Saturday, October 21st 2017

The Team

Paul was born in a factory-town in Ontario, a steel-making city called Sault Ste. Marie, where he was raised in the Finnish-immigrant tradition. Educated in economics and history at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto, where he was a Faculty Scholar, Paul returned to the latter alma matter for a post-grad fellowship. Before and after those academic turns, Paul also studied filmmaking at York University, Finnish language and history at the University of Helsinki, and Russian at a New England military academy.

Paul spent a decade at Maclean’s, Canada’s equivalent of TIME magazine, where he emerged as the 100-year-old property’s chief investigative journalist. He then joined Media Profile, Canada’s top, independent p.r. and i.r. firm, as a director.

In 2000, Paul emigrated to the United States to work as a Senior Writer, online columnist and blogger at Time Inc’s Business 2.0, a new media property based in San Francisco. Over the span of his journalistic career, he won more than a dozen national and international journalism prizes, including three National Magazine Awards in Canada, the Press Freedom Award and a Loeb Award finalist honor.

In 2008, Paul founded Soul’s Code Inc. and

When Paul is not being a gym-rat — he is moved by Big Sur and other mystical places, meditative practices like watsu, and sacred spaces like the Finnish sauna.

His code: “Allow everything, when you least expect it.”

DAVID RICKEYdavidlarger
David was born in Hamburg, NY, south of Buffalo, where it snows a lot. He studied classical music, and began at Westminster College as a Music Major but switched to Philosophy to prepare for Seminary. He took his Junior year of college in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan. After graduating with a BA in Philosophy, he went to Union Theological Seminary in NYC, with an added year at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. After ordination he returned to NYC to study Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at the Institute of Religion and Health. After graduation there, he did post-graduate study with Laura Perls in gestalt therapy and Martha Crampton in Psychosynthesis.

David conducted a full-time psychotherapy practice in NYC while serving various churches in the region on weekends. In 1997, he was called to be Rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in San Francisco, where it rarely snows. He also serves as Chaplain at a Senior Residence in Santa Rosa.

David is a Director, Special Advisor and prolific contributor to Soul’s Code.

His extra-curricular interests include classical and “Indigenous” music, photography, cooking, travel and full bodied red wines.

His code: “Life has only two requirements: Showing up and paying attention”

Arno Ghelfi is a Swiss-made, Swiss-born, Swiss-grown and Swiss-educated Art Director and Graphic Designer. After relocating to San Francisco, Arno was the Art Director for major international business publications before launching his own design studio.

He also has put his graphic design skills toward socially-conscious clients such as Planned Parenthood, California Nurses Association, California Asthma Coalition, and the Earth Island Institute. His studio, l’atelier starno, is working with clients across the OECD — and in his own neighborhood of North Beach, Soul’s Code, for which he serves as the Creative Director.

His code: “Age doesn’t matter, unless you’re a cheese”


Our new Director comes from the film, television, and multi-channel media industry.  As a Los Angeles-based producer, Rick exposed the glamor and excess of Beverly Hills in the ground-breaking hit reality series, Dr. 90210, for E! Entertainment Network. The cosmetic surgery series seeded a retail brand that currently grosses more than $100 million a year, and is expanding into nutrition, diet, and exercise products.  Rick’s reality and documentary producing resume also includes shows on NBC, MTV, DISCOVERY Networks, and more, about subjects ranging from medical malpractices and patient advocacy to the athletic and personal activities of lesbian surfers in southern California.

Rick began his Hollywood career by running a Disney-affiliated production company, Wind Dancer, which created content that grossed more than $1 billion in combined revenue. The company’s successes included the ABC sitcom starring Tim Allen, Home Improvement, and the Paramount feature film, What Women Want, co-starring Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt.

Previously, Rick was a literary agent in New York, and is credited with discovering Academy-Award-winner Aaron Sorkin, who wrote The Social Network, and others who’ve won Pultizer Prizes and Emmy Awards.

His code:  ”Achievement is talent plus preparation — with a bit of luck thrown in.”

Cyndi is the other Soul’s Coder raised in a steel-making city — in her case, Hamilton, Ontario. But she moved at the age of 12 to the bucolic beauty of the countryside, when her father pursued a career as  an auctioneer. At 18, she journeyed to the University of Toronto, where she graduated with a degree in Anthropology and Women’s Studies — and met future co-founder, Paul Kaihla.

A long time freelance writer for a variety of arts and entertainment and lifestyle publications Cyndi’s love affair with digital media began in the early 1990’s when she became Arts and Entertainment Editor for an online community newspaper.  Later, she covered both ends of the spectrum as an editor for a site aimed at Baby Boomers, and then a youth site.  Her career has also seen her working as an academic assessor and more lately as Projects and Communications Coordinator for a workforce development board.

In her role as Community Manager for Soul’s Code Cyndi has created a strong social media presence for the site on Facebook,Linkedin and Twitter.

Cyndi is an accomplished photographer, who has, to date, hosted three photography exhibits.

Her code: “You are special…and so is everyone else.”

Raquel Tavares lives an eclectic life working as a marketing professional in the tech industry and as a professional yoga teacher. She was born in Recife, Brazil to a mother who taught her about yoga, nutrition, how to love generously — and to a father who was a professional modern artist in northeastern Brazil.

After moving to the Bay Area at a young age, Raquel morphed into a quintessential California girl. She integrated her love of yoga, surfing, snowboarding and sitting underneath the California sunshine each and every present moment she gets. As well as San Francisco, she has called Miami, Rio de Janeiro, and Silicon Valley, home. She holds a degree in International Business and Social Sciences from San Francisco State University.

When Raquel isn’t working or doing yoga she’s probably walking with her new baby husky, writing, or giving Soul’s Code strategic advice in marketing and promotion.

Her code: “Yoga, prana, love.”

JANE NGUYENjaneresized1
Jane embraces each and every day as an opportunity to experience what’s new, and unearth all that planet Earth has to discover. Brought up in San Jose, California, she now lives in San Francisco where she has just finished her degree in marketing and graphic design at the venerable University of San Francisco (founded by Jesuit priests in 1855, it reigns as the city’s first institute of higher ed).

She loves organizing events, tactile art projects, design, networking and one of the last millennials in the U.S. who actually reads books. Although Jane’s always on the go, she makes sure to squeeze in some reading time before bed. Soul’s Code presented the perfect learning opportunity any undergraduate student could ask for – a welcoming, warm environment to learn and grow with others. She is just beginning to grasp the concept of translating what she’s been taught in the classroom to real life.

Her code: “Be open-minded.”

Tri is Soul’s Code’s VP of Product Development. Originally born in Vietnam, Tri emigrated to the United States as a young child with his family, and has lived the majority of his life here in the San Francisco Bay Area. He received his Computer Science degree from the University of San Francisco.

Travel and good eating are a couple of ways Tri expresses his passion for life. Treasured restaurant finds are shared with family and friends. His most recent intercontinental journey to the World Expo in Shanghai cemented his dreams to travel and experience the world in all its diversity. Plans are in the works for his next expedition: to see, hear, feel and taste Peru including a visit to “Old Mountain,” Machu Picchu.

His code: “Inner peace.”

A gifted intuitive and somatic healer, Smadar de Lange uses expansive states of consciousness to help people who are experiencing inner conflict to release energetic blocks. “I work with the root psychic origins of ‘dis-ease’ in your body, mind and heart,” says Smadar, “and help synchronize them with an energy that is universal and always-on.”

Smadar’s writings and readings for Soul’s Code draw on her 14 years of training in transpersonal psychology and spiritual advancement, from a journey that has spanned three continents. In her native Israel, she was schooled in the mystical tradition of the Kabala, as well as Kung Fu martial arts. In China and Japan, she received training in the millennia-old tradition of Chi Kong energy work, as well as Chinese nutrition and medicinal herbs. In 2007, she completed a BA in psychology at the San Francisco Bay Area’s JFK University, one of only six degree-granting institutions in the world that offer a program in consciousness studies. She is currently completing her doctoral degree there in Clinical Psychology at the prestigious Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, CA.

For a detailed description of Smadar’s unconventional but always-brilliant approach, you can download her thesis here about ways that talk-therapists can activate a cycle of healing through non-verbal means.

Her code: “LOVE”


Milena is a project manager, business-school lecturer and entrepreneur who is the head of events-planning and conferences for Soul’s Code.  She holds a degree in business administration, and is a management consultant to five cooperatives — or what gringos call trade unions — in South America. Her primary client is the venture arm of  COOMEVA, a major retail banking and insurance group in Colombia.  Milena makes her home in San Francisco, and is married to the founder and CEO of Soul’s Code.

Milena’s code: “Mente, organismo, presencia y espíritu”