Board of Directors

The Purpose of the Board:  to hold the highest vision (truth) of TRA as an act of community; to serve as channel or vessel for the tasks of the community and to take these tasks to the next step; to be the voices of the members; to create and support forms for community to emerge.(9/92)

Purpose of the Board of Directors;  implement the purposes of The Reiki Alliance; hold, develop, and direct vision of TRA; set goals; determine and set policy; evaluate policy implementation. (1/95)

The Board of Directors provides leadership and formulates policies for the Alliance based on the precepts of Usui Shiki Ryoho and the statement of identity.  In its goal to reflect the spirit of the Alliance, the Board also seeks information and guidance from Alliance members.

The Board sets the theme of the annual conference, appoints committees and defines their mission, approves the annual budget and often identifies steps needed to achieve community goals.

Term of Office:  members of the Board of Directors are elected by the membership during the Annual General Meeting, at their annual conference.  A Board member holds a position for 3 years.  There are 6 members on the Board, with rotating years.  A Board member is eligible to serve two consecutive terms.

Helga Artner

Francesca Warriner

Natalia Stepanova (Nur)

Jolanda Nieuwstraten

Penny L. Devine

Hildegard Martens


Helga Artner

Helga Artner I was born 1952 in Lower Austria and I’ve lived for over 30 years in Würflach, a village surrounded by fields and forests. It nurtures my love for nature. Here I attempt to understand the universal laws of life and to integrate them into my own life.

I’m a mother of four grown up children and blessed with 5 grandchildren. My family’s health and happiness means very much to me. It is the prerequisite for peace in ever growing circles to the potential place of peace with all people and human beings of this world. “Peace in the Family – Peace in the World” (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk).

As a child I was drawn to learn about all the different cultures and countries on this planet. The threads of commonality are always my focus. Since 1998, I live in two different cultures, Austria and different cities in Turkey. This creates a wonderful opportunity to build “bridges” between cultures and to experience how judgments and limitations can change.

My work experience has been diverse and enriched my life. Initially, I worked as a nursery-school teacher for mentally and physically handicapped children and then as the director. This job stimulated my interest in healing.

In 1980 I was diagnosed with a back disease which according to the doctors, there was no hope for healing. The perspective of a painful life bound to a wheelchair changed my life completely. This started my inner search to never give up and never accept a prognosis like this. I trained in different healing modalities including massage, sport therapy and other manual therapies. This search led me to Reiki, and the feeling of having “finally arrived.” I followed my path in Reiki, guided by my master Michael Hartley, and was initiated as a master in 1996. Since then I live, practice and teach Reiki. I am completely healed and am very grateful.

In the 1980s and 1990s my children were high performance athletes. I worked in a variety of areas and committees as an official for the Austrian Judo sport. I was always willing to take on and perform tasks. This taught me I can reach everything through discipline, perseverance and patience.

The Reiki Alliance community is my “spiritual family.” I feel very comfortable in this lively, multicultural community. The annual conferences are a fixed point on my calendar and I have attended 17 conferences. Each has its own beauty and offered me an opportunity to explore, where I was at the moment.

In 2005 I started to volunteer in our community. I have been a link for the organigram and the support line, a local representative and member of the arbitration team. I was the team leader from 2011 to 2014.

I’m looking forward to serving the membership of this community as a member of the board with love, dedication and humbleness. I know that there are no limits; there is always another step that can be done.  

Helga Artner


Francesca (Cesca) Warriner

Francesca Warriner“I believe my heart sings when my soul helps others heal.”

I was born in 1956, in Toronto, Ontario and am the only member of my birth family to be born in Canada. My parents were born in Ireland and Spain; my siblings in England. I’ve lived and worked in Ontario my whole life. I now live in the rolling hills of Northumberland County, east of Toronto with my partner Donna Harris and our two cats, where the magnificent views, wildlife and big sky, fill my soul.

I worked for over 30 years as a chemist in the flavour industry. The stress of this highly detailed work led me to Reiki. It helped me greatly and led me on a very new path. I took my first degree in 1993 and was initiated as a Reiki Master in 1997 by Bernard Morin.

At the first conference after my initiation, TRA members immediately became my community. Some of my most reliable and loving friends are members. I’ve attended 14 conferences to date and at each one I love the intensity and connection that appears magically between us. I became actively involved in TRA serving as Support Line Link, Organigram Link and Local Representative. More recently I took on the role of membership assistant, layout and design for ‘Just for Today’ newsletter and in 2013 co-hosted TRA Conference in Toronto.

I am self employed working with clients who are dealing with stress, trauma, chronic pain or disease, who want relief, spiritual guidance or self discovery. I use my reiki and my additional training in hypnosis, solution focussed therapy, reality therapy, shamanism and sound therapy to assist those on a healing journey.

In Oregon this year I felt the calling to take another giant step in my process and stand up for the board of directors. I welcome the opportunity to support our Alliance in being the tradition keepers with deep roots and to explore where The Reiki Alliance is called to go in the future. You are my community and I look forward to serving you in the next three years.

With love and gratitude.


Natalia Stepanova (Nur)

Natalia Stepanova (Nur)I live in Moscow. Fourteen years ago, I returned to the place where my parents were born. Before this I lived in my favorite city – Saint-Petersburg. Right there I was initiated into First, Second and Master's Degrees. Twenty-four years ago Reiki – Usui Shiki Ryoho entered my life; fully changing my life and me as well. I’m one of those people who say about Reiki that it is “coming Home”.

Some years ago I started my service to our community through volunteering for The Reiki Alliance – and even now I still help to translate interviews for new comers to the Reiki Alliance, articles for the newsletter and different correspondence. When I self-nominated to the Board of the Reiki Alliance and was elected; I remember that somebody had told me that it is a huge responsibility and there will be plenty of work. Yes, that it true and I’m sure Reiki will help me in my service as it helps me in all fields of my life.

I keep on practicing Reiki being a master for 22 years. For me it is a process for my whole life, I know that it will always teach me. The most valuable thing Reiki teaches me is to be authentic, to be myself, not depend on other people’s opinions, but be attentive to these people, be caring, respectful, and compassionate.

Due to Reiki, I became aware that there’s something bigger then I am and it is so significant for me, that I am willing to serve it. Reiki offers me to live and practice in the community of equal people. When we practice together, we become a great power capable of creating changes and making this world a better place.

Having had the possibility to attend many workshops and conferences I obtain more questions rather than answers. It seems to me that questions are more important than answers, because they make me think, reflect, become aware of what is going on with me and around me.

I am grateful to the Community of The Reiki Alliance for the honor they extended to me – a possibility to serve the Reiki movement as a member of the Board. It is my next step into the Unknown that is invisible but is everywhere around us.


Jolanda Nieuwstraten

Jolanda NieuwstratenI was born in Rotterdam in 1959 and as a young child I found taking care of people is the most profound way of being. My heart was also singing when I could create things with nice materials and colors. In my family we love to be creative and help each other. My warm and inspiring family life is still a big treasure in my heart. I married my youth love and we're blessed with two wonderful sons now in their twenties. It’s touching to see them living with open hearts in the world.

For many years I worked for doctors and specialists and this gave me the opportunity to see the possibilities and the limitations of regular health care. Working together, with the knowledge and wisdom, of regular- and complementary health care with the interest in the human being is my big dream.

In 1992 I studied shiatsu and the teacher impressed me by her being, by her purity, her inner power and real kindness. This quality is what I was looking for. When she told me that she's practises Reiki every day I knew this Reiki calls me to reach the depth and highest in myself. My master is Yvonne Oosterholt. Once a member of TRA, I got the feeling that this is what I was looking for; A multi cultural community coming together to speak from of the heart, to support each other in awakening. At my first conference in Mexico there were some heavy lessons yet I felt very welcome. There was honesty, respect, warmth, wisdom, connection and joy. It was so impressive to speak the same Reiki language. Each conference is rich in its own way.

In TRA I’ve worked on the arbitration team. This is a great opportunity to become in close contact with the other members of this team and learn about this profound work. I worked for 6 years on the board of the Nederlandse Vereniging van Reiki-Masters, a Dutch Reiki Master community.

I started my practice at home with massages, shiatsu and astrology. When Reiki found me in 1993 it soon became the core of my practice. For 10 years I also work as a journey practitioner. One day each week I work in a hospice in my hometown.

A creative passion of mine is felting with wool and silk. This old handicraft work is meditation for me. It was a great experience to sell shawls on the market place at the conference in Germany. I was not aware of a calling for nomination for the board. This door in me just opened a few minutes before I felt myself standing up. It came from a deep center in myself, the willingness to serve and to learn with an open and honest heart. I am deeply touched by the power of consensus via Betty Didcoct. The words bring me to a deep place of truth that everybody has something to offer. The Spirit of Consensus: Speak from your heart, Speak only for yourself, Listen – with an open heart, Respect what others say, Each voice holds a piece of the truth, No one voice holds the whole truth, The truth is not there before each voice is heard.

At my first board meeting, I was touched that these words are the start of all meetings, including on skype. I use it in my morning treatment and meditation now. It's a direct access to that truth in me and helps me to give myself permission to speak and to serve. I'm excited about what the future will bring. Just for today…..


Penny L. Devine

Penny L. DevineI received my first degree Reiki in 1981 from Phyllis Lei Furumoto I became a master in 1987 and joined TRA that year. I have been a continuous member in good standing since that date and have attended thirteen conferences.

I live in my birth city with my husband, children, and grandchildren. My hobbies are dancing, music, sewing, crafts, and my two great grandchildren. In 1999, my dance troupe performed a two hour program at the Washington Center for Performing Arts.

My Reiki practice has centered around the Pacific Northwest, mostly in Olympia, Washington (State), USA. I’m an active supporter of the Northwest Reiki Gathering (NWRG) in Detroit, Oregon. I have co-facilitated twice, served on the Board of Trustees, and have just completed a three year coordinator position of the NWRG Support Line.

With TRA, I have worked on the Membership Team, Leadership and Election Process Team, Student Committee, and was a cosigner on the new Mission Statement Proposal. I worked on the conference team with Maureen O’Shaughnessy for the 2008 Conference in Hawaii, and was co-facilitator for the Idaho conference in 2006. I also helped create, along with Cynthia Lamb Faust, the video with Phyllis Lei Furumoto and Paul D. Mitchell to support the Membership Assistants.

In 1991, I completed an Independent Undergraduate Research study titled “A Study of the Relaxation Responses and Support for Healing through the Usui System of Natural Healing- Reiki.” at Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington under the faculty supervision of Elizabeth L. Kutter, PHD with encouraging results.

Reiki continues to be my spiritual guide.


Hildegard Martens

Reiki came into my life 1991 and since then it's a big part of it. I received my master initiation 28 July 1995 and I applied immediately for the TRA membership and was already accepted by November.

My first 2 conferences were in 1996 & 1998. Since 2002, I have attended every conference. Somehow it always becomes possible for me to participate and often it feels like a miracle that It happens. For me it is a big gift, to meet friends and colleagues in person. At conferences I intensely feel the heartbeat of TRA.

I started serving our community in 2004, when I became a Mail Order Distributor. One year later I started my work as Support Line & Organigram Link for Germany together with Petra Flindt. Then, in 2006 with no one ready to be the Local Representative for Germany, Petra and I took over this task too. Step by step we became more familiar with how TRA functions.

In 2007, I added the global Mail Order Coordinator role to my plate and I served TRA in this task until 31 March 2018.

In 2011, when the Board consisted of only 3 members, Petra and I offered to support the Board as TRA Coordinators. Collectively, we created the coordinator task step by step for several years, by observing what is necessary and needed.

After the 2015 conference when 2 Board Members left the Board, a call was put out to the community for people to offer their services. Mark Ruge and I volunteered to each complete a board term until the next AGM in 2016. During this time I continued in my task as Mail Order Coordinator and Executive Coordinator.

Since then I served the Board and TRA community as TRA Executive Coordinator until November 2017.

Meanwhile I felt well educated and prepared to serve TRA as a board member. But, first had to face the challenge of the self-nomination process at the conference in Canada.

I’m glad to have been elected and to have the opportunity to offer my skills to the TRA, instead of “storing my knowledge of TRA in a suitcase in the attic”.

I’m looking forward to serving TRA again as a board member.

Usui Reiki Ryoho

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