Alfred Brush Ford
Ambarish (born 1950), is an American heir to the Ford fortune. He is a great-grandson of legendary businessman Henry Ford — the founder of the Ford Motor Company. He currently serves on the board of directors of privately held digital marketing firm ChannelNet, where he is also an investor. Ford Motor Company was one of ChannelNet’s early clients. Alfred was initiated by Srila Prabhupada (his spiritual master) in 1974 as Ambarish das and is now building the Mayapur Chandrodaya Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.
Youth speaker and Founder of Jimmy’s kids Charity
Jimmy Tuman is a graduate of Michigan State University and has developed three national programs dealing with youth, women and returning veterans. He has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS national news, The Today Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Jimmy has been featured in: Newsweek, USA Today, Business Week, Chicago Sun Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News and the New York Times. Jimmy was invited by fourteen world leaders to talk about the breakdown of families and has been the subject of a nationwide documentary show in Japan. He believes in balance in his life and has done such diverse things as being a circus clown, rodeo rider, symphony musician, cake decorator and parade enthusiast. He has served as a famine relief worker in Ethiopia and worked as a roadee with the rock band Journey. Passing the milestone of speaking to more than two million students in more than 2000 schools nationwide, he was named Detroit News “Michiganian of the Year” and 2012 Distinguished Alumni from Michigan State University. Recently Jimmy was featured in the critically acclaimed national movie “A Girl Like Her” and spoke at a TEDx Talk (2015).
Roger Siegel (Gurudas)
(Bhakti Sastri, Hypnotherapist & Pastoral Counseling)
Following his heart, Roger protested injustice by joining the civil rights struggle, becoming a staff member of the Northern Student Movement’s Harlem education project. He was beaten and arrested many times for his beliefs.
He was also on the staff of The Henry Street Settlement, and other community centers. He also worked with visually impaired, mentally challenged and homeless populations.
After meeting Swami Bhaktivedanta and becoming his disciple in April, 1967 (now Gurudas) he was appointed president of the London Temple; and later put in charge of the Krishna Balaram Temple project in Vrindavan. Gurudas then befriended the American ambassador, Kenneth Keating, and procured two tons of food for distribution in the Bangladesh refugee camps. This was the start of “Food for Life.” Gurudas is also a professional counselor and certified Hypnotherapist.
Many people have expressed their gratitude for how Gurudas has cared for them, and now we are facilitating the Vedic Care Charitable Trust for more structured and stable care.
Ana Lucia Alves
Entrepreneur, Film Producer, Actor and Documentarist
Aradhana dd (aka Ana Lucia) left Brazil at nineteen to explore the world (and look for Krsna). As the great granddaughter of a native Brazilian Shaman, she never could accept mainstream spiritual paths that were so limiting to her sensibilities.
She first saw ‘Hare Krishnas’ in Munich in 1988 and was given a picture of Radha and Krishna in Los Angeles in 1989. Many years later she was introduced to the philosophy of Krishna consciousness.
Ana Lucia worked for many years as a top model, actress and documentary filmmaker, while learning four languages and achieving great material success. Based in Paris, she married and gave birth to a baby boy. She finally joined the movement in Manhattan after receiving Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita in 2002; and thus became Aradhana devi dasi.
Today, Aradhana dd runs a film production company with her devotee husband. She is grateful for this opportunity to serve, helping to bring Vaishnavas together to create a health system for assisting all Spiritual Seekers on their way back home, back to Godhead.
Uttamasloka dasa (Ron Marinelli)
At the age of 20, in 1970, Uttamasloka borrowed a copy of Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad-gita from a friend, and after reading it he became a devotee of Krsna. Soon after he joined the ISKCON temple in Toronto, Canada, and helped them establish the first temple in his home city of Hamilton.
Between the years 1973 – 1977 he became temple president of Montreal ISKCON, then Toronto ISKCON and finally, Chicago ISKCON. Each temple had many problems with debt and devotee moral and he successfully restored each temple to full working status. Chicago was world famous for book distribution, kirtans and prasadam.
After Srila Prabhupada left us in 1977, Uttamasloka returned to working in civilian life but continued his progressive march on the path of bhakti, helping many other devotees along the way. Many devotees needed assistance then because they were disenfranchised due to so many problems in ISKCON and they had difficulty reorienting to being outside of temple life.
During that time he was engaged as a successful software developer and consultant, writing custom business software for many companies. He was a key player in that scene in Los Angeles, CA for over 20 years.
He was also a very successful musician in the 1960s and was well known for his Bengali style kirtans in ISKCON in the 1970s. While working as a software developer, he also set up a home studio and produced many albums over the years with various devotees, all of which were very well received. He is still producing music in retirement and has also written two books.
He is currently living in Costa Rica, Central America, with his wife, Gandharvika dasi and daughter, Christian.
Matthew is an American born writer/director/musician (raised in England) with an insatiable passion for everything cinema. He produced and directed the theatrical short film, ‘A New Dawn’, directed and photographed, ‘Losing Lola‘ and worked as cinematographer on the full-length feature, ‘Destiny’.
Most recently he directed three conceptual shorts from material in development.
Matt has worked in production sound for films such as ‘Gone to the Dogs’, ‘The Vanguard’ and ‘Ballet Shoes’ and has editing credits on ‘Calm’, ‘Losing Lola’ and ‘We’ve Got The Toaster’, among others. He studied producing with The New Producers Alliance and script development at The Script Factory.
Matthew is doing all he can to support the Vedic Care mission.