Meet The Team

Laurie Bodine

Laurie Bodine is the Founder of START Leadership and the creator of the START Leadership Books for families, students, and professionals. 


Since 2004, START’s integrated leadership training has equipped students, educators, parents and professionals with the mindset and tools they need to lead well, be well, and do well in today’s increasingly competitive and rapidly changing world - and to inspire the development of leadership in others.


With an MBA and expertise in organizational development, Laurie has 25 years of experience working for and with Fortune 500 companies, startups, schools, and families in the areas of leadership, strategy, and well being.


Laurie has served as a research and policy advisor to Stanford University’s national campaign for the wellbeing of youth, Challenge Success: Championing a Broader Vision of Success for Youth and has provided pro bono leadership development for a number of non-profit organizations in California. 


The mother of two step-daughters and one son, Laurie lives in Ojai with her husband, John.

Ron Duska

With a doctorate in education and 25 years of experience as a teacher and principal, Dr. Ron Duska has worked at the high school, middle school, and elementary school level at both all-boys and co-educational schools.


Ron specializes in the biological hardwiring of boys and girls and how knowledge of this wiring can be used to foster the healthy development of kids - both in the classroom and at home


As Head of Lower School at The Haverford School (PA) for 12 years, Ron collaborated with Laurie to implement START’s educational programming and parent workshops.  


Having experienced the transformative and sustainable benefits of the START approach in developing essential leadership skills while building students' social and emotional capacity and connection, Ron has now joined the START-Leadership team full-time to  extend the reach of this important work.

Ron is also an adjunct education professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. He’s the father of four and lives in the Philadelphia area.


Patty Dunlap, Team Member

With extensive professional and parenting experience, Patty’s talent and interest in developing effective leadership – in her work teams and in her family - drew her to START. Applying her MBA, her management experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry and her engagement with education and kids at the Piedmont (California) Educational Foundation, Patty serves START as a trainer, business developer, and editor.

Liz Christiano, Team Member

As an education researcher at SRI International, a middle schools teacher, an artist, and a parent, Liz contributes an essential perspective to START that is broad, deep, and diverse. Liz provides strategic and tactical research, development, and editorial support to START.

Lee O'Haver, Advisor

Lee’s experience as a parent and business manager, skilled in building and maintaining strong relationships, contributes importantly to extending the reach of START’s message. Lee provides strategic and business development support to START.

Susan Gray, Advisor

With a Doctorate in Education and Developmental Psychology and extensive research experience in social skills training and peer play, Susan serves as START Leadership's Research advisor. Integrating the fields of Organizational Effectiveness with Education and Developmental Psych, START is pioneering research and programs in identifying and implementing effective leadership mindset models as well as skill and behavior development methods linked to natural abilities.

Bill Ott, Advisor

Bill has held executive managing committee positions at Visa, St. George Bank, and Bank of Boston and has advised companies across a wide range of industries from financial services to tech and social media. He has also served as a director on the boards of several public and private companies, including E*Trade Bank and Green Dot Corporation. Bill serves as a strategic advisor to START.


With the support of parents and teachers, all kids will have the time, space, and guidance they need to map a path with purpose, experiencing WHO they are, WHAT they care about, and WHERE and HOW they can contribute in the world in a meaningful way.