Co-Founder, CEO & Chief Mindfulness Officer
Melissa Sutor, MS, MA (formerly Melissa Green) has engaged in spiritual practices her entire life and has been meditating since 1996. She is the Founder and Director of Happiness at Dragonfly Healing Center and teaches mindfulness meditations, self-care and self-awareness to guide her clients in living authentic and truly happy. She loves to create, lead, and participate in wellness retreats so her journey led her to being a Retreat Consultant helping individuals and groups offer their own transformative retreats and events. Melissa is also a Diversity/Inclusion Consultant and a highly trained MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) teacher. Her counseling degree from Santa Clara University includes a specialization in Health Psychology with a focus on Mindfulness.
Melissa challenges patterned thinking, while encouraging explorations “outside of the box”. She is a passionate and caring partner to her clients in the journey of realizing their full human potential. Melissa has a remarkable talent of viewing situations from multiple perspectives and helping others to see with greater clarity. She is a bright and gentle, yet solid and supportive guide in seeking and exploring the tapestry of our lives. Being culturally competent and aware, Melissa is very effective as well as sensitive to investigations in diversity and inclusion and how they shape and contribute to our lives. Melissa offers life skills and tools as a Life Coach to enhance trust in our own inner wisdom and increase our ability to live our true self that is aligned and happy in body, mind, heart and spirit.
Melissa is compelled to use her voice in empowering and uplifting others in realizing that we are so much more than our conditions. Being raised in a single-parent home below the poverty level in rural Alabama, Melissa embraced education and became the first in her family to go to college. She then trail-blazed her way to higher education and in 1998 became the first African-American to earn an advanced degree in the Computer Science and Engineering department at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Her pioneering thesis was “Developing a Human-Computer Interface to make Higher Education more Accessible to Physically Disabled Students”. She wrote an application that produced a voice-activated mouse; the research was recognized in Scientific American magazine.
Having worked in Silicon Valley as an engineer, project manager and consultant in high tech fields, Melissa knows first hand the experience of letting go of something in search of truth and passion. She left her "American Dream" life to trek around the world, expand her views, and live fully in the present moment. Her journey lasted over two years and spanned over 50 countries. Interacting with diverse peoples and cultures was a highlight of her travels. Her life would never be the same! Though feeling the pull and pressure of society and family to be "successful" she returned to Silicon Valley as a project manager which culminated in extreme stress and burnout. Experiencing the death of an engineer on her team due to a massive heart attack, Melissa was traumatized by the unhealthy work culture of most top performing professions. After taking time to heal, she was on fire with passion to learn about work stress, it's detrimental effects, and prevention through mind-body awareness and action. This led her to formal studies in mindfulness and completion of her counseling degree.
She completed her MBSR teacher training in 2009 with Bob Stahl, PhD, through the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society. Melissa has also completed the MBSR Professional training with Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD and Saki Santorelli, EdD, MA. At Santa Clara University, she was mentored by Shauna Shapiro, Ph.D., leading mindfulness researcher and author of "The Art and Science of Mindfulness". In addition, Melissa teaches mindfulness and well-being with youth and has received advanced training and certification with Mindful Schools and training with Mission Be as a Mindful Educator. Melissa is a certified Healer Within Practice Leader, having completed a medical Qigong training program with Dr. Roger Jahnke at the Kripalu Yoga and Health Center in Lenox, Massachusetts.
With a heartfelt commitment of service to others, she shares inspiration, motivation, humor and compassion through her authentic way of being. Melissa has done extensive volunteer activities, especially with youth over most of her lifetime. Dragonfly Healing Center continues this tradition of giving by connecting with communities of need to offer beneficial programs at no cost and providing reduced rate services to nonprofits. In addition, more than 25% of participants at her annual Moving Into The Light Women's Retreats are there due to scholarships.
She has been a Mindful Leader in the Family Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center to teach mindfulness skills to youth of all ages. Her work with teens includes being on staff for mindfulness teen retreats with the organization, iBme. She is a Happiness Agent for Project Happiness and an Ambassador for Mission Be. Melissa collaborated with MindfulCloud Entertainment to contribute to the creation of mindful lessons and activities to accompany the animated film, “Planting Seeds of Mindfulness” based on the book by Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village Community after meeting the group on retreat in France.
Weaving her experiences in tech and project management with her expertise in mindfulness and diversity/inclusion, Melissa has co-created CodeSpa, which is an educational retreat that teaches girls/women and underrepresented groups virtual reality programming in order to diversity the field and provide valuable skills in the workplace and for entrepreneurial endeavors. She is a leader for the All In initiative with Digital Raign, which is an impact community for emerging tech, and through which she was introduced to Dr. Tom Furness, the Grandfather of VR, and became a founding member of Virtual World Society. Melissa has also been on the Wisdom 2.0 team for several years collaborating on creating gatherings for those who are passionate about living with greater mindfulness, meaning, and wisdom in our modern world. Melissa has also led workshops and talks at many organizations, including the Google headquarters and Esalen Institute. She has collaborated on retreats with Google for their senior women leaders in tech.
Melissa received her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Alabama A&M University; Masters of Science in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana; and Masters of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University. Melissa has an advanced degree in Life Experiences from the big beautiful world!
To allow her to offer the very best and brightest to her clients, Melissa regularly attends retreats, workshops and conferences for continued education and practice. Melissa honors the interconnectedness of all things. She genuinely believes that light, beauty and wholeness are inherent in each of us. Let it shine!
Co-Founder, CTO & Chief Alchemist
Alison possesses a powerful mix of entrepreneurial savvy and finely honed communication skills. Dedicating more than twenty-five years to the art of communication and interpersonal dynamics, she is a connector, facilitator and serial entrepreneur.
At the age of nineteen, her role as an Organizational Development Director for the Worksite Wellness Council led her to Co-Found and Administer the first holistic health degree program by an educational institution. She continued her entrepreneurial endeavors by opening and later selling a successful Chicago dining establishment, founding Mariposa Search, LifeBeforeDeath and Co-Founding Wisdompreneurs.
Her years of study and teaching in wisdom traditions and long-term engagement with Esalen Institute guided her to join Wisdom 2.0's launch team, serve on the board of Wisdom 2.0 Women, and act as a Strategic Advisor for Inspiration Campaign.
Alison's latest endeavor is as a Co-Founder and Inclusion Activist at Digital Raign, an organization focused on utilizing emergent technology toward the betterment of humanity with a commitment to creating social impact, exploring human potential and cultivating consciousness.
Firmly committed to social justice, Alison regularly donates her time to a number of volunteer organizations such as Emerging Women, It’s Time Network, ARVR Women among others. She serves as an Ambassador at the world renowned Esalen Institute, chairs the Bay Area Recruiters Association and sits on the board of both Dr. Tom Furness’ non-profit organization, The Virtual World Society and NewPathVR. She has also enjoyed numerous speaking engagements, including: Wisdom 2.0, Consciousness in VR, 360 LA and Inclusion 2.0.
Alison holds Bachelor’s degrees in Holistic Health and Philosophy from DePaul University and is a licensed Personal Development Counselor. Her hobbies include horseback riding, meditation, cuddling with her dog Linus and designing her next passion projects Spiritual and Fabulous & Superhero School.