Board of Directors

Matthew Alexander

Matthew has spent most of the last 25 years in software development in the entertainment industry. He currently leads five development teams with members in Los Angeles, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Uruguay. Matthew has been a member of the ATS community since 2009, sitting multiple retreats, volunteering, and being a monthly supporter. He has served on the Board of Directors since December 2013. In 2017, Matthew trained as a Mindfulness Facilitator at the UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center. His other interests include singing with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, writing for musical theater, and enjoying photography.

Charles Boyd

Charles has his own business, CAB & Associates and works with small businesses impacted by METRO rail construction. Named Los Angeles Urban League Leader of the Year in 2008 and featured in Who’s Who in Black Los Angeles in 2010 and 2011, Charles A. Boyd served as Deputy Neighborhood Officer for Housing and Safety.

A passionate advocate for civic engagement and empowerment, Mr. Boyd has received over thirty community service and civic awards including U.S. Congressional, California State Senate and California State Assembly recognition.  He has addressed audiences at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, Columbia University Graduate School of Business, Hunter College Graduate School of Social Work, the American Psychological Association and national forums on social issues including civic engagement, economic development, public safety, housing and youth development.

Raised in The Bronx, New York, Mr. Boyd attended New York City schools and studied real estate appraisal and investment analysis at the New York University, Real Estate Institute.  In addition to numerous professional certifications, he earned a Master of Science degree in Community Economic Development with a concentration in housing from Southern New Hampshire University, Graduate School of Community Economic Development.  He counts his many blessings as a husband and proud father of three.

Vinny Ferraro

Vinny has been a the Senior Trainer for Mindful Schools in Oakland, California and his work was the subject of MTV’s If You Really Knew Me, He is a Dharma teacher and a nationally recognized leader in designing & implementing interventions for at-risk youth. In 1987, he began volunteering his time to be of service. He went on to to help establish Dharma Punx in the mid 90’s. In 2001, he began teaching for Challenge Day, teaching emotional intelligence and other social skills, eventually becoming their Training Director, and leading workshops to more than 100,000 youth. He then became the Training Director for the Mind Body Awareness Project, a non-profit that teaches meditation to the incarcerated. He is a Guiding Teacher for Against the Stream, and for 12 years has led a Friday night meditation group in San Francisco.

David Francis

David Francis, is an Australian novelist and lawyer based in Los Angeles. He is the author of The Great Inland Sea, published in seven languages, Stray Dog Winter, Book of the Year in The Advocate, winner of the American Library Association Prize for Literature and a LAMBDA Literary Award Finalist, and Wedding Bush Road, recently published in Australia and the United States. He has taught creative writing at University of California, Los Angeles, Occidental College and in the Masters of Professional Writing program at University of Southern California. His short fiction and articles have appeared in publications including Harvard Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, Southern California Review, Best Australian Stories 2012 and 2014, Australian Love Stories, Los Angeles Times and The Rattling Wall. He is Vice President of PEN Center USA, President of Horses in The Hood (HHLA), and works with the international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP. He also spends part of each year on his family’s farm in Gippsland, Australia.

Noah Levine

Noah is the author of Dharma Punx, Against The Stream, The Heart of the Revolution and Refuge Recovery, is a Buddhist teacher, author and counselor. He has created a Buddhist approach to addiction recovery called Refuge Recovery, that includes peer lead meetings as well as a professional treatment center. He is also the founding teacher of Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, with centers in Los Angeles and San Francisco and over 20 affiliated groups around North America. He teaches meditation classes, workshops and retreats internationally. Noah holds a Masters degree in counseling psychology and lives in Los Angeles.

Jacqueline Drummond Lewis

Jacqueline’s path to integrated body and mind practices began with the Catholicism of her childhood and, in 2007, moved into meditation  and yoga practices rooted in multiple traditions.
In 2009, she joined the community at Against the Stream Melrose, and since 2014 she has followed the path of embodied spirituality through the teachings of Dharma Ocean.

Since 2001, Jacqueline has worked in the medical field of anesthesia. She strives to deliver medical care in a compassionate, team-oriented way, to an extended group of patients from pediatrics to geriatrics.  She does this in multiple settings, private, academic, volunteer and industry, both nationally and internationally

Her long-term vision is to experience a continuum of mindfulness, compassionate practices from the cushion on to social activities to enhance  well-being and the culture at large.

Leda Maliga

Leda Maliga has produced everything from feature documentaries, TV shows and commercials to video games, websites, events, art installations and social media campaigns. She currently works at the intersection of art and social justice at TaskForce PR and as co-founder and leader of Artivists LA, a post-election grassroots organization to fight the Trump administration.

Leda grew up helping her mom make experimental films and making signs and T-shirts for marches and protests with her grandmother — she was raised by women with a devotion to using media to create change and that is the through line of her career. She worked as VP of production at Brave New Films where she co-developed the documentary series “This Brave Nation” as well as 100’s of short documentaries and oversaw the creation of a powerful online community. Her documentary feature, “PILAR” toured the festival circuit, winning Best Documentary Feature at Visionfest. Leda has produced scripted shows for Comedy Central, and silly-fun reality shows like “The Surreal Life” and “The 70’s House”.  She has also paid the bills as a line and agency producer on commercials for brands like Lexus, Haagen Dazs and Ralph Lauren.

When she’s not busy making calls to her MOC’s, Leda hangs out in Echo Park with her son, Ozzie.

Brooke Rowland

Brooke Rowland is a passionate advocate for individuals suffering from addiction and mental illness. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from USC, a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School, and a Bachelors of Arts from UC Berkeley in History. Brooke also spent an intensive year studying abroad at Magdalen College, Oxford University and is a member of the California Bar Association.

Currently a social worker at Passages Addiction Treatment Center, Brooke has also treated clients suffering from addiction and trauma at the Refuge Recovery Treatment Center in Hollywood and in the chronically homeless population of the OPCC in Santa Monica.

Brooke’s focus on addiction and mental illness sharpened while she was a Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County. Her experiences in the court drove her to take classes in psychology at UCLA and volunteer as a Research Assistant for both the UCLA Addictions Lab and Youth Stress and Mood Program.

Prior to the DA’s Office, Brooke was a litigation associate with the international law firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP.

When not working with clients, Brooke enjoys knitting, dancing, art, meditating, and playing with her Boston Terrier, Berkeley. She is also a dedicated supporter of the Los Angeles Library Foundation.