About Us

Responsive Intelligence

Responsive Intelligence™ delivers science-driven mindfulness programs and training to thousands of professionals across global organizations.  Our team consists of luminary authors, Harvard lecturers, top innovators, neuroscientists, MDs and other standard bearers in the fields of mindfulness, emotional intelligence and positive psychology.  We are passionate about integrating these practices into the fabric of organizations to drive greater performance combined with thoughtful actions towards ourselves and others.

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Leaders who are mindful tend to be more effective in understanding and relating to others, and motivating them toward shared goals. Hence, they become more effective in leadership roles.

William W. George, Harvard Business School Professor and best selling authorFormer chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic
The RI team includes nationally-renowned experts in the fields of

neuroscience, mindfulness, psychology, education, healthcare, innovation, and corporate strategy

Responsive Intelligence:

The Ability to Respond Instead of React

This ability to respond to life with mindfulness, instead of reacting from unconscious patterns, has many profound benefits including: improved work/life satisfaction, empathy and focus, decreased stress, as well as additional benefits related to corporations, healthcare, education, and other sectors. RI utilizes a range of accesible mindfulness-based programs and tools to bring these benefits to organizations through executive coaching, employee training, and whole organization integration.

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Learn more from mindfulness luminary, Sara Lazar.

Mindfulness-Based Strategies

Mindfulness Science + Human Centered Design

When advising or developing programs for organizations, the RI team integrates the well-respected “human-centered design” consulting methodology to deeply understand our client’s culture, environment and goals through interviews, observations and surveys. We then apply the most effective science-based tools drawing from mindfulness, emotional intelligence, positive psychology, and neuroscience to achieve those goals.  We also utilize generally accepted evaluation practices to measure performance in alignment with goals.

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Responsive Intelligence

Responsive Intelligence Team

The RI team is composed of visionaries that span many areas of expertise and includes renowned authors, internationally acclaimed innovators, neuroscience professors, Harvard School lecturer, and many other notable leaders. We implement gold-standard methodologies to deeply understand our client’s needs and apply the best solutions.

David Sunshine

Co-Founder and President

David has studied under some of the finest mindfulness instructors including Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg. He has visited India numerous times and studied meditation under the Dalai Lama, as well as yoga with many contemporary luminaries including B.K.S Iyengar and T.K.V. Desikachar. Under David’s leadership as owner of the Dallas Yoga Center since 1998, the DYC has become a nationally respected mindfulness based organization infused with an open-hearted vitality which plays a leading role in the yoga, mindfulness and holistic wellness community.

Daniel Sunshine

Co-Founder and Director

Daniel leads Responsive Intelligence™, a global mindfulness firm that has served thousands of professionals in local and global organizations across a range of sectors with neuroscience-informed mindfulness and social emotional learning programs and training. Daniel began his career as an innovator for companies including PBS, National Geographic, and AARP. His innovation experience is coupled with decades of mindfulness experience and bringing it to individuals within national healthcare organizations, fortune-100 companies, renowned private schools, and public school districts. Daniel is a strategy advisor for California Vision 2020, has an MBA from George Washington University and leads workshops and lectures on mindfulness and innovation. His work has been featured on news affiliates including NBC, CBS, FOX and NPR.

Kay Colbert, LCSW

Mindfulness “Gold Standard” Advisor

Kay has approximately 300 hours of professional training in mindfulness-based programs through the University of San Diego Medical School Center for Mindfulness, and is trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-Based Relapse

Prevention, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression and Mindful Self-Compassion. Kay is also a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, with her dissertation research focusing on using mindfulness interventions with addictions. Kay is of the most trained mindfulness trainers in the country and guides Responsive Intelligence on applying evidence based strategies to organizational needs.

Meena Srinivasan

SEL and Mindfulness in Schools Advisor

Meena Srinivasan is an international educator and thought leader in the field of Social Emotional Learning and mindfulness in education. She is the author of Teach Breathe Learn, and Program Manager for SEL and mindfulness implementation in the Oakland School District serving over 60 schools which have been practicing for over 6 years. The Oakland ISD was one of the first schools in the country to integrate district-wide SEL programming. She was one of the youngest educators to be awarded the prestigious National Board Certification and is a contributor to a United Nations publication on inclusive education. She is also an advisor to the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Seham Kafafi MSc

Assistant Manager

Seham Kafafi, the Assistant Manager of Responsive Intelligence, has a Master’s degree in Mindfulness: Neuroscience and its Clinical Applications from the Institute of Psychology at King's College London. With her scientific research experience, she supports the evidence-base for RI programming. Seham teaches mindfulness workshops and classes and combines her expertise in mindfulness and science to help deliver evidence-based strategies to RI clients.

Dr. Christopher Willard, PsyD

Psychology Advisor

Dr. Christopher Willard, (PsyD) is a renowned author, international speaker, and Harvard Medical School lecturer on mindfulness and psychology. He is the author of many books including Growing Up Mindful (2016) and, the soon to be released, Raising Resilience (2017). He currently serves on the board of directors at the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and is the President of the Mindfulness in Education Network.

Cynthia Nevels

Business Advisor

Cynthia Nevels has been a community volunteer, organizer and non-profit leader for over 20 years. She is the new Senior Partner for Integrality Consulting, which is a division of Integrality, LLC which owns and operates several consumer goods, media and marketing subsidiaries in Dallas and Houston, Texas. She is a certified financial educator, certified small business management counselor, and certified entrepreneurship instructor. Cynthia is the host of the popular business, technology, business and economics radio program titled The C-Radio Show (www.thecradioshow.com), now in its fifth year with sponsors such as Intuit, Palo Alto Software, J2 Global Communications and DCCCD.

Nevels currently a research fellow with the American Institute for Education, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship and a board member for The Keen Group, Inc. and Marcus Graham Project. In 2012, she was appointed to serve on the Marketing Committee for Chicago’s Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise. Nevels previously served on the Dallas Independent School District’s Academy of Finance Board of Directors. During her career she served as Global Program Manager for the leader in Customer Relationship Management solutions Siebel Systems, Inc. (Oracle) in San Mateo, CA. As well as, recruited software engineers for e-business consulting firm Proxicom of San Francisco and Keane Consulting of Boston, MA. Nevels was previously Vice Chairman of the Texas Jump$tart Coalition (www.txjumpstart.org), a statewide financial literacy clearinghouse and member office of the National Jump$tart Coalition. In 2004, Nevels was appointed by Consumer Federation of America of Washington, D.C. to serve as State Director for the Texas Saves campaign (www.txsaves.org), a social marketing and asset building campaign supported by Governor Rick Perry, Consumer Federation of America, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and the FDIC.

She has been featured in Fortune Magazine, Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Black Enterprise Magazine, Fort Worth Business Press and Fast Company Magazine. Cynthia earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Texas Woman's University. She is the author of her 2009 book, Financial Bailout, The Fundamental Financial Guide, and creator or Personal Finance Flash Cards available on Amazon.

Since 2000, Cynthia has served as an adjunct professor for Dallas County Community College District teaching accounting, technology, marketing and entrepreneurship to thousands of students across North Texas.

Sarah Sampson

Mindfulness Integration Advisor

Sarah combines her professional mindfulness, yoga, and theatre training and background to develop programming that is both impactful and entertaining. After becoming trained to teach MBSR with the University of California at San Diego, Sarah has been weaving evidence based practices with fun, innovative exercises for children and adults that foster inner calm, resiliency, and healthier emotional well-being in an engaging way. In her time as a public educator she has created SEL (Social Emotional Learning) support for students and teachers based in healthy self-expression, emotional regulation, and body awareness. In her work with students of all ages, her mindfulness offerings are just as playful as they are transformative. Currently she is in the process of developing teacher trainings, programs, and curriculum that encourage creative and practical ways to integrate mindfulness into everyday life.

Thomas Maddrey

Legal Advisor

Thomas Maddrey is the founding partner and lead attorney for Maddrey PLLC. Prior to attending law school at the SMU Dedman School of Law, Thomas was a commercial photographer, entrepreneur, and gallery owner. His photography training was at the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California where he obtained his first bachelor’s degree. Next, Thomas came back to his hometown of Dallas, TX and obtained a Business degree from The University of Texas at Dallas.

Realizing that his entrepreneurial endeavors and artistic background give him a unique perspective on the laws and cases facing those groups, Thomas enrolled at SMU where he obtained his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. Shortly thereafter, he passed the Texas Bar Examination and was licensed as an attorney by the State of Texas.

Thomas first worked for Harrison + Hull, a boutique litigation firm in McKinney, TX where he was focused on litigation. In his role at the firm, Thomas was a constant presence in the courtrooms of Texas, defending his clients and arguing on their behalf to tribunals across the state.

In October of 2015, Thomas knew the time was right to fulfill his dreams and launch his own firm, Maddrey PLLC. Inundated with clients from day 1, Thomas has grown into a master of keeping all the balls of running a law firm in the air at once. In December, he hired his first associate attorney, and multiple clerks to assist with his workload at the burgeoning firm.

Thomas knows that the choice of legal representation is not one undertaken lightly, no matter how big or small the matter. To that end, he is personally engaged with each and every client, and is always available to the clients of Maddrey PLLC.

“There is added responsibility when your name is on the door. I consider that the first contract I enter into with my clients. I will put my name on the work I do for you. I will fight on your behalf. There is no passing the buck. It stops with me, and my clients know it. That forms a bond between this firm and its clients that is built on pride, trust, and honor.”

Dr. Julia Evans

Thought Partner

Dr. Evans is one of the leading researchers in the area of statistical learning, lexical and phonological processing deficits in children with specific language impairment. Her recent research focuses on time-course and cortical activity data from eye tracking and anatomically constrained MEG studies. This research shows that children with SLI use atypical, visually based strategies to comprehension language. Dr. Evans’ previous work focused on dynamic system accounts of lexical and grammatical processing deficits in children with specific language impairment. Dr. Evans earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Colorado, her master’s at Columbia University and her PhD at the University of Michigan.

Sanjiv Sidhu

Business Strategy, Innovation Advisor

Sanjiv’s career has focused on helping large organizations consistently achieve superior results via improved planning and execution of plans. Based on the belief that businesses react too slowly to rapidly changing conditions, Sanjiv’s concentration has been on helping organizations implement new processes to boost agility and adaptability. Several Global 1000 corporations have implemented his methodology and achieved billions of dollars of value.As founder and chairman of o9 Solutions, Sanjiv is working alongside some of the world's smartest minds, both within o9 and in o9's clients, to continue to develop methodologies to optimize business performance in rapidly changing business environments.

Dr. Poonam Desai

Poonam Desai, Ph.D., LSSP : Poonam Desai is a licensed psychologist and a licensed specialist in school psychology. She has worked in the fields of education and mental health for the past nine years, with a particular area of interest in mindfulness and social-emotional learning. She graduated with a Ph.D. in school psychology from Loyola University Chicago.

Lenita Dunlap

Education Advisor

Lenita is the Executive Director of Heart House, a Dallas non-profit that provides after school education for refugees and underserved youth. She integrated mindfulness and SEL in her programming and advises Responsive Intelligence on impacting underserved populations.

With over 14 years experience in nonprofit organizations at various roles from consulting to fundraising, Lenita joined Heart House in June 2014 as the Executive Director. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a Master of Public Administration from Illinois Institute of Technology, a Master of Arts in Christian Education with an emphasis in Educational Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary, and Certificates of Nonprofit Management and Nonprofit Marketing from the Center for Nonprofit Management. She enjoys organizational development, building relationships, Zumba, and her family, but not necessarily in that order.

The idea for Heart House was conceived by founders Suzanne Kiefer and Anna Land, while volunteering in the Vickery Meadow community in the late 1990’s. They recognized a significant need for a program to help the children, living in this difficult neighborhood, who often did not have a parent at home after school, or a safe place to study and continue learning. They created Heart House to fill this void by providing a safe haven and academic programs where children would be encouraged to grow, to meet their potential and fulfill their dreams.

Heart House is blessed with a skilled and dedicated staff, a talented and determined board, and caring and committed volunteers. They serve because they see the potential in the students and understand the importance of creating a safe environment, educational enrichment, and opportunity for children to explore the world. They do it as if the children of Heart House are their own.

Suzanne Yaffe

SEL and Mindfulness Program Advisor

Biography Coming Soon

Jon Shapiro

Business Strategy, Innovation Advisor

Jon brings thirty-years of experience as a serial entrepreneur, Board Chairman and CEO and has successfully launched and grown several technology companies. Most recently he self-funded a 125M firm that was sold to a public corporation. Jon builds strategic alliances and managed global expansion in complex technical, political, legal and cultural contexts.He is currently the director of the University of Texas at Dallas’ Venture Development Center.
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