Philomena Blees, J.D.
is a Director, President, and Chief Executive Officer.
She also serves on the Board of Trustees of Conscious Capitalism, Inc. formerly known as Freedom Lights Our World (FLOW), Inc. dedicated to "liberating the entrepreneurial spirit for good". She was part of the founding team of FLOW, serving as Vice President, General Counsel, Treasurer and "Chief Problem Solver" for its first 7 years. She also oversaw the creation of FLOW Activation Circles. FLOW is the original nonprofit that created the three programs Peace Through Commerce®, Accelerating Women Entrepreneurs® (“AWE”), and Conscious Capitalism®. In 2010, FLOW was renamed “Conscious Capitalism, Inc.” to carry out that program and Peace Through Commerce, Inc. was incorporated to carry out PTC and AWE.
Ms. Blees co-founded a school for gifted children in Austin, Texas, along with two educational nonprofit organizations. She also served as an attorney in the office of General Counsel at the Texas State Treasury. Prior to this, Ms. Blees was a partner in private practice in Honolulu, Hawaii concentrating in tax, real property, and business law.
Ms. Blees is an active member of the American Creativity Association (“ACA”), where she chaired the 2005 International Conference and serves on the board of ACA-Austin Global.
Ms. Blees received her law degree at the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law and was 1st in her class. She practiced law in Hawaii and Texas. She is a member of the State Bar Associations of Texas and Hawaii, and is licensed to practice before the U.S. Tax Court, Federal District Court, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ms. Blees loves running, hiking, dancing, music, movement, and reading and is active with her two beloved children and new daughter-in-law.
Erin D. Martin is Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Martin is a nonprofit leader who specializes in realizing ‘big hairy audacious goals’ & helping organizations define & achieve strategic success. With a background in organizational communications, Erin spent several years working in educational program development, primarily serving low-income and ‘at-risk’ youth populations in schools, nonprofits and governmental organizations in West Texas. There, she witnessed the institutional barriers that delimit children’s access & achievement, & she aspired to work towards improving equitable opportunities for children and families.
In 2006, Erin moved to New Zealand to purse higher education in how race, gender and economic level affect individuals and contributes to systemic inequalities between families. While there, Erin was commissioned to research early sexualization of preteen girls and ‘self-sexualization’ of girls online as part of a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Grant. Additionally, she contributed to cross-cultural research on child abuse & parenting practices in Māori and Pākehā families.
Erin previously served as Executive Director of MEDICO.org, an international nonprofit dedicated to providing sustainable healthcare and educational services to impoverished communities in developing countries. In that role, she sought to apply innovative, partnership-based program strategies to sustain to international development work. Erin also serves as the Vice President for Directors of Volunteers in Austin (DOVIA) and volunteers as a guardian ad litem advocate for CASA of Travis County. She is a fervent supporter of environmentally sustainable, collaborative workplaces that value resource-sharing. As an East Austin resident and community organizer, she also dubbed the Windsor Park Neighborhood Tagline: “Taking Pride in the East Side Since 1955.”
Erin joins Peace Through Commerce with a B.A. in Organizational Communications from Lubbock Christian University and both a B.A. (Hons) and M.A. in Sociology and Gender Studies from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
Brian J. McGinley is Chief Development Officer. Brian's career path over the past 19 years has served as an excellent vehicle for bringing value to non-profit organizations seeking to increase and diversify their revenue generation. His fundraising and cause-marketing skills were honed at the local, national and international levels. His experience as Executive Director of Co-operation Ireland-USA, a respected international peace and reconciliation nonprofit, based in Belfast, Dublin, London and New York introduced him to a wide array of domestic and trans-Atlantic donors, corporate foundations and private funding sources. He has managed projects totaling over $92 million. His expertise includes strategic partnerships, corporate relations, board development, capital campaigns, foundation relations, prospect research and cause-marketing sponsorships. Brian has tremendous passion for the non-profit sector and enjoys being a part of the transformational role that philanthropy can play in people's lives. He has had the pleasure of representing several leading nonprofits, such as Co-operation Ireland, Global Impact, The Jed Foundation and the national office of the American Lung Association. He is also the Co-Founder of Greenvale Strategies, LLC, a fundraising, sponsorship and corporate cause marketing consulting group which has worked with Penguin Group (USA), The Africa-America Institute, American Heart Association, The Humane Society of the United States, STOMP Out Bullying, The Belfast Giants, Co-Operation Ireland, The Pilsudski Institute of America and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Brian holds a B.A. in Government and Politics with a minor in History from Manhattan College and a Fundraising and Non-Profit Management Certification from Columbia University. He has also completed cause-related marketing courses at New York University. He is currently a candidate for his Maters of Nonprofit Management at Regis University.
Patti Brennan, Accountant