Who Are We

Teachers, Coaches, Consultants, Spiritual Companions,
Facilitators, Agents of Change

We believe that life and leadership that is centered in the soul radiates out from one’s deepest, truest self and becomes a force for deepening relationships and positive change in all facets of our lives. We believe the time to do this—as always—is Now.

Patty Speier, D. Min., was the Executive Director of The Seton Cove Interfaith Spirituality Center for over twenty years. During that time she created and facilitated a robust spirituality and leadership program as well as multiple formation programs to increase self-awareness and spiritual intelligence. Hillary Geisler, MA, is a coach and consultant with over two decades in the High Tech industry helping individuals and organizations integrate business and spiritual practices that foster collaborative, conscious growth.

Together we are passionate about developing programs that emphasize the importance of drawing upon our inner ways of knowing—wisdom, integrity, imagination, intuition and creativity—as well as our outer ways of knowing—reason, logic, empirical evidence. We recognize that it is essential for leaders to draw on both kinds of knowledge in order to lead from a place of wholeness in a way that can be transformative.

Meet Our Team


Patty Speier, DMin

Patty Speier, DMin is an experienced teacher, facilitator, spiritual director and leadership consultant. She served as the Executive Director of the Seton Cove Interfaith Spirituality Center from 2000 to 2020 and was a Senior Director of Formation for Ascension Health. During her time at the Cove, she created and facilitated numerous programs on Leadership and Spirituality, including the Leadership Pilgrimage and the Practice of Contemplative Leadership. She is a gifted teacher and wise spiritual guide, who has created numerous classes and programs in spiritual formation, including retreats, renewal days, book explorations and sacred travel. She is the founder of The Mystic Heart Wisdom School and served as a core faculty member.  Speier offers spiritual direction in both individual and group settings as well as awareness coaching for physicians and other business professionals. She is a DMin graduate of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and a graduate of the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin. She received her Certificate in Spiritual Direction from the Benedictine Monastery of the Risen Christ in California. She is a participant in and advocate of Otto Scharmer’s Societal Transformation work, and is the co-founder of The Institute for Soul-Centered Life and Leadership. Dr. Speier is an adjunct Professor of Pastoral Ministries at the Seminary of the Southwest. She can be reached at patty@soulcenteredleaders.org. 


Hillary Geisler, MA

Hillary Geisler, MA is an awareness coach, spiritual director, educator and business consultant. With over two decades in the High Tech industry, she helps individuals and organizations integrate business and spiritual practices that cultivate inner awareness and foster collaborative, conscious growth. She is an iEQ9 Accredited Enneagram Practitioner, certified in Otto Scharmer’s Theory U methodology and utilizes concepts from Jungian psychology, Wisdom traditions and storytelling to nurture personal and corporate narratives on the path to social change. Hillary also facilitates healing trauma writing classes and retreats for incarcerated women. She has a BA in English from the University of Texas, Austin and an MA in Spiritual Formation from Seminary of the Southwest. She is the co-founder of the Institute for Soul-Centered Life and Leadership. She can be reached at hillary@soulcenteredleader.org. 

Joe Barry, MA

Joe Barry, MA is a facilitator, spiritual director, and educator with experience in health care, higher education and faith-based sectors. He is continually called upon as a repeat facilitator to lead teams through realizing a higher level of communication and work performance. With excellent listening skills, he possesses the ability to see things from a systems perspective and to create safe learning environments, leading groups, and individuals to understand how they contribute to the larger mission of their organizations. Joe holds an MA in Applied Behavioral Sciences from City University of Seattle, Washington, and BA in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. He is a certified Master Practitioner for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and holds a Certificate in the Foundations of NeuroLeadership from the NeuroLeadership Institute. He is a Certified Instructor for a number of other programs and assessments including: Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, EQi, and DDI (Development Dimensions International). Joe volunteers as a dog walker at Austin Pets Alive! animal shelter.

Flint Sparks

Flint Sparks, PhD

Flint Sparks is a Zen teacher and former psychologist dedicated to assisting people in the unending path of growing up and waking up. He is an experienced therapist and a master teacher who assists people in the skillful removal of blocks to love, both inside and outside. He is a clear and caring resource on the path of freedom from unnecessary suffering. 

Flint has nearly four decades of experience in the practice and teaching of psychotherapy. He is also a Zen teacher who leads retreats throughout North America and Europe.

Advisory Board

J. Pittman McGehee, D.D.

Pittman McGehee, D.D. is an Episcopal priest and Jungian analyst in private practice in Austin, Texas and is trustee emeritus of The Jung Center in Houston, Texas. He is widely known as a lecturer and educator in the field of analytical psychology and religion, as well as a published poet and essayist. He is the author of The Invisible Church: Finding Spirituality Where You Are (Praeger Press, 2008), Raising Lazarus: The Science of Healing the Soul (2009), Words Made Flesh, The Paradox of Love and Growing Down (selected poems)

Janis Claflin

Janis Claflin is a psychotherapist in a private practice. Her practice includes individual, family and group therapy, grief and loss, business consulting, mediation, executive coaching and wealth counseling. She has over 30 years experience. Janis is licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist. She is also the founder of several non-profit organizations.

Yvonne Van Dyke

Yvonne Van Dyke recently retired as the Chief Nursing Executive for Ascension Texas where she led the strategic alignment of nursing for the twelve Ascension Seton (Austin area) and Providence (Waco) hospitals; and provided executive leadership for the Austin area hospitals’ diagnostic and therapeutic departments. Prior to being recruited to work for Seton Healthcare, she was executive dean of health sciences at Austin Community College (ACC) and had previously served as nursing professor and department chair. Yvonne is returning to ACC to teach in the College’s newly established nursing bachelor’s degree program. 

Richard Alexander

Richard W. Alexander (“Rickey”) is a native Texan, residing in Austin since 1974. He is presently a retired attorney who practiced 42 years as a trial lawyer in state and federal courts representing diverse clients in many different types of cases. He met Patty Speier when she was Executive Director of Seton Cove about 16 years ago and has been involved in supporting and attending its programs/retreats including the Leadership Pilgrimage, a year long series of three retreats for persons of all backgrounds. 

Lynette Reed, DMin

Writer, researcher, and advisor on human potential for personal and organizational development, Dr. Lynette Reed has mentored people from in businesses, not-for-profits, schools, allied health agencies, chambers of commerce, governments, and churches. She has taught courses on team building, leadership, ethics, world religion, and world cultures. Her current literary contributions include an executive summary paperback titled, Fixing the Problem: Making Changes in How You Deal with Challenges, as well as book contributions, articles, guest radio appearances, and a series of children’s books with Abingdon Press. She is also a co-founder and advisory board member of the Institute for Soul-Centered Leadership. Lynette holds a Doctor of Ministry in Spirituality, Sustainability, and Inter-Religious Dialogue and a Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. 

Carla Burzyk

Carla Burzyk spent her 35-year professional public service career as staff in the United States Senate and several agencies in the Department of the Interior. Her career focused on public relations, budget development, and long term strategic planning. She was selected to join the Federal Senior Executive Service ranks and received one of the Federal Government’s highest civilian service honors, the Distinguished Service Award. Ms. Burzyk received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Trinity Washington University and was Thomas J. Watson Fellow nominee. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts Spiritual Formation and Direction at the Seminary of the Southwest.

Sharmila Advani

Sharmila is a business strategy consultant and HR operations leader who is motivated by operational excellence and driven by her passion for integrating wellness practices into efficient day to day operations with an aim  to nurture human capabilities. She is inspired by connecting people and ideas to promote inclusion, innovation, collaboration and employee engagement. Currently enrolled in the InnerMBA, an immersion program that trains leaders how to powerfully grow themselves and their companies through cultivating self-awareness and mindfulness, she designs workforce strategies to improve processes and build resilience.

Danielle Owens