INTRODUCTIONS ARE IN ORDER
As we roll-out various features of the mycoPLACES ECOSYSTEM over the coming months, we will introduce you to a variety of MycoMesh Movers & Shakers (advisors, mycoDESIGNERS, partners, owners, and more). We will also introduce people, like yourself, who choose to collaborate with MycoMesh.
We are starting with profiles for three existing MycoMesh Movers & Shakers. Please feel free to use the Inquire button above to ask us questions and to start exploring how we might all work together to help empower every person to thrive.
John McDonald, J.D.
Mover & Shaker, MycoMesh
John has spent the past 50+ years as a collaborator, counselor and leader---helping enable people to survive and thrive. He has worked with individuals in for-profit organizations, not-for-profit companies, and community groups to resolve critical people, strategy, process and technology issues.
Along the way, he earned his law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law and was recruited to “turn around” a failing, county-wide legal services organization that served thousands of low income residents. He led the rebuilding of the firm into one of the larger and more successful such programs in the country, with five local community offices. John developed a number of innovative approaches to involving the community and successfully built broad community support for what is often a very controversial service. His efforts were recognized with the highest honor of the Orange County Bar Association, the Franklin G West Award, for "lifetime achievements (that) have advanced justice and the law." A few years later, John was recruited by the National Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C. for another turn-around assignment---to rebuild the team that provided management training and development consulting to some 3,000 lawyer managers across the country.
Over the past three decades, John has focused on conflict resolution, team-building, coaching of partners and Board members, organization turn-arounds and restructurings, MBTI personal development counseling, and technology assessment and design. He brings a unique, crossover perspective from the fields of technology, the Arts, social ecology, business, communication, and community development to MycoMesh.
Most recently, John and his spouse and partner for almost 60 years, Barbara, co-founded MycoMesh, which is the subject of this website. MycoMesh is designed to help businesses, non-profits, community groups and individuals "roll up their sleeves" to create the innovative, sustainable, bio-inspired MycoPLACES ECOSYSTEMTM .
John and Barbara met as 1st-year high school students, married 5 years later, and celebrated their 57th anniversary last year. They are proud parents of 4 adult children and an extended family that includes 13 grandchildren.
Barbara McDonald, J.D.
Mover & Shaker, MycoMesh
Barbara McDonald has spent a lifetime moving, shaking and nurturing. Married at 19 to John McDonald, they had 4 young children when Barbara entered Pepperdine University Law School in 1970. At a time when women were a tiny minority among law students, Barbara graduated at the top of her class, served as Editor of the Pepperdine Law Review and Editor of the Law School newspaper.
Barbara started her legal career at the Orange County Public Defender’s Office, but her journey started some years before law school---when as a group counselor at Orange County Juvenile Hall, she saw the vagaries and injustices of the juvenile justice system. That experience persuaded her to become a lawyer and, ultimately, a Public Defender.
Barbara was appointed by the Governor as the Public Defender representative to the California Criminal Justice Council. She served with law enforcement, corrections, appellate practitioners and other community representatives in reviewing proposals to improve the criminal justice system for all Californians.
When John was recruited by the national Legal Services Corporation, the McDonalds moved to Washington, D.C. and Barbara was recruited by the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). At DOJ, she worked on the other side of the courtroom---as a federal prosecutor---investigating and trying cases of excessive force and abuse of power by public officials across the United States.
While in D.C., she began a life-long study and use of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator [MBTI] to help people understand themselves and others and to communicate and collaborate with diverse groups. She has lectured on MBTI, published articles, and conducted training along with John.
In 1981, the McDonalds returned to California where Barbara entered the private sector while still focusing on enabling people to better their lives. In one particularly difficult and egregious case, a young man was mislabeled as “mentally retarded” and institutionalized at the age of 7. His true disability was deafness. He was an adult before the depth of this injustice was discovered and his family filed a law suit. Barbara was asked to take over the case and was able to get him an income for life and his release back into the community. With the means to live independently, he was able to obtain remedial education in life skills and signing. Although nothing can compensate completely for the lost years, he established contacts in the deaf community and was able to thrive in spite of the damage to his life.
Barbara and John moved to San Diego County where Barbara returned to the kind of work she had found most satisfying over her professional career---public defender. Barbara retired from the practice of law 18 years later and since then has been pursuing a myriad of activities, including co-founding MycoMesh with John. [Barbara also satisfies her creative urges as owner of Whim of Iron, where she originated a unique form of steel on board wall sculptures formed in fire with a 30,000 degree plasma cutting torch and a lot of other cool tools.]
The McDonalds’ four children have blessed them with thirteen grandchildren, all of whom are thriving.
Dr. Tamsin Wooley-Barker
Senior Biology Advisor to MycoMesh
Dr. Woolley-Barker is a leading evolutionary biologist, biomimicry pioneer, and the author of a ground-breaking new book, Teeming: How Superorganisms Work to Build Infinite Wealth in a Finite World. She is also a founding member of MycoMesh, and serves as our Senior Biology Advisor.
If you are interested in purchasing Tamsin's book, please visit Tamsin's book site: teemingtogether.com.
Dr. Woolley-Barker is a frequent and inspiring speaker with an extensive background in leadership, innovation, and sustainability. Tamsin works with a global clientele, helping develop bio-inspired solutions to pressing technological and social challenges.
She teaches at Arizona State University’s new Biomimicry Center (where she also holds a Masters in Biomimicry), and is a regular content contributor for outlets like AskingNature (the Biomimicry Institute’s blog), Greenbiz, and Triple Pundit. Her column ‘The Biomimicry Manual’ appears on Inhabitat, a digital magazine with over three million followers.
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