Creating a kinder, joyful world
Our mission is to prioritize emotions as the main driver of success in school and the workplace, and empower people to thrive with life-changing emotional habits.
Chief Executive Officer
As a mother of three, Amber provided her children with ample educational and extracurricular learning opportunities to set them up for success in life. Yet like most busy and stressed out parents, she struggled with how to teach her kids the coping and relationship skills that are essential for finding inner peace and joy. As she researched how these skills are learned, she realized there were simple yet powerful techniques that anyone could do with a little guidance and lots of practice. With a bachelors in Behavioral Biology from Johns Hopkins University and masters in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University, Amber had a strong behavioral health background and understood how small, consistent changes can yield transformational results. Odyssey was born from the fusion of her experiences as a parent, school PTA president, and corporate product development executive; and with the dream of instilling the future generation with human skills that positively disrupt the fabric of society.
Gwen Palafox, PhD
Vice President, Programs
Dr. Gwen is a clinical psychologist who brings over 20 years of experience in promoting social-emotional skills that are effective for everyone, from high-performing individuals to those with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Dr. Gwen is a TEDx speaker, consultant, and trainer for school districts and colleges. As the owner of Meaningful Growth, a niche practice focusing on empowering the neurodiverse community through knowledge and practical skills, she has dedicated her life to positively impacting the social-emotional health of individuals who are often misunderstood. She’s an expert in breaking down skill-building to tailor the load and pace to the unique needs of the individual. Dr. Gwen is a huge proponent of putting experiences first since people learn best from doing. Her team developed the Odyssey curriculum with a focus on dialogue between individuals so families are not just learning the theory behind social-emotional skills, but gaining real-time practice while building positive human connection. Since these skills are effective for individuals with developmental disabilities, Dr. Gwen is thrilled about the massive amount of good that could come from empowering the whole population with powerful emotional fitness skills.
Craig Bailey, PhD
Director of RULER for Early Childhood, Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence
As a co-developer of RULER, Dr. Bailey and his team facilitate professional development workshops and develop content for practicing and teaching emotional intelligence. Dr. Bailey is passionate about bridging the gap between research and practice, and he is the PI on several community-based researcher-to-practitioner partnerships. With federal funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, Dr. Bailey is also the PI of a Goal 3 efficacy trial of RULER in preschool settings. Dr. Bailey serves as a consultant for numerous initiatives and organizations.
Cheree McKean, EdD
Vista Unified School District
With over 20 years of education system experience following a career in finance, Dr. McKean has helped forge connections between the Vista Unified School District and Odyssey to facilitate the pilot launch and provides insights to navigating the education system. Through her doctoral work, Dr. McKean researched the intersection of transformational leadership and trust theory cementing her belief in the role culture and acceptance play in creating a healthy, supportive learning environment. A lifelong learner, Dr. McKean has continued to develop as an instructional leader through her studies with the National Institute for School Leadership and Association of California School Administrators. With a heart for student success, Dr. McKean understands how important a social-emotional foundation is for all children.
VP, Partnerships & Strategy, Craft & Commerce
Carli is an expert cause marketer and bridge-builder at Craft & Commerce, empowering their partners to achieve strategic objectives through powerful bespoke collaborations. Carli's career took off through roles in branding, sponsorship, experiential and cause marketing for personal-care logos such as TRESemme, Degree, and AXE. In 2012, Carli merged professional and personal passions when she joined national women's health nonprofit Bright Pink to oversee marketing and communications strategy and manage key partner relationships. At Craft & Commerce, Carli brings all that experience to her hand-in-hand work with clients, helping them achieve cause awareness, constituent acquisition, issue education, and social change.