Meher Spiritual Center, Inc.
Board of Directors
Meher Center’s Board of Directors is the governing body of Meher Spiritual Center, Inc. The authority of the Board is derived from the Center’s By Laws. These By Laws, as written in 1960 and approved by Meher Baba, state:
The Board of Directors shall have sole and exclusive control and management of the affairs of the Corporation, and may adopt such rules, regulations and policies for the conduct of the Corporation as it may deem proper and not inconsistent with public law or these By Laws.
The original By Laws of the Center were approved by Meher Baba in 1960 after the Center was incorporated in 1959. Prior to incorporation, the retreat property had been owned by Center founder Elizabeth Patterson, who had gifted it to Meher Baba in the 1940s. Meher Baba deeded the property to the newly formed corporation in 1959. (see Meher Spiritual Center, Inc. Charter)
The board is self-perpetuating, that is, members are nominated by existing board members, and are approved for membership by board vote. Qualifications for membership are articulated in the Center’s Board Governance Policies. Board membership is comprised of individuals who have demonstrated both a commitment to the spiritual purposes of Meher Baba and a deep interest in the well-being of Meher Center, His home in the West.
Bob Ahrens – Presiding Officer/Director
Bob Ahrens has been a Baba lover since 1969. He lives in Athens, Georgia, and is a retired physician. He assisted Dr. Goher in caring for the Mandali in India for many years, and worked with Meher Fund, Inc., in support of Goher’s Meher Free Dispensary at Meherazad.
Anna Lena Phillips Bell – Director
Anna Lena Phillips Bell lives with her family in southeastern North Carolina. She was raised in a Baba-lover family and grew up visiting Meher Spiritual Center. She has volunteered at Meherabad and Meherazad, and is a longtime volunteer for the Youth Sahavas. She also serves on the board of Sheriar Foundation. She is a writer, the editor of a literary magazine, and an assistant professor of creative writing.
Buz Connor – Non-voting Director/Executive Director
Buz Connor has been a volunteer at the Center for over forty-five years, assisting Kitty Davy, Elizabeth Patterson, and Jane Haynes in various ways. He has been a follower of Meher Baba since 1971, when he fell in love with Baba in the Lagoon Cabin. He has had various career paths, including financial planning, community development, and, for the past twenty-five years, psychotherapy. He lives with his wife, Wendy Haynes Connor, in Myrtle Beach.
Bruce Felknor – Treasurer/Director
Bruce Felknor is a software engineer and lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with his spouse Jeanne and Rumi and Lucy (dog and cat). A Baba lover since 1979, he has served several Baba organizations over the years, and had the good fortune to work occasionally at the Trust Office in Ahmednagar. His first visit to Meher Center was January 1980.
Johanna Gard’ner – Director
Johanna Gard’ner grew up in a Baba-lover family. Attending the first Youth Sahavas in 1991 inspired her to return as a camper and counselor for years, as well as to make extensive trips to Meherabad. She lives in Athens, Georgia, with her husband, Sean, and their two dogs, where she manages a sales and marketing team for a software company.
Pamela Goodrum – Director
Pamela Goodrum has been walking the paths of Meher Center since 1987. As well as walking other paths that Baba trod in India, she was manager/caretaker at Meher Mount in Ojai, California, from 2000 to 2002. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she works as educator and health coach.
Linda Hansen – Director
Linda Jean Hansen came to Meher Baba in 1971 through Henry Kashouty. She has served on the Youth Sahavas Committee since 1991. She worked at a nonprofit founded by Henry Kashouty to serve young people from 1973 to 2019. An artist and a consultant on the creative process, she lives in Newport News, Virginia, with Michael Hansen, her husband of fifty years.
Ananda Jones – Secretary/Director
Ananda Jones lives in Manchester, Connecticut. She was born into a Baba family, was able to take many memorable family road trips to Meher Center as a child, and now enjoys making that same journey to Baba’s home in the West with her husband and two teenage daughters. Professionally, Ananda works in the nonprofit space, focusing on marketing, partnerships, and project management.
Bruce Kelsey – Director
Bruce Kelsey has been a Baba lover since 1969. He lives in Hockessin, Delaware, and is a retired mental health therapist and agency director.
Annie Fahy Lawn – Director
Andy Lesnik – Director
Andy Lesnik first heard of Meher Baba in 1968. He has lived in Myrtle Beach since 1970. He co-founded Sheriar Press and Sheriar Foundation and serves on its board. He also served on the board of Meher Fund for many years and currently serves on the board of the Chapin Company. He is a poet and the president of an advertising and public-relations firm.
Daniel Stone – Director
Daniel Stone has been following Meher Baba since 1972, and since then has assisted many Baba centers and groups around the world on organizational issues. In his professional life, he is a strategic change consultant. He lives in Myrtle Beach.