Governance

The General Council

John Bloom, General Secretary and President

Helen-Ann Ireland, Member at large and Chair

Nathaniel Williams, Member at large and Secretary

David Mansur, Member at large and Treasurer

Gino Ver Eecke, Eastern Region Representative

Christine Burke, Western Region Representative

Margaret Runyon, Member at large

Mary Stewart Adams, Member at large

Leah Walker, Member at large

Leadership

John Bloom, General Secretary and President

email: john.bloom@anthroposophy.org

Eddie Ledermann, Director of Finance

Tess Parker, Director of Programs

email: tess@anthroposophy.org

 

Administrative offices for the U.S. Society are located at

Rudolf Steiner House
1923 Geddes Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 41804

The General Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America carries the spiritual mission of the Society, and they are the volunteer board of directors of our non-profit organization, with responsibility for its legal and financial well-being.

The General Council strives to represent the Anthroposophical Society in the world, support the work of the School for Spiritual Science and the Sections, and help cultivate a deep relationship to anthroposophy among members and initiatives. It is the intent and purpose of the General Council to serve as a connection to the incarnation of anthroposophy in our time. Minutes of General Council meetings are available online to members who are logged in.

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John Bloom, President
and General Secretary

John Bloom has served as General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America since October 2016. He writes frequently for being human and is an active member of the Council of Anthroposophical Organizations. He recently retired from RSF Social Finance, San Francisco where he served as vice-president for organizational culture. As part of his work at RSF he developed and facilitated conversations and programs that address the intersection of money and spirit in personal and social transformation. He also developed a spiritually based leadership program to support nonprofit organizations. He continues to deepen that work independently and is part of forming a new organization, Spirit Matters, serving anthroposophical initiative. He has written extensively on money and culture and has fostered collaborative dialogues on the challenging social aspects of money. He is a founder and trustee of Yggdrasil Land Foundation, a national land trust committed to supporting biodynamic agriculture and land-based regional economies. He has led numerous workshops and written about issues of land preservation and community supported agriculture. He has written two books, The Genius of Money, and Inhabiting Interdependence, both published by SteinerBooks. He is currently working on his next book of essays and lives in San Francisco.

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Helen-Ann Ireland,
Council Chair

Helen-Ann began exploring spiritual ideas in high school when she wrote a paper on Buddha and Christ. After meandering through some Eastern pathways and traveling, she met anthroposophy in Australia when she became interested in educating and raising children in a wholistic way. Through her work as a class teacher in Honolulu and then Pine Hill in New Hampshire, she continued to study and deepen her interest in Steiner’s works. For seven years, she was the Vice-Chair of the Hawai’ian Society and became a member of the First Class there in 1992. After graduating her second class of children at Pine Hill in 2009, she pursued doctoral studies at UMass Amherst and co-authored a book Assessment for Learning in Waldorf Classrooms. Having been conferred her title in May 2018, she is currently working as a post doc fellow at UMass Amherst and will continue as a lecturer coordinating the Elementary Educator Master’s Degree program and teaching undergraduates about human development. At the same time she entered her doctoral program, she was appointed as a reader for the First Class, School of Spiritual Science, in February 2011 for Wilton, NH.

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Tess Parker,
Director of Programs

Tess Parker has been committed to discovery through anthroposophy for over a decade. She joined the ASA in 2018 and deeply appreciates her journey of connecting to and learning from the anthroposophical community- both nationally and internationally.

Prior to her director role, she served as co-founder of Common Hands Farm in upstate NY, a biodynamic farm hosting both a membership CSA and educational apprenticeship program. She has also worked in Waldorf schools as a camp director and outdoor education & gardening teacher.

Tess's interests lie in collaborating with the elemental kingdom, learning to listen to the wisdom of the stars, and developing skills in biography and social art. She is a board member for the Center for Biography and Social Art and finds time on weekends to read and interpret natal charts.

Tess brings a deep connection to anthroposophy and a commitment to bringing growth and innovation to the Anthroposophical Society's programs as a means to engage and connect members and friends of the ASA.

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David Mansur,
Treasurer

Dave has been a member of the Society since 1997 and active in the anthroposophical movement. He served on the Board of Trustees of The Cape Ann Waldorf School in Beverly, MA, and currently sits on the Board of Directors of The House of Peace in Ipswich, MA, serving as Treasurer. He holds a certificate in Sustainable Biodynamic Beekeeping from Spikenard Farm in Floyd, VA, and has completed the one-year training in Biodynamics offered at the Pfeiffer Center in Spring Valley, NY. He manages e-mail for the Anthroposophical Society of Cape Ann and is active in organizing its events, and teaches occasionally in the Center for Anthroposophy’s Foundation Studies course. Dave holds a bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Massachusetts, and is employed as a Principal Project Engineer at Physical Sciences, Inc. of Andover, MA. He and his wife, Mary, live in Ipswich, MA, where they have raised three sons to adulthood and now enjoy the company of grandchildren and honeybees. The process taken to re-form the Eastern region of the Society has made clear to him the pressing need for human connection in our times, and the unique role that anthroposophy can play in forging those connections. He looks forward to working with the Society to develop new and meaningful ways that we may meet one another.

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Gino Ver Eecke,
Eastern Region

Gino met Anthroposophy in his birth town of Roeselare, Belgium, at the young age of 16. After working for a year on a BD-farm in Switzerland, he moved to New York to study eurythmy, receiving his diploma from Eurythmy Spring Valley in 1994. For eight years he performed as the character of Benedictus with the Threefold Mystery Drama Group, culminating in the performance of the Four Mystery Dramas in the summer of 2014. During the Mystery Drama Conference at the Goetheanum in July 2018, Gino performed the last scene of “The Soul’s Awakening.” Currently he guides the work of the Threefold Branch of the Anthroposophical Society in Chestnut Ridge, NY. He also serves as the President and Treasurer of the Eurythmy Association in North America.

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Christine Burke,
Western Region

Before completing a Waldorf Teacher training through Rudolf Steiner College (San Francisco) under the guidance of Dorit Winter, Christine earned a BA in Linguistics from UC Santa Barbara. Christine taught in Waldorf schools in California and Sweden before training in Formative Speech (Sprachgestaltung) and Drama at Artemis School of Speech and Drama (England) with Christopher Garvey. She earned a Masters in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Rhetoric (read: classical studies) and Performance at a local university, where she was able to bridge many of her studies and projects to anthroposophical initiatives and concepts.

Currently, Christine teaches Communication Studies at her local college and at a nearby university and travels to conferences, Waldorf schools, teacher trainings, and Christian Communities throughout the world to teach speech and drama and lead groups in a variety of themes. Christine manages the “for social benefit” company she founded in Ventura, California called Caffrodite Community Collective, which opened just before the corona virus changed our ways of gathering.  She leads meditations online and volunteers on local boards to continue her passion for fostering the art of community, exploring the many paths of this “art of the future” as Rudolf Steiner called it.  She is part of the collegium of the Social Sciences Section of the School for Spiritual Science in North America and is the Western Regional Council’s representative on the General Council.

Christine spends the remaining hours of her life balancing the loving duties that come with being the companion of a beautiful chocolate cocker spaniel and performing in street theater, community theater, a variety of activist performances and the life-infused, life-long learning of coming to know herself.

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Mary Stewart Adams,
At Large

Mary Stewart Adams is a Star Lore Historian and independent contractor working out of the initiative to safeguard the human imagination by protecting our access to the night sky and its stories. For the last ten years, Mary has hosted the weekly public radio program “The Storyteller’s Night Sky,” and for the last 20+ years has traveled extensively raising awareness about the effects of light pollution on habitat, cultural consciousness, and energy resources.

In 2011, Mary led the team that established the ninth International Dark Sky Park in the world, which work was instrumental in the legislation passed by the state of Michigan to protect over 30,000 acres of land for its natural darkness. She is a sought-after public speaker on the stories in the stars, and has received numerous honors for her work, including Environmentalist of the Year, the Pure Michigan campaign’s Pure Award, and in 2017, she led her team to the International Dark-Sky Association’s first-ever awarded Dark Sky Park of the Year Award.

Mary combines her degree in literature from the University of Michigan with a lifetime of study and research in anthroposophy to create a human-centered approach to understanding our relationship to the stars in contemporary culture, drawing on the ancient wisdom of astrology, the findings of astronomy, and the insights of astrosophy.

For several years she published the Fairy Tale Moons calendars, and in 2021 published her first book “The Star Tales of Mother Goose ~ For those who seek the secret language of the stars,” richly illustrated by her sister and long-time collaborator, artist Patricia DeLisa. Throughout the summer months you can find her narrating the starry skies over the Straits of Mackinac in Northern Michigan.

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Margaret Runyon,
At Large

Margaret grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, in the 1960’s and 70’s, punctuated by two of her father’s sabbaticals in Germany.  She moved to New Orleans in 1981 and pursued a career in retail.  In 1985 anthroposophy sought her out.  She was invited to the local Study Group at the home of Inge Elsas (read Inge’s amazing story here), and was encouraged to attend the 1986 Social Science Conference in Spring Valley, NY.  It was the uncanny sense of “homecoming” she experienced at that conference that convinced Margaret this was her path.

In 1987, with Rita Amedee and others inspired by a visit by Joan Almon, she co-founded the Waldorf Education Association of New Orleans, and joined the Society in the same year. Relocating to Detroit in 1991, Margaret was immersed in the many-faceted anthroposophical life of SE Michigan. In 1995 she was admitted to the School of Spiritual Science, and served for three years as president of the Greater Detroit Branch. She moved back to New Orleans at Michaelmas 1998, and was invited to join the Society’s Central Regional Council in 1999. After experiencing Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, Margaret worked with her CRC colleagues to plan an earth-healing “Pilgrimage” at Easter 2006, from Alton, IL, along the Mississippi River through Memphis, to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

Back in New Orleans in 2007, after her home was repaired, Margaret served on the board of Waldorf School of New Orleans for nine years, was a founding board member of Raphael Academy (now Raphael Village), a pioneering urban Camphill community.  She has served on the ASA’s Development Committee since 2015.  Since 2016 she has worked as Enrollment Director at Waldorf School of New Orleans. She has been grateful to witness the growth of anthroposophy in the South, helping to host the ASA’s annual conference in New Orleans in 2018, and attending the 2019 AGM in Atlanta.

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Rudolf Steiner sculpting the "representative of humanity"

Statement on Diversity

The Anthroposophical Society in America [US] is open to every human being and supports fulfilling their potential and search for meaning. The Anthroposophical Society stands with those seeking spiritual and cultural freedom, equity and equality in rights, and interrelationship in economics. The  Anthroposophical Society in America stands against any individual activities or organizations that deny or disparage the dignity and humanity of any human being or group of human beings.

As a holistic researcher of human origins, consciousness, and future evolution, Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), founder of anthroposophy, dealt with questions of individuality, diversity,
and race in his talks and writings in the early 20th century. We recognize that some published passages characterize race and other group identities in ways that readers will find offensive. We fully empathize with that response and are working to assure that none of our current or future activities are based on or reflect those characterizations.

Throughout his life, Steiner spoke about the growing social and spiritual importance of diversity in communities of the future. A very clear statement of this view is in Lecture I of his series The Universal Human (1909):

[We] must cast aside the division into races. [We] must seek to unite people of
all races and nations, and to bridge the divisions and differences between various
groups of people.

We affirm these principles of common humanity. We explicitly reject any theory that can be construed to be part of Rudolf Steiner’s work that characterizes or judges any individual human being or group of human beings as superior or inferior based on racial, gender, ethnic or other group identity.

Membership in the Anthroposophical Society is open to everyone who sees the value of anthroposophy without regard to gender, national origin, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, or religion. In addition, the Society encourages a wide range of artistic, scientific, and economic perspectives and practices.

Adopted by the General Council on June 14, 2020