Shalom Mountain Management

In 2011 the charitable work of Friends of Shalom Mountain was combined with the work of Shalom Mountain Retreat and Study Center under one not-for-profit 501(c)(3), Shalom Mountain, Inc. (“SMI”). The SMI Board of Directors is made up of individuals representing the Shalom community: Susan Davidson, Steven Ferrao, Maeba Jonas, Tom Penn, Jess Schust, Ben Wild, and Alex York are the current Board. The Board brings with it tremendous talent, passion and dedication for the transformational work of Shalom Mountain.

The Board of Directors works with the management of Shalom to provide governance and support for the Mountain. Together, this group is responsible for holding the space for our community’s unfolding.


From Left to Right: Ben Wild, Victoria Myer, Steve Ferrao, Nance McGee, Tom Penn, Maeba Jonas, Alex York, Jess Schust. (Susan Davidson not pictured)

The approved policies of the Shalom Board are here.

Management & Operations

Nance McGeeNance McGee, Executive Director

Nance McGee is Executive Director of Shalom Mountain and is responsible for Programs & Operations. She is a body-centered, process-oriented therapist in private practice and has led retreats and workshops at Shalom Mountain and in communities in the U.S. and abroad. Nance has extensive experience working with addictions recovery, family systems and has specialized training in the healing of complex trauma (Somatic Experiencing). She is passionate about the power of loving community, the joy of being a woman and in deepening the journey to God.

Victoria MyerVictoria Myer, Business Manager

Victoria volunteers as Business Manager for Shalom and oversees the financial and business aspects of the mountain. Victoria has been involved with the Mountain since first attending as a teenager with her dad, and is committed to ensuring that Shalom is sustained for future generations. She was instrumental in transitioning Shalom from a private entity to a 501(c)3 non-profit, and before that served on the board of Friends of Shalom Mountain.

In her years of participating in Shalom she has attended individual and couples retreats, Training in the Art of Loving, and the Wisdom School, among other events. Victoria has long been a practitioner of earth-based ritual in community and has been informed by studies in yoga, shamanism, creative process, Tantra and most recently the teachings of Marc Gafni. Her role as a mother and a lover has been a significant gift that she offers into the world with great integrity and an open heart.

Victoria has a BA in Psychology (Eastern Mennonite University), a MA in Romance Linguistics (University of Alberta), and has taught Spanish and English as a Second Language.

Judi JohnstonJudi Johnston, Administrator and Youth Advocate

Judi Johnston is a counselor for high school aged adolescents (retired), a trainer in mediation and active listening skills and an advocate for the marginalized. She is presently serving as both Administrator and Youth Advocate at Shalom Mountain. Living proof of the transformative power of the Shalom Process, Judi has been steeping in the gifts of Shalom while exercising her own unique set of skills. She has interest and experience working with trauma and the body’s capacity to heal and the shifts that gratitude and forgiveness bring the heart.

Board of Shalom Mountain

2015-11smiShalomBodEcGb_281SteveFerraoStephen Ferrao, Treasurer

I’ve been a member of the Shalom community since 1995, when I was 8 and brought to Shalom by my parents, Margie and Joe. I graduated from Montclair State University with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance. In April 2013, I became a Certified Public Accountant, and am now a practicing accountant in New Jersey. The loving community of Shalom is what keeps me coming back, again and again. Shalom is a second home for me, one in which I feel connected to the land and the people. I don’t get that anywhere else in my life. This is why I serve on this Board. It is important to me.

Maeba JonasMaeba Jonas, Secretary

Rev. Maeba Jonas is an Ordained Minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC) and serves as the Assistant Chaplain for Programming and Community Service at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. She is graduate of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies with a concentration in Buddhism and Women’s and Gender Studies. In 2014, Maeba earned a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School with a certificate in Education, Leadership and Ministry and completed her Clinical Pastoral Education Residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital where she served as Chaplain to the Pediatric Intensive Care and Hematology/Oncology Units.

Maeba has been a member of the Shalom community since 2008 and completed Shalom Retreat Leadership Training in 2014, as well as the Advanced Training in 2015. She is the convener of the Shenandoah Shalom Community located in Northern Virginia where she leads workshops and retreats modeled on the Shalom Process™. She first learned of Shalom from her grandfather, The Rev. Henry F. Jonas, who attended retreats with Gerald J. Jud in the early years.

Maeba is passionate about supporting people of all faith, and non-faith, backgrounds and is dedicated to interfaith dialogue and the mind-body- spirit connection. She is an advocate for social justice and lives her life by Shalom Mountain’s mission of “calling people to be more conscious, loving and fully alive.”

Tom PennTom Penn

I have been at Shalom since before Shalom was at Shalom. My first Shalom Retreat was at Kirkridge in September of 1974. Shalom was recommended to me, as it has been for many people, by a friend who had just attended his first Shalom. I might not have gone yet if my wife had not wearied of my stalling and just signed us up.

My history with Shalom since then has been good. I love the process and what happens on retreats (or trainings or whatever). The Introductory Training was especially important for me coming at a time where I was deeply stuck.

A challenge that I would like to see pursued now is finding new ways to apply the Principles and Skills on and off the Mountain either as part of outreach or of bringing new programs to Cattail Road.

Off the Mountain I am a venture capitalist with a focus on the life sciences and a broader focus on the whole process of starting companies and building ecosystems that change the future. Much of my work these days is with mature companies but my real passion is working with startups which is where all the fun really is.

Jess SchustJessica “Jess” Schust, co-Chair

I have a BS in Biology and MA in Education from Adelphi University, Garden City, NY. I also have a School Building Leader certificate from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. I completed both Training in the Art of Loving and Shalom Retreat Leadership Training.

I have been a high school science teacher for 16 years and a chairperson of science for three. Throughout my educational experiences, I have found that community building, active listening, and intensional loving of both my students and my teachers has been the foundation upon which I have been able to create successful, vibrant learning environments.

I have been doing personal work, exploring what it means to be me and what that means for the world, for over 15 years. I have been coming to Shalom since 2013, and through consistent application of The Principles and Skills of Loving, I have learned to create the type of community that fosters humanity and kindness at both my school and in my private life.

In the short time that I have been coming to Shalom, I have completed numerous retreats, completed the Training in the Art of Loving (formerly Intro Training), the Shalom Retreat Leadership Training, and chaired the committee that organized Shalom’s 40th Anniversary. I have also cooked for retreats, attended work weekends, and volunteered my time to support a place that has forever changed my life for the better.

My current person work is centered around releasing old structures, thought patterns, and ways of being that are connected to a scarcity mindset and to move into living from abundance. As I meet with success in this new adventure my life become richer and more joyous. It is my goal to not only shift my personal lens from scarcity (fear-based thinking) to abundance (love-based thinking), but also to help shift these paradigms in our world.

I am so excited to expand on my service to Shalom by serving on the Board of Directors as Secretary. I look forward to contributing to the thriving future of Shalom Mountain, with Gratitude, Love, and Abundance!

Ben WildBen Wild, co-Chair

I am deeply committed to the work of Shalom Mountain. That is to say I am deeply committed to the love that Shalom Mountain brings to the world. My time at the mountain has awakened parts of me that I did not know existed. I entered with 5 senses and I feel like I gain one more each time I visit.

I have observed Shalom’s leadership team engage and support the community. More recently, I have been amazed to witness the strict governance that works behind the scenes to ensure a sustainable and vivacious future for Shalom. Throughout my 15 years of corporate work, I worked closely with Fortune 50 executives and boards of directors where governance is meticulously studied and refined. I can proudly report that my predecessors on the board have erected a strong backbone of loving oversight that will carry Shalom for many decades to come.

Outside of Shalom, my personal calling is to bring the gifts of community and experiential education to high school students. The support of a loving community, like we experience at Shalom, is never more critical in a person’s life than in their adolescent years. This gift was given to me at that age and it has expanded my life ever since.

My work in education and at Shalom is driven by my desire to allow others to experience these gifts that have been given to me.

Alex YorkAlex York

Alex York is a process facilitator who is committed to bringing the skills and principles of loving to young adults and teens. He has trained at Shalom Mountain Retreat Center, completing the Intro Training, the SRLT, and the Internship. A recent graduate of Hampshire College, he studied mysticism, theology, and the anthropology of religion. Alex’s passion is with the concept of spirituality within Shalom Process and the universal truth of sacredness inherent in human community.

Susan DavidsonSusan Davidson

Susan Davidson is currently an MSW student at NYU (interning at a chemical dependency clinic) and a Core Energetics Practitioner-In-Training, both in response to the healing and growth experienced at Shalom Mountain. She started this journey in 2012 by attending the Couples’ Retreat with her (now) wife, and has been returning ever since to this and other retreats. She completed Training in the Art of Loving and is currently in the Senior Retreat Leader Training program.

Susan is a graduate of Ball State University with Bachelor degrees in (music) education and (French horn) performance and Ithaca College with a Master’s Degree in Performance. She spent nearly 26 years in the Army as a French horn player in the 493rd Army Band in Frankfurt, Germany, the US Army Europe Band and Chorus in Heidelberg, Germany, and as a musician and Director of Operations in the West Point Band.

Susan is deeply committed to the Skills and Principles of Loving and carries these principles with her in everyday life in her relationships with others. She is also deeply committed to spreading this work and its principles.