Our Team

Executive Director

Ross Holzman
Ross Holzman is an artist, peace activist and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and executive director of the Create Peace Project as well as the visionary behind The Peace Exchange, Banners for Peace, and the Peace Dance mural technique. A passionate and prolific artist himself, Ross loves facilitating collaborative arts experiences and empowering positive feelings through the creative process.  Ross employs his philosophy that the cultivation of self-awareness through self-expression is one of the most powerful tools for strengthening our connection to our self, to others, and the world around us and thus creating peace.  Ross is a published author, accomplished public speaker, and arts facilitator; having lead more than 125 Peace Exchange workshops, 30 Banners for Peace workshops, and numerous murals.  Ross has worked with more than 20,000 children in schools across the U.S., Uganda, India, Nepal and Ghana since 2009.

Board of Directors

Andrea Vecchione
Andrea specializes in creating programs that assist in building different relationships nature, worldview, and community. For over 20 years she has engaged in the field of experiential and place-based education. From the grassroots development of community engagement programs at local levels to programs focused on national and international audiences. Andrea has served in various leadership capacities in the fields of international education, environmental and place-based education, and sustainable development. She has conducted in-depth research in education and community engagement and is a strong supporter of nature based education.
Wanda Whitaker
Wanda Whitaker, a graduate of the University of Maryland in Communications, has over 30 years of fund raising and marketing experience as President of Whitaker & Associates, a cause related marketing consultancy agency.  Additionally, throughout the years she has worked with the underserved population of youth and women as a counselor, community liaison, volunteer, arts facilitator and instructor in San Francisco and Washington, DC. She has served as Vice President of the board of Global Exchange and traveled to over 38 destinations around the world including Japan, where she spoke about world peace. Currently, she is a visionary artist, spiritual life coach and certified hypnotherapist.
Zach Carson
Zach has spent the last fifteen years building social and environmental movements across the United States and beyond. A systems thinker, Zach approaches the dilemmas of today’s world holistically, with a mind to create lasting solutions through the authentic participation of forward-thinking communities. As progressive entrepreneur, he believes that through conscious capitalism, business can be used as a tool to accelerate positive change.
Oren Jaffe
Oren Jaffe is a manager in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainable Supply (Chain) Network Solutions group at Intertek, a worldwide quality assurance services company that works with brands and retailers to enable global trade. Previously, Oren co-founded the national business networking organization EcoTuesday Inc., the environmental-consulting firm BlueMap Inc., and worked as a social accountability expert for Bureau Veritas Consumer Products (BV). He has worked for professional sports teams, technology firms in the Silicon Valley, and even started an outdoor advertising company that sold blimps, hot air balloons, and airplane banners. Oren has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Sports Marketing from the University of Oregon, and an MBA from the University of San Francisco.
Molly Rowan Leach
Molly Rowan Leach lives a life that has left both a subtle and not so subtle imprint for the better upon the heart of humanity. Having worked at IONS (Institute of Noetic Sciences) and overseas at the Center for Graduate Research and Education/Economics Institute in Prague, she began to set in motion the independent and activist voice that resides within her quite deeply. Her publicity and production company, Mali Rowan Presents, was founded in 2009. She is currently hosting leading-edge dialogue series for Evolutionary Lawyers and a series on Unitive and Restorative Justice and Social Healing in the US and beyond, featuring the powerful work of colleagues James O’Dea, Dr. Judith Thompson, ABA Best-selling author J. Kim Wright, Riane Eisler, Sharif Abdullah, Matthew Albracht and many others. Molly is also a member of the Advisory Committee-Peace & Politics/Summer of Peace 2012 and support for the ongoing Peace Ambassador Trainings that include participants from over 23 countries worldwide, featuring James O’Dea and a brilliant guest faculty, hosted by The Shift Network. For more information: www.malirowanpresents.com

Collaborators and Arts Educators

Laurie Marshall
Laurie Marshall is a Marin County, CA artist, teacher and spiritual activist. She has been on the cutting edge of project-based learning in public schools for thirty years. With a bachelors in history and education from Antioch College and a masters in art and education from Beacon College, she is a certified K-12 art and secondary social studies teacher. Laurie has also trained over 3,000 teachers in visual literacy for the Polaroid Foundation, led visual art and mural making workshops, facilitated leadership training and conflict prevention with NASA, the Department of Interior, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Her book, Beating the Odds Now! – Ten Steps for Teachers to Meet the Standards and Still Love What You Do, is used in teaching project-based learning around the world. http://www.unitythroughcreativity.net/
Izabella Tschig
Iza heartIzabella Tschig is passionate about our capacity as human to use our hearts, bodies and minds to create, to heal and to play. Growing up in Sweden, Iza spent her childhood exploring nature and performing.  She went on to study art and design at Chelsea College of Art, London College of Communication, and Parsons School of Design, NYC as well as enjoying an enriching personal and professional career in theater, film and music making. Iza was a key addition to the 2013 Peace Exchange in Ghana.  After moving to San Francisco, marrying Ross Holzman, she has been an active and essential facilitator in our community mural projects.  Iza is also passionate about healing and is working as a holistic healer here in the Bay Area.  To learn more about her work:  www.tschig.com  and www.izasourcefield.com
Samara Julie Cummins
Samara is a nonprofit program director and mosaic artist whose mission in life is to spread love. She began her career with a passion for environmental education, leading thousands of young people on outdoor explorations, hiking adventures, tours of local farms, and visits to the dump to find out where our garbage goes. More recently she served for 12 years as Director of Education for the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, where she designed and managed programs to teach gardening, inspire healthy eating, and build a just and sustainable food system. She enjoys making art out of pieces of glass, tile, and found objects, and loves seeing children’s faces light up as they discover their artistic side. Samara has been working with Create Peace Project since mid-2018 supporting our mural painting and mosaic projects in San Francisco schools.