We transform the lives of individuals and their families by breaking down barriers to employment, empowering them to see a vision of who they can become, and aligning them with a directionality of purpose that enables survival and encourages thriving. We are committed to the pursuit of meaning and directionality of purpose for enterprise employers, human service organizations, and marginalized populations.
We serve individuals and communities who face barriers to meaningful employment for any reason or circumstance. For example, those who have previously been incarcerated, those who are recovering from addiction or trauma, the homeless, and others. We see the unique contributions that these populations provide to potential employers and believe that individuals should be given the chance to thrive because of their past circumstances, not in spite of them.
There are two pillars which focus our work: meaningful employment and directionality of purpose. Meaning is a biological reality that guides and motivates us, and it is at the heart of surviving and thriving. It is the thread that connects our past and present and enables us to project ourselves into the future. In moments of meaninglessness, we lack belief in ourselves and we lose directionality of purpose. Directionality of purpose is established when there is alignment between “who you were,” “who you will believe you will become,” and “who you are.” It allows us to understand our past experiences, stand strongly in the present, and have goals for the future.
Our dual facing coaching programs and curriculum ensure that enterprise organizations, human service organizations, and marginalized populations can discover, create, and align themselves with meaningful purpose.
The Meaning Foundation is a powerful team of gifted individuals who truly believe in the mission. The team is being led by Ed Flynn as CEO, leveraging his extensive experience in for-profit and non-profit ventures. Jose Osuna, in his role as Chief Mission Officer, is responsible for developing partnerships with government agencies and Human Service Organizations while leading on workforce development and training. Gregory Wertman, in his role as Chief Development Officer, is leveraging his business development background to create partnerships with enterprise employers. Dr. Cory Reich, Ph.D. and Dr. MaryCatherine McDonald are bringing their extensive background, research, and experience in human development to build and implement our meaning based coaching methodology and framework. For more information on our team, or to speak with any of us directly, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Meet Our Team
Taylor's passion for human transformation led him to start The Meaning Foundation, a non-profit focused on transforming the lives of marginalized individuals by eliminating barriers to meaningful employment. The Meaning Foundation operates a workforce development, training, and staffing agency called Empowered By.
He believes that the fundamentals of value creation and value capture is the driving force for prosperity and he is committed to supporting humans and organizations as we access visions for the future that we believe in, have value for, and are committed to… Visions for the future that are so meaningful and abundant that we cannot not take action to move towards them. Playing a small role in that journey is what brings Taylor fulfillment. Capturing some of that value is what makes the journey sustainable, scalable and repeatable.
Ed also is the president of Flynn Consulting – where he has assisted various organizations including Memorial Hospital Foundation, Yakima Valley Community Foundation, Seton Medical Center, Boysville of Michigan, Case Western Reserve University, as well as many other non-profits, schools and community foundations.
Ed has a strong background in the formation, governance, board recruitment and strategic planning of 501 (c) (3) organizations. Over the course of his career, Ed has raised an excess of 500 million dollars in improvement, program enhancement and Endowment support. He is committed to providing opportunity in meaningful employment in support of families, neighborhoods and communities.
Jose first arrived at Homeboy Industries as a trainee enrolled in the eighteen-month program the organization offers. Prior to this, Jose served thirteen years in prison, and had been involved in gangs since the age of ten. In 2007, Jose’s son Moises was killed as a result of gun violence – he was seventeen years old. Jose uses this experience, among many others, as the strongest motivating factors in his work at The Meaning Foundation and Osuna Consulting. By combining both his personal and professional experience, Jose is able to bring a unique perspective and a fresh approach to his work.
Jose is a current member of L.A. County’s Probation Reform & Implementation Team, appointed by L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn.
Building upon his educational purpose driven by a meaning-based orientation, Cory continues to work with populations from a strength-based approach rather than focusing on weakness. Working in the helping profession in some capacity for 35 years, Cory has been in Private Practice, Life and Corporate Coaching, Residential Programs and in multiple clinical supervisory positions. Cory is a cofounder of the Institute for Addiction Study which was created with the intent to provide instructional material providing understanding and support to those affected by addiction. Cory worked with the Pretty Shield Foundation for 4 years serving the Crow Tribe in Montana providing services for meth impacted families. Cory has also worked in the capacity of chief editor and writer of a news-based internet site (e.g. Masternet) specifically dedicated to the mental, behavioral, and substance abuse industry. Cory has co-authored two books on addiction and continues to exert his influence in purpose driven populations striving to realize the dream of wholeness and meaning fulfillment. Cory is currently the Executive Director of The Phoenix Recovery and Counseling Centers. His research in meaning-based interventions has demonstrated the positive impact in reducing depression, anxiety, and improving attitudes and behaviors oriented around the use of mood-altering substances and behaviors.
After receiving her master’s degree at The New School, where she researched traumatic loss and mourning from both philosophical and psychological perspectives, she went on to complete her Ph.D. at Boston University. MC has published several research and journal articles, and has just completed her first book, Haunted, which aims to rethink trauma from an interdisciplinary perspective.
In addition to her academic work, MC has been involved in coaching individuals and corporations, teaching courses in prison, as well as consulting on curriculum development.
Lily is involved at the state and national level and has been the recipient of several prestigious awards for her work. She was selected as a fellow by JustLeadershipUSA (2017), she was a Rockwood Fellow (2018), and a Newman Civic Fellow (2018).
Lily comes to this work grounded in lived experience and intimate knowledge of the devastating impacts of criminalization and the carceral system. In 2015 she returned to CSUN to complete her degree, where she co-established Revolutionary Scholars, a student organization that has two goals. First, to help ensure that people do not return to a carceral space or are limited due to their previous involvement with the criminal legal system. Second, to imagine and help create a prison to school pipeline that can develop alternatives and crowd out prison to the point of being obsolete.
Lily continues to be active in her community of South Central, where she enjoys street tacos, and lives with her 6-year-old son Logan and 17-year-old daughter Alyssa Celeste.
This led to yet another business where she started Mia Angeli Design which encompasses three branches, interior design/renovation for both residential and commercial spaces, sale of home and office furnishings as well as a video surveillance component. She is a certified vendor of video surveillance products for the Los Angeles Community College District as well as a supplier to Universal Studios Hollywood and CityWalk.
Mia has helped raise funds for impoverished schools in the East Los Angeles area, as well as raise both funds and awareness for Proyecto Pastoral at Dolores Mission and Impacto, a youth segment of Proyecto Pastoral which provides academic enrichment, sports programs and field trips to children who are at great risk of not completing their education. She has also donated her time and organizational skills in creating community events in the East Los Angeles area.
The endless opportunities to reach several demographics of people struggling to create a better life for themselves, for their families is what drew Mia to the Meaning Foundation. She believes that The Meaning Foundation will give potential employees a sense of self-worth, dignity, a sense of humility, and a sense of pride in what they've been able to accomplish really understanding that they are a person of value. It is in giving that opportunity to people that Mia sees hope for our communities.
Karatz's story begins in Chicago, Illinois, where he was born to a middle class Jewish family in 1945. The family would relocate to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he would spend his formative years as a son of a movie theater owner. After graduating from high school in 1963, he would head off for a bachelor's degree from Boston University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California. By 1970* his formal education was completed and he began working full-time.
The first major stage of Karatz's professional life began in 1972, when he would become associate general counsel for Kaufman & Broad. From 1972 to 2005, Karatz held numerous positions at the company, including CEO from 1986-2006. He was able to oversee the company during its peak performance, as it grew from a small, Southern California-based home building company to a Fortune 500 company known ail around the world as KB Home.
As enjoyable as his business career has been up to this point in his life, Karatz takes more pride in his philanthropic efforts all over the world. His first major effort centered around the aftermath of the Los Angeles riots in 1992 Karatz and Kaufman & Broad headlined the effort to rebuild Camp Holiywoodland for inner-city children. The rustic canyon retreat was ruined due to a fire during the riot, and thanks to the company's help rebuilding the main camp building, it was up and running soon after.
Many of his philanthropic efforts have taken place in Southern California, but the company also helped out extensively with Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans during the mid-2000s, Throughout his tenure, Karatz served on many boards and made sure that the company always helped to improve surrounding areas in their times of needs.
Currently Karatz is married to Lilly Tartikoff, a cancer activist who co-founded the Revlon Run/Walk events in New York and Los Angeles each year. She herself has raised over $80 million for cancer research through her efforts. He has a total of three adult children, two stepchildren and six grandchildren.
Asher is an ordained Rabbi and the founder and Chief Executive Officer for Transcend Living Inc., Transcend Mentoring, Inc. and Westside Treatment.
His past awards include ranking #1 in stock picking multiple times in the Wall Street Journal’s Best on the Street Analysts Survey and in Financial Times/StarMine America’s Top Analysts report.
Mr. Ross joined Stifel in 2005. Before joining the firm, he was an analyst with Legg Mason Capital Markets, worked briefly in the industry at RailWorks Corp., and began his career as an analyst in the global investment banking division of Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown.
Mr. Ross received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and is a CFA charterholder. In addition, he is an Advisor to PICKUP Now, Inc. and serves on the Board of Directors for the Carson Scholars Fund and for The Humane Society of Greater Miami and is a founding partner with SVP Miami.
Before forming HPA Strategies, Mr. Herglotz was the senior vice president of strategic communications and public affairs for Safeway Inc., a Fortune 100 company and at the time, one of the largest food retail companies in the United States. He has extensive experience working in federal and state government, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Communications for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the California Governor’s Office as a spokesperson, the California Department of Food and Agriculture as communications director, and a press secretary for a member of Congress. Mr. Herglotz has also served as a political and communications advisor on several state and national campaigns.
Mr. Herglotz has served on several non-profit and business advisory boards, including the US Chamber of Commerce, US Chamber Foundation, California Retailers Association, California Grocers Association, and Horizons Foundation. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resources, studying Consumer Economics and Business Communications from the University of Delaware. He served ten years in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard.
Rose is actively involved in her community of Sacramento, California, is the director of coaching for Azteca FC, the adult and youth soccer club she founded in 2013. Mrs. Shoen earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of California, Davis, she earned her associate degree in Social Sciences from Sacramento City College. Rose is a nationally licensed soccer coach (National “C”) under US Soccer and is also a licensed personal trainer. Rose is the only female owner and coach managing a franchise in the United Premier Soccer League, a national men’s soccer league with over 100 franchises nationwide. She is also the only female coach, owner, and manager to ever earn promotion to play in the Premier division of the San Francisco Soccer Football League, the longest standing men’s soccer league in the USA, it was founded in 1902. It is the only promotion and relegation men’s league in the USA and is a three-division league, Rose’s team, Azteca FC, earned back to back promotions in 2017 and 2018 and is currently contending for a playoff position in the 2019 season.
Using her unique skill set of fluency in Spanish and English, management skills, and passion for helping others succeed, she focuses on assisting the players and families she works with, mentoring them on and off the field toward success.
Rose is a semi-professional soccer player and competes for the club Primero De Mayo, based out of Sacramento, within the Women’s Premier Soccer League. The WPSL is the longest standing and largest women’s soccer league in the world with over 115 franchises. She was selected to WPSL All star in 2016 and WPSL Pacific North All Conference player in 2018. She helped lead her team to playoffs in 2019 as captain, she started all conference games and the playoff games. Rose is also a current member of Mensa and believes in promoting educational opportunities for students of all social economic backgrounds, through donations of her time and finical resources to local scholarship programs in Sacramento.