible family caregiver labor force. Lucinda has been named a Hero of the COVID Crisis by Authority Magazine and Thrive Global, and a Visionary Voice by All Raise. She is excited to now be an On Deck NYC Drop Tech Fellow as well as a member of the Time's Up Care Economy Business Council.

Mandi Zucker

Grief & Young Adults

Mandi is the Founder and Executive Director of Inner Harbor, a national organization dedicated to supporting young adult and college student grievers. She is a Lead Responder for the Traumatic Loss Coalition of NJ and an adjunct professor at Montclair State University. She is a member of the National Alliance for Children’s Grief where she has served on several committees.

Megan Devine

Psychotherapist Megan Devine believes that making the world a better place starts with acknowledging grief, rather than seeking to overcome it. Through Refuge in Grief, Megan advocates for a revolution in how we discuss loss - personally, professionally, and as a wider community.

Megan is the author of the best-selling book, It’s OK that You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief & Loss in a Culture that Doesn’t Understand. Her animated “how to help a grieving friend” video distills a complex issue into simple, actionable steps in just over seven (adorable) minutes. Gaining over 35 million views in its first few months, the animation is now used in training programs all around the world. Her work has been translated into 15 languages, and is featured widely in the media, including the New York Times, NPR, Washington Post, GQ, Harvard Business Review, and The Atlantic. Her latest collaborative project, Speaking Grief, is out now from PBS.

Michelle Post

Mindfulness and Therapy in Grief

Michelle has provided counseling services for children, teens, and adults learning to cope with grief, loss, and trauma since 2003. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist in California, and the CEO of Post International Inc. where she teaches, trains and consults with other grief and loss professionals. Currently, she is a Board Member for the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), Chair of the AATB Donor Family Services Council, and Board President for HealGrief.

Patricia Caristo

Violent Death

Patricia is the Director of New Mexico's Resource Center for Victims of Violent Death. She has spent decades as a victims' advocate, and is trained in the support of people who have lost someone to a violent death. Patricia's years of experience in police and private investigation, as well as working with agencies such as New Mexico Survivors of Homicide, have given her deep compassion and wisdom that is both inspiring and practical.

Shelby Forsythia

Grief and Loss

Shelby is the author of Your Grief, Your Way and Permission to Grieve and podcast host of Grief Book Roundup, Grief Seeds, and Coming Back: Conversations on Life After Loss. Following the death of her mother in 2013, she became a “student of grief” and set out on a lifetime mission to study the human experience of loss. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, Bustle, and The Oprah Magazine. As a Content Editor with Grief Coach, Shelby is recruiting leading experts and diverse voices to contribute to the wealth of wisdom being shared via text message, with Grief Coach subscribers.

Vivian Nunez

Grief and Mental Health for Young Adults

Vivian Nunez is a writer, content creator and strategist. Her award-winning Instagram community has created pathways for speaking on traditionally taboo topics, like mental health and grief. Through her writing she offers creatives guidance on how to embrace creativity and cultivate mental wellness routines that work for them. At the start of her career, Vivian founded Too Damn Young, a resource platform for grieving young adults. She’s been featured by Instagram, Netflix, CBS This Morning, Oprah! The Magazine, and is a regular contributor on Forbes and Well+Good. You can find Vivian @vivnunez on Instagram and her writing on both Medium and her blog.