Meet the minds behind Ecoheal.
dani mouawad, md
president & founder
Dani is a pediatrician who became involved in cracking the financial nut of green building because he began and ran a clinic in Southern Louisiana for over a decade and saw the health impacts on poor children and families stemming from toxic housing and poverty. When Dani moved to Chapel Hill with his family in 2010, he was determined to build a sustainable, natural, health promoting residence for his family of 6. Over the last 7 years, Dani has refined this building technique and gone the extra mile to envision and begin building an entire Microvillage, a model he wishes to roll out worldwide as a network within which residents could co-op and visit one another. In the process of designing the Ecoheal Center, Dani invented a forming system that reduces the labor costs of cob building by 30 fold, finally making earthen building a financial reality for everyone. Dani wishes to disseminate this patented invention with the world to bring affordable and health-promoting natural housing to everyone spanning the globe, particularly those below the poverty line.
Vice President & architect
Tim is an eco-restorative architect who has been incorporating a body of Living Systems Design concepts into his professional work for over 10 years. His philosophy embraces the spiritual connection that universally exists between humans and the natural world. The teachings of indigenous people have helped Tim witness the sacredness of the Earth Herself. "The time of anthropologically focused buildings must come to an end. In our immediate future we must envision buildings and homes that directly serve both humankind, and the communities of life forms they impact."Tim is President of Earth Walk Kit Dwellings – off grid, reverse-assembly tiny homes. He lives and works in Hillsborough, NC where he often collaborates with his wife, Laura Baldwin, a restorative landscape designer and integrative health counselor.
Deanna Kerrigan, phd
Secretary & public health expert
Deanna is an Associate Professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has been engaged in public health intervention research with a focus on the study of social and structural factors influencing the adoption of health-promoting behaviors related to HIV prevention and care since 1995. A significant portion of her research has focused on evaluating the role and impact of environmental-structural factors related to HIV outcomes among marginalized groups, including female sex workers, people living with HIV and disadvantaged youth. She recently directed a large-scale, global HIV prevention operations research portfolio funded by USAID, Project Search: Research to Prevention (R2P). She is the Co-Director of the Prevention Core of the Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research (CFAR).
Rula Freiji-mouawad, md
Treasurer & infectious disease/mph expert
Rula's motto is: “A healthy society begins with healthy children.” Transferring from American University of Beirut to Georgia Tech, she simultaneously obtained her Master’s degree in Public Health and became an MD in 1996 from Emory Medical School. After providing Infectious Disease and Public Health services to several community hospitals in Louisiana for over ten years, she and her husband/colleague, Dr. Dani Mouawad, relocated to Chapel Hill with their four children and is currently delighted to provide a holistic approach to pediatric care that integrates aspects of lifestyle such as home environment, nutrition, sleep, and discipline measures.” Rula also nourishes the souls, bellies, and spirits of all Ecoheal staff and volunteers – even when she's on call. Thank you, Rula!
Board member & conscious builder
Since the mid 1960’s David has been looking for ways to help the planet cope with the increasing population of humans and their ever growing misuse of the planet’s resources. Self-sufficiency with a mindfulness of being in balance with everything is the spiritual philosophy that has guided him to become involved with Ecoheal. Through the years David has been handed many job and career opportunities that have given him a hands on education in being human in the modern age. Among those are apartment maintenance, motion picture processing, sailboat repair, graphic design, fine carpentry, General and Electrical Contracting. Each step has illustrated the marvelous technology that humans are capable of, but also the mindless waste that has come with it. David had the great opportunity to work with Dani and Rula as the General Contractor on their residence, an earth friendly and spiritually thoughtful home. From that sprung a close personal relationship with the Mouawads and their hopes and aspirations for a better future. David is looking forward to helping Ecoheal work towards creating a better relationship between people and Mother Earth.
advisor & warrior for mother earth
Barbara is a passionate warrior for mother earth whose life changed dramatically upon reading "Oil & Honey" by Bill McKibbon. It was then that she began keeping bees, took a personal vow to heal the human-earth and the human-human relationships, and joined the local sustainability movement. For the past 7 years, Barbara has served as Director of Marketing & Outreach for the Emerson Waldorf School, where she merged her high-tech marketing experience with her teaching experience in Benin, West Africa and put her International MBA from the American Graduate School of International Management (aka Thunderbird) and BA in Economics and German from UNC-Chapel Hill to good use. Barbara enjoyed serving as Managing Director of Ecoheal for 4 months last year and is now involved with Ecoheal in an advisory capacity. Through Ecoheal, Barbara continues to fulfill her life mission and truly is the change she wishes to see in the world. Beyond bringing Dani's ingenious earthen building solution to those that span the globe, particularly those who have been marginalized, Barbara may be found landscaping with Birch Meadow Garden Care, consulting with NGO's, building websites for entities aligned with her life mission, building a farm in Saxapahaw with her partner, walking cross-country with her dog, enjoying the company of her 4 children, doing yoga, and indulging in good food & wine. But mostly, she just likes witnessing the miracles of nature quietly unfold throughout the seasons.
advisor & first green mba co-founder
As an entrepreneur in education, Jane was co-founder of the first accredited Green MBA in the USA in 1999. Her 15 years of designing and building Social Capital within the constraints of a university enabled hundreds to re-calibrate their future.
As member of the California Bar Association and former tax attorney, she advises large government agencies, public health institutes, and companies in strategy and leadership. She believes that the Capacity of a System is equal to the Sum of the Relationships to the Exponential Power of Trust. She sees herself as a social architect, designing and building Social Capital, the purring engine of sustainability. As a mother and global citizen, Jane strives to promote the joy of original thought, the freedom of working from a consciously chosen set of higher purposes, and the excitement of opening our hearts to the stories of our contemporaries.