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.

Kalinka Staikova

Nur (Natalia) Stepanova

Christopher Tellez

Gilberto Arias

Tobi Doering

Kalinka Staikova

 I was born in 1961 in Bulgaria and have lived here ever since. I’m married, have an adult son and am blessed with two grandchildren.

Education is important in my family, and I went to Russia to study based on American programs and earned a degree in Economics and a PHD in Human Resource Management education.

For almost 30 years I have been General manager of a company, which has domestic and international activities. The company, a representative for Bulgaria, sells, installs and technically supports equipment, specialized software and consumables, produced by the highest quality USA and European companies for the printing industry in Bulgaria. 

I met Reiki by chance - I was training in Aikido and a woman from that group invited me to an “interesting” meeting - only to listen … and I was free to leave …. It was a questions and answers meeting with Leni Erica Gut from Switzerland - before a first-degree course. I listened, felt … and remained - forever. She became my master for my first, second and master’s degrees. I still treasure every moment with her.

Since becoming a Master in 2003, I actively have classes even during the Covid time. I have been involved with the LEPT, By-laws, Mission Statement teams and as a Membership Assistant. In 2017 along with my colleagues and students, we hosted a conference in Bulgaria.

My deep belief is that we communicate not with people only as persons, but with the different aspects of Life Force manifesting itself through them. My whole life experience has been spent testing and getting to know different aspects of respect and gratitude- towards different manifestations of Life Force, including my own.

Nur Stepanova

 I have lived in Moscow for over 20 years. I studied English at school as all children did. I didn’t graduate from university and what helped to me later to start to speak and translate English fluently could be related to “Practice, practice, practice”. So, I know by my own experience that this principle works.

Almost thirty years ago I met Reiki when my initiating master Fokke Brink came to our city. The next time he came, I received Second degree, and then I started the process of preparation for Mastery. I would not say that it was an easy path, though I savor all the lessons I received on it.

At that time, I became an interpreter for Masters, who came to Russia, and this is how I met Phyllis Furumoto. I travelled a lot, and learned, and learned, and learned. Later I met Paul and I interpreted for him too - at “Way to Harmony” workshops held in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Germany and USA. During his workshops and meetings with other master’s and students I continued my love of learning. I love everything I am doing in my life.

Later, I started to interpret for Phyllis, and saw a small part of her huge inner world. I realized I wanted to learn from her. I asked her to be my Mentor. She eventually agreed and I’m l grateful for everything I received from her. Not all the lessons were pleasant but why would they be? In these trainings I found my really deep understanding of the Reiki Precepts, and vital qualities of honesty, creativity, integrity and other things.

Phyllis convinced me to become a member of TRA – not with words, but with her passion she had for TRA. The way she spoke about it and with the ideas she had for TRA.

I became a member of the Board, in Germany in 2016, and I stayed in this position for one and a half years. At that time, I was not able to hold the difference of opinions within the Board. So, I stepped down. This year I felt the urge to do it once again,

Now as a member of the Board, my intention is strong to serve the Community and our Lineage Bearer Johannes Reindl, using all my knowledge, my skills as a facilitator, translator, teambuilding coach, Reiki Master and my innate abilities.

Compassion is very important for me. – to be softer to the world, to the people around, to things in the world, to words and actions of people. To know who I am and who I am not. With these qualities I steadfastly hold my inner core and commitment to serve the Reiki Alliance community.

Christopher Tellez

“Trust Reiki.” “Let Reiki guide you.” I tend to experience both a push and a pull with these statements. I love them when they line up with my ideas, beliefs, and goals. When they don’t align, there is resistance inside of me, and sometimes I rebel.

During the AGM, I did not feel a personal calling to volunteer myself for a seat on the Board of TRA. Yet Reiki kept showing me through various experiences that I was supposed to raise my hand, trust Reiki, and let it guide me. So, finally, after much resistance, I took a leap of faith and raised my hand.

I have sat with the question of why Reiki called me to be on the Board of TRA. Is it my skills as a community organizer, a social worker, someone who has a Reiki Center in San Francisco, who fosters community with my students? Is it my degrees or the boards I sit on? After some consideration, I doubt that my skills have anything to do with why I was called. No doubt they will be helpful, but when I ask Reiki, it shows me something more.

I ponder the dance I experienced at the AGM - the push and pull that superseded what I thought I wanted, uncomfortably guiding me in a new direction. Was speaking this out loud to the whole group in such a vulnerable and open way something I could contribute to our TRA community?

As I sit with how I envision myself showing up to the TRA Board and community, I want to acknowledge my commitment to you. I will listen deeply with love and compassion for others, I will remain teachable, approachable, and inclusive of all TRA members. It is my hope that my commitment, my personal, interpersonal, with my professional skills will contribute in a positive way as we move towards the next steps in the evolution of TRA.

Gilberto Arias

I started my Reiki journey in 2004, when Phyllis Furumoto visited El Paso, Texas and offered a Reiki Level 1 class. I fell in love with the beauty of Usui Shiki Ryoho and the humbleness and accessibility of Phyllis as a teacher.

In 2005, I was introduced to level 2 and was blown away by the depth of the practice. Eventually I felt a calling and was initiated as a master by Richard Davis in 2011. That same year, I requested and was fortunate to be accepted to be mentored by Phyllis.

I was born and live on the border between El Paso, Texas, United States and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. Consequently, I’m fluent in Spanish and English and aspire to learn more languages to communicate better. I have a Master of Business Administration degree and my wife and I own and manage a logistics company and a wellness centre.

I have served in leadership positions in various professional and social nonprofit organizations and I’m the proud father of two adult children. I love my two dogs and enjoy all types of music, poetry, theatre, and movies.

I am enthusiastic about meeting people and learning from them. In my role on TRA Board, I am hoping to help the USR community become closer and enjoy more ways of expressing their unique perspectives and supporting each other’s journeys.

Tobi Doering

I live in Gainesville, Florida having lived in Florida most of my life.  I have a married adult daughter and 9-year-old grandson who live in South Florida whom I visit regularly.  I live alone but am very active in local service organizations and frequently host fellowship groups. 

In 1995, I was invited by a friend to hear a free lecture about Reiki given by a woman named Barbi Lazonby.  Barbi’s lecture was prominently placed on the front page of our local Gainesville newspaper.  During the talk, she spoke about the history of Reiki, her lineage as trained by Virginia Samdahl, and her own Reiki journey.  While speaking, she gave each of us a short mini-treatment.  When it was my turn, she put her hands on my head and it felt like “little toasters” were warming me.  She said that if I took her class that weekend, the same stuff would come out of my hands.  With only this superficial goal, I started my own Reiki journey that continues to take me to infinity and beyond, knowing that the Force, universal life energy, is with me! 

While my education and work life has been centered on science and finance, I have had the opportunity to have a variety of jobs, ranging from camping tour guide to real estate investment manager.  I currently have my own commercial real estate appraisal company. 

Twice in my life I have sold all my belongings and ventured into new parts of the world to experience new cultures and meet new people.  I camped for 6 months in the Canadian Maritimes and later I lived in a converted van for 6 months, exploring in New Zealand after surviving a tsunami in Samoa.  I taught Reiki during each of these excursions. I also became certified as a meditation teacher and mindfulness trainer in recent years.

Practicing Reiki has given me a tangible experience of a Power greater than myself that surpasses all that I could imagine, giving me a connection to all living things.  I have been able to bring the countenance of Reiki into everyday situations as an alternate way to see and process life.  Reiki shows me that I am not “large and in charge.” 

I’m looking forward to working with my fellow board members to help TRA continue to grow and prosper.  Reiki will teach us!


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