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 5 members on the Board, with rotating years.  A Board member is eligible to serve two consecutive terms.


Helga Artner

Jolanda Nieuwstraten

Hildegard Martens

Marten Schröder

Eileen Sakai


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.

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…..

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.

Marten Schröder

Marten Schröder

The “heart” connection with and between people is very important to me. I try to understand people, beginning with understanding myself. I ask “Why do people do what they do? Why don’t they do what serves their ‘greatest potential’? Or do what doesn’t serve this potential?” These questions are the start for my interest in people’s behaviour.

I was born in the Netherlands in 1963. I’ve been an Information Technology (IT) professional for quite some time and consequently a lot in my ‘head’. I was not interested in ‘alternative ways’ until I received my first Reiki treatment. I was very impressed with what the energy did for me that I decided to learn Reiki myself and am still happy and thankful for it. I’ve learned and am still learning to feel, and express my feelings more, as perhaps we all are.

After Reiki first and second degree, I spent three years doing the ‘HaRT’-training. This training, developed by my initiating master, Arianne Groeneveld, prepared me to become a ‘Holistic Reiki Therapist’. For me it was an eye-opening experience and has taught me to work with numerous therapeutic methods to assist people who need support. I use a lot of these techniques on a daily basis for myself or to help someone with a ‘request for help’.

With the urge to share Reiki with others, I became a Reiki Master in 2013. But, in my view, life itself is the biggest teacher so I continue to learn.

I became a TRA-member in 2014 and attended my first conference in Paterswolde. It felt like a warm nourishing bath. A warm blanket. Wanting to give back to the community, I have been a Support Line Backup, an interpreter during conferences and a member of the Bylaws revision team. Now, as a board member of The Reiki Alliance - I still am curious to find out why people do what they do and don’t do.

Besides having a practice for Reiki and massage, I’m a self-employed trainer/coach for individuals and business, plus I work as a teacher for several polytechnical universities (in Dutch: HBO’s). Regardless of what subject I teach or train, or which treatment I give, it always begins with connection. In 2018 I started building my ‘Centre de Bien-Être’ in France, a centre for ‘personal growth and wellness’. It will take some time and money to finish, but the goal is to have a place where I can help people. This goal motivates me immensely!

Eileen Sakai

Eileen Sakai was born into a minister’s family in rural Oregon and at an early age felt a deep connection with the Japanese culture. At 15 she felt called to the ministry and had a keen interest in the spirit world. She earned her degree in Theater and Humanities from Willamette University and went on to do graduate studies in Cross-Cultural Relations.

In 1981 she went and taught at a girl’s school in Sapporo, Japan. She met and married her Japanese husband and adopted his country. Eileen lived and taught English in Japan for five years becoming deeply immersed in her beloved culture. Back in Oregon in 1986, she worked as a university administrator for a joint Japanese and American University. In 1992, she and her husband founded their own company’ Pacific Dreams Inc., a cross-cultural business consulting and Human Resources support for Japanese companies based in the USA. In 1994, as a Licensed Massage Therapist, she met Reiki in an out of body experience that led her to a deeper exploration of Reiki and energy work.

Eileen’s dance with Reiki continued as she took her first-degree Reiki class, taught by Ellen Montague, in 1995 and continued a year later as a second-degree student. In 2008 Ellen initiated her as a master and Eileen embraced her calling to share Reiki with the world and was inspired to join The Reiki Alliance.

Eileen is a writer, a ballroom dancer, a vocal and instrumental musician and has a thriving massage and Reiki practice in Oregon. Her work in the world is bridging East and West cultures with Reiki through showing the way. She shines her light and speaks her truth in communication with others and in teaching Reiki in the tradition of Usui Shiki Ryoho. Eileen is excited to be part of the growing global Reiki world by serving on TRA board of directors and working with the 2022 Celebration Congress to be held in Kyoto Japan. In her new adventure on the board, Eileen looks forward to being more of a global citizen and truly sharing Reiki with the world.

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