The Empowerment Holdings Team

Can you awaken to a larger understanding and context of your career, business and life? Don’t miss out if you want to see lasting, meaningful, and especially fulfilling results.

Develop greater consistency, authenticity, connectivity and wholesome contribution if you want to stay competitive and experience Intelligent Leadership and Quality of Life in Business.

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Dawa Tarchin Phillips,
President and CEO

Born in NYC, Dawa Tarchin Phillips grew up in a multicultural family in Europe and speaks English, German and French fluently.

An innovative leader and executive, experienced meditation teacher, author and Sacred Entrepreneur™, Dawa founded Empowerment Holdings, LLC in 2007 at the request of his teachers and mentors in order to benefit the growing number of business professionals looking for greater Intelligent Leadership and Quality of Life in Business.

The firm, which is based in Santa Barbara, California, coaches business professionals and organizations nationally and internationally in effective Mindfulness Based Leadership, successful Conscious Business Principles and Conscious Business Skills, and offers leadership training and coaching through personal leadership development plans

Through their years of leadership practice, Dawa and his team have repeatedly found that only solid coaching makes for happier champions.

Dawa studied for 12 years with Tibetan Buddhist masters at Dhagpo Kundreul Ling Hermitage in France, where he completed two 3-year meditation retreats. He is an authorized Buddhist teacher and has been a committed practitioner for nearly twenty years.

A trusted council to many, Dawa is a visiting researcher in the Department of Psychology at the University of California Santa Barbara and has been a guest lecturer at numerous academic institutions around the country, including Cal Poly, The University of Oregon, Portland State University, Virginia Commonwealth University and Washington and Lee University.

To give back to the community he serves as resident teacher of a public meditation center in Santa Barbara, California and is the founder and a board member of The Institute of Compassionate Awareness, a 501c3 registered public benefit initiative whose research and activities are centered on secular mindfulness meditation training, self-esteem/self-confidence development and mindfulness based leadership in children and youth.

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Douglas McKenna, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant

Doug brings a strong, diverse portfolio of experience to his leadership development practice. He is an organizational psychologist by training, a thought leader who loves to teach. But he is no ivory tower scholar. He has been through the fire as an executive in one of the toughest corporations in the world.

As the original architect and General Manager of executive and leadership development at Microsoft, Doug discovered that being able to stay composed under pressure was the first step to leadership mastery. “Working with brilliant, driven people taught me that IQ is not enough. When each day brings a gauntlet of new challenges, you need equanimity and self-control to lead effectively. Otherwise, emotion trumps IQ and all that talent and energy goes to waste.”

Through his years of practice, research, and teaching, Doug has found that leaders can learn to control their reactivity, find their ground, and do what they think is best in the moment.  “You may not be the smartest or most powerful person in the room,” he says, “but others will know they are dealing with a person of substance. Even more important, you will know. And when that happens, you are leading, right where you stand.”

Doug holds a PH.D. from the University of Minnesota, worked as Professor of Management at Seattle Pacific University, Associate Professor of Psychology at Wheaton College and General manager of Executive and Management Development at Microsoft Corporation. He is the acting CEO and Executive Director of The Oceanside Institute – Center for Organizational Leadership – in Seattle, Washington.

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Dr. Michael Mrazek

Dr. Michael Mrazek is the Director of Research at the forthcoming Center for Mindfulness & Human Potential at the University of California Santa Barbara. He received a B.A. in Psychology from Rice University and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience from UCSB. His research explores the limits of cognitive and neural plasticity, as well as the design of evidence-based training programs that facilitate transformative personal and professional development. He teaches courses in Mindfulness, Health Psychology, and Positive Psychology at UCSB. His work with individual clients caters scientific principles to individuals’ personalized needs in order to help them achieve higher levels of health, fulfillment, achievement, and contribution.

Jeffrey Kerr, M.S.W., LICSW
Senior Consultant

Jeffrey Kerr joined our team in 2008. He currently is Managing Director and senior member of Triad Consulting team and the Director of HumanMatters, a consulting and training company that specializes in communication enhancement, strategic relationship management and executive coaching and is a leading member of a leadership development initiative at The Monitor Consulting Group. He travels nationally and internationally, assisting corporations to develop the communication skills that support business success. Clients include: Merck, Conoco, Merrill Lynch, Amerada Hess, BP, Xilinx, Citrix, Genentech, and Sepracor, and Honda.

In addition to consulting in the private sector, Jeffrey continues his career- long commitments in the public sector. He consults to Boston area health and mental health centers, where he helps individuals and work groups to design, improve and repair attitudes, relationships and strategic alliances. Public sector clients include the Latino Health Institute and Southern Jamaica Plain Community Health Center.

Jeffrey served as the Executive Director of the Family Institute of Cambridge (FIC), a nationally renowned training center for family therapy and mental health systems training, and is now a core faculty member of FIC. He has consulted to couples and families for 25 years. He also works as a consultant for Harvard’s Program on Negotiation, is a guest lecturer at the Harvard Business School and teaches in HBS’s Executive Education Program.