The General Council
John Bloom, General Secretary and President
Leah Walker, Secretary
David Mansur, Treasurer
Gino Ver Eecke, Interim Chair and Eastern Region Representative
Christine Burke, Western Region Representative
Margaret Runyon, Member at large
Mary Stewart Adams, Assistant Secretary
John Bloom, General Secretary and President
Eddie Ledermann, Director of Finance
Tess Parker, Director of Programs
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.
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.
Leah Walker has a deep interest in human development and earth evolution, particularly
as described by Rudolf Steiner. She is a biography worker, licensed professional counselor and certified homeopath, currently in private practice.
Early on, Leah took a traditional route, acquiring a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and, after earning her license, working
for many years with those recovering from addiction and then with detained and incarcerated teens. She met Rudolf Steiner as a young parent at the Austin Waldorf School
and began training in biography work at age 37.
Leah feels extraordinarily fortunate to have learned from Maria de Zwaan, an art therapist
who lives in Zeist, Holland. Maria’s wisdom shared so many years ago still guides Leah, nearly daily. In 2011, Leah began to teach in the program offered by the Center for Biography and Social Art, initially following in Maria’s footsteps, leading a study of the “life trees.” Leah soon became part of the Center’s faculty and enjoyed growing in that role for
Leah has traveled abroad many times to participate in the Worldwide Biography Conference, and in 2017 was part of a team that imagined a new form and way of working,
grounded in threefold principles, that continues to provide strength and continuity to the conference.
Last year, Leah was especially honored to work with the biography workers of North America in holding a conference here, the first to be convened, created and conducted by
those who attended, in colleagueship, in association with one another. For Leah, this
conference approached the ideal “autonomy in association,” which is coined from a lecture by Rudolf Steiner: When societies arise, this should come about according to the purpose of the fifth post- Atlantean period, in such a way that the human beings who are united in these societies are the main thing, with the purpose of achieving what can follow from the dealings of these actual people, with one another. … the important thing must be the
individual life together, what follows from these actual people. Mutual understanding is the decisive thing (Zurich; October 10, 1916). “… the individual life together” — autonomy in association
Leah is a First Class member, since 2004. She lives in Wayne, Illinois, and has a grown daughter who is also a dear friend, which is no small thing.
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.
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.
Gino Ver Eecke,
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.
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.
Mary Stewart Adams,
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.
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.