Wellness Foundation Staff
Michele C. Sacconaghi
President & CEO
Michele has a strong track record leading organizations through strategic change and growth. Michele was previously Executive Director of the Time Warner Foundation and a Vice President overseeing Corporate Social Responsibility at Time Warner. She served in the Clinton Administration for six years working in Education and Civil rights and was a Peace Corps Volunteer working on children's health in West Africa. She has consulted and served on numerous nonprofit boards. She has a B.A. from Brown University and a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and a Certificate in Plant-based Nutrition from T. Colin Campbell's Center for Nutrition Studies. She is a certified Vinyasa yoga teacher and is passionate about a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She has 3 young sons and is committed to creating a generation of change for our children.
Jennifer L. Taylor
Vice President and Executive Director for Education & Programs
Jennifer brings to Wellness Foundation a wide range of wellness coaching/counseling and non-profit experience. She has a degree in Social Work from Gannon University and holds a certification as a Certified Health Coach from the world-renowned Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC. She is also a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Jennifer began her career as the Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania. She developed a deep passion for serving Alzheimer's patients and their families. She also spent many years as a coach working with actress/author, Marilu Henner on her website promoting women's health and wellness. She believes that a proactive approach to wellness is key and she believes in using whole, natural plant foods to prevent and reverse chronic diseases. She has been Wellness Foundation's Executive Director of Education and Programs for the past decade and is dedicated to creating a healthy and thriving community for children and adults. Jennifer has been one of the most sought after wellness coaches on the East Coast for almost 20 years and she is passionate about empowering people to lead healthy and happy lives.
Associate Director of Education & Programs
Zoë is a certified health coach with a background in counseling and corporate training. She earned her Master's degree in Clinical Social Work from New York University, an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential through the International Coaching Federation, and her certification as a Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC. Having begun her career as a therapist, Zoë became a health coach after discovering that what she most enjoyed was helping her clients to improve their relationships with food and go on to lead happier, healthier lives. Eager to work with an organization whose vision inspired and resonated so deeply with her, Zoë completed the Wellness Challenge and is thrilled to now be part of Wellness Foundation's team.
Community Outreach Director
As Wellness Foundation's Community Outreach Director, Barbara coordinates efforts to educate the community about the Foundation's events and programs. She began working in the wellness field in 1998, when she founded Weight Watcher's first Sag Harbor group, which she led for five years. Soon after, Barbara earned her Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer certifications. With a passion for educating people about health and wellness, she has taught fitness for Sag Harbor and East Hampton adult education programs, and earned her certification as a Nutritional Consultant in 2006. Barbara is a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.
Wellness Challenge Facilitator
Peggy is a certified diabetes educator and a registered clinical exercise physiologist. She treats people, not with drugs and procedures, but with food and exercise, both medically-proven approaches to reversing disease. Her specialty is reversing diabetes, for which she has created a diabetes education and support program in Southampton. Peggy has worked in cardiac rehab for more than 17 years and is an experienced writer and public speaker.
Peggy holds a Master's degree from New York University in Professional Physical Education, and she is certified to teach plant-based nutrition.
Brianna's passion for wellness and helping children led her to become a certified Healthy Food for Life educator. She has seen first-hand how the Healthy Food for Life program empowers children and families, providing them with the information, tools, and resources they need to live the happiest and healthiest lives possible. A graduate of Manhattan College, Brianna's teaching background and fluency in both Spanish and French make her a rich addition to Wellness Foundation's staff. She is excited to be working with the Wellness Team in creating a Generation of Change within the local community and beyond!
Sam's career path melds her three great passions: art, children and public service. With a background in Contemporary Art, Sam studied Art History at Christie's in London before working at NYC galleries Metro Pictures, Fredericks and Freiser, and the non-profit Art Resources Transfer. After 9/11, Sam listened to her heart and followed it, pursuing work with children at the Washington Square Preschool. Following a move to the East End with her son, Sam co- founded Karma Kids, a non-profit dedicated to teaching kids how to give back to their community and the world by creating and selling their art. Now Sam is thrilled to be a part of the Wellness Foundation Team as a Healthy Food for Life Educator, a role that marries her passions and provides her the opportunity to share with children ways of living a healthy and mindful life. Sam is certified in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell. When not working, Sam enjoys yoga, meditation, spending time with a close, loving community of friends and family, and preparing healthy and delicious meals with her very sporty (and always hungry) son.
Kristen has worked for years in the public school system as both a classroom teacher and Reading Specialist. She is an educator with a passion for wellness, recently developing a series of mindfulness classes for children. After completing her B.A. at Hofstra University where she held a dual major in Elementary Education and Psychology, Kristen went on to earn her Master's in Reading from Queens College. She considers it a privilege to work with The Wellness Foundation where her teaching experience can serve to empower students in leading healthier lives. As a mom of two young children, Kristen is thrilled to join the team as a certified WKids Educator and is dedicated to inspiring and empowering children to lead healthy lives through this impactful program.