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Annabel Teal Appointed to Esalen Board of Trustees

Esalen honors outgoing board members Chip Conley and Ben Tauber

BIG SUR, CALIF. – April 12, 2019 – Esalen Institute, a nonprofit organization supporting personal and social transformation, announced today that writer and filmmaker Annabel Teal has joined its Board of Trustees. A frequent Esalen seminarian and supporter of its Center for Theory & Research, Teal is interested in envisioning new ways for Esalen to engage with storytellers. In addition to Teal’s appointment, Esalen also announced trustees Chip Conley and Ben Tauber have concluded their tenure on the board as each pursue new ways to advance human potential.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Annabel Teal,” said Jeff Kripal, chair of Esalen’s Board of Trustees and the J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religion at Rice University. “With an international education and extensive experience in the Los Angeles film world, Annabel brings a unique and invaluable alchemy of the arts, film and storytelling to Esalen. She has also been a most faithful and supportive participant in the life of our Esalen community.”

In addition to her work with Esalen, Teal is also a longtime supporter of Teach for America and The Tipping Point. She is one of charity:water's Well members and traveled to Ethiopia in 2017 to observe their work. “I came to Esalen at a time when I wanted to dig deep, do the work I’d been neglecting, and rediscover my voice both as a human and an artist. I hope to help facilitate that same journey for other storytellers for years to come, perhaps in new and challenging ways we have yet to dream up.”

Speaking on behalf of the Esalen community, Kripal expressed deep gratitude to both Conley and Tauber for their individual and collective impact on Esalen. “Chip’s Esalen roots date back to the mid-1980s. His pioneering work on Abraham Maslow and his generous support of the Esalen community have been profound,” said Kripal. “Ben came to Esalen during one of our most challenging moments, and helped guide us through a historic closure and reopening, illustrating the power of our community’s own potential.”

Conley, author of PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow, Wisdom@Work and a number of other books on leadership and human potential, recently launched the Modern Elder Academy dedicated to fostering intergenerational leadership and supporting a new social role for the modern elder. He has served on Esalen’s Board since 2012 and was a pivotal supporter of Esalen’s Campus Renewal project.

Tauber, who joined the Board in 2015, was named Executive Director in 2016. He will continue to focus his attention on initiatives advancing human potential as founding partner at Velocity Group and in incubation of new projects focused on individual and collective potential.

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Founded in 1962, Esalen is a nonprofit center for exploring and realizing human potential through experience, education, and research. Esalen sponsors pioneering initiatives and offers personal, spiritual, and social transformation practices for workshop participants and residential staff. Located on California’s scenic Big Sur coast, Esalen welcomes more than 12,000 students, seminarians, and visitors each year. It works toward the realization of a more just, creative, and sustainable world.

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