The Key Participants

George Leonard
Author of Mastery

George Leonard, a pioneer in the field of human potential, is the author of twelve books, including The Transformation, Education and Ecstasy, The Ultimate Athlete, and Mastery. Holder of a fifth-degree black belt in aikido, Leonard is co-owner of a martial arts school in Mill Valley, California. He is founder of Leonard Energy Training (LET), a transformative practice inspired by aikido, which he introduced to approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. and abroad. Leonard previously served as President of the Association of Humanistic Pyschology, and he currently serves as President of Esalen Institute.

A native of Georgia, Leonard received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina and Doctor of Humanities degrees from John F. Kennedy University, Lewis and Clark College, and Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center. He served with the U.S. Air Force as a combat pilot in the South Pacific during World War II and as an intelligence officer and magazine editor during the Korean War.  Leonard's adventures along the human frontiers of the 1960s are described in his 1988 memoir, Walking on the Edge of the World.  His latest book, The Way of Aikido: Life Lessons from an American Sensei, was published by Dutton in June 1999.

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BB King
Grammy-Award-Winning Blues Guitarist
For more than half a century, Riley B. King - better known as B.B. King - has defined the blues for a worldwide audience. Since he started recording in the 1940s, he has released over fifty albums, many of them classics. He was born September 16, 1925, on a plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi, near Indianola. In his youth, he played on street corners for dimes, and would sometimes play in as many as four towns a night. In 1947, he hitchhiked to Memphis, TN, to pursue his music career. B.B. stayed with his cousin Bukka White, one of the most celebrated blues performers of his time, who schooled B.B. further in the art of the blues.

Over the years, B.B. has developed one of the world's most identifiable guitar styles. He borrowed from Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker, and others, integrating his precise and complex vocal-like string bends and his left hand vibrato, both of which have become indispensable components of rock guitar expertise. His economy, his every-note-counts phrasing, has been a model for thousands of players, from Eric Clapton and George Harrison to Jeff Beck. B.B. has mixed traditional blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop, and jump into a unique sound.

Over the years, the Grammy Award-winner has had two #1 R&B hits, 1951's "Three O'Clock Blues," and 1952's "You Don't Know Me," and four #2 R&B hits, 1953's "Please Love Me," 1954's "You Upset Me Baby," 1960's "Sweet Sixteen, Part I," and 1966's "Don't Answer The Door, Part I." B.B.'s most popular crossover hit, 1970's "The Thrill Is Gone," went to #15 pop.

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Carlos Santana
Grammy-Award-Winning Musician
Best known the world over for the group that bears his name, Carlos Santana has been reinventing and reshaping the landscape of the musical culture for close to four decades. A visionary artist with no regards for genre boundaries, Carlos' fluid sound long ago laid claim to the concept of "world music" before the term ever surfaced on pop culture radar.

Born in Autlan de Navarro, Mexico—where there's now a street and public square in his name--to the son of a virtuoso Mariachi violinist, Carlos followed in his father's musical footsteps, taking up the violin at the age of five. It was when his family moved to Tijuana several years later, however, that Santana began his lifelong relationship with the instrument that would make him a musical icon–-the guitar. Early on he emulated his heroes–-John Lee Hooker, T. Bone Walker, and B.B. King—whom he heard on powerful American radio stations when their signals crossed the border.

A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Santana has sold more than 90 million records and performed to over 100 million people globally. He has won ten GRAMMY Awards, including a record-tying nine for a single project for his 36th album, the blockbuster 1999 disc “Supernatural.” Now exceeding 25 million in sales, Supernatural's citations included Album of the Year and Record of the Year for the smash single "Smooth." Well into his fourth decade of recording and performing, and with his lifetime of music and achievement, Santana has become a cultural event-- transcending genre, crossing cultures–-creating the music that has become the soundtrack for the world.

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Ivana Chubbuck
Acting Coach
Ivana Chubbuck is one of the most sought after acting coaches and teachers having taught thousands of students for over twenty years. Several years ago, she founded the Ivana Chubbuck Studios in Hollywood, which has become a favored place of study for actors, writers, and directors. She has been widely profiled in the media as one of the foremost authorities on acting. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, film director Lyndon Chubbuck.
Stephen Tobolowsky
Stephen Tobolowsky started his acting career in 1987 and has appeared in over 200 films, at least as many television shows, and is also credited as a film and theater director, writer and composer. Throughout his career he has directed and acted in plays in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In 2005 he released a documentary film, Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party, featuring a performance in which he tells stories from his life to a group of friends.

Perhaps through sheer force of repetition, he is best known from his role in 1993's Groundhog Day, in which he played Bill Murray's annoying high school classmate and insurance salesman, Ned Ryerson, who Murray's character continuously runs into when he repeats February 2.

Other acting gigs include the role of a gentle sound man with a dark secret in the 1994 film Radioland Murders. He also has a memorable guest spot on Seinfeld as Tor Ackman, Kramer's holistic healer, in the second season episode, "The Heart Attack". He is also known for playing Sammy Jankis in 2001's Memento starring Guy Pearce. He was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Play for the 2002 revival of Morning's at Seven. He is a member of the cast of NBC's television series Heroes for its second season, portraying Bob, the new boss of the Company.
Wendy Rieger
Television Journalist & News Anchor for NBC4/Washington
Wendy Rieger co-anchors NEWS4 at 5 for WRC-TV in Washington, DC, while also serving as a general assignment reporter. She has more than 20 years experience covering news in the Washington market. Beginning her career at WAMU Radio (Washington) as a writer, Rieger was promoted to a position as reporter and then ultimately elevated to local host of "Morning Edition." She later did newscasts for the NPR network and was an anchor-reporter for WTOP Radio, before moving to television at CNN's Washington Bureau. Rieger has won three Emmy Awards for news writing and feature reporting, including a special report on Vietnam shot entirely on home video, twenty years after the war.

A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Rieger serves on the Advisory Board of the Sigma Capital Challenge, to raise money for the Special Olympics, and is on the Advisory Board for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. In addition, Rieger has become a regular participant in DC AIDS Ride.
Paul Reed Smith
"The road from my workshop in a historic, haunted Annapolis garret to a state-of-the-art factory was a tough one. Fact is, I always loved working with my hands. Why else would a high school kid sign up for three or four shop classes at a time? My first guitar was built as a challenge to my college music professor for some credits. I got an "A" and decided to pursue my dream of making guitars for a living.

I remember hanging out at the local concert arenas for six or seven hours before a show to make friends with the roadies. With a backstage pass in hand, I’d peddle my guitars to the stars. One night in ten I’d make a sale. Carlos Santana, Al Di Meola, Howard Leese, and other well known players agreed to check one out. I made deals. If someone gave me an order, made a deposit, and then didn’t love the finished guitar, I’d give them their deposit back even if I couldn’t make my rent the next day.

We’ve come a long way, with steady growth in factory capacity, employees, distribution, and the number of prominent artists using our instruments. We’re not stopping here. We continue to push the curve beyond what others would consider perfection. With experts to make sure the technology is unsurpassed, and dedicated craftspeople who guarantee a finished product you can’t keep your hands off of, we make no compromises. That’s the story of the beginning of the journey. Not so short, but very sweet. The moral? Believe in your dreams."
Eric Kandel
Nobel Laureate, Medicine
Eric Kandel received the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine in 2000. He began his academic career at the Harvard Medical School, where from 1963 to 1965, he was an instructor in the Department of Psychiatry. In 1965, he moved to New York University as associate professor where, together with Alden Spencer and James Schwartz, he developed the first group in the country devoted to both cellular neurobiology and behavior. At the time he was recruited to N.Y.U., his wife Denise was recruited to the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she gradually rose to the rank of professor.

In 1974, Harry Grundfest retired, and Kandel was recruited to Columbia to replace him. At Columbia Kandel was the founding director of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior. In 1983, he became a University Professor at Columbia. In 1984, he resigned as director of the Center to become a senior investigator at the newly formed Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute at Columbia.

Kandel has received honorary degrees from nine universities, including three European universities: the Universities of Vienna, Edinburgh, and Turin. Throughout the years Kandel has become deeply grateful to Columbia University and the Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute, two great institutions that have created open environments supportive of scholarship and research.
Linus Torvalds
Creator and Architect of Linux Computer Operating System
Torvalds was born in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, as the son of Anna and Nils and the grandson of poet Ole Torvalds. He attended the University of Helsinki from 1988 to 1996, graduating with a master's degree in computer science. He wrote his M.Sc. thesis, titled “Linux: A Portable Operating System,” on Linux. Torvalds’s interest in computers began with a Commodore VIC-20. After the VIC-20 he purchased a Sinclair QL which he modified extensively, especially its operating system. He programmed an assembler and a text editor for the QL, as well as a few games. He is known to have written a Pac Man clone named Cool Man. In 1990 he purchased an Intel 80386-based IBM PC and spent a few weeks playing the game Prince of Persia before receiving his Minix copy which in turn enabled him to begin his work on Linux.

Torvalds worked for Transmeta Corporation from February 1997 until June 2003, and he is now seconded to the Open Source Development Labs, a Beaverton, Oregon-based software consortium. His personal mascot is a penguin nicknamed Tux, which has been widely adopted by the Linux community as the mascot of Linux.
Launi Meili
Olympic Gold Medalist, Shooting
A graduate of Eastern and Cheney High School, Launi Meili won the gold medal in women's three-position smallbore rifle shooting at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. She also placed 11th in air rifle in Barcelona after placing sixth in air rifle and seventh in three-position rifle at the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988.  Meili also won a bronze medal at the World Championships in 1990.  In all, she has set three world shooting records and more than 100 national records.  She competed in shooting at EWU, leading Eastern to a seventh-place finish at the 1983 NCAA Men's and Women's Rifle Championships. Meili was inducted into the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and was the Inland Empire Athlete of the Year in 1992.

Kelly Clark
Olympic Gold Medalist, Snowboarding
Kelly Clark won the first gold medal for the United States at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. She took home the gold medal in the halfpipe even though she was the youngest competitor at eighteen years old. The crowd was cheering wildly during the whole event, but they really went wild when Kelly's name came up on the board as #1. Snowboarders often listen to music when they are competing. Kelly was listening to Blink 182 when she won her gold.

Kelly was born in Newport, Rhode Island on July 26, 1983. She started snowboarding in Vermont when she was only eight years old. She lives at Mammoth Lake, California. Kelly graduated from Mount Snow Academy in spring 2001. During the summer months she likes to surf. She was accepted at the University of Rhode Island but has put off going to college for now. Her hobby is any kind of art. She says she eventually wants to be a major in art or design.
Dana Chladek
Olympic Silver and Bronze Medalist, Kayaking

Dana Chladek started kayaking at age thirteen.   She is a two-time Olympic medallist (bronze in 1992 and silver in 1996), a World Cup Champion, and two-time World Championship silver medalist.  She graduated from Dartmouth College in 1986 with a major in French Literature.  Dana owns her own successful paddling apparel and accessories company, Rapidstyle, which is the official supplier to the 2000 Olympic Kayaking team.  She is married and has a little daughter, Zoe, who already knows how to say 'kayak' and who sometimes sleeps in her stroller by the side of the river while Mommy does her workout.

Etirsa Coons
Fashion Model
Bio coming soon...