Our Board and Staff
Leland Koble is a 58 year old bio-female, stuck in the grey area of transitioning and had top surgery in December of 2011. Leland is the co-founder of New Beginnings TLC - a surgical recovery retreat in Florida. Created in December of 2011, New Beginnings has served over 500 patients from around the world during their journey. Leland has been a nurse for over 20 years with his last 12 years in surgery.
Bonnie Lazarus has been in a wonderful, healthy, strong relationship with Leland since 2002, and together they have been presenting relationship workshops around the country since 2004. Bonnie is the co-founder of New Beginnings Retreat, a surgical recovery retreat for gender surgery. She is a life coach and has been a pain management therapist since 1989.
Bonnie has a generous way of being, with her heart centered on taking care of others and inspiring everyone she meets to be present and fully self-expressed.
As an icon of popular culture, Buck Angel’s message of empowerment through self-acceptance and being sexually comfortable in your own skin has struck a passionate chord with folks all over the world. As he demonstrated in his appearances at YALE, Cornell and other universities, Buck not only inspires people to think outside the box, but he is redefining gender and educating an entire generation on the fluidity of sexuality and identity politics. Visit Buck's website for more information.
Medical Advisor to the BOD
Dr. Russell Sassani is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. He is university trained in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and has additional specialized fellowship training. He is also an active member of several plastic surgical organizations including: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Broward County Society of Plastic Surgeons. Visit Dr. Sassani's website for more information.
Francine Rahe is a powerful, magnetic, compassionate, and highly connected Transformational Trainer. Francine co-founded The Coaching Connection Company and Diamond Coaching and Consulting, and has privately coached many CEOs and other business leaders. She is the author of the books, “Creating Family Teams” and “Coaching to Win,” which are used as resource material to facilitate the Sales Development Processes, Executive Leadership Programs, and the Create a Year to Remember Program. Francine is a master workshop and training designer and an integral part of the Gratitude Trainings where she designed the 3rd level of the curriculum, Masterful Living. Since 2010, Francine has been the Training Director and one of the lead trainers for the Gratitude Trainings.
Cameron Mathews is currently the Finance Director for Basic Rights Oregon, the state’s largest LGBTQ nonprofit organization. He has been working in finance and operations management for-profit and nonprofit sectors since 2008. With a Bachelor's in Public Policy and Administration and a Master's in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management, Cameron brings a broad skillset and love of information to his work, ensuring that all financial processes are efficient, effective, and strategic.
Marketing and Social Media Advocate
Code Wrangler and Marketing Specialist
Ethan Emerson has spent seventeen years developing websites, with the last few years focused on non-profit organizations and working directly with artists. As an author, Ethan embodies a unique ability to express ideas and concepts in ways that touch, move and inspire people to take action toward achieving their dreams. These skills have enabled Ethan to create his own system for helping organizations reach their intended audience, and form partnerships that make a difference in their community.
Gidget & Molly
Gidget and Molly are two playful, sweet, hypoallergenic yorkies, who provide comfort and love to our guests. Their sweet demeanor brings an abundance of joy to the retreat.
Daisy is an active and social Senegal Parrot who loves peanutbutter and long walks on your shoulder (while you do the walking).