Owner / Director
Jyoti Sharp, MA, has been a professional in the fields of elder care and mental health for two decades. After a successful career in finance and human resources in the private sector, a significant loss in 1991 changed the course of her life work. She learned to meditate at a Benedictine monastery in Oklahoma and moved to Boulder, CO in 1997 to attend graduate school at Naropa University. While completing a Master’s degree in Contemplative Psychotherapy she concurrently held the position of Assistant Controller. Jyoti had a strong desire to develop right livelihood and envisioned working with ordinary life transitions such as aging and dying within a contemplative framework of presence and mindfulness. She manifested this aspiration in 2000 when she founded Windhorse Elder Care, a conscious home care agency in Boulder, CO. She continues to dedicate her life to working with elders and families around aging and end-of-life issues by creating circles of mindful care.
Jodi Alieksaites, MA, LPC, has been working with Windhorse Elder Care since 2011 and is currently the Administrative Director, a member of WEC Clinical Steering Group, a Team Supervisor and a Team Leader. Jodi also spear-headed the creation of the Windhorse Leader in Dementia Care training and The Dementia Experience. Jodi has her degree in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University and competed her internship in grief counseling with TRU Community Care Hospice. In addition, Jodi completed a year long externship in Attachment-based Play Therapy and utilizes her training to work with clients in advanced stages of Alzheimer’s-type Dementia. Jodi studies with Reggie Ray and Dharma Ocean Sangha in Boulder and Crestone Colorado.
Blake Baily, MA, LPC, has worked and volunteered in the mental health field since 1987. He earned his B.S. in Psychology from the University of Iowa, and was employed in the University Hospital’s acute care psychiatric facilities early in his career. After a three-year period of teaching and travel in Asia, Blake returned to study and earn a Master’s degree in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University, where he continued to teach for eight years. He has been a Basic Attender and Team Leader with Windhorse Community Services (2002) and Windhorse Elder Care (2005), and is a graduate of the Windhorse Intensive Psychotherapy training. He is currently an Intensive Psychotherapist, Team Leader, and Supervisor in both organizations. Blake lives in Boulder with his talented wife, Amy, and his two beautiful and courageous daughters, Azalea and Frieda.
Tanina Davanzo, MA, has been in private practice in Boulder for the last 15 years and with Windhorse Elder Care since nearly its inception. She specializes in compassionate treatment for those suffering from extreme states of mind and is trained in Trauma Work, Grief and Loss, Attachment Disorders, Individual, Couples and Family Therapy. She has been working in the Windhorse model of care since 2002.
Kathy Emery, MA, LPC, graduated in 1980 from the Naropa University’s Masters in East- West Psychology program and has been involved with the Windhorse approach to working with others since the beginning of the model in 1981. In addition, she has been an Adjunct Faculty member since 1982 at Naropa in several of the Psychology Departments as well as the Masters In Divinity program in recent years. She is committed to bringing the Contemplative view of care and therapy into her work with individuals and groups as well as through her teaching and writing.
Ellen Knapp, MA, LPC Although Ellen’s current professional focus is working with older clients, since becoming a psychotherapist in 1990, she has worked with adults of all ages at several settings. Until 1996, Ellen worked with Boulder County Mental Health Partners on the Emergency Psychiatric Team, the Child and Adolescent Team and at the Alcohol Recovery Center. In 1996, Ellen transitioned to working with eldercare services. From 1996 until 2007, she owned and operated a Licensed Assisted Living Home in Denver called Temenos House. In addition, since 2007, she has worked with Windhorse Community Services and Windhorse Family and Eldercare. Currently Ellen’s primary focus is as a Geriatric Care Manager for which she has national certification. While continuing to be involved with both Windhorse services, Ellen is an independent business owner, serving families of elders as well as maintaining lasting supportive relationships with individual elders.
Tammy McKaskle, MA, has been working with WEC since September of 2011, after graduating with her MA in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University. She received her BA in Psychology from University of Washington in 2004. She began working in the field of end-of-life and grief after graduating from UW. Currently, in addition to her work at WEC, she is a part-time instructor at Naropa and has a psychotherapy private practice in Boulder where she specializes in loss and life transitions. She is a compassionate and calm presence in her work with elders and their families. She believes that support for individuals and their loved ones during the later stages of life is a vital, nourishing offering.
Emily Williams, MA, has worked and volunteered in the mental health and elder care fields since 2006. She holds BA degrees in Sociology and Photography from Purdue University, and her MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University. Emily has been with Windhorse Elder Care since 2011, in the roles of Basic Attender, Team Leader and Supervisor. She cares most about supporting elders and their families through the changes that arise with traumatic brain injury and strokes, with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and end-of-life transitions.
Skye Kerr, MA has been working with WEC since July 2016 after she earned a Masters in Counseling Psychology with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Skye works at WEC as a Basic Attender and Lead Basic Attender and is honored to be working at such a thoughtful organization. Her previous experience includes working with people with dementia and other age-related needs in both group and one-on-one settings as well as working as a psychotherapist for adults. Skye seeks to be a calm, caring, and creative presence for those she works with.
Avery McKenzie, MA, received her Master of Arts in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University in 2011. She also holds BA degrees in Psychology and Sociology from University of Hawaii at Hilo. Avery has worked with Windhorse Elder Care since 2014 in the roles of Basic Attender and Team Leader. Avery is very passionate about her work and strives to hold a therapeutic and social justice perspective while supporting her clients and their family. She is inspired to incorporate her play therapy skills while working with clients struggling with the challenges associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Michelle Pelc, MA, has been been with Windhorse Elder Care since May 2014. She earned her Masters degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University in 2010. She has 8+ years of professional and personal experience working in long term care, adhering to a holistic approach while attending to the emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing of her clients. Her varied experience working with seniors who have physical and mental disabilities, as well as end-of-life care needs, affords her insight into the complexity of the challenges for this population and how to approach them, as well as a solid knowledge base of community resources. As a Windhorse Team Leader, she is passionate about using her ability to build relationship and provide guidance, education, and therapeutic interventions to support and empower seniors, families, and care staff.
Juliet Wagner has worked for Windhorse Elder Care since July 2014 and holds the roles of Basic Attender and Team Leader. Prior to that, she worked at Naropa University and lived at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center for 3 years, immersed in Zen monastic practice. She has had a life-long interest in psychology and the therapeutic process and is grateful to be part of the Windhorse community.